2016 In Review – Celebrating our 20th Anniversary

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What a year 2016 was for Binc! When we sat down to think about all the things that we did in 2016 we were blown away by our accomplishments and by the huge amount of support we received from across the book industry!

We invite you to enjoy Part One of our 2016 accomplishments! Part Two is coming soon!

Higher Education Scholarship Program

In 2016, Binc awarded 27 higher education scholarships to bookstore employees, bookstore owners or their dependents for a total of $109,000 in assistance! These scholarships will help booksellers, and their family members, achieve their dreams of becoming doctors, lawyers, authors, career booksellers, teachers and social workers. We couldn’t be more proud of our recipients and love receiving thank you notes from them.

            “I honestly can’t say enough how grateful I am for Binc. With the Foundation’s tremendous support, I am able to continue my college education without as much stress on my financial situation as I have in the past. The scholarship means even more to my parents who work so hard as independent bookstore owners.”
– Nicole Hillard, scholarship recipient

 

You can learn more about our winners here.

The 2017 Higher Education Scholarship Program begins accepting applications on January 16th. Check the scholarship page for more information and to apply.

We Turned 20 years old!

On February 20, 2016 Binc celebrated our 20th anniversary! We have spent the whole year gratefully reflecting on everyone who helped us along the way! From the original group of Borders employees that started the Foundation as a way to help their fellow employees in need, to the board members that worked to forge the transition and created the Book Industry Charitable Foundation, to our current board, staff and supporters.  Many people have worked to make sure the original mission of helping booksellers in need will endure.

You can read our 20th anniversary blog post here!

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To kick off the 20th anniversary celebration, we worked with our good friends at Shelf Awareness to create a dedicated issue to chronicle the history of The Foundation and to thank our many supporters – old and new. It was an “enlightening” and exciting endeavor for us!

Winter Institute – Denver, CO

Pam and Kit attended ABA’s Winter Institute in sunny Denver. Their time was action-packed from the opening reception held at the iconic Tattered Cover Bookstore to welcoming the Binc Scholarship recipients* to meetings at their Consultation Station.

A highlight was getting to meet the 2016 scholarship recipients. Binc board members, committee members and scholarship recipients come together for dinner on Sunday evening. And of course, the topic most discussed….book recommendations! Unfortunately, a snowstorm kept David Bradley from attending, but now we have a reason to visit the Research Triangle Park area of NC.

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As always, the education sessions were informative and useful. The New Localism session outlined the importance of maintaining local business for healthy and sustainable communities. And keynote speaker Kwame Alexander passed a few of his secrets to success – “Always smile and say yes”.

 * Binc’s WI Scholarship Winners
Andrea Jones of Galaxy Bookshop in Hardwick, VT
James Crossley of Island Books in Mercer Island, WA
David Bradley of Letters Bookshop in Durham, NC
Veronica Brooks-Sigler of Octavia Books in New Orleans, LA
Christopher Hsiang of Compass Books in San Francisco, CA

 

 First In-person Board of Directors Meeting

 BOD Group

Another high point of our 20th year celebration was to gather our board of directors for the first in-person board meeting preceding BEA in Chicago. Our board members are spread across different parts of the country and many had never met in person before. It was so beneficial for everyone to meet face to face and to get to know each other between sessions. Discussing topics that ranged from past accomplishments and successes to creating our strategic road map for future planning and goal setting, the board came away energized about Binc’s future.

We also had cake!

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Book Expo America

After our board meeting we were ready to go to Book Expo America. We visited with lots of old friends from across the book industry, on the trade show floor! From publishers to authors to booksellers the book industry mixed and mingled. We also had the chance to meet many new booksellers who were attending BEA for the first time because of the new Chicago location. After the tradeshow floor closed, Binc staff and board members hosted a 20th anniversary “Drinks with Binc” party. We had a great turn out with Binc fans from all facets of the book industry having a great time catching up with friends and colleagues.

For a third time, Binc was the designated charity for the very popular Publishers Group West party! This was PGW’s 40th anniversary party and their guests generously donated almost $1,300 to Binc to help booksellers. The great Mavis Staples and her band put on a tremendous show and had everyone cheering for more!

 Kathy Bartson joins Binc as Development Director

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Not long after returning from BEA, Binc became a staff of 4. Kathy Bartson joined Binc as Development Director and hit the ground running. Our goal of ensuring the financial security of the Foundation is being achieved everyday as Kathy helps to spread the message of how Binc helps the book industry. Kathy is focused on continuing the Foundation’s work with individuals, publishers, authors and many others toward becoming an industry-sustained organization.

Binc’s First Children’s Institute

Children’s book buyers from across the country met in Orlando in June for the ABA’s Children’s Institute. Binc was please to be included as part of the Consultation Station and was warmly received by the booksellers and authors attending. This conference gave Binc the opportunity to get our message to a new group of booksellers, many of whom have not attended other nation bookseller events, leading to several booksellers in need applying for financial assistance. There is no substitute for talking to bookstore owners and booksellers face to face – wherever they are meeting! You can read a summary blog from Program Committee member Hannah Lee who attended Children’s Institute.

 

Stay tuned for Part Two of our 2016 Review!

 

Hannah Lee Reports from Children’s Institute 4

Hannah Lee

Hannah Lee from Main Point Books is a member of Binc’s Program Committee and serves as a member of the Diversity Task Force. The goal of the Diversity Task Force is to draw more people of diverse backgrounds into bookselling and to help those already in the industry to stay and excel.

Hannah attended Children’s Institute 4 in Orlando and presented on a panel on children’s nonfiction that was well attended. Here is Hannah’s report from the conference.

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Get on the Local First Bandwagon

Local FirstStacy Mitchell, from the Institute for Self-Reliance, gave the audience at this fall’s Heartland Fall Forum a pep-talk about the popularity of buy local campaigns. Interest in local businesses and what they can offer to their communities is on the rise. In many areas local businesses are opening at a higher rate than non-local businesses. More and more it is becoming apparent that Americans want to live in cities and towns with a strong indie presence. People want to get back to basics, create a more personal environment and the makeup of their communities matter to them. These tighter knit communities include grocers, hardware stores, restaurants, pet stores, and yes, bookstores too. Stacy sees this as a backlash to the decades of impersonal big box stores that have pushed out the more traditional mom and pop operations.

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Binc Foundation Assistance Rises Dramatically

Foundation Assistance Rises Dramatically

Last year at this time, the Binc Foundation had received and approved two financial assistance grants, both were related to medical expenses. This year, with industry support, Binc has seen a steady increase in requests, receiving 17 requests during the same period. And this year’s requests have been for a wider variety of qualifying events including utility shut-off prevention, loss of household income, homelessness prevention, as well as serious medical expenses. These requests, which average $1,900 are coming from booksellers across the country, working both for independent bookstores and bookstore chains.

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What I Learned from Booksellers

GLIBA spring meeting 2014Being in a room with a group of energetic booksellers was a great way to spend a sunny winter day in Cleveland. The Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association held their spring meeting with Oren Teicher and Joy Dallanegra-Sanger of the American Booksellers Association leading a lively discussion about what makes indie bookstores special and how they can continue to thrive. It was impossible not to get swept into the tide of creative ideas coming from the 30+ booksellers assembled.

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