Does IVC call for obsolete books?
Easiest part of this letter to deal with is the idea of a rental program at the Imperial Valley College bookstore.
It’s easy because it already exists and is quite popular.
Kathy Berry, vice president of academic services for IVC, said book rental programs are not only popular at IVC’s book stores but the bookstores throughout the California Community College, California State University and University of California systems.
She said so far there has not been more of a demand than what is available as the college regularly lets the bookstores know before the semester how many sections are coming up and roughly how many students are expected.
We called the IVC bookstore to ask how the rental program works and were told students pay a flat fee for the entire semester based on the textbook, and that a credit card or debit card is required for a deposit, as is a current email address, phone number and that the student be over 18 years old.
Now, in terms of how the faculty chooses its textbooks and when and if it’s known that an edition is about to go away, Berry said there are different circumstances.
She said every book has a shelf life, and the Community College Chancellor’s Office sets requirements as to how often the newest edition needs to be used, and IVC is expected to report to the chancellor what materials are being used.
Notification that a new edition is coming, or that a certain book is no longer going to be available, can happen quickly.
A great example Berry gave of how and why a new edition would come out deals with computers. In October Microsoft released Windows 8, and that would obviously make a basic-level computer text instantly obsolete.
In that case, a college could choose to change it to provide the most current education to its students. Of course the chancellor’s office would then require that change within a certain window of years.
Referring to both the college and the bookstore, Berry said, “They try really hard to get books that students can use from semester to semester, but every so often a publisher has a new edition, and that is the publisher’s control, not ours.”