Linda Widme discovered her love for textbooks as a student employee at her university bookstore and made the transition in 1977 to Concordia, as the Cobber Bookstore textbook manager.
Back in those days everything had to be typed – shelf tags, orders for publishers, faculty information and more. In 1988, Widme became the bookstore director and when computers were available, the bookstore converted to EasyText. Ten years later, Widme was instrumental in transitioning the bookstore to the PRISM computer system, a complete inventory control and point of sale system.
Even with her new responsibilities, she never lost her passion for books, working closely with the textbook section of the store and the textbook buyers.
“Customer service was extremely important to Linda,” says P.J. Hines, director of the Cobber Bookstore. “There were so many different groups of customers – phone, online, current students, prospective students, alumni, faculty and staff.”
After the bookstore was remodeled in 2003, less space in the store was devoted to textbooks. Students were able to order textbooks online from the bookstore. The satellite store in the Korn Krib was added when the new Campus Center opened.
Employees of the bookstore were like family to Widme. The group has always been small enough to really get to know each other and have experienced exciting, busy times through the years.
“It’s fun to see that we are now in our second generation of student workers,” says Widme. “One of the current student employee’s mother worked in the bookstore when she was a student in the 1980s.
Widme plans to spend her retirement in Moorhead, reading, painting and possibly traveling.