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Frequently Asked Questions for Faculty

At the University of Waterloo Book Store, our goal is to support students by ensuring they have access to all the course materials they need – when they need them. Read on to find out how we accomplish this mission and how you can take advantage of our services.

What does the Book Store do to ensure my students will have the course materials they need?

We take our customers’ academic needs very seriously so we:

  • Use the best available supplier to secure course materials. In cases where there are multiple suppliers, we will weigh such factors as cost, expected delivery dates and return privileges to determine which company offers us, and therefore the student, with the best service.
  • Research the availability of alternate versions of requested material should we encounter difficulties in acquiring them and provide faculty with any information regarding possible substitutions immediately.
  • Are proactive about reordering textbooks for courses with unexpected enrollment increases by monitoring enrollment levels from the Registrar's Office. If a textbook runs out of stock, we will take the customer’s name and email address to notify them when more stock has arrived in the Book Store.

How do I obtain a desk/review copy?

Please contact your department liaison for instructions on ordering desk copies. Typically desk copies are handled at the department level but your respective course materials specialist will be happy to provide any additional instructions if needed.

How do you decide how many copies to order?

Factors used to determine order quantities include:

  • Class limit
  • Ongoing enrollment figures
  • Quantity requested by faculty
  • Book price
  • Geographical location of supplier
  • Return privileges of our supplier
  • Historical sell-through of the title (if title used within previous three terms)
  • Used book quantities available on campus

The Book Store and publishers seem to use a language all their own. What do all of those terms and acronyms actually mean?

Great question. Here’s a rundown of some of our most used terms:

The Book Store Lexicon

"Required" Textbook:
A book adopted for use in a course. Use of the book is considered critical to the student's successful completion of the course and the portion of the book used should be between 50% - 100%. Students should be encouraged by the instructor to use the required textbook in order to complete the course.

Optional Textbook:
A book adopted for use in a course. The contents of the book should be complementary to the course content but not critical to the success of students in the course. The instructor should promote the recommended book as a reference tool.

Expected Enrollment Figure:
This is an estimate of the number of students who will participate in the course. It can be derived from two sources: last year's enrollment figure and the maximum capacity number for the course.

Textbook Deadline: This is the date by which your textbook adoptions should be submitted to the Book Store.

For Fall the deadline is May 15th.
For Winter the deadline is October 15th.
For Spring the deadline is February 15th.

The Publisher Lexicon

NYP - "Not Yet Published":
A report code given when the desired book/edition is not yet available.

NOP - "Not Our Publication":
A report code given when the desired book/edition is not available from the chosen publisher.

NCR - "No Canadian Rights":
A report code is given when the chosen publisher does not have rights to sell the desired book/edition in Canada.

OS - "Out of Stock":
A report code given when the desired book/edition is temporarily unavailable.

OSI - "Out of Stock Indefinitely":
A report code given when the desired book/edition is unavailable and unlikely to be available in the future.

OP - "Out of Print":
A report code given when the desired book/edition is unavailable and will not be available in the future.