Norris Bookstore begins year with renovated look

Sheila Burt

For returning students and the estimated 1,947 freshmen who will buy books this week, a newly renovated Norris Bookstore could alleviate long lines and help them locate books easier.

Renovations include a new convenience store location, four new counter registers, 20 percent more shelf capacity for books, and new carpet and floors, said Jerry Jacobson, Norris Bookstore general manager.

Also, the convenience store no longer is a separate unit of the bookstore, though the store offers many of the same products at one of the checkout counters. Jacobson said the store now operates 16 checkout registers, compared to 10 last year, and four more registers will be added during the year.

Jacobson, who could not give a price estimate of the renovation cost, said he hopes the new layout of the store will make the rush for books a shorter process and the increased shelf capacity will allow the store to display a larger percentage of its stock.

“It really allowed us to flow the books so they’re easier to find,” said Jacobson, who added that 95 percent of the books for Fall Quarter are currently in stock.

“The whole process — getting books on the shelves and ready to go — has been smoother,” he said. “Hopefully it will all work well for students.”

The renovations were completed in six weeks — except for glass doors at the entrance of the store, which will be installed later this week, Jacobson said.

Although the major store changes include more checkout counters and bookshelf space, Jacobson said the bookstore’s design underwent more subtle changes. An improved University Authors section in the store includes a newly designed display and a small reading area.

Many students buying books and walking through the bookstore Sunday appreciated both the obvious and subtle changes, although some questioned whether or not the design would help lines during the rush Tuesday after freshmen register.

Andrew Hill, a Music sophomore, admired the new checkout counters and said they could shorten wait time in line.

“If nothing else, it’s a lot more open so lines will be spread out,” Hill said.

Caitlin Kielhorn, a Weinberg sophomore, admired the wood floors in the entrance but questioned whether the money for the renovations was invested correctly.

“I’d rather have the money go somewhere useful than pretty floors,” said Kielhorn, adding she would prefer a decrease in textbook prices.

But Matt Piscitello found the new layout of the store more appealing and said he appreciates having the extra space.

“It looks like it’s a bit more organized,” the Weinberg sophomore said. “There are more sections rather than everything cluttered.”