It is with mixed emotions that I announce this Friday will be my last day at Oak Knoll Books and Press. I am sad to be leaving a group of people that has made this job a wonderful beginning for me, but I am also very excited to be soon moving to a new city and pursuing a new avenue in my career.
With just over two years at Oak Knoll under my belt, I can still remember my first day—the smell of books, the new faces, the curiosity as to how I would like my new job, the wonder of how I would remember all the titles and authors and all the other small details that would be required for my job. Many thoughts were flowing through my mind, and while it’s normal to be nervous on your first day at a new position, I distinctly remember everyone at Oak Knoll being so friendly and welcoming that I immediately felt at home at my new job.
I have certainly learned a lot in my time as Publishing and Marketing Assistant, and I cannot thank everyone at Oak Knoll enough for the experience, skills, guidance, and knowledge they have provided me. This bookshop will always hold a very special place in my heart, and I wish the best of luck to everyone, especially James who will be taking over my position. I know he will do a great job.
To all the authors, customers, journals, booksellers, and others I have worked with during my time at Oak Knoll, I have enjoyed getting to know you, and you have also made my experience at Oak Knoll enjoyable.
Well, my time here at Oak Knoll has been enjoyable. And I’m sure it will continue to be after I take on the mantle of Publishing and Marketing Assistant. I feel like I learned so much about the book world in my previous position, but I know there’s still so much to learn.
Obviously, since I’m starting in this new position, it means saying goodbye to Danielle. Word from those that have been here at Oak Knoll for a while is that she’s one of the best Publishing and Marketing Assistants to come through. I hope I can live up to that. The two of us will certainly be working to create as smooth a transition as possible.
I’m never really sure how to end these things, so I’ll finish with this. While it isn’t quite what I thought my mathematics degree would lead to, I’m glad this is how things have turned out for me so far.
Oak Knoll is excited to kick off 2012 with a set of New Year’s resolutions. We have each taken time to think of ways we can improve over the next year, and we wanted to share our ideas with you. Check out what we plan to do in the upcoming year.
Ah, there are so many that I should have made but didn’t. At least I haven’t broken any of them yet.
I need to learn to smile when a person is standing in my book store and asks “Do you buy books?” I guess they think that my books breed with each other in the late evening hours.
I need to learn to smile when the phone caller asks me the value of a book that has been in the family for decades but they can’t remember the full title or author. Bless Jim Hinck and vialibri.net as now I can just recommend that they visit that site.
I need to learn to smile when the person on the phone says that the book must go out that day, as it is a birthday present for his or her husband/wife/child in two days hence. Nothing like advance planning!
But wait – I’m actually smiling all the time because I have the greatest group here at Oak Knoll and have loved being a bookseller for 35 years. I smile when I come to work – how many people can say that?
Rob Fleck (Antiquarian & Library Sales)
Last year, we purchased two exciting collections from two long-time Oak Knoll customers. These collections helped make 2011 a great year for us and for you, our customers, by adding many important and rare books to our inventory. Our main goal for 2012 is to branch out to individuals or institutions that have collections that they would be willing to part with. We hope that 2012 will be the year of collection acquisition for Oak Knoll. It’s actually all very exciting to me! Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a collection that you’d like us to see.
This year I would like to discover more manuscripts and encourage more potential authors to write new books on the history of the book. We are particularly interested in new manuscripts on bookbinding, book collecting, printing, and typography, but please feel free to propose any project that could be considered a “book about books.” If you have a manuscript or a book idea, please check out our website and send me an email at email@example.com. I look forward to hearing from you, so don’t hesitate to contact me! I also plan to continue on the tradition of being the Oak Knoll party planner (or as Bob calls it “the Oak Knoll social butterfly”), as it’s one of my favorite roles here at work.
Danielle Burcham (Publishing and Marketing Assistant)
It’s been almost two years since I started working at Oak Knoll, and I have learned quite a bit since my first day! While at first it seemed like it took all my time just to learn the ins and outs of the book business, this year I plan to really focus my attention on expanding our audiences. This means finding new businesses and individuals who would have an interest in our books but haven’t yet heard of us. I hope to find more organizations and journals who would like to review our books, and I plan on using our social media platforms to facilitate this. If you haven’t hopped on the social media train yet, what are you waiting for? Follow us through facebook, twitter, and our blog. There is a lot to learn about us just through these sites alone!
While I will continue to maintain my responsibilities cataloging books, taking photographs (in our new and updated style), and providing customer service, I also plan to use my research skills to help our publishing department. I will explore library holdings and assist libraries in finding titles to add to their collections, while also finding new groups who might have an interest in our titles. I may even get more involved with our shipping department, helping to pull and pack books. I guess you could say I have my hand in a little bit of everything that goes on here at Oak Knoll.
Considering that I was raised in the image of Mary Poppins, (you know, “Practically Perfect in Every Way”), I failed to see the need for any New Year’s Resolutions. Fortunately, my colleagues quickly disabused me of that notion, so here I sit pondering my role at Oak Knoll and trying to understand how I can make your interactions with us the best possible. First of all, I will put a smile on my face before answering the phone. I once read that this simple action carries through in your voice, making it more welcoming. I will also try to remember if it is morning or afternoon, although I don’t seem to have much luck with that as frequent callers can attest. Yes, I’m the one who says Good…with a long pause…before the next words are out of my mouth. Maybe, I should just say “Hello?”
All kidding aside, each one of us here understands that without the support and patronage of our bibliophile friends, Oak Knoll would be no more than a memory. We come to work every day enthused and convinced that we will either help one of you find that long desired treasure, get the newly required text book for your latest class, or finally see your name in print as the author of a scholarly text. So, bring on 2012! We welcome it and you with smiles on our faces.
Hello readers. My name is James McKinstry, and I am the newest employee at Oak Knoll. I live in Kennett Square, PA, so it’s a pretty long commute. I went to high school at Archmere Academy, and college at Ursinus College where I received a degree in Mathematics. Although math may not be the first thing you think of when you picture working for a bookstore/publisher, I have been around books all my life. In fact, when I was young, a request for a new book was the only thing to which my parents couldn’t say no. So really, this is a wonderful place for me to work. There’s the old cliché about not working a day in your life if you love what you’re doing, but it’s cliché for a reason. It’s true. But anyway, my responsibilities include book photography, book cataloging, and customer service. So, if something goes amiss, I’m the one you should contact. Hopefully things here will keep running smoothly enough that most of you won’t have cause to get in touch with me. But if you do, I’ll do what I can to solve your problem in a timely fashion.
Well, I should get back to what I was doing.
Thanks for reading this,