Charlie’s Bookstore has been a staple in the Coyote community for textbook purchases and USD merchandise, but is undergoing changes as USD students adjust to online textbook purchases.
Charlie’s replaced Barnes & Noble in April of 2019 with Akademos to create an online platform for students to purchase textbooks.
The online bookstore, which goes by the name of TextbookX, has allowed the bookstore to reach more students. Caroline Briggs currently acts as the textbook coordinator. She is the liaison between USD faculty and the Akademos program.
Briggs said the online platform lent itself to many benefits. TextbookX allows 100% of the online textbook sales to support student scholarships. It can also be accessible 24/7 and has a variety of textbook formats available for purchase.
“Akademos employs four USD students as TextbookX brand ambassadors who assist with bookstore social media content, answer student order questions and manage textbook deliveries at Charlie’s on campus,” Briggs said.
One of this year’s TextbookX ambassadors is Emma Salzwedel.
Salzwedel spends her days processing incoming books and sending out notifications to students when their books have arrived on campus. She also works a lot with customer service and helping to answer any questions students have about the textbook buying or selling process.
“I think it is a little tricky for students to comprehend our new online bookstore at times, because it isn’t well projected to the students,” Salzwedel said. “I don’t think students understand that they don’t come to us to buy or sell books, but rather we are connecting them with someone who does.”
The USD bookstore is now completely online and has simply become a pickup window inside the Charlie store. This new virtual version of the bookstore has made the process of getting students their needed textbooks easier and more affordable, Salzwedel said.
“The program finds the textbooks that your professor says that you need, and it scans all third-party markets,” Salzwedel said. “It finds you some of the cheapest prices, and connects you to various marketplaces, so it’s a combination of both convenience for our bookstore workers and convenience for students.”
As Charlie’s bookstore continues to adapt to the new online platform, they encourage students to not be alarmed by the lack of a physical bookstore on campus, but rather take advantage of the many benefits that come along with having a completely virtual bookstore, Briggs said.