Hammes bookstore introduces new tech center
By JACK ROONEY | Wednesday, September 4, 2013
The Hammes Bookstore has upgraded their technology center in the form of the newly-opened Hammes Hub, which provides students and faculty with a central location for technology services, retail and assistance, said marketing manager for Notre Dame Retail Operations Kristin Blitch.
Located in the northeast corner of the first floor of the Hammes Bookstore, The Hub carries a variety of Apple, Dell and Lenovo products, including laptops, tablets and desktops, Blitch said. Microsoft chose the Hammes Bookstore as one of only 25 University bookstores to carry its Surface tablet, she said.
The Hub also carries a variety of iPods, headphones, iHome clocks and speakers, printers and accessories for all of its hardware, she said. Blitch said the Hub does not, however, offer the iPhone, though it does sell iPhone accessories.
Blitch said the staff of the Hub makes all of the tablets, laptops, desktops and iPods available for in-store testing before purchasing, which creates a “try it before you buy it” atmosphere much like an Apple or Windows store.
She said students can easily order any product not in stock and can pick it up at the bookstore. The Hub sells the products at an academic price, which is discounted from retail pricing, Blitch said. Academic pricing also includes the popular Apple back-to-school offers, which give students a $100 App Store credit with the purchase of a Mac and a $50 credit with the purchase of an iPad.
In addition to being an all-in-one technology shop, the Hub provides service and assistance for broken computers and other products, she said.
“One of the things we’re able to do now is repairs,” Blitch said. “If you have any issue with your computer, the Office of Information (OIT) will run a diagnostic on it and let you know the next course of action.”
Blitch said OIT can still handle any service issues at their offices, located in the Information Technology Center (ITC) on Library Quad, but the Hub provides the same services in its convenient bookstore location.
Blitch said the Hub is a significant improvement on the bookstore’s old technology platform, which featured basic software and minimal hardware, such as flash drives. She said the improvements are part of the bookstore’s partnership with OIT.
“We’ve really worked hard to expand [the technology platform], and that was through the partnership with OIT. They know what works for campus,” she said. “We’re working hand-in-hand every step of the way. It’s a full partnership.”
In a July press release, Director of Hammes Bookstore and Retail Operations Keith Kirkpatrick said the bookstore will continue to work with OIT on ways to serve the campus community
“Collaborating with OIT to develop our comprehensive retail plan has been a great experience and we look forward to the opportunity to further serve the campus.” Kirkpatrick said.
The Hammes Hub is open during all regular bookstore hours and is accessible online at any time through NDCatalog.com.