Online bookstores have many advantages

The hassle of buying books this year has left many students seeking other ways to purchase books. Buying textbooks online offers the promise of avoiding long lines, high prices and unavailable books. Traditional bookstores should take note.
Buying books online lets students take book buying into their own hands, enabling them to search for the best deal. To entice students, online book dealers are offering sales discounts up to 50 percent of the retail price. They also do not charge sales taxes, which further reduces the cost. Students do not have to arrange their schedule around bookstore hours when they are able to access textbooks online 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
There are ways the traditional bookstores can compete with these online deals. Bookstores could work on the one benefit that online stores can not offer — personal service. Bookstores could also stay open later in the evening during busy periods to accommodate students’ schedules. Stores should also increase staff in order to eliminate long lines and irritated students.
Another option for traditional bookstores is to go online themselves. Bookstores could list prices and allow students to buy books off their Web site, giving campus bookstores the dual advantage of providing both personal assistance and continuous service for students.
Bookstores need to realize that there is now competition for the lucrative market of textbook sales. In order to compete with online bookstores, traditional campus-based bookstores must start working to keep their clients.
Teachers need testing
The law requiring mandatory drug tests for prospective teachers was recently contested by a group representing professional employees that claimed the tests violated constitutional privacy rights. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a former ruling that allowed a Tennessee county to require teachers to take drug tests. The court’s decision was a wise one.
Many different institutions require their employees to take drug tests as a condition of employment. Teachers, along with other school employees, hold “safety-sensitive” positions. Because teachers play an important and influential role in students’ lives, it is important that teachers portray a drug-free image at work.
Other businesses reserve the right to administer drug tests to employees to ensure they will be working to the best of their capabilities. The same procedure should be followed with teachers to make sure they will be able to best serve the community. Many schools see fit to give drug tests to students and would appear biased if teachers were not held to the same standards.
There are many reasons why drug testing should not be mandatory, but until the Supreme Court rules them illegal, teachers should not be exempt.