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ANCHORAGE-- Books and Beyond
Alaska Region, March 1, 2006
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Fun-filled and enjoyable are characteristics of a successful refuge trip, but have you ever thought that about a visit to a refuge’s visitor center bookstore?  You may if you had recently attended the Alaska Natural History Association (ANHA) annual workshop, held January 31 and February 1 in Anchorage.  The ANHA sponsored workshop was for visitor center bookstore managers from the US Fish and Wildlife Service and five other federal and state agencies.  The managers took part in integrative training and explored new ways to provide for the retail needs of public land visitors. 

“Robert Lieber (a guest speaker from Golden Gate Association in California) inspired us all to look at our retail locations with a fresh eye and with new ideas” stated Malou Peabody, ANHA director of sales.  Robert Lieber’s presentation, along with other presentations, focused on bookstores beyond just books.  “Successful bookstores and cooperating associations move into the realm of generating volunteerism, community involvement, and understanding of the natural world” stated Robert Lieber.  Mr Lieber provided countless helpful tips and strategies that have been used to enhance visitor center bookstores around the nation. 

In addition to the ANHA workshop, the national wildlife refuge bookstore managers from Alaska attended a one day “post-ANHA” workshop designed around their needs.  This additional training included sessions such as bookstore visitor demographics and utilizing volunteers in refuge bookstore operations.  “Having seven out of the eight refuge bookstore managers in Anchorage for the ANHA workshop provided an unparalleled opportunity to focus on topics unique to operating refuge bookstores” stated Kevin Painter, regional coordinator of refuge cooperating associations.

Contact Info: Kristen Gilbert, 907-786-3391, Kristen_Gilbert@fws.gov



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