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.”

For her part, Veronica K. Brooks-Sigler of Octavia Books, New Orleans, La., was “thrilled” to receive a scholarship to Winter Institute 11, too. “I would not have been able to go otherwise, and the Binc people were in Colorado to welcome me, and I often went to their booth to decompress from one session or another.”

Pam and Veronica from Octavia scholarship programs WI11
Scholarship winner Veronica K. Brooks-Sigler from Octavia Books with Pam at the Tattered Cover in Denver.

Binc was a Highlight

Likewise, James Crossley of Island Books, Mercer Island, Wash., was able to attend WI11 because of a Binc scholarship that “reimbursed me for my flight and covered my hotel expenses as well as registration fees.”

In Denver, he continued, “Pam French and Kit Steinaway were among the first people I met, and they couldn’t have been more kind or gracious. They hosted a dinner for me and other scholarship attendees, and every time I bumped into them I learned more about how much their organization has grown over the years. I took away a lot of useful information from WI11, ideas that are daily helping my store thrive and better serve its community, but my experience with Binc was a highlight. I’m very grateful for what they did for me and what they continue to do for so many others.”

Dedicated Scholarship Programs

The board has set up a dedicated scholarship and is considering creating additional such scholarship programs. Last year, it created the Karl Pohrt Memorial Scholarship in honor of the late owner of the Shaman Drum Bookshop, Ann Arbor, Mich., for a student who has overcome adversity. Lori Tucker-Sullivan, executive director of Independent Booksellers Consortium and a Binc board member, noted that “Karl was a true friend and one of the best and most dedicated booksellers I’ve ever known, and I’m so happy to have a small part in honoring him this way. Through [this and other] efforts, Binc helps booksellers and their dependents to reach goals, improve their lives, and become better, smarter booksellers.”

Diversity Task Force Professional Scholarship

Ken White of Query Books noted that Binc has formed a diversity task force and aims to create a scholarship to help people of color attend the Winter Institute and other industry events. The task force is working on “initiatives to create increased opportunity for people of all backgrounds to grow as professionals, to bring home fantastic ideas to increase profitability at their stores or companies, to contribute toward the common success of bookstores and publishers, and ultimately to become leaders in our businesses and organizations.”

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