Delay in textbook deliveries has caused anxiety and anticipation to increase

By Anna Schmader
February 28, 2021


History textbook finally arriving. Photo by John

The spring semester of 2021 has started off with online learning and shipping delays. The worry and concern of students and professors grow as assignments and shipments get pushed.

I already have two textbooks that have been delayed and won’t arrive until the beginning of the third week of the semester,” John Mager, junior history major, said.

He explained during a phone interview he’s been in touch with professors and making accommodations for extensions. It becomes more difficult for Mager since he learns better in-person and virtual lectures are not the same. 

“I just recently received a package that was originally ordered in mid-December,” Mager said. He mentioned the tracking number to his one package briefly noted a coronavirus outbreak causing packages to be delayed to clean. On top of this, he paid $10 for shipping, which was not refunded for this inconvenience.

The Philadelphia Inquirer said the USPS facilities have hundreds of thousands of packages that were sent in late November and early December which are sitting at the bottom of giant mountains of delayed mail. According to CNN, dramatic increases in positive COVID-19 cases are leading to employees quarantining causing a significant limit of power of USPS to move the packages where they need to be. Since the stock of employees has been on the downward track, the rest of the staff is working 10 to 12 hour days and pulling extra shifts. It becomes harder when people quit but the work is needed.

For Amber Berkheimer, freshman sociology and criminology major, her nerves are less frayed. She ordered from Amazon since she’s trusted the delivery arrival date compared to other retailers and there was no delay. Even though she received all the materials needed for her classes, Berkheimer had her professors post PDF versions of the textbook for those students who did not have the resources.

“I have a few packages that I ordered a few months ago that have yet to come in,” Berkheimer said on a phone interview. “As well as one package that I mailed months ago that has yet to be delivered.” 

For some packages, there are ones that haven’t been updated in weeks and show no movement. On the UPS website, you can check the most recent status on your shipment and It is clarified what the status means.

Kaitlynn Johnson, junior social work major, said she’s had issues with her package delivery days although her order warned they might be late or delayed. Fortunately, she got hers on time.

Pile of books. Photo by Pixabay

“I ordered a textbook prematurely and it was delayed badly due to COVID-19 and the weather,” Johnson said.

She, just as many others, has experienced this halt in packages. She mentioned on a phone interview her teachers have sincerely accommodated students by uploading the reading and assignments to BlackBoard. Additionally, Johnson is a visual learner, and knowing her textbook was late didn’t help the nerves for the beginning of the semester.

The fall semester was tough for Johnson as well as others trying to navigate through different software and certain sites. She is not a fan of online learning and the virtual lectures have been rougher than she projected. 

“Learning virtually is so incredibly hard,” Johnson said. “I need to have materials in front of me, in a classroom setting.”

Anna Schmader

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