GENESEO – The iconic Sundance Book Barn has closed after 15 years of service to SUNY Geneseo students. However, Sundance’s Main Street store continues on it’s 43rd year in business and plans to meet the demands of the digital age.
The out-post for textbooks, located on School Street, has been re-absorbed into the Main Street book store. The book barn once served more than 2,500 students, half the student population of SUNY Geneseo. However, the Main Street flagship store remains open and ready to meet student and local needs.
“I look forward to helping every individual,” said Fred Mingrino, owner of Sundance books. “That’s the joy of succeeding in small business.”
Apparently, it was the digital age, where students now assume that the best deal is found online, that left small bookstores like Sundance to fend for themselves, caught in the crossfire between big businesses such as Amazon and Barns and Noble.
The textbook outpost began out of necessity. Students of the 1980’s looked for a place where they could purchase books at a lower cost.
According to Mingrino, he purchased the book barn after it had gone through the hands of the Gentleman Jim’s bar and the owners of the In-Between. Students quickly became attached to the barn as Mingrino put the time into painting the exterior with fascinating murals and as a place to always find the materials they needed.
Mingrino says it was he who first developed the pre-packaged textbook deal, which SUNY quickly implemented.
“We’ll still be providing printed texts,” said Mingrino. “We will expand as necessary to meet student needs.”