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National company to manage PSU Bookstore
Author: Kathryn Kirkland
Posted: July 31, 2012

The PSU Bookstore has contracted the management of its main store and Greenline Market to Nebraska Book Company. The deal brings big-company buying power and the likelihood of more student scholarships while retaining nearly all the stores' employees.

The private company owns and manages scores of campus bookstores around the country and has provided books and services to the PSU Bookstore since the 1960s. The contract was finalized June 1 and is set for seven years with a possible three-year extension.

"I expect the PSU community to see a higher level of service and access to needed books and supplies now that we have more purchasing power and price advantages," said Ken Brown, who will continue to manage the store.

Large scale purchasing of inventory is not the only advantage Nebraska Book brings to the PSU Bookstore. It also provides accounting, technology, and marketing services, as well as group health insurance rates for employees.

Even more important is the increased benefit students will experience as textbook scholarships increase, said Brown. In the past three years, the bookstore provided approximately $100,000 in textbook scholarships. Brown speculates that that number could triple under Nebraska Book Company.

The PSU Bookstore, started by students as a co-op during the Vanport days, has always been independent from the University. It became a nonprofit in 2005, but has struggled in the past several years like many independent and even some chain bookstores.

Nebraska Book assured the PSU Bookstore Board of Directors that it would retain the store’s uniqueness and service to PSU and Portland. It was that assurance that convinced the board to contract with Nebraska Book over two other bidding companies.

In the next several weeks, Nebraska Book’s skilled retail marketers will refresh the store and add inventory. The PSU Bookstore board, which consists of five students, four faculty, and two at-large members, will hold the company accountable to its promises of service and community relations.