Ryerson Bookstore

Identity area

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Ryerson Bookstore

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Description area

Dates of existence


Officially opened in November 1949 as the Supply Store, the bookstore, a non-academic service, was not funded or staffed by the Institute due to Ministry mandate of not funding non-academic activities/services. The store was organized by the director of the Business Department, responsible to the Students’ Administrative Council (S.A.C.) and staffed by students of the Retail Business program, thus, keeping costs low and providing experience to students. Profits above maintaining the store operation went to the Students’ Administrative Council (S.A.C.). The S.A.C. provided funding through the Student Activity fee collected by the Institution with tuition.
March 1957 saw the establishment of a parent organization to the Students’ Administrative Council (S.A.C.) to allocate the student fee to S.A.C. and to non-academic standing committees. This was the Students’ Union Incorporated, also referred to as the Students’ Union or the Corporation
Soon after, in 1960 / 1961, the Supply Store name changed to Students’ Union Store, also referred to as Students’ Union Supply Store, was operated by the Students’ Union’s Supply Store Committee, and staffed by Retail students. Profits continued to benefit S.A.C.
Organizational changes occurred in 1964 / 1965 after the Board of Governors, having responsibility for the conduct and management of the Institute, approved in April 1964 a resolution passed at the Students’ Union Incorporated annual meeting to transfer all physical property and assets of the Students’ Union to the Board of Governors. In March 1965 the students voted out of the Students’ Union. The Students’ Administrative Council (S.A.C.) was then incorporated as an independent student organization controlling its own budget, receiving and administering fees, and raising funds through per capita grants. This prompted a name change of the bookstore to Students’ Union Bookstore and by 1967 (there were alternate spellings). Also in 1965, the Students’ Union Incorporated hired the first professional manager, discontinuing Retail student management.
The Union changes coincided with the planning and 1967 establishment of Institution changes that shifted the Bookstore’s organizational placement from a student to institutional mandate. With approval from the Board of Governors, the Student Affairs Department officially became the Student Services Department in 1967as a full service non-academic department. Student-funded services previously under student management with or without faculty advising were subsequently transferred to Student Services. These included Kerr Hall (Student Centre), financial aid, housing registry, orientation program, counselling services, and alumni services, the Athletic Directorate and Health Services. The Bookstore became the Ryerson Bookstore; however, profits continued to support the independent Students’ Administrative Council. The selling of used textbooks transferred to the student club, Circle K. Prior to 1990 when it was reported used books were traded-in to the bookstore.
Services for faculty and staff were under the new Institution Services (later Ancillary Services) including the Bookstore in 1969.
In 1970 there were seven F/T staff and one P/T staff and a move was made to larger premises in the basement of Jorgenson Hall.
Other Bookstore milestones include the 1981 acceptance of VISA credit cards initiated by the needs of evening continuing education students, replacing a cash only policy; the first Book Fair was held in Jorgenson hall in 1985 to introduce textbook publishers to faculty.
Locations of the Bookstore changed with the expansion of campus. By 1950/51, the Bookstore was in its 3rd location, the gymnasium with well-stocked shelving in the pre-fabricated out building near Church and Gould Street, south-east corner of campus. In 1952 / 53 the location changed to the 2nd floor of the newly developed Students’ Union (a place) in the same pre-fabricated building housing the gymnasium, south-east corner of campus. After a few more locations including a lengthy temporary location (1963-1971) in Kerr Hall (W69), a permanent location was in the new Jorgenson Hall building (1971-1988). The store had six spacious aisles in the Lower Ground floor, northwest corner, directly under the cafeteria and adjacent to student lounges. There was a much anticipated grand opening in 1988 of a larger location at the corner of Gould and Victoria Streets adjacent to the parking garage.
Two auxiliary shops existed during the late 1980s and 1990s. Opened in 1988, was a multi-purpose boutique, Chapter Two, at the corner of Victoria and Dundas streets, selling Ryerson clothing, confections, jewellery, health and beauty products, magazines, books on sale, computers and software, photography supplies, as well as equipment rentals (computer, typewriters, video and compact disks). Four years later (1992), Chapter Two closed for economic reasons and the space was leased out. The computer sales was transferred to the Computer Shop located in the lower level of Jorgenson Hall, but due to low sales, it closed its doors in the spring of 2002 with computer software and accessories moved to the Bookstore.
The Bookstore has maintained relevancy during the modern era’s challenges of competitors selling cheaper books on-line by keeping itself relevant selling textbooks, stationery, Ryerson clothing and giftware, stationery, computer supplies, magazines, contemporary books.


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