In addition to the usual long lines, the GW Bookstore has been plagued by a textbook shortage that has disrupted many University classrooms.
The reasons for the shortage are myriad. Bookstore officials blame miscommunication with publishers and orders of books that are not yet in print. Some professors fault the Bookstore for failing to stock enough books, while others cite the fact that many professors underestimated the enrollment numbers.
Clearly, the Bookstore needs to develop a better system of communication with publishers and professors to insure that academics aren’t effected by the shortage of textbooks. For instance, if the Bookstore is unable to obtain a sufficient amount of copies of a certain book by the time classes begin, professors should be immediately notified. That way, instructors could make appropriate changes in syllabi to ensure that assignments can be completed.
The Bookstore should always stock an amount of books in excess of expected student enrollment. Surplus books can always be returned at the end of the semester.
Poor organization in the Bookstore contributes to the problem. Stacks of books block walkways, turning the Bookstore into an aggravating maze for students who are already stressed-out. Empty shelves belie the fact that many books simply remain in storage, yet to be displayed for purchase. These problems are much more manageable – bookstore employees must become more efficient about keeping walkways clear and restocking shelves when necessary.
Ultimately, the textbook shortage at the GW Bookstore interferes with the University’s primary mission: academics. The shortage is unacceptable and – with proper precautions – should be avoided in the future.