Binc participates in CI5

The fifth American Booksellers Association ABC Children’s Institute provided Binc with the opportunity to connect with booksellers, publishers, store owners and authors.

The event featured a number of excellent panels and keynote speakers, including: Ilsa Govan, Jason Reynolds and Rachel Ignotofsky. Binc Board member and Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association Executive Director Deb Leonard provided a great summary in her organization’s most recent newsletter.

CI5 was an awesome experience- honestly, I was awestruck many times.  The authors were wonderful, the education was helpful and informative, but this year everything else was blown away by the speakers. 

The opening keynote was Ilsa Govan, author of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Strategies for facilitating Conversations on Race by Rowman & Littlefield.  With just a few short exercises, Ms Govan showed us how to illustrate some innate biases that we all have.   Her program showed ways to talk about race, culture and gender in non-confrontational ways.  It was a knock out!

Jason Reynolds has been a winner of the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent; the Coretta Scott King Honor Book, Walter Dean Myers Award, winner of the Time Book of the Year and of the Kirkus Award, not to mention being a National Book Award Finalist. Jason is always highly entertaining, as well-as thought-provoking, and he was at his best here. If you ever have doubts about what a difference books can make in a child’s life, watch this program.

A conversation between Phillip and Erin Stead and their editor highlighted the journey from a scribbled note found buried in Mark Twain’s Files to the amazing The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine coming in September from Doubleday. The painstaking process of creating an illustrated book from a few notes from America’s best known author was daunting, but after hearing the Steads relate their efforts to bring this story to life, I am sure this will be a publishing event not to be forgotten.

Marley Dias is a 13-year-old black girl who was frustrated by not finding a single story in her school’s library that featured young black girls doing ordinary or even exciting things. Not one featuring a brainiac black girl astronaut with her trailblazing space poodle; not one with a fierce black girl fashion designer with her frisky Rottweiler on a rhinestone leash; not one about a black girl forensic anthropologist wither her inquisitive collie.  So, she decided that she would collect books with black girls as the main character. Not just a few books, but 1000 books! And she would give them away to places they were needed most. Marley started her campaign, and #1000BlackGirlBooks was born.  Marley was a featured speaker at White House United State of Women Summit, named “Coolest kid in America” by Ebony Magazine, selected by Teen Vogue as among the “10 amazing Black women who are changing the game”, and on and on.  Her book Marley Dias Gets it Done is coming from Scholastic this fall. This young lady should be on your radar!

The closing keynote speaker was Rachel Ignotofsky, author of Women in Science by Ten Speed Press. It was a fascinating talk about combining illustration and science literacy.  One of the most interesting details was that as she began the research for this book, Ms Ignotofsky expected that the reason there weren’t many well-known female scientists is because there weren’t many women who had opportunities to do become scientists.  To her (and our) great surprise, she found that there were hundreds in almost every discipline!  It was shocking, but not surprising that many, many women had achieved great success in many scientific endeavors, but that, because they were women, they had never been recognized. She intends to continue her search for unsung women with a book on Women in Sports coming this fall from Ten Speed.

Binc Scholarship recipient Kimberly Cake, of Enchanted Passage in Sutton Massachusetts was among the panelists included in a discussion on making a store more accessible for patrons and staff with disabilities. You can read more about it in Shelf Awareness.

Binc scholarship winner Kimberly Cake discusses creating an inclusive environment for patrons and staff with disabilities.

Binc scholarship winner Kimberly Cake discusses creating an inclusive environment for patrons and staff with disabilities.

Cake wasn’t the only Binc scholarship winner to make some waves in Portland. Sue Roegge of Chapter2Books participated in the question-and-answer portion of the presentation by Marley Dias on the need for diversity in school libraries and her #1000BlackGirlBooks campaign.

Sue Roegge, of Chapter2Books, asks a question during a presentation by Marley Dias. (Binc photo/Adam Gac)

Sue Roegge, of Chapter2Books, asks a question during a presentation by Marley Dias. (Binc photo/Adam Gac)

Between panels and keynote speakers, CI participants stopped by the Binc Foundation consultation station. Representatives from bookstores, other nonprofits, publishers and more visited with Executive Director Pam French to talk about the importance of our safety net for booksellers.

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“As a first-time attendee, the energy and enthusiasm at Children’s Institute were inspiring!” French said. “I loved everything from the keynote presentations to the author reception to meeting booksellers and authors. This was the perfect place to let booksellers know about Binc and how the Foundation can help out when life doesn’t go as planned.”

The event was a sink-or-swim test for new Communication Coordinator Adam Gac, who was promptly overwhelmed by the incredible positivity of the children’s book industry professionals.

“Everyone was so excited to be there and to grow together. Even though I’m still new to the job, long-time Binc supporters and former grant recipients made me feel like I was part of the family,” Gac said.

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Opening a bookstore is a daunting task, even for someone having broad bookselling and book industry knowledge. Just like our partners at Paz & Associates, Binc is dedicated to helping book people thrive in an industry that can be a challenge.

This post on the Paz & Associates blog from October offers some insight on how to make it as a bookstore owner.

Paz and Associates logoPeople often ask us to describe the kinds of people who are most successful bookstore owners. The answers may be surprising … the ability to master spreadsheets is not top of the list!

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Opened book on a sand with green sunglassesAs an entrepreneur in the publishing and entertainment field, the time and money to take a vacation is rare. Every writer, publisher, and corporate entertainment entity operates on its own schedule, not mine. The clients and colleagues with whom I work bring to life the television shows, music, books, games, toys, and news consumed by millions everyday. And I have to be prepared and available when needed. That is why I jumped at the opportunity to travel with a friend, who is also the Public Information Officer for the town in which we live, to Clearwater, Florida recently for her annual pilgrimage to the NIOA (National Information Officers Association) Conference. I know that work never stops. But, I looked forward to the chance to change the view and my surroundings, and a little fun, while I kept up my daily work schedule. Not to mention the semi-vacation was about half the cost of what a real vacation would have been. Sign me up! I packed my bags and we hit the road. I was intrigued by the notion that I could learn about the NIOA and hear from my friend about some of the cases they were to cover at the conference. Among the highlights of this year’s conference, they covered how the FBI managed the media for the Boston Marathon Bombing, the 2013 Alabama child-hostage bunker crisis (Midland City, Al.), and Cleveland’s kidnapping victims of Aerial Castro. NCIS also gave a presentation about the Washington Navy Yard Shooting Rampage and its challenges. While I was unable to attend the conference sessions, it was great to hear about what the attendees were able to learn from the presentations.

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In Memoriam: Mary Fitzgerald

Mary FitzMary Fitz volunteering with Jeanne Joesten at the Zombie Apocalypse Fundraiser

The Binc Foundation, Borders Alumni family and the book industry at large lost a good friend recently with the passing of Mary Fitzgerald. Mary spent the majority of her adult life immersed in the book industry. Working for B. Dalton and Barnes & Noble then moving to Waldenbooks and later to Borders, she helped make bookselling (and book buying) a great experience for all. Mary traveled the world setting up stores and in the process developed a love of travel and meeting new people. Although her professional career recently took her from books to building materials (working for Lowe’s), Mary never left the book industry behind. She surrounded herself with books and the people who loved them.

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