2014 Innovation Achievement Award Recipient

UC Davis Stores
For several decades, the UC Davis Stores promoted their textbook reservation program at the summer Orientation sessions as the best method for new students to acquire their textbooks. UC Davis staff began to realize a few years ago that when errors occurred among some of the thousands of orders that were selected for students, and the store staff provided personalized service to students and their families, that the level of satisfaction was unusually high.

This observation caused the UC Davis staff to rethink what they were promoting to new students. It was determined that if student staff members could act as personal textbook shoppers for new students and their families, they could create a more positive and lasting impression. This was the start of the two year old 'Smart Start' program at UC Davis during residence hall move in weekend. The program has been very well received by the campus, new students and their families.

View UC Davis Stores, entry (PDF | 1.1 MB)

2012 Innovation Achievement Award Recipients

Anne Arundel Community College Bookstore (AACC)
Trying to combat the problem of fewer students returning to the store throughout the year, AACC Bookstore decided to develop an iPhone and Android App and utilize Quick Reference (QR) codes throughout the store.

“The App has excited students because they are technology driven,” said Christopher Wirth, AACC Bookstore assistant manager. “It is our way to stay connected without being pushy because it’s the students’ choice to use.”

The free App includes a book search, real-time buyback quotes, store information, events calendar, bookstore auto dialer and GPS campus locator. The technology has been well received by customers as the Android App currently is rated 4.5 out of five stars.

View Anne Arundel Community College Bookstore’s entry (PDF | 2.4 MB)


Campus Bookstore at Queen’s University- Canada
Wanting to stay relevant in the industry, The Campus Bookstore at Queen's University developed technology that enabled the resale of Google eBooks. Within the first few of days of the launch, the store sold over $500 worth of eBooks.

“It was a very exciting moment for us!” said Chris Sinkinson, bookstore internet systems manager. “[The technology] shifts the balance away from established eBook providers and gives the bookstore credibility with our students by being associated with a technology giant like Google.”

View the Campus Bookstore at Queen’s University’s entry (PDF | 8 MB)


UBC Bookstore
The UBC Bookstore received the award for their ambassador program, which allows students to spread messages and collect feedback for the store using their own networks and words. 

“Students are our core target audience. Marketing and communication of our brand today is controlled by them, not us,” said Rebecca Irani, UBC Bookstore marketing and communications manager.

Through the ambassador program, the store is able to reach anywhere between 17-43% of the undergraduate population in one month. UBC Bookstore was also able to reduce marketing and promotional budget costs by 19%.

View UBC Bookstore’s entry (PDF | 2.8 MB)

2010 Innovation Achievement Award Recipients

Red Deer College Bookstore wins 2010 Innovation Achievement Award
An innovative “go green” initiative launched by Red Deer College Bookstore won the NACS Foundation Innovation Achievement Award. 

Bookstore Manager Terri Bateman, was presented the award at a ceremony March 12 during CAMEX 2010 in Orlando, FL. Produced by the National Association of College Stores, CAMEX is the largest education and trade show event in the collegiate retailing industry.

Serving the campus of Red Deer College, Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, the store was selected for the innovative way it chose to promote environmental responsibility while marrying that positive initiative to supporting the store’s scholarship program. Under “The Scholarship’s in the Bag,” customized reusable bags were brought into the store to replace traditional plastic bags. The reusable bags are sold at the bookstore and library. Other on-campus partners purchase the bag to use in their departments. Fifty cents from each bag sold is then contributed to the RDC Bookstore Scholarship Fund.

The result was a successful campus-wide collaboration on reusable bags and a 225% increase in the value of the scholarship fund.

“We’re very excited and proud to receive this honor,” Bateman said. “We feel it validates our efforts to promote sustainability on campus while making a college education more affordable.”

Honorable Mentions
Earning honorable mention is Wake Forest University Stores

2008 Innovation Achievement Award Recipients

Virginia Tech Newspaper 
Virginia Tech Services, Inc., an independent, nonprofit corporation comprising retail stores and outlying support facilities in and around the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College and Polytechnic Institute (more commonly known as Virginia Tech) is the 2008 NACS Foundation Innovation Achievement Award recipient.

Virginia Tech published a 56-page newspaper called What's In Store, to be used as a marketing tool to "unify the store, customers, vendors, the university, and the community both near and far."

Virginia Tech was chosen for the innovation award because of its efforts with the newspaper, which includes letters from administrators, the retail operation's history and store services (including specific information about textbooks, computers, supplies, general books, clothing, and gifts), facts about the history of Virginia Tech, articles about support services (campus police, parking, library), and pieces on the school's athletics. The store considers the newspaper "one-stop shopping for all the campus and community information one might need." The paper is funded completely through advertising.

For more information about this program, contact Donald Williams at (540) 231-5991 or e-mail donw@bookstore.vt.edu.

Honorable Mentions
Earning honorable mentions for the Innovation Achievement Award were Gonzaga University Bookstore, Spokane, WA, and Houghton College Campus Store, Houghton, NY.

For their proposal, the staff at the Gonzaga store came up with a computer program they hope will help college stores regain a competitive edge against online-only booksellers. For more information about this program, contact Scott Franz at (509) 995-9695 or e-mail franz@gonzaga.edu.

Houghton sells handmade products from both foreign countries and the local community. The store makes sure, with some checks and balances, that a portion of the profits goes back to the people making the products, who are usually from impoverished countries or organizations in need. The practice also has been a good selling point to students. For more information about this program, contact Elaine Tooley at (585) 567-9620 or e-mail elaine.tooley@houghton.edu.

2007 Innovation Achievement Award Recipient

San Mateo County Community College District Bookstores
The first NACS Foundation Innovation Achievement Award funded by the Martin D. Levine Endowment was presented during CAMEX 2007 to the San Mateo County Community College District Bookstores (SMCCCD) in California for its Textbook Rental Program. The SMCCCD includes Cañada College in Redwood City; Skyline College in San Bruno; and the College of San Mateo in San Mateo.

Tom Bauer, CCR, director of auxiliary services for SMCCCD, accepted the award and trophy on behalf of the bookstores at CAMEX 2007 held in Orlando, FL, March 23-27. "We're very excited and proud to receive his honor," said Bauer. "We feel it validates our efforts to help reduce costs for students at our schools."

The SMCCCD rental program has been heralded throughout California and used as a model for others in the college store industry looking for ways to help students reduce the cost of textbooks. A notable part of the district's efforts has been its solicitations of private donations to help keep the program operating for nearly last two years. The SMCCCD rental program allows students to rent any of approximately 125 different textbooks at about one-third the price of new books. Rental books are due back at the end of final exams. Since August 2005, more than 7,000 students at Cañada College and Skyline College have rented textbooks that, if purchased new, would have cost more than $448,000. Students rented those textbooks for just over $112,000.

The district will receive $5,000 as part of the award, and Bauer said plans are to use the money to purchase more textbooks to enhance the program. View the "San Mateo County Community College District Funded Textbook Rental Program" presentation (PPT). For more information about this award-winning entry, contact Tom Bauer at (650) 358-6782 or bauert@smccd.edu.