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March 25, 2009

To the Editor of Campus Journal:

Dear Professor Farrell,

Thank you for sharing the information provided in your letter to the editor concerning the booklists and Barnes and Noble. Understanding your perspective and views helps shed some light on why we may not have achieved the goal. 

Recently, I did send an email to the deans to communicate how well the faculty were communicating booklists to Barnes and Noble.  This email was one of several communications sent over the past three years to encourage faculty to share their booklists. Barnes and Noble, as part of their contract, has offered the university $100,000 when the total booklists received reach 75 percent of all courses offered. 

The UNH library would be the recipient of these funds. It is not dependent on sales achieved, just access to the booklists. Due to financial constraints, the library would benefit greatly from this.

Last year, CIS designed a Web site on Blackboard that allows faculty to communicate their booklists. To be fair, CIS designed the site so that the Durham Book Exchange would also get the lists. We did not want to create a competitive advantage for Barnes and Noble. More importantly, the Blackboard site is intended to help the students get books at lower prices. It allows the students to search on their own. It brings competition into the marketplace. And it will allow for more used books to be available. All of this will make the cost of attending UNH lower for our students.

It appears I cannot persuade you to change your mind and help the UNH library and our students. Part of what makes America great is that we can freely express our opinions.  I fully respect your decision. 

I want to thank all of the faculty who have shared their lists.  Our students have benefited from their participation.

Sincerely, David May

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