The Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom & Ireland Limited

Booksellers Association to launch Community Booksellers Group

15/06/2021
The Booksellers Association has today announced plans to launch a Community Booksellers Group, providing support and services for community booksellers within the BA’s membership.

The Community Booksellers Group will allow members to share guidance and best practices, offer specialist mentoring, and develop resources specifically for community bookshops. The Group will also represent the needs of community booksellers within the membership and beyond, helping to guide the Booksellers Association when it comes to policy affecting bookshops in this sector.

The Booksellers Association is inviting community booksellers to apply to join the Group from today. Criteria for membership requires member bookshops to be non-profit, community owned and created for community benefit, as a CIC or Social Enterprise.

Meryl Halls, Managing Director of the Booksellers Association, 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 Booksellers Association, 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, 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, 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, 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 & 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 meryl.halls@booksellers.org.uk  in the first instance.