Amidst the coronavirus outbreak, independent bookstores around the country have made an effort to help each other in whatever way they can, which has included donating to the #SaveIndieBookstores campaign as well as offering their expertise on a variety of topics during the American Booksellers Association’s COVID Coffee Breaks and Marketing Meetups (recordings of which can be viewed in ABA’s Education Resources).
Stores have also worked to help their communities during this uncertain time. Here are some of the ways independent bookstores have given back to their communities:
- Roxanne Coady of R.J. Julia Booksellers in Madison, Connecticut, is donating 30,000 books to 7,500 K–8 readers in New Haven and Bridgeport, Connecticut.
- Big Blue Marble Bookstore in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has dedicated the second floor of its store to mask-making. The masks will be donated to any healthcare providers who ask, and the store is accepting donations to cover the cost of materials.
- Doylestown Bookshop in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, has donated books to patients in isolation.
- The Village Bookstore in Pleasantville, New York, is collecting notes of appreciation, which will be delivered to staff at Phelps Hospital.
- Stillwater Books has partnered with the Pawtucket Public Library in Rhode Island so the community can support both at the same time.
- The Bookworm in Omaha, Nebraska, is hosting a quarantine puzzle exchange to benefit the Food Bank for the Heartland.
- Charm City Books in Baltimore, Maryland, is creating care packages for local medical staff and their families.
- Cover to Cover Books for Young Readers in Columbus, Ohio, is displaying posters thanking healthcare professionals, illustrated by children’s book author Daniel C. Kirk.
- Poor Richard’s Bookshop in Frankfort, Kentucky, has partnered with the Frankfort Independent Schools Foundation to collect monetary donations for a community fundraiser called Book Out.
- Southland Books and Cafe in Maryville, Tennessee, has opened a curbside farmer’s market.
- Alsace Walentine of Tombolo Books in St. Petersburg, Florida, is making special deliveries to customers on her bicycle every day. Carmichael’s Bookstore in Louisville, Kentucky, is also offering a home delivery service.