Campus, News

Bookstore still open for in-person business, new regulations in place

With new regulations in place, Long Beach State’s 49er Shops Bookstore will stay open for in-person and virtual shopping for the fall semester.

Rosa Hernandez, 49er Shops director of human resources, said the bookstore employees have been working since the start of the coronavirus pandemic to continue providing essential services to the campus community.

“The university bookstore plays a crucial role in providing course materials and supplies to our students,” she said. “We continue to process online orders and have communicated to the student population through our website and social media handles.”

Although the campus transitioned to virtual instruction in March due to coronavirus-related concerns, the bookstore remained open during the remainder of the spring semester as students were still able to return their textbooks and order supplies virtually.

Compared to previous semesters, there are several new regulations in place to make sure operations comply with health and safety guidelines, but the bookstore’s doors remain open for walk-in business Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday hours have been eliminated for the foreseeable future. 

Students stand In line at the bookstore
Students stand in line at the information desk at the 49er Shops Bookstore with spots spaced six feet apart for social distance. Richard Grant/ Daily Forty-Niner

During the summer session, aisles were closed off for students, and employees were required to retrieve all textbooks for customers in accordance with coronavirus-related protocol. 

“They are trying their best but it can be hard when there [are] no previous measures to refer back to as a policy guide in this situation,” said Sierra Allen, a bookstore warehouse associate. 

Allen, a third-year accounting major, said the bookstore has implemented new sanitation practices and cleaning procedures. 

Each morning, almost all items in the bookstore are sanitized before workers or customers enter the store.

“I feel mixed [about the changes], they are doing as much as they can realistically do without having to fire people and to keep up with their order volume,” Allen said. “But, overall, perhaps they could be doing more.”

New regulations this fall include limited capacity within the bookstore, enforcement of physical distancing and face mask requirements. Employees are required to complete health screenings before arriving on campus. 

The bookstore staircase
A view of a nearly empty bookstore, usually the center area would have a snaking line of dozens of students waiting to pay. Richard Grant/ Daily Forty-Niner

As a warehouse employee, Allen processes orders as well as packs books and other merchandise for shipping orders. 49er Shops officials made a “germ safety booklet,” she said, but the employees weren’t properly briefed on new procedures. 

“We kinda had to figure it out,” she said. 

Allen said that over the summer employees were working over 40 hours per week plus overtime, but now that the fall semester is in session they’re capped at 29 hours in accordance with university policy.

In an attempt to limit in-person interactions, the ID card services office has transitioned online. All new CSULB students were asked to submit a photo online through an online portal as part of Student Orientation and Registration and were given a pick-up date in August to retrieve their card for the fall. 

Lone student walks in bookstore
A student walks, the wrong way, down the path at the University Bookstore to pick up books for the semester. Richard Grant/ Daily Forty-Niner.

Students not coming to campus can still order textbooks online through their myCSULB student portals, according to Hernandez. 

After logging into their Single Sign-On, students can navigate to the myCSULB chiclet and locate the “My Textbooks” option on the top left corner of the screen. From here, students are able to view their required textbooks corresponding to their class schedules. 

The bookstore is set to remain open for in-store shopping for the foreseeable future, yet students seem apprehensive about whether they will make use of this on-campus resource.

“I doubt I will [come to campus for the bookstore] since the bookstore is pretty far from where I am living and I have no other reason to be near campus,” said Bryan Robinson, fourth-year business major. 

For any students not wanting to come to campus, 49er Shops reopened the Beach on Second Street location in early July, which will remain open Thursday through Sunday. 

As the rest of the fall semester remains up in the air, the bookstore is keeping its frequently asked questions page as up-to-date as possible should anything change in the near future.

“I think as long as it is safe, the in-person option is a good thing to have available for students who prefer that way of getting their textbooks,” Robinson said.

Julia Terbeche, news editor, contributed to this article.

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