Seattle Colleges Partners with Follett to Operate Bookstores

July 12, 2022

Following an extensive review of competing proposals, Seattle Colleges has entered into a partnership with Follett Higher Education Group (Follett) to manage and operate the bookstores at North Seattle College, Seattle Central College, and South Seattle College. The partnership will support a priority focus on better serving students and providing affordable options for course materials.

The management and operation of the three bookstores will transition from Barnes & Noble to Follett the week of July 18-22, 2022. During that time, the bookstores will be closed. Plans call for the stores to reopen on Monday, July 25, under the management of Follett. Note, this date may vary by college, depending on upgrades needed in the physical space. New bookstore websites are also scheduled to launch on Monday July 25.

Seattle Colleges joins other regional community and technical colleges that have bookstore management relationships with Follett, including Bellevue College, Lake Washington Institute of Technology, and Shoreline Community College.

Why Move to Follett?

Follett is the largest campus bookstore operator in North America and has served higher education for more than 140 years. Follett operates more than 1,100 two-year and four-year college bookstores throughout the United States and Canada and maintains a robust eCommerce platform with 1,600 eFollett online stores.

Follett’s size, experience, and expertise in managing and operating higher education bookstores will allow Seattle Colleges’ bookstores to better serve students. Follett’s expansive supply chain, economies of scale, innovative technology and course materials solutions, focus on affordability, and experience serving colleges across North America is expected to drive increased savings for students on course materials.

Benefits of Seattle Colleges’ Partnership with Follett

  • Offers students lower prices, typically ranging from a 15-70% discount compared to the average market price of a new textbook
  • Supports course material affordability through the nation’s largest textbook rental program
  • Features an extensive selection of new, low-cost used and digital, and low- and often zero-cost Open Education Resources (OER) course materials
  • Provides lower-priced digital course materials through Inclusive Access, one of Follett’s digital resources
  • Offers a price-matching program as well as a greater number of book buyback opportunities for students
  • Features a user-friendly online software that embeds well in Canvas, Seattle Colleges’ learning management system

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What changes will students notice?
Students may notice an improvement in the appearance of the physical stores since Follett will be “sprucing them up.” Students will also have new and additional options for course materials (see benefits section above).

Will there be new college bookstore websites?
Yes, the bookstore websites will be available starting July 25, 2022. These new websites for North, Central, and South will feature a modern design and enhanced functionality. Cypress College’s online bookstore provides an example of the planned design and functionality of the new websites.

Will students be able to rent textbooks?
Yes. Textbook rentals will be an option for most adopted materials, and students can choose to rent when they are conducting their purchase on the website. A credit or debit card is required for collateral to rent books. To learn more about the textbook rental program and to pre-register to rent, visit

What will happen to Barnes & Noble bookstore employees?
It is Follett’s practice to retain skilled staff whenever possible.

Will course materials requests need to be resubmitted by faculty?
No, Barnes & Noble is transferring all the order information faculty provided for Summer and Fall quarters to Follett. Faculty will not need to resubmit anything.

Will faculty and staff have to learn a new system for ordering course materials?
Ultimately yes, but during the transition Follett will accept the orders for classes however faculty and staff choose to make them (via email, for example). In-person and both synchronous and asynchronous online training will be provided to faculty about how to order course materials using Follett’s simple ordering system.

Will faculty and staff be able to order the same types of materials (such as uniforms) from Follett as they did from Barnes & Nobel?

Additional Questions? Contact Ken Pegram at

Additional Information

The videos links below offer additional insight into Follett’s tools and programs.