The Evolution of the Campus Bookstore: Assessing Current Trends and Preparing for Future Directions

Topics: Bookstore, Auxiliary Enterprises, Administration and Finance

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Research Questions

  • Given the increasing digitalization of the textbook industry, what corresponding trends are institutions observing in textbook sales and rental program usage?  
  • How are campus bookstores responding to digital textbooks and other recent industry innovations?


The introduction of digital textbooks has generated a wave of innovative new avenues for delivering course content to students, causing many campus bookstores to modify business practices as the industry continues to shift away from traditional bookstore models.  This brief examines current trends in textbook sales, rental programs, relationships with external contractors, and open-source textbook platforms at eight institutions, describing institutions’ strategies for preparing for the industry’s anticipated future directions.

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