Emory Report

November 30, 1998

 Volume 51, No. 13

University signs lease to take over Village bookstore space

Emory administrators are planning to launch a top-flight academic bookstore next summer when Lullwater Books moves to the present site of the Emory Village Bookstore. With the change in location comes a change in name: the store will be called Druid Hills Books (if the title isn't owned by anyone else).

"We chose the name to honor the community, but also to differentiate the new space from Emory Bookstore, which many faculty consider the 'student bookstore,'" said Susan Lester, director of bookstores. "This will be a professional bookstore, geared toward faculty and gradate and professional students."

After some renovations to the space to upgrade fixtures and other elements, Emory staff will take occupancy in June or July of next year, said Lester, who credits Campus Life administrators Frances Lucas-Tauchar and Ron Taylor and Provost Rebecca Chopp with bringing her idea for a scholarly bookstore to the attention of President Bill Chace. "I hope the bookstore will be well-received in Emory Village and in the greater Atlanta community," said Chace, who announced the new store at November's Faculty Council meeting. "I'm really delighted, and I hope and trust faculty and students will be too."

The University signed a 10-year lease for the space, with an option to renew when the lease expires. Since February, Lullwater Books has gradually changed its focus from popular fiction and nonfiction to scholarly works from trade and academic publishers. The larger bookstore will hold 30,000 to 40,000 titles excluding textbooks, said Bruce Covey, associate director of bookstores. "We will expand considerably on what we've already begun here at Lullwater Books," he said. "Lullwater will completely disappear from here, and we'll take all of the business down there."

Undergraduate textbooks will fill the Dobbs Center space vacated by Lullwater Books. Indeed, the Emory Bookstore will now cater solely to undergraduates, said Lester, who plans to include residence hall merchandise and gift items that students and staff requested but for which there wasn't enough space before. Graduate and professional school texts will be housed at Druid Hills Books, along with an array of scholarly works ranging from literary criticism and gender studies to legal studies and anthropology.

Before coming to Emory, Covey managed an independent scholarly bookstore close the Yale University campus that was a popular destination, even in New Haven's crowded specialty-bookstore market. "Our bestsellers were people like Jean Baudrillard, Eve Sedgwick and Judith Butler," he said. He is hoping for similar success in Atlanta, but don't expect a carbon copy of other scholarly booksellers. "All academic bookstores need to be different-the store I did in New Haven can't carry down here," Covey said. "We have to cater to the unique interests of faculty and students at Emory and in Atlanta." Faculty from Georgia State, Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia already visited Lullwater Books in its latest incarnation, Lester said.

Staffing levels for the new store will remain consistent with Lullwater Books, Lester said. But she does plan to hire additional part-time graduate students who have particular scholarly interests to round out the staff.

For those who bemoan walking to the new location, Covey said orders can be delivered to the Dobbs Center bookstore. And for those who would miss the convenience of securing New York Times bestsellers here on campus, he explained that popular titles won't go away entirely. "We don't intend to lose them; they just won't be the main focus." Staff also will special order any book that isn't in the store's inventory, as long as it's still available.

--Stacey Jones

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