In a student survey done in September 2009, 66% of students told the U of T Bookstore that they were interested in renting textbooks. In response, in May the Bookstore became the first major university bookstore in Canada to launch a textbook rental program. The program currently supports 100 titles, including 28 titles available at UTM.
The rental process begins at www.uoftbookstore.com. Students select their rentals, read and agree to the terms, and complete payment online. Once the books are ready, students are able to pick them up in the store, with identification.
The students can then use the textbooks for the term. Normal amounts of highlighting and note-taking are allowed. The same rules that apply when the Bookstore buys back a book apply to rentals.
Finally, students will receive two reminder emails at the end of the term, and they simply return the book by the return due date. From there, the Bookstore works with wholesalers, who purchase the used books back from them.
According to Chad Saunders, VP Retail, response to the program has been quite positive from students and faculty on campus. ”Students win, as they can still get a new book but save quite a bit of money and not have to worry about what they can sell their books for at the end of the term,” said Saunders.
The Bookstore has also recently added more used books to its shelves, and doubled the number of cash registers during the busiest times at UTM. “This is really the theme that you can expect from the Bookstore,” Saunders commented. “We ask students what they want; listen, and innovate, then start the cycle all over again.”