Campus bookstore stocks convenience and comfort as well as books
The expanding focus on free digital textbooks and online learning as well as out-of-state students, has caused the campus bookstore known as the Hawk Shop to expand its services and mission.
“Even if all textbooks were made free, students still need a place to go,” says Annie Patterson, Hawk Shop clerk since 2019.
The Hawk Shop services now go further than textbooks, with the store providing both convenience and comfort to its customers through its stock of food and beverages that supply breakfast and lunch, the cafe counter is also able to brew a morning cup of coffee that helps keep many students motivated through long hours of study.
Bookstore manager Deborah Niebaum and Patterson work with many students, from those experiencing their first burst of campus life to those getting ready to graduate. “We help the students as much as we can,” Niebaum says. Another one of Niebaum and Patterson’s goals is to keep a comforting atmosphere so that the bookstore remains a safe environment for students and customers alike.
Niebaum first began her career at the Hawk Shop in 2013 where she served as a part-time employee before becoming the textbook manager in 2015. Her years of service resulted in her promotion to the full manager position in 2021, with Niebaum continuing to serve UCC through dutiful attention to her customers and the effective management of the Hawk Shop.
The staff is also bolstered with two student work studies who are getting added job experience for their resumes while working on campus, building their futures as they help give back to the UCC community.
When students across campus participated in an anonymous survey about their experiences with the bookstore, many of them shared that they see the store as a needed space on campus for both the resources it provides physically, such as class material and conveniences, and the safe environment it has become for many to meet and relax before or after class.
“Good people, good food, good prices,” Mikel Ervin, a UCC student and Hawk Shop customer says, many others noted the presence of Patterson or Niebaum is a welcome sight to their mornings.
Some students, however, did mention concern over the difficulty of purchasing online supplies for courses. This digital ordering aspect of the Hawk Shop’s selection of materials for both partially and wholly digital classrooms is becoming more in line with materials available for physical classes every week as the Hawk Shop evolves.
Patterson is back to work at the Hawk Shop after having been laid off during The Pandemic; she was given aid by UCC in searching for future employment and then rehired when quarantine ended. “I love my job. Not many people can say that,” Patterson says.
For some students, Patterson is the face of the store as many students interact with her daily. Patterson is known for trying to make each visit to UCC Bookstore a pleasant one by offering a simple chat as she pours a customer their coffee or hands over a stack of textbooks.
For further information about the UCC Bookstore, the UCC Hawk Shop website provides for those interested in browsing stock such as UCC-affiliated apparel, gifts and class supplies.
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