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Help!! I was able to purchase NOOKs for my library; I am running into a brick wall as far as setting up the accounts and purchasing ebooks. My district will not sway from their policy of everything being purchased through a PO - no credit cards - and no prepayment. I don't know how to get around this or how to convince them to revisit this. They say the district auditors will not allow it. Do you have any suggestions??????
Can anyone outline the purchasing procedure that their district used? I would like to be able to explain that other schools have done this and this is how they did it. Your help is needed ASAP!!
Isn't it fun adopting new technology and getting the "higher-ups" to understand and support it?!
My school district (Bloomington, IL) allows the purchase of gift cards with purchase order funds, but I did receive a phone call today from our chief financial officer asking for clarification as to how these would be used. I had to put my own personal credit card on each B&N Nook account, but we will always use gift cards for purchases. Each ebook purchase will always draw from the gift card first. I have password-protected all of my Nooks so students or other users cannot make any purchases. So yes, I have my own credit card on the accounts, but I am not worried about using funds from it. I have read on this Ning and other eReader forums that other media specialists also had to create accounts this way.
Perhaps have someone from your tech department speak to your administrators, or have a Barnes & Noble store manager speak to someone in your district? Digital media purchases are a different beast - they need to recognize this.
Good luck and keep us all posted on how things turn out.
Below is the policy our corporation came up with to address this issue. It was helpful that both our school and corporation administration is forward looking and actually encouraged me to apply for a grant to buy our nook e-readers. We are in the process of becoming a "New Tech" (as in Napa Valley New Tech) school. Buying nooks was my answer to our library being downsized as part of this reform. We also have an administrator's brother who is on the Indiana State Board of Accounts. He was very helpful in guiding us through some of the issues that they look at regarding the use of gift cards. One of the trickiest issues is the credit card on file. For our school I bought a Wal-Mart Green Dot card and loaded it with the required minimum of $20 or $30. I did this with my own money. The credit card issue seems to be the biggest one. There's a whole slew of choices for the cards some of which work with the nook. I'd try to see if you can find some help at the service desk before purchasing one. Some have reported a monthly user fee. I have not had to pay that fee. You also will need to work out what to do about taxes. The one disadvantage of B & N verses Amazon is that B & N charges taxes. You need to email firstname.lastname@example.org every time you make a purchase! Since Amazon does not have any store fronts you don't have to pay sales tax on Kindle titles. At first B & N were sending tax refund checks. Now they just credit our gift cards back.
Lakeland School Corporation Gift Card Policy
1. Purchasing Gift Cards
a. All gift cards that are to be purchased with Corporation money MUST be purchased
through the treasurer in Accounts Payable Department at Corporation Office.
2. Setting Up Online Account for Gift Card Use
a. Gift cards purchased by Corporation Office will need to be loaded into an on-line account
that is linked to the business manager's school e-mail address. Staff members using the cards will
have the log-in and password information, as well as control the use of the cards.
Corporation Office will need to receive the financial notifications when the cards are
b. The Corporation’s credit card will NOT be used for on-line download accounts.
3. After You Download
a. Once a download is completed a staff member will receive a transaction receipt of their
purchase. This receipt MUST be sent over to the Corporation Office with the staff
member’s signature authorizing the download.
b. The transaction receipts need to be received by the Corporation Office within two (2)
days of the download.
c. Since our business manager will be receiving e-mail notifications of downloads, she will be
watching for the paper copy to arrive. This documentation will allow us to stay in
compliance with State Board of Accounts.
Things to note:
1. If a staff member wants/needs to purchase gift cards for downloading classroom materials there will either need to be special funds (example: grant money) or use student fees that are collected during registration.
2. Staff members should NOT give students account log-in information. Staff members in control
of the gift cards need to do the purchasing.
3. If a gift cards is purchased through Extra Curricular Accounts the same procedures listed above apply BUT instead of paperwork & e-mails coming to Deb Simon, those things will need to go through the Building Treasurer to make sure they are compliant with State Board of Accounts.
4. Any staff member choosing to purchase gift cards on their own will not be reimbursed for the
expense. The above procedures need to be followed.
Your issue is common. I also ran into the Tax Exempt issue. That one is really annoying.
What I ended up doing with the Nooks, bought a gift card and was reimbursed. Don't know if that will work for you. It's the tax exempt piece that is giving me headaches. I have had many conversations with B&N.
We just met with our BN rep and here's the process we are going to follow:
We can have 6 nooks on one account, multiple accounts can be associated with the same email- so we will just need an account for each 6. We've also decided to keep nooks at different levels and/or in different buildings associated with different accounts to keep them separate. To create an account you do have to put in a credit card number, but our purchasing agent will put the district card onto the account. We won't be using the card, but using the gift cards purchased through PO.
Also, the rep said that the company has recognized the need to be more 'school friendly' and is in the process of designing a better process for accounting purposes. It is coming... and will get better. In the meantime we believe that this process will fulfill our accounting rules and audit regs.
Hope this helps others-
Karen, you're right - the educational market is very important to B&N! I spoke with my Regional Manager this morning, and she advises that they're in the process of addressing the various requests for a smoother purchasing system for eBooks. Some districts have been succesful in using Purchase Orders, but others need a different option. I'll post any updates when they're rolled out.
I purchased a prepaid Visa. I used a purchase order for a gift card. Our district has a gift card policy. We use the card and then we have to turn in a list of all purchased with the card (we have a form for this) and turn it in with the receipts. For the tax exemption, there is an email at B&N:
Thank you for your inquiry regarding tax exemption.
To further assist you, please contact us at 201-559-6246. You may
contact us Monday through Friday 9:30am-6pm Eastern time.
If you have any additional questions or comments, please email
With this system you have to send them a copy of your tax exempt certificate and the office will set your account to tax exempt. Then make orders and then you email the taxes office with the order numbers of the items that were tax exempt purchases. Then they credit the taxes back to the account.
Things are in flux though, so change will be coming. Hopefully for the good.
You can now do a Purchase Order to purchase e-books through Barnes & Noble. They will manage your accounts for you, putting the e-books on the nooks per your specifications. They will set up an e-book account using POs.
Is there a way to prevent students from getting into SETTINGS on the NOOK? I am afraid that they will get in and erase the NOOK! Also, is there a way to stop automatic sample downloads from B&N?