The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

Find Stories and More:

Glenbrook bookstores to break from current provider

GBS and GBN bookstores will transfer to Beck’s Books once the contract with the district’s current provider, Follett Corporation, expires this summer, according to District 225 officials.

Superintendent Michael Riggle said the district spoke with three different companies before deciding on Beck’s, an Evanston based textbook company that serves many local colleges.

According to Riggle, the Follett Corporation has managed District 225 bookstores for five years since the district decided to outsource its bookstore operations.

However, once the time came to renew the contract, Riggle said Follett expressed dissatisfaction with the proposed deal, and the district began to search for an alternative company, specifically a provider that offered online textbooks. was an option the district considered, but according to Riggle, the entirely-web based business would not have staff on school premises, and therefore would not provide the important in-school bookstore services.

“The part about your bookstore that people don’t sometimes think about, and we take it for granted, is that there’s a bursar function, which means we collect money from students for a variety of things,” Riggle said. “If you’re going on field trips, or if you want to buy prom tickets or other things like that, you go to the bookstore, and they handle the money.”

According to Riggle, the bookstores’ bursar transactions collect around $3 million annually for the district, a responsibility Follett was capable of managing in the schools’ on-campus stores.

According to Kimberly Ptak, director of operations and purchasing for the district, Beck’s Books will continue the current bursar services, as well as offer a new online textbook store.

“With Beck’s, parents will have the ability to either come to the school and go through a traditional booksale, where they buy their books at the school, or Beck’s is also going to be setting up for us a website, so parents can go online and buy the textbooks that way,” Ptak said.

Ptak said families who order books online can choose to have their books shipped directly to their door, or their books can be delivered to the school without a shipping fee.

South parent Dilshad Rattani believes the online bookstore would be very convenient.

“You wouldn’t need to drive anywhere,” Rattani said. “No hassle, and it’s less expensive in the ways of gas and time.”

According to Principal Brian Wegley, there will always be a need for students to come to booksale day, but the transition to Beck’s and the online opportunities could mean shorter lines than in previous years.

Riggle said Follett would offer an online bookstore, but for an additional cost. Meanwhile, along with traditional hardback and paperback textbooks, Beck’s also markets online books for students.

“They actually did have availability of online textbooks at a variety of different platforms, and they’ve been selling online textbooks since 2003, so they have experience in that area,” Riggle said. “So as the district starts to look at students having books electronically and how to deal with that in the classroom, Beck’s already has that availability.”

Sophomore Mariya Yoshovska is very enthusiastic about the proposed online textbooks.

“Online textbooks are probably the greatest thing on the face of the earth, at least for students,” Yoshovska said. “They would lighten the load of our backpacks and make school super fun.”

Even with these additional resources offered, Ptak said Beck’s annual bookstore fees would be $96,000, which is far less than Follett’s current annual fee of $160,000.

The district proposal comparing the two different companies stated that to renew the current contract, Follett requested an additional increase in fees for next year’s total fee of $260,000, $100,000 more than this year’s fee. asked for an annual  $130,000.

The proposal stated that Beck’s will maintain the current 15 percent mark-up on textbooks, which is supposed to cover the cost of handling and operating the books and sales.

Beck’s will offer a 50 percent buy-back on used books, which is a slight decrease from the current 60 percent rate.

“I think that the district office, in seeking a new contract with the bookstore, has really focused on trying to keep costs steady for our families, and I think that’s really one main thing that’s driving us,” Wegley said. “And another thing I think they have done a good job at is finding a company that is a very customer service [friendly], local, caring company that I think will mesh well with Glenbrook South.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Oracle intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Oracle does not allow anonymous comments, and The Oracle requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Oracle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *