FOREVER A BINC-ISTA

FOREVER A BINC-ISTA

By Denise Chávez

Binc Scholarship Winner

 

I am a bookseller from Casa Camino Real in Las Cruces, New Mexico. I am also the recipient of a Binc scholarship to the American Bookseller’s Winter Institute in Minneapolis. As a native Southern New Mexican to whom a 70° day signals a cold spell, it was hard to ponder a trip in the winter. Fear of flying. Fear of cold. Fear of leaving the cats, including my feral cat colony. All these elements made me ponder the monumental decision of leaving home. And yes, the decision was made!

I was so honored to receive the Binc scholarship. A fledgling bookseller along with my husband, Daniel Zolinsky, our bookstore, Casa Camino Real, on the Border of New Mexico, Texas and Northern México, serves the corridor between worlds, focusing on Southwestern, Regional, Native American, Latino, as well as Multi-Cultural books in many languages.

To say this scholarship changed my life is an understatement. I met intelligent, articulate and committed book activists during the conference. To spend these days in panels, workshops and sessions with these admirable and strong-hearted souls was a great blessing.  Learning the book business is a daily exercise, and requires both patience and stamina, as well as a will to advance the great and throbbing human heart of the world that lives and breathes though the great gift of story.

As both a writer and bookseller, it is my don, my gift to work with books. Don is the word in Spanish for a gift or blessing. As a Mexican-American bookseller, it is my Manda, my responsibility and charge, to encourage the diversity and richness of multicultural books, most especially in this time of challenge for us in the U.S. We are surrounded by those who fear books and what they teach us—the loving expansion that allows us to feel one with those from different backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities and life paths. As readers, we connect with the heart and spirit of the authors we read. We learn from them and grow in empathy and understanding.

It was a great joy to talk to Roger from Maria’s Bookstore in Durango, Colorado, about the books of the Spanish novelist, Roberto Bolaño, and to have ABA CEO Oren Teicher visit our historic adobe bookstore on the Camino Real and discuss the work of one of my favorite writers, Thomas Wolfe. As a lover of books, I never have enough opportunities to discuss the writers I love and appreciate.

The random and so important conversations in the many corridors and nooks and even bathrooms of the sprawling, impressive, and sometimes overwhelming Hyatt Regency afforded me the chance to sit with the Binc Family, Director Pamela French and her wonderful staff, Kathy Bartson and Kit Steinaway, and learn of the powerful work Binc does to support booksellers in need. I would not have been able to attend the Winter Institute were it not for the scholarship.

It was an honor to be selected—not only as someone who lives in remote part of the Southwest, but also—as a Mexican-American/Chicana who works hard to connect with the multicultural and Spanish language speaking community at Casa Camino Real, where a bilingual children’s book is the norm. Our readers are hungry to hear their voices and to see images of their lives reflected in books. I remember taking author Malin Alegría, author of Estrella’s Quinceañera, to a nearby valley elementary school in Vado, New Mexico, and hearing a young student say to her, “Miss, you’re my color!” No one had ever taken a Latino/Latina writer to their school and to see Malin there was a miracle to the young girl.

As a bookseller, one daily witness’s miracles. When a reader finds a book they have been looking for, it brings joy to both buyer and seller. And in a small way, each book is a miracle of faith and commitment.

Binc, the Book Industry Charitable Foundation, is a purveyor and witness to miracles. Helping booksellers in need, with valued resources in times of great challenge—it stands firm with its constituents, bolstering, uplifting, and encouraging them in manifold and monumental ways.

I am a proud BINC-ISTA—someone who knows the don, the gift of a Binc scholarship, and of the organization’s far-reaching and visionary work. My connection to Binc is a precious and valued gift that means more than words can ever say—and I am a writer!

I will always be a BINC-ISTA and will do all I can to encourage my fellow booksellers to promote and support this wonderful, needed, and valuable organization.

¡Muchíssimas Gracias, Binc! Thank you for your gift of faith!

 

Sincerely yours,

Denise Chávez
Casa Camino Real Bookstore
314 South Tornillo Street
Las Cruces, New Mexico 88001

 

BINCISTA

Wanda Jewell with Scholarship winners Mary Prewitt, DeAndra Beard and Denise Chavez at Celebration Dinner. Winter institute 2017

 

A Celebration of Binc Firsts

Binc Co-Ambassador Ann Patchett and John Rubin from Above the Treeline

Binc Co-Ambassador Ann Patchett and John Rubin from Above the Treeline

While in Minneapolis for Winter Institute 12 the Binc board and staff hosted a celebratory dinner in honor of long-standing supporters, including Binc Co-Ambassador Ann Patchett.

To celebrate the progress made over the past five years friends of the Foundation from across the industry gathered at Union Rooftop for an evening of gratitude and thanks. Many who have helped the Foundation from day-one were honored, including:

The American Booksellers Association
Oren, the board of directors and the entire staff have helped raise awareness of Binc in additional to providing financial support.

Regional Book Association Executive Directors
This dedicated and fierce group not only helped raise awareness but have continued to ask how they can help. Many thanks to Eileen, Brian, Laura, Andrea, Calvin, Steve, Carrie and Binc board members Wanda and Deb.

Ingram Content Group
From the very first event in 2012 to their expanded support in 2016 Ingram Content Group has been on our side. We cannot thank them enough for their support these past five years, and for being our top corporate donor in 2016.

Shelf Awareness
Their very generous in-kind donations have expanded awareness of Binc throughout the country and the book industry. 21% of booksellers first learned about Binc from Shelf Awareness.

Mike McKnight – Basil Bookseller Software
Because of Mike’s request we created a new category of donors, the corporate sustaining donor. Basil Bookseller Software became Binc’s first corporate sustaining donor. Thank you!

Christine Curry – A Novel Experience
We are grateful to Christine for signing up to be the first sustaining store donor. Yay, A Novel Experience!

Book, Inc
Several Northern California bookstores were recognized for their long-standing support. Books Inc. was recognized as the first bookstore in the country to offer employees the option to donate to the Foundation through payroll deduction. And Books, Inc. is also the first in the country to match employee donations dollar-for-dollar up to $100 per employee.

And Copperfield’s Books was recognized for not only being a sustaining monthly donor but also for offering donations via payroll deduction. In addition, Copperfield’s has the most employees donating to Binc through payroll deduction.

Literati Bookstore
In our hometown, we send our thanks to Hilary, Mike and all the book ninjas at Literati. They held the first bookstore fundraising event to benefit the Foundation by donating 50% of their sales to celebrate their one-year anniversary.

Village Books – Chuck Robinson
Chuck took to the roads and included the Foundation as one of the charities to benefit from his 2015 bike adventure across the U.S. Chuck and his supporters donated $9,550 and through 2015 was the single largest fundraising effort for Binc.

Sourcebooks
Our friends at Sourcebooks become the first publisher to match their employee’s donations dollar-for-dollar. Many thanks to Sean Murray for leading the effort and energizing the team at Sourcebooks to repeat their generosity for two years.

Above the Treeline
They were the first to contribute digital ad space in-kind and maintain the top spot for click-through rate on both the Binc Scholarship Program and the annual Campaign-to-Sustain.

HarperCollins
We would not have made the progress we have over the past five years without the support of Harper Sales rep Kate McCune. She is not only the first publisher sales rep to serve on the Binc board of directors but also the first sales rep advocate. And Kate introduced Ann Patchett to Binc!

Parnassus Books
In 2016, the Parnassus team came together to help out one of their own and created the Bank on Booksellers auction. The event was so successful that they were able to help Steph and also booksellers across the country with the new largest single donation to Binc of $18,001! Thank you does not begin to convey how much their generosity has helped booksellers.

Ann Patchett – Binc Co-Ambassador
Our inaugural ambassador has shared her time, expertise, connections and generously donated to Binc. She has whole-heartedly embraced the Foundation’s mission to help improve the lives of booksellers. The course of the Foundation has changed because of her support.

Pam French, Binc Executive Director says, “Our book industry friends have led the way in the effort for Binc to become sustainable. Their support has allowed the Foundation to help 168 families over the past five years with $332,000 in emergency grants. I cannot thank them enough!”

If you would like to get involved, get your store signed up as a sustaining donor or join the
payroll deduction program, click here for the simple instructions. Or you can contact Kathy Bartson at 734-471-0201 or kathy@bincfoundation.org.

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!

BOD Cake

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!

 

Binc’s Scholarship Help and New Programs

Chris Hsiang_Pam scholarship programs winter institute

At the Tattered Cover during WI11 in Denver: Scholarship winner Chris Hsiang from Compass Books with Pam French.

Binc has helped a variety of booksellers and their families help pay for higher education and provided key scholarship programs to booksellers attend industry events. Andrea Jones, who recently became co-owner of Galaxy Bookshop, Hardwick, Vt., was able to attend Winter Institute 11 in Denver because of “the generous scholarship from Binc,” she said. “During the week in Denver, I learned from other booksellers and industry professionals, but also from the wonderful representatives from Binc. It was really nice to hear that in this very exciting and rewarding world of bookselling, there are people dedicated to working to help others so they can continue to share great books and knowledge, support writers and publishers, support communities in the free exchange of ideas.”

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