Ingram Content Group Talks with Pam About How Binc Helps Booksellers

Published with permission from Ingram Content Group. Many thanks to Ingram for their continued support of Binc and our mission to help booksellers across the nation.

Everyone impacts the world through books. Whether it’s the bookstore manager or the librarian who helps a kid select his or her first book, the book publishing industry is supported by people just like you.

Ingram Q & A

When life happens, it’s important to support our peers when times get tough. Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc) provides financial assistance to booksellers in need. We recently spoke with Pamela French, Binc’s Executive Director, to find out more about their history and what’s important to them when it comes to helping booksellers in need.

Q: How did the Binc Foundation start?

A: The idea was planted when booksellers on one side of the country were impacted by a natural disaster, and their co-workers wanted to help them. Borders employees and executives set out to create a non-profit organization focused on helping each other.

Over the years, as the Foundation helped more and more booksellers it became a way for all Borders employees to get involved through events, fundraising, and volunteering. After Borders liquidated in 2012, the Foundation expanded to help all booksellers across the nation. We work with supportive partners like Ingram, the American Booksellers Association, and all the regional book associations to let booksellers know Binc is here to help.

This year, the Foundation celebrates 20 years of helping booksellers! More than 7,000 booksellers and their families have received just over $6M in support from Binc.

Q: What’s the importance of helping those in the book industry?

A: People get into the book industry out of a passion and love for reading, writing and sharing ideas. The Binc Foundation safety net strengthens the book industry by allowing book people to continue the work they love.

Q: What’s your history with books and their impact?

A: I’m fortunate to have always had books in my life. From a young age, I remember my parents reading to me and spending time every evening reading their own books. It was a natural path to take when I graduate from college. I answered an ad in a newspaper for a manager-in-training at Waldenbooks in Salt Lake City. I, then, spent the next 23 years on the retail side of the industry with Waldenbooks, Brentano’s, and then Borders.

Q: What has been your most memorable fundraiser?

A: One of the most memorable was a fall fundraising Zombie Apocalypse event that took place on Halloween weekend. The event was held at a brewing company complete with beer tasting and a silent auction. We even had a local dance troupe performed the dance from Thriller! They were dressed as zombie ballerinas and did an outstanding performance. It was very memorable and got a wide range of people involved

Q: What has been Binc’s proudest moment?

A: There are two that really stick out. The first was while I was visiting family in West Virginia. After three years of working to raise awareness about the Binc Foundation across the country, I walked into a bookstore to let them know about Binc. Before I even said a word the bookseller saw my card and the Binc logo and said, “Hey, I know about the Foundation.” It was one of those moments that you work towards and when it happens you know the hard work has paid off because booksellers know they can find help when they face a financial crisis.

Additionally, a dream come true moment happened this year when Ann Patchett enthusiastically agreed to be the inaugural Binc Ambassador. And she brought James Patterson on board as co-ambassador. It all came together this summer, and some days, it still feels like a dream. It’s an indication that the hard work of the volunteers, board members, store owners, and staff has paid off. More booksellers will learn about Binc not only when they need help, but if they want to give help too.

Q: How can someone get involved? What are the different committees someone can join?

A: Anyone interested in helping booksellers can get involved by joining a committee. The committees focus on programs, finance, marketing, and fundraising. We are always looking to expand our expertise within the book industry, and joining one of our committees is a great way to help. Also, if someone is interested in board service I’d love to talk with them. We are currently looking to add a lawyer and a store owner to our board.

And, of course, becoming a donor is another way to get involved and help ensure the Foundation is around for another 20 years.

Q: Last year, you gave 27 students a total of $109,000 in scholarships to fund their education. What’s the power of these scholarships for students?

A: The higher education scholarships give students the freedom to focus on their studies without worrying about where the money will come from to pay tuition or student loans. We have gotten many wonderful thank you notes from recipients saying how Binc’s scholarship has helped them achieve their career goals. Also, we’ve heard from family members about how a scholarship for their dependent helped them remain employed at their bookstore job while sending their child to college.

In one specific situation, a bookseller from Idaho was attending college to become a primary school teacher. Binc was able to assist with his final year of college, giving financial relief to his growing and financially stressed family. Binc’s scholarship helped produce one of the few male primary school teachers in the area, and this former bookseller, is now molding readers of the future and instilling a love of reading and books in children.

Q: What are Binc’s goals for the next five years? How will the organization grow to support our book community?

A: We spent that past four years not only spreading the word that the Foundation is here to help, but also working to determine if there was a longer term need for Binc. Through the number of grant requests, survey feedback, and overall interest we have determined that yes, there is a need for the Foundation’s services.

Our strategic framework for the next five years includes:

  • Awareness of and pride in the role Binc plays in helping to create a healthy and diverse bookstore community. Every bookstore and employee across the country knows about Binc and takes personal pride in and ownership of Binc as “my Foundation.”
  • Financially sustained by the industry; including publishers, distributors, wholesalers, authors, bookstores, and the public.
  • Strong and meaningful partnerships with the industry leaders.
  • Build on our program support to continue to meet the needs of the industry.

Want to get involved with Binc like we have? Find out how you can help support booksellers, become a Binc Advocate or strengthen a bookseller’s safety net with a donation.

Booksellers tell what Binc means to them

These booksellers are proud to support the Binc Foundation and the work we do to provide assistance to bookstore employees in need. Thanks to all the booksellers that appear in this video for their support of the Foundation and for helping us to spread the word!

This post is a reprint of Binc’s dedicated Shelf Awareness Issue from March 30, 2016. To learn more about the Binc Foundation and how we help booksellers you can read the full article, here.

The Best of NEIBA’s Fall Show

I attended NEIBA’s Fall Trade Show in Providence, RI September 20th – 22nd. Great author talks, conversations with booksellers, store owners, publishers and distributors were too numerous to mention them all, so here are my top 10:

  • Meeting Binc scholarship winners Liz & Russ DeFonce from Moose Maple Books  in Saranac Lake, NY. We started talking books, but wandered off into gardening, birds and furniture making. (Check out the gorgeous furniture Russ creates as Bookman Designs)

NEIBA's Fall Trade Show Liz-and-Russ

  • Andrea Beaty’s presentation of the many “secrets” hidden in the illustrations to her new book, Ada Twist Scientist. It is like a scavenger hunt for fans of her books!
  • Having booksellers, stores and publishers find their names on our giant donor banner. Everyone likes to see their name in print. Getting to thank our donors in person and fill them in on what their donations have accomplished is something we love to do.

neiba-table

  • Listening to those not on the list say “Our name should be there.” I was happy to explain all the donation options to ensure that next time around, their name will be listed!
  • Seeing our Binc magnets and bookmarks on the table at the HarperCollins booth! I’m not sure who in their group put them out, but THANK YOU!
  • Talking to a variety of people about joining our committees and adding their knowledge and enthusiasm to the Foundation. There is a real interest in helping Binc continue to help book people.
  • Staying at the Providence Biltmore, a gem of a hotel, built in the 1920’s. The ballroom was an amazing venue for the Awards Dinner!
  • Listening Elizabeth Strout after receiving the President’s Award. I am a real fan of Olive Kitteridge and My Name is Lucy Barton.
  • Meeting so many great new-to-me authors and adding too many books to my to-be-read pile. In full disclosure; this happens at all of the trade shows, it isn’t unique to NEIBA.
  • Enjoying a lovely back road drive down from Boston and visiting An Unlikely Story, Annie’s Book Stop and Ugly Dog Books along the way. Bookstore to bookstore is my favorite way to travel.

Thank You NEIBA!

A big thank you to Steve Fischer, Nan Sorenson and the NEIBA board for including Binc in NEIBA’s fall trade show again this year. I always look forward to the chance we have at the regional shows to address the membership and update booksellers on the state of their Foundation.

Next stop . . . Tacoma!

Kit

2016 Campaign to Sustain – We thank our donors!

Campaign to Sustain

The Binc Foundation would like to thank everyone who donated to our 2016 Campaign to Sustain in the month of May. With your help (all 32 of you!) we were able to raise funds that will be used to grant financial assistance to booksellers from across the country facing financial crisis.

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Once Upon a Time

20th FB header

The year was 1996, when a group of Borders booksellers had a dream of helping their colleagues in need. Their idea was simple, collect small donations from a large number of booksellers and make those funds available to a coworker facing a personal financial hardship. The donors wouldn’t miss the $5 or $10 a month that they donated, but added together, these funds could pool together to change someone’s life in a very meaningful way.

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Writing Binc’s Next Chapter on Sustainability

Writing the Next Chapter on SustainabilityThe mission of the Book Industry Charitable Foundation is focused on being an organization that strengthens the bookselling community through financial assistance programs that help bookstore employees and their families in times of personal financial crisis. The Foundation has become a safety net for booksellers across the nation providing care in times of crisis.

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Booksellers Appreciated at Heartland Fall Forum

Thanks HFF

From October 9 – 11 independent booksellers from the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association (GLIBA) and the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association (MIBA) came together for a weekend of industry education, inspiring authors, and of course books, during the 4th annual Heartland Fall Forum. The underlying theme of the weekend was an appreciation of the work that indie booksellers do and the dedication they have for literature and the industry.

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Bookin’ the Rockies & Rockin’ the Bookies

books and beerKit enjoyed spending time with the booksellers from Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association recently in Denver. It all began with a brief presentation at their annual membership meeting, letting the booksellers know that their support (financial and moral) is making a difference in the lives of their colleagues across the country. A hearty thank you to Laura Ayrey and her board of directors for allowing Binc this valuable platform.

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