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Book ISBN database may be established

Liz O'Donnell | Thursday, April 23, 2009

Student senate discussed the Online Syllabus and ISBN databases at their meeting on Wednesday evening.

Student body vice president Cynthia Weber said that while it will take a long time to establish, both processes are on their way.

“Both of these initiatives hinge on professors,” she said. “They will require lots of administrative work.”

The ISBN database was one of the top four initiatives in the Schmidt-Weber campaign platform.

“The ISBN database is an idea to provide convenient, affordable options,” said Weber.

Keough Senator Marc Anthony Rosa, suggested looking to see if there was some sort of faculty list serve that could be used.

“We could send them an e-mail first explaining our initiative, then send another out with a link for where to post the numbers,” he said.

Knott senator Andrew Bell emphasized the importance of the ISBN database project. He said that it would help the student body a great deal.

“This should be a priority,” he said. “I think that this will greatly benefit us a lot and we should get student pressure on teachers.”

Weber said there is no way of getting the ISBN numbers through the Notre Dame Hammes Bookstore because it would be unprofitable for them to release the data.

The bookstore is owned by the university, but is leased out to the Follett Corporation. According to Follet’s website, the corporation is the countries larges operator of college bookstores.

Notre Dame and Follet have a financial relationship established where both the university and the company receive a portion of the revenue generated from the sale of books.

For this reason, Weber said, it would also be unprofitable for the university to release the ISBN numbers.

CEA Ryan Brellenthan said he hopes to have the Online Syllabus Database and possibly the ISBN numbers incorporated into the class search tool.

Weber said the next step in the process is to continue working over the summer on the ISBN and Online Syllabus databases.