The New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association (NAIBA) has taken on the task of creating a formal certification program for the bookselling industry.
“For years, booksellers across the country have been asking for a “career path” in bookselling. I believe that NAIBA’s Professional Bookselling Certification will provide an important first step along this path,” says Bill Reilly, Co-owner, the river’s end bookstore, and NAIBA Board President.
This is a nation-wide program, with NAIBA spearheading the creation, execution and oversight. NAIBA will work with the American Booksellers Association and the other regional booksellers’ associations on every aspect of the program.
The Professional Bookselling Certification program will consist of five modules. The modules include: Basic Bookselling, Staff & Human Resources, Store & Operations Management, Event Management, and Inventory Management. Upon completion of each module, a bookseller will receive certification in that topic. When a bookseller completes all five modules, they will receive the designation of Certified Professional Bookseller. There is also a stand-alone module, Career Bookseller Fast Track, for seasoned booksellers, which will encompass the information in the individual modules. Upon completion of the Fast Track, a bookseller will receive the designation of Certified Professional Bookseller.
Each course will have a Dean, multiple instructors, assessment tools, exercises and homework, and required online and in-person courses. In-person instruction will take place at existing regional and national conferences.
NAIBA plans to roll out the Event Management module in 2020, followed by the Career Bookseller Fast Track module. There will be course fees with each module, along with available scholarships.
“I’ve been in the industry for almost 40 years, and professionalism and training have always been a driving force behind national and regional programs,” said Eileen Dengler, executive director of NAIBA. “People have been asking for some recognition for bookselling skills, and now NAIBA will make it happen.”
Any bookseller interested in becoming an instructor in any of the modules is welcome to email Eileen Dengler at firstname.lastname@example.org.