Supporting students from the beginning of their college experience all the way through graduation day is what The University of New Mexico (UNM) Bookstores primary function is. They do more than just provide textbooks for students and faculty, they play a huge part in helping students, faculty and staff feel a sense of pride in their school from the moment they walk onto campus.
“Wearing logo apparel, having Lobo Louie on a notebook and showing pride in UNM is the sense of belonging we give to the UNM community,” said Carrie Mitchell, director of the UNM Bookstores. “We don’t just sell books and t-shirts; we instill Lobo Pride in all our customers. We are an important part of the academic and Lobo experience for everyone on campus.”
Course materials are a critical part of every student’s education with 85 percent of the UNM faculty believing that course materials are “extremely useful.” The UNM Bookstore team works diligently to bring in multiple options for students at affordable prices. Mitchell says that the UNM Bookstores “are always looking for what could be better for students and more cost effective for them.”
Recently, the UNM Bookstores have introduced Inclusive Access, an innovative digital course material model, which is a program that allows students to link to digital course material on the first day of class. Mitchell said this is a benefit for faculty because all students have the exact same course materials on the first day of class.
“Last year in the pilot courses we were able to save students over $200,000 from what they would have paid for traditional textbooks,” says Mitchell.
Convenience and saving students money is a top priority for the UNM Bookstores. Last year, students saved more than $700,000 through a textbook rental program. The bookstore supply department works with architecture and geology faculty to assemble kits of required materials so students can get all of their materials at one time, instead of shopping for them separately. When a laptop or tablet is slated as required for a course, the UNM Bookstores are able to offer the items tax free to students in the TechDen Store.
Beyond providing course materials, the UNM Bookstores are involved in supporting many events throughout the year.
“Last year, we supported 55 events across campus and the Albuquerque area,” said Mitchell. “When an author comes on campus, departments contact our team for support. We order the books, set up shop, wherever the event is, and sell to guests. We also host authors to speak and sign books in our store.”
One of the biggest events of the year is graduation. The UNM Bookstores are responsible for providing all the regalia for students, faculty and the UNM administration twice a year. The staff members attend each graduation ceremony on both Main and North campuses and assist dressing the “platform group.” Mitchell says that is it a “privilege to play a role in such an important life milestone for our students.”
The UNM Bookstores are a department in Institutional Support Services (ISS).