The Student Book Supply is your source for classroom texts for all Divinity classes and some classes taught through other University departments. The ordering process is relatively simple, and involves the use of our new and improved textbook order form (please use this form for class texts only; it may not be used for personal orders or desk copy requests). Instructions for use of the form follow below. Please do not submit a textbook order until your class has been officially approved.
The following answers to the most frequently asked questions about textbooks may be helpful in your ordering process.
Q. How do I order textbooks from the SBS?
A. By use of the online textbook form.
It is important that your order comes to us in this way. These forms bring book data to us in a standardized format, reducing both processing time and possibility for error or confusion. The forms also become for us a source of inventory control, telling us which orders have not arrived and, later, which texts may need to be re-ordered. For these reasons, we cannot accept phone orders, syllabi, or e-mail orders.
Based on past experience, we also must require you to resubmit a textbook order even if you feel your list is “the same as last time”
Instructions for use of the online textbook order form:
Simply fill in all fields for the first title and hit “submit your textbook orders”. If ordering books for more than one course please be sure to change the course information appropriately. Each book order will automatically be e-mailed back to you for your records. If you have any questions or ordering directions specific to a title, the “comments” field is quite spacious and can be used to provide additional information (e.g. “students will be asked to choose one book from among this and two other titles”).
For each title you submit, the form asks you to indicate whether the book is “required”, or “optional”. Please use the following guidelines in selecting a priority.
Required: The student will be required to read from the text
Optional: The book is important for us to have available, but is not mandatory reading for course credit.
Please make certain that your final syllabus matches the information that you have given the Bookstore.
Q. What if I don’t have all the information you ask for? What if I don’t know how many students I will have?
A. Though we certainly prefer a complete form, as long as you give us author, title, and ISBN we can figure out the rest.
Please be aware that as you give us an ISBN, that is the exact edition we will purchase. If you really don’t care about the edition (of, say, Augustine’s Confessions), you may enter “CHOICE” in the ISBN field. If you want a paperback edition, do not give us the hardcover ISBN unless you make it very clear that YOU DO NOT WANT THAT EDITION.
Though your estimates are very helpful, please don’t let lack of certainty about class size delay you in submitting your book order. It would be helpful if you tell us whether you plan the course as a lecture or seminar course, and if course size is restricted, but, past that, we have various methods for estimating class size. Give us your best guess and let us do the rest.
Q. When do I need to order my textbooks?
A. You will receive a specific notification from the Bookstore, but, generally speaking, the deadline for Fall semester course orders is early-June and for Spring semester courses is mid- November.
If you have not been contacted by the Bookstore about ordering textbooks, it may be because you are a new or visiting faculty member and we have not yet received contact information for you. Please feel free to contact us if you have not heard from us.
Late orders complicate the lives of both the bookstore staff and your students. Please make every effort to submit your orders by the stated deadline. Extremely late orders will be processed only as time permits.
Q. Is there a limit or a recommended dollar amount per class?
A. The decision on how much money students are asked to spend on textbooks is, of course, yours to make based on your instructional needs. However, to quote one of our student staff: “Under $100, you’ll make a lot of friends, from $100 to $150, you’ve met expectations, but over $150, you’ve made a lot of students unhappy.”
Q. What if I’ve decided on most of my textbooks, but am stilling thinking about others?
A. We’d rather have part of your list than none of it. Send what you are sure of first, and send the other(s) as soon as you decide. It would be helpful for us if we know that there are more titles yet to come.
Q. Do you ever run out of textbooks? What happens then?
A. Our goal is to have a book for every student in the class who wants to buy one, and an extra copy left for the shelves.
However, since there is no class pre-registration and an extensive shopping period, we estimate both class size and buy-through percentage based on our years of experience and in consultation with you. Once in a while, however, we do run short of books. We do not automatically reorder. When we notice books running low early in the rush, we will contact you to determine how many students it looks like you will have in a given class. We can then re-order an adequate number of books. If we completely sell out of a title within the first 2 weeks of class we ask you to inquire of your students how many still wish to purchase the book from the SBS and we place an immediate re-order. If we run out of books after the drop/add period closes we assume everyone who needs a book has one and we do not reorder unless asked.
Your pro-activity is encouraged in the re-order process. If you notice at the first class meeting that our mutual estimate is radically incorrect, please contact us immediately to place a re-order.
Q. Is there any way I can check on what I ordered last time? Or see what other faculty are using or have used in the past?
A. Yes. Our web site archives textbook lists from the last several years. Textbook list from previous years (in fact, from previous decades) are available in the Bookstore for your review .
Q. Why should I order through the Student Book Supply?
A. Experience, Independence, Price, and a commitment to Personal Service.
Our entire staff is theologically educated, so we understand what you need and how to get it. We understand both the instructional needs of faculty and the financial concerns of students.
By supporting the SBS with your textbook order, you are supporting one of the increasingly fewer independent businesses in the country. The SBS proudly maintains the spirit of a student cooperative. Since we are neither owned nor operated by an outside mega-corporation, we can make our own buying decisions and are thus free to stock a wide variety of supplemental reading related to your course offerings.
Our member discount program, open to all (including faculty!), makes our new book prices competitive with both on-line and other brick-and-mortar stores. We work hard to keep our textbook prices as low as possible, even in cases where we get little or no discount from publishers.
Our staff makes every effort to stay in ongoing contact with you about the status of your textbooks; We work hard to seek out sources for hard to find books, even arranging for special reprints of out of print titles. During textbook rush period, there is always a staff member dedicated to personally assisting students in finding the textbooks that they need, as well as offering experienced advice on what optional texts to purchase.