The Booksellers Association (BA) is launching a group to support and provide services for community bookshops which are part of its membership.
Joining the group requires bookshops to be non-profit, community-owned and created for community benefit, as a community interest company or social enterprise.
The community booksellers group will enable members to share guidance and best practices, offer mentoring and develop resources specifically for community bookshops. It will also represent the needs of community booksellers within the membership and beyond, helping to guide the BA on its policies.
Meryl Halls, m.d. of the BA, said: “Community bookshops are a distinct group within the bookselling community, facing their own unique challenges and operating under different ownership structures. As such, we are pleased to announce the launch of a community booksellers group within the BA, which will provide support to community booksellers and act as a voice championing the needs of these bookshops within the membership and the wider industry.”
Tracy Kenny, shop manager at Kett’s Books in Wymondham, Norfolk, commented: “Bookselling is hard, and running a bookshop as a community creates an additional layer of complications from the start. The community booksellers group is a really exciting development — we can't wait to support each other in sharing what to avoid, learning what works, and generally helping each other manage our unique challenges for the business and community benefit.”
Dee Lalljee, manager at The Bookery in Crediton, Devon, added: “We are proud to be part of the creative, resilient independent bookselling tribe who strive to place bookshops at the heart of their communities. Operating as a community-owned non-profit organisation, we are passionately committed to providing benefit to the communities we serve.
"In working with the BA to set up this group we hope to share the challenges and opportunities of this type of bookselling, create frameworks and solutions for making a meaningful difference, and explore how best to contribute to the indie booksellers network as a whole.”
Booksellers who meet the criteria for membership should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.