Where are all the books?

Jacob Notermann, Staff Writer

A number of UND textbooks’ shipping have been delayed longer than usual, leaving many students in the dark about where they are and what they can do in the meantime.

With the new semester already a few weeks in, many students are still waiting for their required textbooks to arrive.

While classes are in full swing and setting their pace for coursework, some students are unable to keep up due to books they’ve already paid for not being available for pick-up yet.

The problem derives from the UND Bookstore, which is currently having issues with publisher distributions.

“There’s been a lot of back-orders with the publishers, especially this year,” said Jaci Burdick, UND Bookstore Textbook Manager.

“By the time I went into the Bookstore, we had already finished that book for the class. So I ended up just returning it right away.”

— Nicky Korsfo

A back-order is bookstore-lingo for when the publisher has yet to ship or even make the books that were ordered.

“They’re not in this store at all,” Burdick said. “They’re on their way here, the orders have been placed, we just don’t know exactly when they’re gonna be here.”

Some books have been delayed to arrive in early February.

Although it is typical for there to be shipping delays at the bookstore, this semester has been unusually high comparatively to others.

“[There’s been] specific vendors that have back-ordered or put a delay on the shipments,” Burdick said. “This semester has been especially frustrating for students.

The Bookstore did not disclose the names of the vendors or publishers.

The problem isn’t the number of back orders, though. The issue has been a longer delay of shipments than usual.

Of the roughly 2,500 titles issued across the student body, the number of back-orders was not described as out of the ordinary.

“Usually we have all the books in by this point, but there’s a number of special orders we’re still waiting for,” Burdick said. “We’re trying to keep on top of updates from some publishers, but once we place orders it’s kind of out of our hands.”

For students like UND sophomore Nicky Korsfo, the wait for a book has taken too long.

After ordering a book on the first day of classes, she waited almost two weeks for it to arrive.

During those two weeks, the class began assigning work based on the readings. She spent one night texting friends who might have had the book in order to complete an assignment due the next day.

When she was unable to find the status of her book online and didn’t receive a response to her email, she went to the bookstore to find out where it was.

The book was supposed to be shipped to Wilkerson Commons, but the clerk behind the Bookstore counter found it sitting in the backroom.

“By the time I went into the Bookstore, we had already finished that book for the class,” Korsfo said. “So I ended up just returning right away.”

Despite reason to be frustrated, Korsfo said she will continue to shop at the Bookstore for course necessities.

There are a handful of students who have seen the view from both sides of the counter and can shed light on the different perspectives.

“It does occasionally happen that items get lost or misplaced at the store level,” said Darian Colgrove, a student-team member at the Bookstore. “We really do feel bad when we have to tell customers that their orders aren’t in they waited in line for nothing.”

For students who have been waiting for books from the bookstore, a simple call to the Bookstore can be enough to be saved from “waiting in line for nothing.”

“We’re definitely willing to give you the information that we have,” Burdick said. “Sometimes not the best information or the most up-to-date information, but we’ll definitely try to fill you in.”

The Bookstore said they are willing to refund some books if they were bought in advance.

Jacob Notermann is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected]