Carillon on the move: textbook rentals

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Against a backdrop of shelved books on a wall, a person holding a briefcase looks toward the audience. They stand next to a desk with the sign “Bookstore” over an older sign “Library.”
Are bookstore textbook rentals confusing library lending with sales? OpenClipart-Vectors via Pixabay, manipulated by lee lim

What do students say about paying to borrow?

The semester is moving forward with astonishing speed and students both on and off campus are already gearing up for their midterm examinations. As exams approach, students feel the need for textbooks for their respective courses. Textbooks, however, can be very expensive.  

Purchasing them may not seem an economically viable option, especially if the books are not required for more than a single semester. The University of Regina (U of R) Bookstore operated by Follett offers options where students can rent or purchase second-hand textbooks. The Carillon checks out the options that are available for textbook rentals and purchase, and what university students have to say about them.  

The campus store located in the College West building allows students to rent textbooks which can be returned after the end of the semester. The students are allowed to take notes and make highlights in the rented textbooks, and they may pay less than half the price of new if they rent the textbooks. This can make rental an economical option.  

“I have been at the university for around five semesters, and I have always rented my required textbooks,” said Maliha Jabeen Khan, a Pre-Med student at the U of R. “Being a science major, the textbooks required for our classes are usually very expensive. Having the option to rent textbooks makes them much more affordable.”  

The textbooks can be rented by visiting either the physical campus store location or online. The staff at the bookstore can easily guide the students through the rental process when visited in person. “The people at the bookstore are very nice and friendly and not only that they are nice while talking to you. They are also very willing to help you with any questions that you may have about renting or buying books,” said Adam Wood, a second-year student pursuing a Philosophy, Politics, and Economics major at the university.  

To rent the texts online, students can visit the bookstore’s website at bkstr.com/ureginastore/home and search for their textbooks using their course number and section. They can then choose the rental option available for them and complete the purchase by adding the books to their shopping cart and choosing their preferred method of payment, similar to other online shopping websites. The only thing different is that for renting textbooks, one must sign a rental agreement before completing the purchase, whether in-person or online.  

The rental agreement highlights that the student must return the rented textbook before the due date mentioned on the purchase receipt, and failure to do so will incur a late fee. Should students need to extend the period for the rentals, they can do that, or the rented textbook can be purchased before the due date by paying the difference. Should they end up dropping a class early after renting the required textbooks, the students can also get a full refund when they return the textbooks.  

Textbooks rented online can also be shipped to the student’s house. “It was so convenient to have the books delivered to my place and not have to go to the store to get them,” said Ramla Said Ahmed, a student pursuing Biology at the university, who took classes for her summer semester online. In these cases, the textbooks can then be returned to the campus store or be shipped back to the store. The cost of shipping, however, is at the student’s own expense.  

These students say that textbook rentals and used textbooks are economical and flexible in meeting their needs. The Carillon encourages students to explore their options and share in the larger conversation about what works and what doesn’t concerning textbook rentals. 

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