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The Dawson Bookstore's Implementation of Online Orders

By: Julia Quynh

Staff Writer

Photo Via New York Post

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected our semester, there’s no debating that. Aiming to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, Dawson College’s Bookstore has introduced an online system for students to order their textbooks and course packs.

Dawson students had to place an order on the school website for required textbooks and course packs. To pick them up, students present their confirmation numbers and pay at the college, where their orders were prepared in advance. 

However, the Dawson Bookstore’s transition to an online ordering system has not been smooth sailing. With the overwhelming book rush from the student population, it’s been difficult getting books in time for the relevant classes. 

Audrey Anne-Roy, a second-year General Social Science student, went to collect her book order at the end of the first week of school, and the process was chaotic and frustrating. She encountered a line stretching beyond the metro, and was finally sent home without collecting her books after waiting over an hour. “The metro was filled with people, which made social distancing a big challenge,” Roy says. “The risk of COVID-19 definitely became bigger when hundreds of students came at the same time at the College to collect their orders.” 

Even though it was frustrating to be turned away and kept from completing her assignments due next week, Roy understands the Bookstore’s choice of an online ordering system. They’ve also implemented a protocol requiring students to fill out a symptom-based form before each entry, wear a mask, and use hand sanitizer prior to entering the campus.

After the first week of school, the Bookstore’s efficiency improved. Jessie Guo, a second-year Cinema Communications student, went to collect her book orders during the second week of school. She describes it as a polished process taking no longer than twentyminutes. “The only frustrating part about purchasing my books was how only one of my required books is only available as an e-book,” she says. “I had trouble accessing it on the Dawson Bookstore page, because of technical issues, which was slightly miffing.” 

In terms of the inclusivity of the online ordering system, the process has not been easy for some students. International students are having trouble, especially since most books are not available in an e-book or PDF format. Gabriela Carbonell Bernal, a second-year student in Social Service, is currently attending classes virtually from Colombia. She says she has received very little guidance on how to get her books. “What I’ve been doing, is basically asking my friends for pictures of the pages that we need to read up on,” she adds. “Honestly, it’s been a little embarrassing whenever I have to bug my friends to get them to send pictures after every class, and a little stressful to not have easy access to the class material by myself.”

Roy, Guo, and Bernal all share the desire for e-book or PDF versions of course packs, as well as the physical copies that are available to students for purchase. Some students also feel that the Bookstore could have more options to streamline the process, like allocating an appointment time to control the influx of students coming in, or providing a delivery option for their book orders.


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