Bookstore Manager Kathy Crawford Retires

After 22 years, a familiar face has said goodbye to Nebraska Wesleyan University.

Prairie Wolves Bookstore manager Kathy Crawford retired on March 1.

As bookstore manager, Crawford was responsible for the behind-the-scenes tasks of providing students with textbooks. She ordered books, was in charge of hiring, and handled the day-to-day operations of the store.

“My favorite part of my time here was the students and faculty,” said Crawford. “They have always been super.”

She has watched students come and go throughout their time at Nebraska Wesleyan.

“I had one student who returned after many years to say hello and let me know she still used a backpack she bought from the store,” said Crawford.

She recalled the vast array of changes she's seen with textbooks particularly in more recent years thanks to the internet. Students have looked to alternative places to purchase textbooks as they became available online; textbook rental has become another option, and more students are downloading digital books, which the bookstore is working to expand as more digital books become available. The bookstore has also changed locations from the lower level of the student center to the current location near the student center's main entrance.

Crawford will soon move to Republican City with her husband.

“We have owned a house there for 20 years and built on, so we are ready to move there,” she said. “We will also be closer to our grandchildren and look forward to going to their events.”

When asked what she will miss most about working at the Prairie Wolves Bookstore, Crawford said she will need to adjust to not being busy.

“It will be strange to wake up in the morning and only worry about making coffee,” she said.

Crawford will be replaced by Colby Venema, who most recently managed the University Book Shop in Lawrence, Kansas. Venema is a 2005 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He started his career with Nebraska Book Company as a store manager in training in Radford, Va. From there he went on to manage The College Store in Overland Park, Kan., before taking the position in Lawrence. Venema can be reached at


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Kathy Crawford retired from the Prairie Wolves Bookstore after 22 years.