Boxcar Books 6-Year Anniversary Dessert Party and Open House

Boxcar Books 6-Year Anniversary Dessert Party and Open House
Saturday, February 2nd 2008
at 310A S. Washington St.

Boxcar Books is turning 6 years old on February 2nd, and we’re
throwing an open-house and dessert party! For six years, Boxcar has
been proud to be one of many centers of community, culture, and
activism in Bloomington, and we owe our success to our you. Our loyal
customers, our supportive Bloomington and IU community, and our

To thank all of these valuable individuals and in lieu of our typical
annual benefit dinner, we?re opening up our doors for an evening of
delicious desserts, door prizes, an art show provided by the Deep
Roots Animal Sanctuary, a sale of 20% off everything, DJ?s and other
surprises. Please come on by for drinks and desserts in a casual
format and celebrate with us the continued success of Bloomington?s
only non-profit, all volunteer run bookstore and community center.

Check out images from our beginning:

craft night for boxcar prom @ microcosm hq (nw corner of 3rd + rodgers). 4p.

hey y'all!  come help make prom decorations so we can make the  
bluebird look sweeeet!  this is the biggest fundraiser of the year for  
both boxcar and pages, so we really need your help!

- 4pm on sunday (we'll go for hours, so show up whenever you can)
- sparky's house/microcosm headquarters (north-west corner of 3rd & rogers)
- bring any craft supplies you have (paint, markers, paper, cardboard,  

we are also building a decorating committee for the day of the prom.   
decorating starts at noon on saturday the 7th.  if you're into it,  
please e-mail me or sign up at boxcar.  yeah!


boxcar technology wg project ideas

  • Mass inventory edit feature to Boxcar inventory.  This would allow user to change inventory details for multiple inventory entries all at once. Essentially this would allow you to change everything that you can in the inventory edit form.
  • Barcode-based inventory entry
  • Integrate POS and inventory
  • Make pages card catalog/inventory electronic

Boxcar Inventory Development Update

The top seller queries weren’t working properly so I re-wrote them.  The update implementation is contained in the ‘book top sellers’, ‘books sold in last 2 months’, ‘comic/zine top sellers’, and ‘comics/zines sold in last 2 months’ queries.

online inventory replication batch program update

The Boxcar online inventory replication program wrapper batch file wasn’t working right because the SSH tunnel to the MySQL server kept dying. So, I modified the wrapper to test to make sure the server was up and then restart the service if it’s not before running the replication. The code looks like this:

mysql --user=*** --password=*** --batch --execute="SELECT value FROM online_status WHERE config = 'online'" boxcar_mirror
net stop "MySQLTunnel"
net start "MySQLTunnel"
cd "C:\Documents and Settings\n\Desktop\inventory and sales\online stuff\"
.\shutdown -u

Boxcar Inventory Development Update

I updated the new_order form so that textbooks from MBS and Nebraska are automatically entered in as used:
Private Sub Form_BeforeInsert(Cancel As Integer)
Me.datestamp = Now()
If Me.distributor = “MBS Textbook Exchange” Or Me.distributor = “Nebraska Book Company” Then
Me.book_state = “Used”
Me.book_state = “New”
End If
Me.status = “On Order”
If IsNull(Me.Order_date.Value) Then
Me.Order_date = Format(Now(), “DD-MMM-YYYY”)
End If
End Sub

I also created a query, “Make Textbooks Used” to fix already entered textbooks.

For the online store, I added an in-store pickup option for shipping.  In the development version of the online inventory, I made it so shipping methods and properties are pulled from the database instead of hard-coded in.

new boxcar role: ordering consultant

Last week’s Boxcar planning meeting seemed to move too slow for me, which is largely my fault because I was facilitating.  It made me realize that its a bad idea to try to facilitate a discussion when one has a lot to try to think about or say about ideas.  I felt like I was on a different page, in some ways, and in different ways, from a lot of the people I work with.  At one point, I talked about how it was important to think about roles and responsibilities that are beyond what’s happening currently at Boxcar, and nothing could come to mind as a good example.  Listening to the radio, I came up with this idea, and while it could be effective from an assy marketing perspective, more importantly, I feel like it will help to generate excitement about books and some of the cultural and political ideas that members of the collective feel are important and offer a more relevent selection of books to the community.

Here’s the role description:

Ordering Consultant

An ordering consultant will assist the ordering coordinator by suggesting books to be ordered for the store, though final decisions about ordering will continue to be made by the ordering coordinator.  They will print out “As Featured on This American Life” or “As Featued on Democracy Now!” or other labels to help people notice books that were mentioned in the media.  They will find and excerpt reviews of new books (or write ones themeselves) that are ordered to include with the books in the store.  They will be responsible for writing a newsletter column, website article, and perhaps a periodic e-mail update/Myspace bulletin to the e-mail list talking about new books.

Boxcar Inventory Development Notes

Feature Request

  • Books from Nebraska Book Company and MBS should always show up as used when entered into the inventory. (Also, I need to create a query to fix the existing entries.)  The reason why this needs to be done is because currently, the inventory automatically enters all books from distributors as new, but with textbooks this isn’t the case.  This is deceiving for the online inventory.
  • Add multiple inventory ecit form.  Essentially this would allow you to change everything that you can in the inventory edit form.
  • Add pickup option for shipping in the online store (charge no shipping)


  • On Abbey’s request, display subject instead of section in check-in form..


  • Based on Joe and request added the section of books to be checked in so they can easily be organized as they’re being checked in for shelving.


  • From Erin’s request, made the top sellers queries be for the last 2 months. I renamed them Last Two Month’s Top Book Sellers and Last Two Month’s Top Comic/Zine Sellers.


  • Based on something that Colin mentioned to me, Zines now show up in the inventory report, even if they are priced


  • Added checkbox in check_in_order form to designate order that is a special order.
  • Zines and books in the Children’s section no longer show up in the discount fiction/non-fiction inventory report.
  • Added two queries named ‘This Month’s Top Book Sellers’ and ‘This Month’s Top Comic/Zine Sellers’ that do what they’re named.
  • I returned the book Mastering Microsoft Access 2000 Development (ISBN:0-672-31484-3) to the library. It was actually really helpful.