Theft causes long term changes at COCC Bookstore


The bookstore theft that left the school with 150,000 dollars worth of books missing in 2013 has lead to long term changes in the way Central Oregon Community college students buy their books.  The changes have created more jobs for Central Oregon Community College Students as well.

The textbook shopping process has changed, according to Lori Willis, bookstore and auxiliary services director.

In the 17 years, Willis had worked at the bookstore, the 2013 textbook theft was the largest she’s seen.

“For a store our size the theft was bad,” Willis said. “There was a mix of books stolen but the majority was psychology and criminal justice books, it’s ironic,”

At the time of the theft, customers were able to shop around the book section of the campus store themselves. After the theft, students now print their class schedules which are then given to a store staff member who retrieves the requested books.

This system has not only cut down on textbook theft but has increased on-campus jobs for students and added more customer service opportunity for student shoppers, according to Frank Payne, COCC bookstore assistant director.

“I believe we have a system in place that achieves both goals of protecting the textbooks from theft, and also provides great customer services for the students when they come in to purchase textbooks,” Payne said. “Having the textbooks secured as they are now is a big disincentive to any organized shoplifting that we saw in the past.”

The new system calls for an increase in employee personnel, however, the bookstore was not given an increase in budget allocations, according to Payne.

“Our labor went up a little but but we’re using Federal work study students which is good for students and the budget. Our budget hasn’t increased even though staffing increased,” Willis said.

“We use our work study students a lot”


D.R Kaufman | The Broadside





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