A private, graduate level health sciences institution located in North Chicago, Rosalind Franklin University has been educating and preparing health professionals since its doors opened in 1912. The average Rosalind Franklin student is a bit older, wiser and more cost-conscious than the typical higher education student. As a result, Rosalind Franklin saw struggles with its original bookstore model, which did not provide convenience and cost-savings that its student body desired.
By mid-July, an on-campus brick and mortar bookstore will be the way Rosalind Franklin used to do things, as they have chosen to transition to a strictly online bookstore with MBS Direct. The impetus behind that decision was two-fold. One, an online bookstore is, of course, online, meaning that it is typically more convenient and accessible than a physical store. And two, MBS Direct’s online bookstore can provide better savings than the former on-campus store.
“Because of the presence of other online options, students began buying most of their books from places like Amazon,” said Director of Materials Management Vince Butera. “And pricing was usually high on what materials [the bookstore] carried."
In switching to MBS Direct, Butera is confident that those problems are in the rear-view mirror. “[MBS Direct] will provide a good service to our student body,” Butera said. “It’s geared for the students; it has competitive pricing and has the titles they need. It should be a better option for them.”
In order to make sure students are aware of the advantages, Rosalind Franklin is putting a great deal of effort toward promoting its new online bookstore. The university has publicized it through emails, pamphlets, posters in the elevators, newsletters and through its closed-circuit TV system. The most prominent promotion will be during student orientation in the fall.
Students are not the only ones seeing a benefit from the transition to online purchasing. Rosalind Franklin has reconfigured the space that was once used for its bookstore into a spirit store, which sells apparel and items such as medical and lab supplies, to bring in a bit of extra revenue.
Overall, the folks at Rosalind Franklin seem excited and optimistic that their new bookstore will pay dividends for both their students and the school. Butera summed things up by saying, “We like to think of MBS Direct as an extension of the university.”