Longtime community members and local business owners Chuck and Dee Robinson will give a talk entitled “It Takes a Village Books: Building Community, One Book at a Time,” at Western Washington University from 4-5 p.m. on Thursday, May 24 in Special Collections (Wilson Library 6th floor). The event is free and open to the public.
Since it opened in 1980, Village Books has grown from a small “mom and pop” store to a two-location enterprise employing fifty people. Even as it expanded, the business remained a fixture in Whatcom County with strong ties to the local community.
The store’s founders, Chuck and Dee Robinson, will speak about their experiences running a successful, locally-owned bookstore for nearly four decades during a time of rapid change in the book industry. They will also discuss their decision to leave the historical records of the business to the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, where the collection will be available for research by students, scholars and the public.
Originally both educators, the Robinsons fulfilled their dream of becoming bookstore owners in 1980. Since then, they have both been active in several book industry organizations and numerous local non-profits. The Bellingham Whatcom Chamber of Commerce named Chuck and Dee “Man of the Year” and “Woman of the Year” in 2016, and in 2017 they were honored with the Jack D. Rittenhouse award for outstanding contributions to the community of the book in the West.
This talk is offered as part of the Heritage Resources Distinguished Speakers program at Western Libraries. For more information about the event, please contact Ruth Steele, CPNWS Archivist, Ruth.Steele@wwu.edu, (360) 650-7747.