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University of Nebraska students returning textbooks by mail

Posted at 6:34 PM, May 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-08 20:36:12-04

LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — The University of Nebraska bookstore is requiring students to return all textbook through the mail, instead of in-person.

"There is 15,000 outstanding books to be returned so we are processing a large rate," said Jeni Fuchs, the store director at the University Bookstore.

Currently, Fuchs are three other staff members are in charge of collecting all of the books. "We had to change our process and all of our rentals have to come through the mail for the time being. Everything has to be done online. We provided each student a free shipping label through FedEx so we can get the books back."

The boxes have been coming in droves. On Friday alone the store received 501 boxes. Fuchs and her staff quarantine the boxes for 24 hours before opening them.

"We're literally having to open each box, we're checking off stuff, we have to sort them and audit them," Fuchs said.

The students got creative, sending the textbooks back in everything from diaper boxes to pizza boxes.

"We're going to take it no matter what, as long as it goes in to the mail we'll take it as long as you can send it," Fuchs said.

Students taking classes this summer can only buy or rent their books online. However before they can order their next semester of books, students need to start returning theirs.

"Those books are assets to us so we want those books back," Fuchs said. "That's how we keep used books on campus and keep textbook pricing reasonable."

Textbook buyback programs are really popular at the university where the students re-sell their textbooks to the store for cash. This is now being done completely online through a third-party partner of the store.

The rental textbooks are due Friday, The bookstore said they're extending non-return fees 15 days so if a student hasn't sent in their books yet, they should do so as soon as possible.

Watch reporter Phil Bergman's story in the above video.