Six-feet distancing signs are posted in the bookstore. Photo: Mackenzie Jonke.
Juliana Pepple
JRNM 151

When COVID-19 started in March of 2020, Lorain County Community College responded by shutting down the campus and turning to virtual learning. This meant that the businesses on LCCC’s campus were affected too, including the LCCC bookstore. The LCCC bookstore had to take a different approach to get the students what they needed for their classes.

“We had to completely rethink our operation,” said Patty Clark, manager of LCCC’s bookstore, Commodore Books & More. Everything that was available in-store had to all be ordered through the website. That meant keeping one person on staff to manage the website. “All part-time staff was laid off except for the online workers,” said Clark. COVID-19 policies required the store to be at 50% occupancy at the start of everything. However, as time progressed, that number changed and allowed only 10-15 customers at a time.

Along with the new occupancy restrictions, plexiglass, new signs, and mask requirements followed closely behind.

After the new policies were put in place, this meant that the bookstore employees could start returning to work. To employee Elizabeth Lawrence, this idea was a little bit unnerving. The initial skepticism remained with her due to her father being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and her mother recovering from cancer. “My concerns were about social distancing guidelines, but after the first meeting I felt a little more relieved,” said Lawrence. Luckily after being immersed into a new normal, Lawrence feels more comfortable working again, despite the initial fear being in the forefront of her mind. That being said, Commodore Books & More is up and running with their new normal and can accommodate other necessary school supplies.