People’s Books Celebrates 40 Years!


People’s Books Cooperative is 40 years old and 7 years a co-op! Join volunteers, members, and neighbors to celebrate. Enjoy live music and poetry, refreshments, and cake with your neighbors and fellow book lovers.

Admission is free, but donations will be accepted.

WHAT: People’s Books Co-op 40th Anniversary Celebration
WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 28 at 6pm
WHERE: Jazz Gallery, 926 E Center Street

Raffle Prizes:
Purchase raffle tickets for the chance to win awesome prizes generously donated by area businesses and co-ops including Riverwest Co-Op Grocery & Cafe and Fuel Cafe.

Raffle tickets will be sold for $1 each, 12 for $10, and 25 for $20. All proceeds go to supporting People’s Books.

Tom Schwark
Kyle Kenowski
Jordin Baas
Three. Stacks. Eliot

PBC volunteer and poet Mike Hauser will read original works.

The Longhand Project will have a table set up for personal, unique letter writing.

Used book donations will be accepted to help support the future of the co-op. Check your bookshelves for radical, political, non-fiction, and other new or gently used books you’re ready to part with.

Check out the Facebook event for the most up-to-date details.


Special General Membership Meeting 2/20/15


Dear People’s Books Co-op Members, Volunteers, Customers, Friends, and Allies:

People’s Books Cooperative (PBC) is holding a Special General Membership Meeting on Sunday, March 1st at 3pm at the Jazz Gallery, 926 E. Center Street. The purpose of this meeting is to talk to members about People’s financial situation and to discuss the future of our cooperative.

Textbooks sales account for the majority of People’s Books annual operating revenue, with small amounts of revenue coming from other sources: event tabling, online book sales, and small jumps in trade sales at various times of the year. The co-op has existed using this model for the last seven years. A difficulty found in this model is that we are unaware of exactly where we stand financially until we finalize numbers for the current semester’s textbook sales. It is only then that we know quite literally how many months of operating costs we are able to cover. Generally, any shortfalls are arguably manageable, and we are able to make them up. However, over the last few semesters, People’s has been living in a more precarious financial situation, existing nearly hand to mouth, from semester to semester, making it more difficult to make up shortfalls. This year is no different. After finalizing spring 2015 semester sales, we found that we have fallen short by nearly five months. That equates to about $13,000. As it stands, People’s Books Co-op has enough money to survive through March, and possibly April.

The shortfall in textbook sales over the last few years is due in part to two factors: 1) extreme competition from the UW-Milwaukee bookstore using a textbook policy which works directly against PBC and our allied instructors and 2) competition from online retailers offering discounts on textbooks that most brick and mortar stores cannot compete with.

Combined with little foot traffic, a decline in trade sales, lack of diversified income, and increased local competition, these challenges have led to a decrease in the revenue we utilize to fill the textbook sale gaps. This is a trend many bookstores nationwide have experienced over the last few years. In addition, making up for shortfalls and falling margins creates an increase in labor time needed from staff and volunteers, which inevitably detracts from accomplishing the myriad of other tasks and projects needed to run a successful business and achieve our mission.

Topping our situation off is the fact that we also still owe Chris Chiu, the former People’s Books proprietor, almost $16,000 in revenue made from stock sold on consignment. It has only been through Chris’s generosity and patience that we have been able to exist as long as we have.

It is clear that we need to have a larger discussion with our community and allies regarding the future of our business. At the March 1st Special General Membership Meeting, we will present a number of scenarios for moving forward. We hope to have the details of these plans to you soon. These possibilities come to you two months prior to our General Membership Meeting and may need to be voted on then.

A reminder email will be sent in the days leading up to the meeting. Included in the email will be a meeting agenda, FAQ, and possible solutions. By-laws and board minutes are available upon request. Please email info@peoplesbookscoop.org if you wish to see them.

The People’s Books Board urges all PBC members, volunteers, customers, friends, and allies to attend the March 1st meeting. The future of our cooperative depends on your participation. If you cannot attend the meeting in person, please consider filling out our community survey at bit.ly/pbcsurvey2015. Thank you for your continued support.

In cooperation,
People’s Books Cooperative Board of Directors


People’s Books Newsletter – January/February 2015

The latest issue of our newsletter is here. Look for exclusive content available only in the online edition. Enjoy!
PBC Newsletter - JanFeb 2015 - Cover


People’s Books Newsletter – Issue 2

It’s here! The second issue of the PBC Newsletter is out. You can read up on some of the happenings at People’s Books, and we hope you enjoy the creative and insightful contributions of our volunteers and local writers.

PBC Newsletter Winter 2014


We’re looking for After School Program Leaders!

People’s Books Cooperative is looking for 3 creative, flexible, and patient after school leaders to fill once a month volunteer shifts from 3 – 6pm on Mondays.

Drop-in attendance tends to be less than 10 kids around the ages of 8 – 12. Kids tend to arrive around 3:30 / quarter to 4.

After school leaders are responsible for coming up with one or two activities per day and have access to craft supplies and a small library of children’s books. After school leaders are also responsible for giving homework help to youth on an as-needed basis.

Activities do not need to be complex! Past activities have included collaborative writing games, making dress-up clothing from old fabric, button making, ABC book making, collage, word games, seed bomb making, bird feeders, zine making, dramatic book readings / charades, and valentines to book characters. You will have access to a variety of board games and craft supplies for kids to use after they complete the activity for the day.


1) Be in store for the full day 3 – 6pm
2) come up with an activity / materials OR designate that responsibility to someone else.
3) If the person you designate responsibility to doesn’t show up, or if kids finish the activity and are still hanging out, improvise / put out games / keep kids entertained
4) clean up.

Shifts needed:

1st Monday – 3 to 6pm
2nd Monday – 3 to 6pm
3rd Monday – taken
4th Monday – 3 to 6pm

Must also be available to fill a rotating 5th Monday shift as needed.

Must be available to stop in for at least a half hour on September 15th to briefly shadow and get a tour. RSVP coeurdelia@gmail.com


People’s Books Newletter is back!

It’s been a while, but we are excited to inform you that the People’s Books Co-op Newsletter is back! This newsletter will serve as a means to keep you apprised of the happenings at PBC, as well as other area cooperative goings-on, local issues, book reviews, film reviews, local poetry, selections from local novelist’s work, art and much more. Check out our latest release!

People's Books Newsletter