From positions at Powell’s in Portland, Ore.; managing inventory at Word Bookstore in Jersey City, N.J.; and bookselling at Elliott Bay Book Company and managing Third Place Books Seward Park in Seattle, Kim Hooyboer learned indie bookstores inside and out. Now Hooyboer is gearing up for their first in-person Winter Institute as ABA’s director of education. PW spoke with Hooyboer about the educational programming and resources rolling out at WI18.

You became ABA’s director of education in April 2022. What brought you to this role?

All of my extracurriculars have had to do with bookselling—in particular creating opportunities for stores to increase efficiency in operations and the ability to network—and my experience moving between stores gave me a good idea of the cross-pollination of ideas within the indie bookselling world. So when I talked with ABA CEO Allison Hill during the initial interview process, I was like, the only thing that could get me out of the bookstore is this job, because I feel like I’ve been doing this my entire career.

As the new director of education, what have been your first priorities?

In the past six months, we got dropped immediately into in-person Children’s Institute, and the moment Children’s Institute was over, we were working on Winter Institute. I feel grateful to see the amount of work my colleagues, Lisa Winn and Gen de Botton, do to create the education for these shows. One of the first things I wanted to do this year was to share information around the profit and loss statement. We were able to do that at the fall shows. Most of us don’t go into bookselling because we really like math, so it was cool to create an education session that was usable for frontline booksellers who aren’t necessarily familiar with financial statements.

What educational resources are you developing?

The pandemic has taught us a lot about how to package resources outside of the in-person conferences, and we’re going to be launching a resource library. For example, I personally have written a consignment contract for at least three different bookstores that I’ve worked at; almost every bookstore needs a consignment contract and we keep reinventing the wheel. So I plan to develop basic templates that stores can grab and edit.

What ideas are you looking to develop as you interact with participants at Winter Institute?

We’ve designated certain sessions to be video recorded and available for the virtual institute, and we’re prioritizing audio recording for others, hoping to bring that audio to podcast format. From my time in bookselling, I recognize that the majority of the time when somebody is watching a session after the fact, they’ve got their laptop precariously sitting on a pile of Hachette boxes while they’re receiving or processing returns; they can’t really watch. So one of my priorities from the get-go has been making sure our content is presented in a way that’s actually consumable by booksellers.

In addition to technical forms and tools for daily operations, how will ABA be educating on HR elements like diversity, equity, and inclusion?

Lisa Winn, our longtime senior education manager, has been lead for the education programming at Winter Institute. There’s a conflict resolution session with Caprice Hollins from Cultures Connecting, a Seattle-based organization, and there’s a through line in our programming focused on ensuring that we are meeting the end policies of ABA in our commitment to DEI. Whether we’re looking at frontline concerns, small data, or sidelines, our programming is infused with a DEI focus and a recognition that DEI is part of every conversation.

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