by Ardeana Hamlin
of The Weekly Staff
BANGOR, Maine — Ann Redman, assistant general manager at the Bangor Books-A-Million, has many reasons why she loves her job. Working at the store, she said, gives her and store staff the opportunity to educate, entertain, expand knowledge, create community and the chance to talk about what’s going on in the larger world with bookstore customers. “I love knowing I have that opportunity,” she said.
Another thing she likes about her job is that she gets to help public school teachers and homeschoolers get what they need for their students.
“Teachers often have to buy things for their classrooms out of their own pockets,” she said, noting this is especially true for homeschoolers.
To help fill that gap, Books-A-Million offers school librarians, public school teachers and homeschoolers a free Educator Card that entitles them to 20 percent off on purchases for their classrooms.
The Educator Card is easy to obtain at the store. “It’s an simple process, we try to make it as easy as possible,” Redman said. The process does require that teachers show some sort of ID that identifies them as teachers.
The store will sponsor Educator Appreciation Week Oct. 12 through 18 when Educator Card holders will receive a 25 percent discount.
To launch the week, the store will host a reception for educators 3-6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, in the store cafe. Advance registration is not required and gift bags will be given to first-comers. In addition, teachers can register schools at booksamillion.com, get friends and family to vote for the school, with a chance of winning $1,000 for the school.
Also that day Amanda Morin of Bangor, author of “The Everything Kids’ Learning Activities Book,” will sign copies of her book 4-6 p.m., and Sarah Thompson, who lives in the Portland area, will sign copies of her book, “Mercy,” a novel for teen readers, 1-3 p.m.
Redman said she reaches out to schools from Augusta to Fort Kent and from Jackman to Eastport to let teachers know about Educator Appreciation Week.
Books-A-Million also offers nonprofit organizations, including schools, a way to raise funds for its various causes by holding Book Fairs. For example, an organization sets up a table at the store and those staffing the table ask book buying customers to mention that organization when they checkout. By doing so, the store will contribute 10 percent of the total purchase to the organization.
The Book Fair fundraiser is available to any nonprofit organization, not just schools and libraries, Redman said.
“I never dread coming to work,” Redman said. “There’s nothing like knowing you are putting books in the hands of children.”