Praveen Madan, CEO of Kepler's Books & Magazines, Menlo Park, Calif., is organizing a national, virtual meeting with the theme "Reimagining Bookstores." There will be two three-hour sessions spread out over two days, Monday and Tuesday, October 18 and 19.
As the invitation puts it: "Imagine bookstores with new ways to engage their communities, easy access to funding and new business models. Now imagine these bookstores having strategies to increase readership, attract and retain high-caliber staff, and provide meaningful careers paying meaningful wages. Through these bookstores our communities deepen literacy, increase civic engagement, and become stronger.
"If you can imagine this scenario, then it is time to embrace bookstores as a social cause. It is time to invest in bookstores so they have the means to strengthen and reinvent themselves. We seek to launch a movement to encourage a new wave of investments in bookstores similar to the investments that have historically been made in public libraries, museums, public radio and television, and non-profit journalism and literacy organizations.
"To create this transformational change, we need you!
"We invite you to dream and collaborate together--to reimagine and transform America's bookstores into next-generation community bookstores, to help literary entrepreneurs open new bookstores in book deserts, and to help bookstores strengthen their place in the hearts of their communities as thriving centers for ideas and conversations.
The sessions will use the principles of Open Space, a format "geared to inspiring stimulating conversations, exciting innovations, new thinking, and unusual collaborations. You will set the agenda based on what you care about and the questions you have. Zoom's breakout rooms create spaces for small group conversations to develop ideas and connect with each other. You and other participants can explore different groups and topics throughout the event."
"Reimagining Bookstores" is co-hosted by the Avid Bookshop, Athens, Ga.; Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, N.C.; BookSmart, Morgan Hill, Calif.; Booksmith, San Francisco, Calif.; Buffalo Street Books, Buffalo, N.Y.; Cavalier House Books, Denham Springs, La.; Kepler's Books, Menlo Park, Calif.; Seminary Co-op Bookstores, Chicago, Ill.; Third Place Books, Seattle, Wash.; Tubby & Coo's, New Orleans, La.; and Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria, New York, N.Y.
For more information, click here.