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January 13, 2009

ULM bookstore purchases show Spring 2009 Semester is in high gear

The University of Louisiana at Monroe’s bookstore provided the setting for a scene fairly typical at this time of year – hundreds of students returning to school for the spring semester.

While some casually milled about, trying on caps imprinted with the university logo, others stared blankly at shelves lined with textbooks, deep in thought over pending purchases.

But most students snatched their required books and took their place in long lines at the front of the store in a campus ritual performed every semester.

Among those flocking to the bookstore Monday were three juniors enrolled in ULM’s Dental Hygiene Program: Chelsie Audiffred of Reserve, Abby Lingo of Oak Grove and Ally Hardaway of Bossier City, all 20 years old.

“It’s … about what we expected,” one of them explained, hoisting a thick stack of required textbooks in her arm.

All three juniors spent the morning attending the first of several required courses. Soon they would be heading to another required course for which they had just purchased a book: Nursing Research.

Los Angeles native William Shelton, 19, a freshman, was preparing to take on an 18-hour load on Monday. He stood in line holding a software package required for a course in statistics and a textbook to meet his U.S. History requirement.

Shelton said he managed a 3.0 grade point average last semester and was hopeful to accomplish the same again; at the last minute, he grabbed a small bag of candy, perhaps to give him an energy boost to get through the rest of the day.

“Everything seems to be going along as usual,” Rick Guerrero, bookstore sales manager, said late Monday afternoon. The store was open over the weekend for students coming back to campus a little early, following the long Christmas break, he said.

Guerrero said sales are up, but he wouldn’t know for certain how much improved they are until he crunches the numbers later in the month. He said over 30 employees were at the bookstore to meet the needs of students over the next couple of weeks.

Jan. 23 is the last date for textbook returns, said Guerrero.

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