This semester, Mount St. Mary’s University welcomes the new bookstore manager, Nora Seggel. As with everything else on campus, the bookstore has been influenced and affected by the current COVID-19 pandemic. It must adhere to social distancing guidelines due to its small space in Upper McGowan.
This means limiting the number of students, keeping six feet apart and setting up a book pick-up site for when large surges in textbook orders take place, such as when students arrive on campus for a new semester. Seggel will not only help continue the work of the bookstore effectively but will also bring in new ideas to help improve the student and faculty experience.
On her experience in the field of bookstore supply, Seggel said, “I have worked with Barnes and Noble College for seven years at Penn State, Harrisburg. There was an opportunity to come down here to work at the Mount and I was excited to do something new and exciting.”
She went on to say that she has relevant retail and customer service experience having worked as a store manager for T-Mobile. Seggel has also worked for several clothing retailers, such as Old Navy, GAP and Limited-Too. “I had my very first retail job when I was 16 years old,” she remarked.
There are a lot of things that the bookstore staff members do, from being responsible for the overall bookstore experience to building “relationships with all of the campus community, including faculty, students and staff.” The bookstore makes sure that it gets the book information from faculty to list it in a timely fashion as well as work with admissions and alumni to help with commencement. “There are a lot of things that the bookstore is involved in, and my role in that is to help with all of those areas,” Seggel stated.
It’s also important for the bookstore to maintain a smooth relationship with the athletic programs at the university. “With COVID-19, things are not normal, but once we start to see some sense of normalcy, we will go back to participating in events like sports games. And hopefully, we will be able to do new things with the athletic department as well,” she added.
When the pandemic will not be an overarching theme in our everyday lives, the bookstore plans for new things to come. The biggest one will be establishing an advisory committee with a student and representatives from every part of the university to help the bookstore operate better, according to her.
Overall, Seggel shares that her goal is to educate everyone on what the bookstore can do and fill in any gaps to make sure that it continues to provide a positive experience to everyone who utilizes it on campus.