Post Classifieds

Rent-A-Text: A Year Later

By Sarah Aube
On September 16, 2011


Since the program began last fall, book rentals at the LSC bookstore have become more popular and more readily available, with only minor problems.
"At first I was a little apprehensive because I wasn't sure if highlighting was allowed or if I'd ever remember to bring them back on the right day," said LSC senior Dani Drown, who rents as many books as she can from the bookstore. "But it's really worked out in my favor because most of the books I rent, I don't want to keep. It's saved me a lot of money."
Anita Little, manager of the bookstore, states that rented books can be written in, highlighted, and pages can be bent. She actually recommends that the students write in their rented books to put down their name and patron ID number so the book can be identified if it is lost or stolen. 
Reasons that a student would be turned away at the time of the return and be made to be full price would be if the book had water damage, a broken binding, or, as Little has seen in more extreme cases, torn out or burnt pages.  
Little compares the return policy to that of a rental car: "If you don't bring it back or bring it back damaged, you have to pay for it."
One of Drown's favorite new features for the rental books is the sticker that is placed on the front of the books reminding students when to bring them back, "because at the point at the end of the semester our brains aren't really working anymore."
Of all the books that were rented out last fall, the first semester of this program, only nine books were charged for the full price. Some of these books were too far damaged to be returned, while some students just never brought them back.
In order to rent books students need to create an account online by filling out a short form, be at least 18 years old, have a government issued ID, and present a credit or debit card which would be used as collateral. 
"It was such an easy process that I barely even remember it," said Drown. 
Little said the only reason that anyone would be denied a rental is if they had problems renting in the past, such as damaging or not bringing a book back.
LSC junior Phil Alexander says he's tried to sign up a total of four or five times, and is not able to rent books because of his rental account being "incomplete". Last year, after trying multiple times, he was finally able to rent books and he returned these on the due date without any problems.
However, this year he has given up after refilling the form out twice and still being told that his account was incomplete, even after receiving confirmation e-mails about his new account. 
"I was much more patient with the program last year, because it was the first year," said Alexander. "Now I have to order off EBay or Amazon because new books are too expensive."
While there are still some slight wrinkles in the program, it is continually growing at LSC.  This semester there are 137 titles available to rent; students renting these books are saving 50 percent of the original prices. 

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