I recently had the opportunity to speak with Andy Beckwith, the manager of the Citadel Gift Shop, and asked him what he would like cadets and their parents to know about buying books. So much has changed now that you can rent books and get some texts in eBook format. His advice follows:
There is a good bit of info out there regarding our textbook rental program on the auxiliary services web pages.
Most of it is taken directly from the B&N pages, but there is an overview that’s a bit more specific to cadets here.
The biggest confusion seemed to be that even though the rental charges would be placed against the restricted CWID account, using their cadet ID card, a credit or debit card would still need to be available to swipe at the time of purchase. Both cards must be swiped to complete a cadet rental. As long as the books are returned on time, there is never any charge to that debit or credit card account related to the rental.
The rental program was first instituted here in Fall of 2011. It was quite successful and (surprisingly for a brand new program ) rather trouble-free. They will be asked by the cashier at the time of purchase if they wish to rent the rentable titles and we will take it from there. If they don’t have a credit or debit card, they can come back with one and convert to rental within the first two weeks of class.
The school administration and the Commandant’s department were adamant that incoming freshmen be offered the same book options upperclassmen would receive even in the context of the rigorous orientation week. To this end we worked with the academic cadre to pass on this information to incoming freshman and assist them in the process; we will be doing so this time as well. We will also be posting relevant information on our Facebook page as the back to school process unfolds. \
Another excellent information resource is to opt in to our email list which can also be done through our Facebook page by signing up for this sweepstakes. This also provides access to store discounts and promotions. They can opt out any time and the list won’t be sold to third parties. Beyond that there are two very important facts about textbooks I try to make every cadet know:
- Mark your books with some kind of identification. Sadly, people do steal textbooks – especially around book buyback time. If you write your name in your book, it won’t affect the buyback value or rental return, but it might discourage theft and make it easier to recover your book if it’s stolen.
- Save your receipt. Save your receipt!! Save your receipt!!!! It’s a major purchase. Many cadets throw the receipt away immediately and then drop a class or want to return a book. We will do whatever we can to help, but the process is much easier on everyone (including the always time-pressed cadet) if you have the textbook receipt. The rental agreement also has important information and should be kept.