Book bill mandates info
A bill that will require university bookstores to supply students with information on textbooks before the start of the school year was signed into law by Gov. Rick Perry in June and will take effect Fall 2012.
CSHB 33 will require, among other things, for universities to post “the book’s retail price, author, publisher, most recent copyright date and the ISBN […] no later than 30 days before the start of classes” on the school or bookstore website, said the House Research Organization in their analysis of the bill.
Universities will also have to make an effort to inform students on ways to save money, such as textbook rentals, guaranteed buyback programs and opportunities to buy used textbooks, the bill said.
Some students do not feel that this information is readily available.
“(The information) is on the price tags, but other than that, no,” sophomore Elisebeth Novak said while on her way to buy her textbooks at the bookstore in the UC.
“Students need something like this to reduce the sting of buying costly textbooks,” junior Sammy Emerson said.
“If they’re paying five, six, seven or even 800 dollars for books, that’s too much.”
Emerson and Novak would have bought their books elsewhere at a better price had they known the details beforehand, they said.
Other students, though, do not think that the bill will make much of a difference.
“Anybody can pretty much just look up the books on Amazon and kind of get an idea. Teachers usually have the syllabus online all year round, (…) so you already know which textbooks you need,” sophomore Trisha Thacker said.
“I don’t think it’s going to change (where students buy their books), because people who are going to look for a good deal are going to do it anyways, and people who are going to buy (at the bookstore) are going to do that anyway.”
Textbook publishers will be required to offer the parts of textbook packages for individual sale and provide information on changes to later editions of textbooks.
Supporters of CSHB 33 say that the bill will likely not cause any drastic changes to the status quo, the House Research Organization said.
“It (will) mirror the federal Higher Education Opportunity Act. Since the federal law became effective in July 2010, universities and book vendors already have had to put many of the bill’s provisions into practice.”