Parents and Families

Barns and Noble bookstore in Pierpont Commons

Starting this fall, students will find the process of buying textbooks more affordable, streamlined and reliable, thanks to a new partnership between the university and Barnes & Noble College.

U-M has named Barnes & Noble College as its preferred textbook vendor. The agreement requires the company to provide all specified textbooks and course materials and establishes an online portal for selecting, purchasing and returning textbooks.

“Students having access to all the textbooks and course materials they need – when they need them – was our top priority,” said Susan Pile, Senior Director of University Unions and Auxiliary Services. “This agreement will correct fulfillment issues we’ve had in the past, make materials more affordable and ensure our faculty and students are set up for success.”

Students will receive communication in August about how to order their textbooks. When your student receives instructions on how to purchase:

  • Both students and faculty will have access to an online portal that is integrated with U-M course information and customized to their class schedules.
  • Students can have textbooks shipped to their home or to designated campus pick-up locations. The locations are Pierpont Commons on North Campus and temporarily in the Shapiro Undergraduate Library on Central Campus. Shipping to designated campus locations will be free. 
  • Returns sent from designated campus locations will also be shipped for free.
  • Students and faculty will have access to numerous customer service options, including face-to-face assistance at campus locations, a customer support phone number staffed day and night, virtual chat assistants and a dedicated campus textbook liaison.

Barnes & Noble College was selected from among several retailers who submitted bids, and the decision was made with input from a committee of faculty, staff, and students, including representation from Central Student Government.

As part of the agreement, Barnes & Noble College’s online store for U-M will provide students with options to buy, rent, or access books digitally. It will also offer selection tools and cost comparisons of available formats. In addition, many textbooks will display a guaranteed “buy-back” price before students order them, so the true cost of ownership is better known at the time of purchase.

Riley Langefeld, an LSA freshman and CSG representative on the committee, said students are accustomed to hunting for the best bargains online.

“Ideally, students will find the process easier and more efficient than what we currently have to do,” Langefeld said.

Designated campus locations will no longer stock textbooks, but other elements of a traditional campus bookstore will still be present, including academic and art supplies, U-M branded gear, commencement regalia, and other retail goods.

Questions about the new process can be emailed to


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August 2018 Newsletter

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