Faculty Textbook Adoption FAQ

Why Timely Adoptions are Important

Knowledge of course textbook and materials requirements helps students balance their course loads based on reading demands and financial needs – including the purchasing of books. Timely posting of textbook adoptions has the strong support of the student body and is required by the Higher Education Opportunities Act (HEOA) . PLU students continue to endorse the availability of textbook information online and have indicated it aids in course selection.

With some exceptions, TEXTBOOKS ARE NO LONGER STOCKED AT THE BOOKSTORE. After careful consideration PLU decided to go with MBSDirect for our textbook needs. The combination of simple online ordering and accurate, on-time shipping means students won't have to wonder if they'll have the books they need when class begins. (Click here to see more.) However, to guarantee inventory for all of our students, adoptions must be submitted 4 weeks prior to the registration date of the upcoming term. MBS guarantees that students will receive the correct book and course materials if adoptions are submitted on time. There will be no guarantee that materials will be available to our students if adoptions are submitted past the 4 week deadline. However, adoptions are accepted even after the term has started AND THERE IS NO CHARGE FOR LATE SUBMISSIONS.

Our goal is to provide the best textbook options for students and submitting your adoption selections on time also gives us & you time to react to titles that may be delayed due to edition changes, being out-of-print, print-on-demand, imported, etc.

Overview of Buyback

Textbook buyback is the process by which students sell back to the bookstore the materials they purchased for their courses. Materials bought back include traditional textbooks, trade books and unused workbooks. MBSDirect offers a very general generous buyback incentive when students buy directly from them

Many students prefer to buy used books when they have the option, and our supplier, MBSDirect, has a commitment to stock them to honor that student preference. Our goal is to help our students reduce the overall cost of their textbooks by providing them with less expensive used books at the beginning of the semester and then giving them top dollar for their books at the end of the semester and submitting your adoptions on time has a direct impact on achieving this goal.

The price offered for books varies by market demand, with 50% of the current retail price being the highest for titles that will be used the following term, up to the buyback need or "target" quantity.

Books that will not be used on campus, but have value nationally, are bought back at the wholesale price. Some books have little or no market value and are not bought back. These include titles for which there is insufficient demand nationally to warrant purchasing them, books in poor condition, and books that are--or are going--out of print.

If an adoption is turned in after buyback week, we have potentially paid our students a very low dollar amount or sent them away with their books. If we haven’t been able to buy any copies back, MBSDirect will also need to order all new books for that class. This impacts the original student’s overall cost of the textbook, as well as the costs for students in the next term because they have to pay more for new books.


May 22nd - 26th (finals week) 10am - 5pm


Why do I need to submit my book adoption to the Lute Locker?

The Lute Locker has partnered with MBSDirect to make sure PLU is complying with the Higher Education Opportunities Act (HEOA) that mandates required course material information be available to students at least 30 days prior to the start of class. PLU’s textbook manager collects, reviews and submits all the course information and makes it available to the students on the MBSDirect website.

Why should I send you my adoptions if I don’t think my students will buy their books from MBSDirect?

Missing adoptions make more work for you and your students. Under HEOA, the Lute Locker is PLU’s official booklist publisher. We provide a single location where all students can find and ask questions about which books are required for all of their classes, whether they purchase from us or not. If we don’t receive your adoption, your students have to look in multiple places to find all the books required for their courses and you have to answer their textbook questions.

Other vendors do not accept scholarship funds or financial aid. MBSDirect and the Lute Locker can accept scholarship and financial aid payments, but these sources require us to verify that the books being purchased are required for the students’ classes. We can’t do this without your adoption.

What information do I have to submit for my class?

Faculty should submit any and all required materials –textbooks, course packets, access codes, Clickers, school supply items, etc. If an item (clickers, lab coats, art kits) is available at the Lute Locker, it will still be listed in the textbook list for students to see. Imported titles will take 8-10 weeks to arrive – turn these adoptions in as early as possible.

I received a notice saying my book was not available, but I can find it on other websites. Why can’t MBSDirect get this for my students?

MBSDirect sources books from student buybacks, wholesalers, publishers and other distributors. Sometimes, books might be for sale on places like Amazon.com from individual re-sellers. This availability is limited and has unpredictable pricing.

The Lute Locker staff and MBSDirect work together to secure enough quality, affordable materials for students as well as guaranteeing that students will receive the exact title and edition that you require. We ask that you help us in that endeavor by not automatically including in your syllabi or suggesting to your students “to get their books online.”

What if I do not have any required materials for my course?

Please log into the Adopt system and flag “No Books Required” – this will change the message to students from “No information available” to “Your professor has indicated that no books are required.” This will most likely reduce your call and email volume from students with questions.

Why am I receiving emails from VerbaCollect requiring me to adopt a textbook?

The University sends a data feed to VerbaCollect’s adoption system. If you have been added as a professor to a course at PLU, you will automatically receive a welcome email asking for your book adoption. If you feel this email is being sent in error, reach out to us and we will try to troubleshoot it.

Do I need to request a clicker for my course?

Yes, please! Use our adoption system to indicate that a response card is a required item. We order clickers based on how many classes are using them – last minute adoptions usually cause us to sell out, which can be stressful for students.

What if I need to make changes to the adoptions that I already submitted?

Any changes to adoptions made by you after they have been approved may result in the cost of non‐returnable materials being charged to your department. If you remove course materials after students have purchased them, your department will be charged the cost set by MBSDirect to recall and ship the items back. Your attention to accuracy when submitting your adoptions is crucial.

Can I request non-textbook materials for my course?

Of course! There is an “add materials” tab in Verba. Also, you can contact the textbook manager for help.

How can I obtain a desk copy of my book?

Desk copies are available directly through the publishers. Please direct your requests for these materials to the publishers and not the Lute Locker. MBSDirect created this guide to assist faculty in requesting teacher editions from publishers, and hopes that you find it useful.

I cannot meet the textbook adoption deadline. What should I do?

The bookstore recognizes that not all requests can meet the adoption deadlines. New classes, sections and instructor changes often come after the adoption deadlines. These requests should be made as soon as the information is available. There is no charge to your department for late submissions.

As the official bookstore for Pacific Lutheran University, we are committed to supporting PLU’s mission to educate students for lives of thoughtful inquiry, service, leadership and care – for other people, for their communities, and for the earth. Please contact Heather Cooper at cooperhr@plu.edu or 253-535-7666 with questions or to set up a meeting with you and/or your department.