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Student Life

Digital Transformation Sets a New Trend for USF

University of South Florida gives way to the immerging digitalized easy-readers, setting trends for a virtual future.

In November 2009, Barnes & Noble introduced the “Nook”. “This six-inch diagonal e-reader with 2G of internal storage” is easy on the eyes and sports its newest color feature, says Jeffery Hastings in the School of Library Journal. The USF Bookstore, in affiliation with Barnes & Noble, introduced the “Nook” to campus in 2009.

“A survey of student habits and attitudes reveals a steadily growing readiness to access e-books via hand-held devices,” says Julie Shen in a case study of “The E-book Lifestyle: An Academic Library Perspective.”

USF’s response to the reader has been a great success. Many use the device for reading books, magazines and other pleasure readings.

Maryann Rodmell, a campus bookstore employee, gave approximations on sales back in January.

She says the bookstore has “approximately 7-10 purchases of the Nook easy readers [during rush week], a number that is on the conservative side of estimation.”

The “Nook” is an appealing device that has rapidly been accepted around campus. The device not only introduces a new and innovative way of reading, opening doors for numerous technological advancements, but can also be attributed to the professional field.

Meeghan Gilchrist, a junior majoring in magazine journalism at USF, loves her newest purchase. She bought the “Nook” from Barnes & Noble around Christmas 2010, using it “for reading books and magazines such as ‘The New Yorker’.”

“I think it’s really wonderful,” Gilchrist says, “I not only want to be a journalist, but I want to be a writer. E-readers are allowing writers to publish straight with e-books [, avoiding] hassle of using a publisher. If an author turns their novel into an e-book, they get more money than if they already had a book published in print.”

Another appealing aspect of the digitalized trend is price differences in comparison to hardback books sales.

Rick Wilber, a Mass Communications and Society professor at USF, says “e-book prices are almost half of hard-back book sales, which means many chose to buy online for e-book readers [like the “Nook”] rather than hardback cover.”

The campus bookstore launched another component of “Nook” called the “NookStudy” program back in August 2010, which is a digitalized, downloadable textbook from any computer. Students gravitate to this program because of its price differences in comparison to textbooks. With this purchase, students can save up to 60 percent on their textbook purchases.

The component does not require a Nook easy reader. The program can be purchased in the USF bookstore beside the other course textbook options. When downloaded to your computer, the software reveals pages and note just like a regular textbook, only portable.

The program is compatible with Mac and PC and offers printing, highlighting and note-taking features on the computer. The bookstore however, will not buy the competent back during buy-back.

Nick Fagnoni, the USF Bookstore General Manager, is encouraged to see USF at the top of the charts in “NookStudy” sales and hopes to see the trend continue.

“Our school is No. 1 in digital textbook downloads for the entire [Barnes & Noble Company], so it was very well received at USF, and we are hoping to continue that success.”

Due to USF being number one in ranking for the “NookStudy” program, the trend has drastically taken off since its launch in fall of 2010; however, not all students are in agreement with the digital transformation.

Amanda Barr, sophomore and mass communications major, dislikes the digitalized versions when it comes to studying.

“I need something tangible that I can write and highlight on, helping me further understand material. The digitalized versions don’t allow me to do this and leave me with headaches after staring at the computer screen too long.”

Due to its convenience, career oriented features and money saving deals, the “Nook” and “NookStudy” have been a hot trend for the last year. Due to its consistent sales, USF hopes to continue advertising the programs and to remain No.1 university bookstore in the “NookStudy” sales.


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