Kim Kanney is the current Manager of Communities Bookstore. Full bio below. We work hard to curate a rich collection of materials useful to community building, sustainable living, and more. In addition to being one of our core services, Bookstore is also an important income source for the FIC and supports our work.
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We are now halfway through the month of November. Appropriately, as we move along the lifespan of FIC, at exactly 15 years in (and 15 years ago this year), an online bookstore was born!
In 2002, at a time when technology and resources online were still fairly limited, FIC leapt into the world of books as a means to offer accessibility of information to our network. A trailer was repurposed at Sandhill Farm in Missouri to store the books as our inventory grew. And as the years rolled on, the trailer also became the home of many issues of Communities Directory books and the back issues of Communities magazine. In a way, the trailer became an archive of FIC history.
As is sometimes the case in intentional community, the conditions of the trailer were less than ideal. Things got dusty, winters were cold, and more and more filing cabinets moved in. Based on the artifacts found in the trailer in 2015, shipment and documentation looked a lot differently just 15 years ago. Our first bookstore employee, by default, developed a strong relationship with the local postmaster. Today our staff – though still close with the local post office – might be more familiar with the postal software to print shipping labels from the office. And records of sales are conveniently kept in our website software.
Nonetheless, we persevered this way with improving technology as we were able. In 2015, Communities Bookstore moved from the shadowy walls of the Sandhill trailer to the strawbale, off-grid, 2-room house named Allium at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage. In the wake of this move – and in response to a rapidly changing world – Communities Bookstore continues to adapt and reshape. The online world has come to dictate how we all seek, access and share information. As a bookstore and place of resource, we need to make more accessible information from your screen and at your fingertips.
Today, Communities Bookstore offers more books in digital format and all our films are available for rent or digital download. We have a dedication to offering dozens of free toolkits and guides from partnering organizations. We have developed and published several of our own books, including five Communities Directories, a Best of Communities magazine compilation, a soon-to-be printed Wisdom of Communities compilation, and our 2017 book, Together Resilient by Ma’ikwe Ludwig. There are still more publications on the horizon.
In our years ahead, FIC and Communities Bookstore strive for continuing to hold a leading presence in resources and information related to intentional community, cooperation, and sustainability. How that happens will largely depend on the support of our customers and culture of online information-sharing. Won’t you join us in that support?
For over four years Kim has worked for FIC, primarily as the Bookstore Manager for our online Community Bookstore. She is primarily based in Ohio with her partner, her dog and their RV, taking their home and her work on the road. Kim finds excitement and curiosity in noticing the reflections of community in small, unnamed places, or with spontaneous and possibly temporary groups. In addition to her role as Bookstore Manager, Kim is also a soapmaker and herbalist for her small business, Artemisia Soaps, and works at a grassfed pasture and dairy farm in rural Northwest Ohio.
One Reply to “Providing resources that sustain the organization – 30th Birthday, Day 16”
I’m Kathe, former Bookshelf manager circa 2004-2009. Bookshelf played (and still plays) an important role in supporting the mission of the FIC. I found my immersion in it sometimes exciting and. sometimes frustrating. It involved a lot of work – think moving lots of boxes, constantly checking inventory, getting ready for conferences and other events where books were sent on the road. However, I always felt like I was doing
a job that mattered. Glad to see Bookshelf in good hands and growing with all the new opportunities to get out the FIC’s message.