Behind the scenes at the Bookstore

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Beyond the rows of books and fan merchandise lies endless possibilities and uncharted territory at the BYU Bookstore. The Bookstore offers so much more besides school supplies and T-shirts that many students, faculty members and Bookstore customers don’t know what they’re missing out on. Here is an inside look into the lesser-known departments to help you fully take advantage of the Bookstore.

The BYU Bookstore has storage space that covers 70,000 square feet. (Photo by Universe Photographer)

Distribution Services

For more than 12 years, the Bookstore has offered Distribution Services to help students find their temple needs in a convenient location. Paid workers and Church missionaries are assigned to the Distribution Services Center located in the basement of the Bookstore, yet not many people know it is there.

“We’ve been here twelve and a half years and every day someone says, ‘I didn’t know you were here,’” said Holly Barney, a Distribution Services employee from Mapleton.

The small extension of LDS Distribution Services offers a limited variety of temple clothing and garments, but they are available to all students, faculty and staff at their convenience.

BYU Fudge 

While many of you walk by the Bookstore candy counter and see the decadent fudge every day, many don’t realize that all of the famous Bookstore fudge is made inside the Bookstore. Every Monday and Thursday, Bookstore staff and student employees prepare all 12 flavors of fudge by hand for purchase the following day.
Each fudge flavor is made from one of three base flavors: vanilla, milk chocolate and dark chocolate. The Bookstore sells approximately 7,000 pounds of it annually.“The best time to get your fudge is Tuesday and Friday because you get the most variety, flavors and freshness,” said Yulee Smith, a student employee in the Bookstore Marketing Department from Odgen.

Pack and Ship 

From missionary letters to mailing precious artifacts, the Bookstore Pack and Ship Department can help with any postal need. Their discounted rates on FedEx, DHL and UPS services helps you ship anything you want to anywhere in the world.

“One of the most interesting things we’ve sent is an ancient Chinese vase, it was a challenge, but it was fun,” said Shari Messick, a Pack and Ship employee from American Fork.

The Pack and Ship Department is used to sending interesting things such as bananas, coconuts and beach balls with the address written on the outside.

Clothing Customization

Located in the basement of the Bookstore is the Customization Department that can embroider or screen print any logo or picture on almost anything. Student employees design all logos and stitching on Adobe Illustrator that sends the information to large embroidery machines that efficiently do the work .

While these services are used mostly by BYU departments and colleges, Customizations is available to anyone. Bookstore Clothing Customizations has done work for family reunion T-shirts, club jackets, company pens and much more.

Each customer meets individually with students and Bookstore staff members who do all the work right in the Bookstore. Without the need of outside sources, customers receive high quality work that is done quickly.

Custom Framing

A helpful resource to art and design students is the Custom Framing Department. Student employees can craft a frame from a variety of colors and frame styles for artwork of any size. It is also one of the cheapest framing stores in the Provo area, especially with the two 30 percent off sales they have a year.

Many students and faculty members find this service handy for gifts, study abroad souvenirs or graded projects. Some of the most interesting projects done in the Custom Framing Department include a butterfly, full-length dress, brass doorknob and artwork entered in international competitions.

E-Commerce

A lot of the merchandise sold in the Bookstore is also available online through the E-commerce Department. BYU products are sold to people all around the world in an easy and timely manner to help them meet their needs.

“Our goal in E-commerce is to give it to people the way they expect it,” said Steve Lawyer, Bookstore E-commerce Website Manager.

All orders for the BYU Bookstore are taken electronically, by phone or by mail. This allows the Bookstore to reach an audience beyond students, faculty and staff on campus.

Custom Publishing

On the third floor, behind the rows of book pallets, is Custom Publishing. This service is available to any student, faculty member or Bookstore customer who needs a book or manual published. The publishing machine prints, glues and binds almost any book into a convenient pamphlet in a matter of minutes.

Bookstore Storage

Often underestimated is how large the BYU Bookstore really is. With a total of 124,000 square feet, the selling space occupies 54,000 square feet and storage accounts for 70,000 square feet. That is more than 56 percent of the entire floor space devoted solely to storage space, making it the second largest college Bookstore in the nation, second to the Harvard Co-op.

With 300 student employees and 100 full-time staff to run the many departments of the Bookstore, students, faculty and Bookstore customers can find exactly what they need and more.

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