UK privatizes bookstore: Barnes & Noble to operate Student Center location

By Anne Halliwell

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The UK Bookstore’s partnership with Barnes and Noble College, announced Monday, will add a cafe and coffee area to the new Student Center’s store in 2018, associate director for auxiliary services Sarah Nikirk said.

“Obviously we’re going to be in a new facility and Barnes and Noble are committed to making it a permanent bookstore,” Nikirk said. “I believe it will be the place to be at UK.”

Nikirk did not disclose the cost of the contract with Barnes and Noble, which will last for 10 years with a five-year renewal possible.

Executive vice president for Finance and Administration Eric Monday announced the contract in a campuswide email on Monday.

In the email, Monday said Barnes and Noble will run both the temporary bookstore while the new Student Center is under construction and the permanent store once the building is completed.

Monday also said that “with Barnes and Noble College’s Campus Connect technologies, students and faculty will have access to the largest selection of course materials in several cost-saving formats — rental, used, digital and new.”

In terms of stock, Nikirk said she didn’t anticipate a change in the bookstore’s supply of trade books, textbooks, merchandise or apparel.

“We will have all of the books we have now, and maybe more,” Nikirk said. “We believe that it’s a good partnership and will be positive for the university.”

Dave Lang, the to-be general manager for the Barnes and Noble bookstore, said a new website will allow students to order books after downloading their schedules. The website will hopefully be up in time for the summer term, he said.

The usual mix of new and used books will be available, Lang said, with focus on a robust rental program.

“Barnes and Noble is excited to be here,” Lang said. “We look forward to making a premiere store and we look forward to being part of UK.”