UF Students React to Barnes and Noble Bookstore

By Vanessa Crowe


University of Findlay Ruscilli Bookstore is now under the management of Barnes and Noble College. With the new bookstore management comes a new way to get textbooks.

Kim Oakes, the transitional manager with Barnes and Noble Education, the parent company of BNC, says First Day Complete Bundle (Oiler Day One) will start in Fall 2023.

“We will send out educational pieces to the students so they clearly understand how the system will work,” Oaks said. “(Students) will see the book charge built into their tuition. And then they will be actually sent a link on how to order their books.”

Oaks said they will send out more communication to make sure students understand the process.

Many students have used other avenues when buying or renting books, such as Amazon.com and Chegg.com. In fall of 2022 the University entered a partnership with Cengage Unlimited which provided all Cengage-published materials to students under the $75 Learning Resource Fee.. But that partnership is going away.

Vice President for Business Affairs Kim Williams, who says that with the move to Barnes and Noble, UF is no longer the legal contracted operator for bookstore publishers.

“We will not be contracting with Cengage for Fall 2023,” Williams said in an email. “All publishers will contract directly with Barnes and Noble College as the bookstore operator.”

The previous deal with Cengage offered all Undergraduate, MBA, and MSASA students Cengage Unlimited access through the Learning Resource Fee added to tuition for Fall 2022, which was $75 a semester. Williams says that fee will not be used for the Oiler Day One program.

“The use of a Learning Resource Fee in some amount may be used going forward in some capacity, but will not be associated with the use of a bookstore publisher,” Williams said.

In previous emails sent to the campus community, UF explained how the new bundling service will work.

“This program will provide students with all their course materials for the term, bundled in their tuition for added convenience and affordability. ‘Oiler Day One’ is expected to result in a 40-50% reduction in cost to students, and ensures that they have all of their course materials before the first day of classes.”

Freshman pharmacy student Baylee King is concerned about adding more fees to tuition under the Barnes and Noble bundle.

“Tuition based would be nice,” King said. “But that’s more loans I would have to take out than just out of pocket, like $100 for a textbook.”

The bookstore shut down Jan. 30 to Feb. 3 to make the change to BNC, but it stayed in the same space in the College of Business and Student Life Center.

Junior pharmacy major Justin Tran, noted the bookstore itself did not change much after the switch.

“It pretty much just looked the same,” Tran said. “I have seen Barnes and Nobles at other colleges that were bigger.”

Some students like junior pre-vet student Annabelle Blosser felt a sense of pride in the university managing its own bookstore.

“I think it decreases the charm of having a small university bookstore,” Blosser said.

“My first reaction was that it was laid out the same,” King said. “But the quality of the shirts were not the same. I bought a crewneck that was $40, which was a lot.”

Sophomore pharmacy student Morgan Hannon likes some of the new gear the bookstore is carrying under a BNC deal with Fanatics and Lids.

“Personally, I like it. I liked that there seems to be a lot more variety in the things that they provided, in the shirts and hoodies,” Hannon said. “There was a lot more variety, a lot more to pick from. I know before Barnes and Noble there weren’t as many shorts that they were offering. There weren’t as many sweatpants and not as many designs and T-shirts. I do like how they expanded on that.”

UF says the merchandise is available both in-store and online through the website or mobile app.

Bookstore Manager, Wes Kruger says campus clubs looking to order T-shirts for special events will follow the same process as before the change in management.

“They’ll still email me (for example) ‘I need 50 drama club t-shirts’ with a breakdown of size,” Kruger said.

Overall, Kruger has heard good things about the change.

“I feel like we have gotten nothing but positive reactions,” Kruger said. “Everyone likes the layout of the store.”