Bookstore Celebrates Golden Anniversary
Vacation and iPod among the prizes in commemorative raffle
October 25, 2004 1:01 PM
The SF State bookstore kicked off their golden anniversary this week with registers decked with purple and yellow balloons, pictures of the “old” bookstore on display, and over $5,000 in giveaways in celebration of “50 years of service” to the SF State community.
In addition to their new logo and product promotions, the SF State bookstore is also promoting a new image this semester in response to some of the student and faculty concerns about the high expense of textbooks.
“The bookstore got a bad rap with the professors because of the prices,” said Isabel Leus, a customer service cashier and recent graduate in creative writing. But she said this event is an effort to engage the students and faculty on campus so they can “be a part of what [the bookstore is] and what makes it great.”
With Amazon.com, Half.com, and other online booksellers, the bookstore realizes there is a lot of competition and that students don’t necessarily have to buy books on campus.
"We’ve had problems, losing a lot of business to Half.com and Ebay,” said Kirsten Giglione, marketing manager at the bookstore. “
"We know [textbooks] are expensive,” said Giglione, the lead coordinator for the store’s anniversary activities. So one idea at the beginning of this semester, she said, was to “give away” $500 worth in textbooks each to four students, which at the end of the semester the students would return the books.
Giglione admits that they can’t give any textbooks away, but the promotions are a start. They are working on promoting a more “friendly image of the bookstore,” said Giglione. “[We want people to] look at the bookstore in a better light and not like ‘they’re going to take my money away.’”
She also added that few people know the bookstore is a non-profit. After overhead expenses, she said, everything earned goes back into the school.
The bookstore plays a large part in bringing literary events to campus as well. Along with selling general school supplies and textbooks, they have hosted such authors as filmmaker Michael Moore, author Jessica Hagedorn, and activist and poet Angela Davis.
“We also do events for campus authors,” said Ken White, manager of the general books section.
He mentioned that the bookstore has a legacy of its own.
“There are almost no independent bookstores in the Bay Area that are that old,” said White.
Elaine Enochs Ochoa, a kinesiology student, appreciates the festivities.
“It’s really nice they’re doing something to commemorate [the anniversary], and giving away valuable things because we [students] spend so much money,” said Ochoa.
Among the weekly prizes are new winter edition backpacks and messenger bags by popular brands such as Jansport or Ogio stuffed with sweaters, T-shirts, and other clothing items by Champion. The top prizes include a trip for two to Hawaii sponsored by the bookstore, a new Apple iPod, and a year’s supply of Rock Star Energy Drink.
To prepare for the event, she went through the library archives, with the help of Liz Nolan from the Alumni Association, and found an old picture of the University Club where the bookstore used to be housed. Members of the class of 1954 also had some ideas, and offered the cardboard cutouts and old yearbooks for the bookstore to feature in their display window, said Giglione.
“Because everybody shops [at the bookstore] is why we’re still here, so it’s our way of saying thanks,” said Giglione.
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