Friday, July 6, 2012

Buying Your Books, Part 3: Shelf Tags

Making your merry little way through our aisles wouldn’t do you much good without shelf tags to tell you what classes the books are for.
As mentioned in our last post, the books are arranged in a certain order, as can be seen by reading the shelf tags. Let’s take a look at one from the CIS section.

First of all, you’ll want to make sure that the shelf tag correlates to the correct semester by checking the upper-right corner of the tag. If you’re, say, looking for books for the fall semester and we still have summer semester shelf tags up, then be wary; as has been mentioned, books change from semester to semester, and you want to make sure you don’t get a summer book that will be obsolete in the fall. Look behind the summer shelf tag to see if a tag for the fall book is in place, and whether or not that book is there on the shelf.

Below the semester information, we have some fairly self-explanatory info: the course code the book is assigned to, the name of the class, textbook author, ISBN number, the book title [the (P) stands for “Paperback”], and the prices for new and used copies. Note that some books we sell we are unable to get used, so a used price may not always be available.
Next, we have the section list. To insure as many students as possible are able to take the classes they need, OTC divides the classes into sections (consult your class schedule to determine what section you’re in). Most sections use the same material, but some vary, such as the online and seated sections of Spanish 101. Going back to the CIS-100 shelf tag, you see seven different section numbers that are using that textbook. Sections 101-103 are held at the main campus, section 301 at Lebanon, 401-402 in Branson, and 501 in Waynesville. Online sections would contain a “W” before the number (i.e. W01), hybrid instruction classes are indicated by an “H”, and “A/B” indicates an 8 week block class.

Also take note of the “*R/C/O/S” located beside the section number column. “R” means the book is required for the course. “C” means you have a choice of several materials for that course (consult your booklist to determine what you have to choose from). “O” means the material is optional for the section (it’s often good to consult your instructor to find whether or not the material would prove useful in their section), and “S” means suggested. Of course, the instructor for that particular section is also listed.
There. Now you should have all the info you need to make your course material selections accurately. All you need to do now is to check out. That will be discussed in the final article of this series.

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