Students will be able to rent selected textbooks from the Barnes & Noble at UAB Bookstore beginning in the fall of 2010, a new option that will mean savings of more than 50 percent off the cost of purchasing a new printed textbook.
"UAB is committed to offering its students the lowest-cost alternatives to purchasing new and increasingly expensive textbooks with which to complete their coursework," said UAB Provost Eli Capilouto. "The university's new agreement with Barnes and Noble College Booksellers will help reduce the financial pressures many of our students face when it comes to acquiring increasingly expensive textbooks at the start of each new semester.
"I commend the members of the UAB textbook taskforce that was formed to investigate ways to bring textbook costs down and that proposed the rental program for us," Capilouto said.
The UAB Bookstore is the state's first university bookstore managed by Barnes and Noble College Booksellers (BNCB) to offer a rental program to students.
Students will be able to pay for the rentals - which also will be available online at www.uab.bncollege.com — using any form of payment accepted by the UAB Bookstore. The program is expected to save UAB students an estimated total of $200,000 annually.
Students will make their rentals at the start of each semester and keep them for the duration of the semester; during that time they can mark or highlight the books as they would a purchased one. Rented textbooks are due back to the bookstore 10 days after the last day of finals.
Rentals will not be available for every UAB class because some courses require one-time-use or other custom textbooks, but approximately 28 percent of titles are expected to be available though the rental program.
The UAB textbook taskforce was created to make recommendations for what UAB should do to meet federal reforms that take effect this summer and are contained in the 2008 U.S. Department of Education Higher Education Opportunity Act, a part of which encourages universities to seek ways to lower textbook costs for students.
The taskforce members were Scott Plutchak, director of the UAB Lister Hill Library of Health Sciences; Warren Martin, Ph.D., retired professor of business; Stella Cocoris, assistant vice president of UAB Enrollment Services; Andre´ Davis, director of UAB Business and Auxiliary Services; Greg Pence, Ph.D., professor of philosophy; Ellen Buckner, R.N., former professor of nursing; Sheri Spaine Long, Ph.D., associate professor of foreign languages; Mark Hickson, Ph.D., professor of communication studies; graduate student Emily Norman; undergraduate student Hernandez Stroud; and Reginald Reese, department manager at the UAB Bookstore.