Pioneer Spotlight: Roxane Ford
Roxane Ford is the Textbook Center manager at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. She loves her job, not only because she likes to read, but also because she enjoys working with students. She joined the Textbook Center a year ago, but has already helped make several changes to increase efficiency and convenience for students, starting with rearranging the waiting line.
What does a typical workday look like for you?
There aren’t many typical workdays, and maybe that’s what I enjoy the most. We have our rush seasons in the beginning and end of each semester, so that’s always exciting to get geared up for, especially this year with some of the changes we’re making. Otherwise, during the year, we’re doing things like ordering books, getting books ready for the next semester, we’re obsoleting books and putting them out on the free tables on campus, and we’re serving the students as they come in to check out and return books. It’s different every day.
What is unique about the UW-Platteville Textbook Center?
What makes us unique is that we’re able to provide great cost savings and benefits for the students through our rental program. UW-Platteville is one of seven campuses in the UW System that are rental. Of course, each campus has their own management set up, but we are totally independent, and I think our Textbook Center serves students well. We help students get a high quality education that doesn’t affect their bottom line as much as if they had to buy their own textbooks.
Of course, there’s more that we can do, and we’re looking into doing more. Most recently, we’ve rearranged the check out area. We worked with a couple of different groups of students last fall, and a senior design team in industrial engineering came back with some great plans on how to set up a queue line for students waiting to check out and return their books. It seemed to fit well with other ideas that we had in mind, so we have rearranged our check out lanes closely to what their suggestions were. We’ve also gone out and visited five other textbook centers, and gathered ideas based on what we saw, and what the students are looking for. Next summer, we plan to take a big step and rearrange the whole library.
Another exciting change is transitioning the paper agreement that everyone signs to an electronic format. The idea is to have students complete it before they come in, and that will release their textbook list to them directly. So, students can print it out or view it on their smart device. That will really shorten up the lines and will save paper, save labor, and be more convenient. Wi-Fi has been boosted and other preliminary tasks are being implemented. We’re hoping to have the change made by January of next year.
What is one thing you wish students knew about the Textbook Center?
Students can check books out and return books at any time, for that current semester. After the rush period is over during the first two weeks of the semester, students can check out books from subjects that are outside of their classwork. For example, if someone wants a book on exercise because they are trying to live a healthy lifestyle, they can check one out for their own reference.
What do you like about working in a university setting?
I really enjoy working with young people. Before working in the Textbook Center, I used to work in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs on campus. The change has been great because I really enjoy working directly with students. There is a larger group of people whom I get to touch base with, and most of them are eager to experience college life and start their careers, so I really enjoy that. I’m a people person.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I’m a wife, a mother, and a grandmother, so I spend a lot of time with family. I’m also into music. I’m a director of a contemporary Christian group at our church, and I sometimes participate in musicals. I also like to read and sew.