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JBSA News
NEWS | April 4, 2013

12th OSS Bookstore goes digital

By Capt. Ashley Walker 12th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

Charlie Turner, 12th Operations Support Squadron bookstore technician, found ways to save time, money and lighten the load for the 12th Operations Group.

The bookstore provides publications for students attending the Night Vision Goggle Advanced Academic Course, Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals, Remotely Piloted Aircraft Instrument Qualification Course, RPA Fundamentals Course, Basic Sensor Operator Course, Medical Officer Flight Familiarization Training and Pilot Instructor Training at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph.

On average the bookstore prepares publications for 140 students per month.
In the past, the bookstore would print and issue every possible publication for each student. There was so much printed material that students had to carry out materials in a cardboard box.

When a new version of a publication was released, the bookstore would rush to provide students with the latest material.

"We would pull all the old printed publications off the shelf and print the new version, which was a waste of time and effort," Turner said.

In August 2012, the office was reduced from five personnel to just Turner and two casual students. The budget was cut more than half at the same time.

"Given the situation I found myself in, I knew changes had to be made," said Turner. "It seems everything is moving to digital media so why not capitalize on the trend?"

In December 2012, Evelyn Sutton, bookstore supervisor, joined the shop and contributed to the conversion of all publications transferred to CDs and helped develop the online database.

With all the publications available electronically in multiple avenues, students rarely order publication hardcopies. Rather than walk out of the bookstore with a cardboard box, students walk out with a CD and a small binder.

The squadrons quickly embraced the changes and continuously provide feedback to make the program better.

The bookstore now requires students to reuse binders, publications and CDs, which has contributed to the overall saving of $12,500 since July 2012. Sutton projects for fiscal year 2013, the bookstore should save more than $38,800 in printing costs. Compared to the total printing cost of $76,000 in fiscal year 2012, the new measures should decrease the spending by 51 percent.

"We are here to serve our military members and especially ensure students have all the materials necessary to pass the course," Turner said.