Employment

Current Openings:

 

Children’s Team Manager & Buyer

Employment type: Full-time Salaried Position, $47,840  - $56,160 per year based on relevant qualifications and experience

Schedule: Flexible, except for the requirement to work at least one weekend day and one closing shift per week

Benefits: Profit Sharing Plan, Paid Time Off, Staff Discounts on books and merchandise sold at Kepler's.

 

Job responsibilities

The Children’s Team Manager & Buyer will have responsibility for maximizing the social impact of Kepler’s Children’s Team and ensuring that the team is managed with the philosophy of stewardship - we act as stewards, and our job is to ensure that the organization is optimally serving all its stakeholders, including our staff, customers, authors, publishers, vendors, partners, landlord, and the community.

The Children’s Team Manager & Buyer will have the overall responsibility for mentoring, developing, and managing our talented Kid’s team and empowering them to take ownership of projects while operating as members of a cohesive team.

The Children’s Team Manager & Buyer will lead a collaborative buying process, engaging our whole team in curation and ensuring our buys are enticing for customers, diverse in scope, and fiscally responsible.

The Children’s Team Manager & Buyer will report to our Assistant General Manager while buying activities will be supervised and supported by our Adult Book Buyer. The Kid’s team members will have a dual reporting relationship to the Children’s Team Manager & Buyer and our Customer Service Manager.

 

Foundational responsibilities

  • Be a known and impactful presence on the Kid’s floor from both a customer and inventory perspective.
  • Build relationships with customers of all ages to promote the love of literacy.
  • Ensure the development of programs that build readership and engage with the community.
  • Have overall responsibility for creating, managing, evaluating, and fine-tuning the Kid’s book floor inventory and maintaining fresh content in the Kid’s Corner of keplers.com.
  • Train new staff in kid’s bookselling (as well as general bookselling and store functions when needed).
  • Lead regularly scheduled kid's team meetings to delegate projects and support ongoing work.

 

Buying responsibilities

  • Maintain inventory at agreed-to levels and manage buying and returns according to agreed-to goals.
  • Review catalogs and purchase frontlist titles based on historic and projected sales, publisher marketing, outside media, customer demand, etc. Share this information with staff members and use their input to foster a collaborative buying process.
  • Ensure that buys are submitted in a timely manner and are correctly downloaded from Edelweiss to IBIDie.
  • Build relationships with sales representatives of children’s book publishers.
  • Research good backlist titles to improve section performance and meet customers’ needs, and supplement the standard reordering process.
  • Pay attention to changing trends and patterns in the kid’s books industry and be a leader in informing and educating the Kepler’s team about them and determining how Kepler’s should respond to them.
  • Support curation for educator orders, school-required reading and summer reading initiatives.
  • Manage inventory integrity in the Kid’s department by overseeing publisher returns, coding uniformity, and other inventory maintenance projects as needed.
  • Evaluate performance of sections and implement section enhancements on a regular basis.
  • Collaborate with booksellers/buyers to create topical and thematic displays and promotions.

 

Additional responsibilities

  • Collaborate with store management and staff to schedule and implement inventory management operations, including returns and section management.
  • Outbound marketing: Provide content and ideas for promoting Kepler’s as a destination for kid’s books to families and children in the community, including regular newsletters and summer and holiday catalogs for kid’s books.
  • Be present and available in the store to help on the floor, assist customers, actively work with our other buyers, and lead booksellers by example.
  • Take a leadership role within the larger Kepler’s organization, modeling professionalism and reliability while participating in store management programs and initiatives.

 

About you

  • Deep love and knowledge of children’s books, and a passion for encouraging literacy in customers of all ages
  • Previous children’s book buying experience preferred
  • Love people and excel at providing excellent customer service to diverse customers
  • Collaborative and comfortable working in a team-oriented environment
  • Process-oriented with a bias for tracking metrics/analytics
  • Agility in a fast-paced work environment
  • An obsession with details, and is a proactive problem-solver with loads of initiative
  • Patience and grace in high-touch customer service situations
  • Exceptional critical thinking skills
  • Top-notch communication skills
  • Good at basic technical trouble-shooting
  • Strong knowledge of Microsoft Office and Google Suite
  • We use IBID-ie as a POS system, so experience with that is a plus
  • Able to lift boxes weighing up to 50 lbs on a regular basis

 

How Kepler’s is dealing with the pandemic

  • We take the health and wellbeing of our staff and customers very seriously and have collaboratively developed and implemented safety protocols and policies in line with CDC, state, and county guidelines. Any new hire will be asked to sign off on these policies and procedures, and provide proof of vaccination.
  • Kepler’s is currently open for browsing. Any new hire must be comfortable working in an open store, understanding that they will interact with co-workers and customers in person (We are requiring all customers and employees wear masks while in the store).

 

To apply

Please send a current resume and cover letter to jobs@keplers.com. Please include responses to at least three of the following prompts in your cover letter:

  • Tell us about a new process or approach you developed at work and what the results were.
  • How would you strike a balance between in-store leadership and front list buying responsibilities, and how would you determine your priorities?
  • Describe two trends you see in the children’s book industry and how should a bookstore like Kepler’s respond to these trends.
  • We are a bookstore with a social mission. How should this mission be reflected in our children’s section and overall shopping experience?

 

Part-Time Bookseller

Compensation: $16-18 per hour, depending on relevant experience and qualifications.

Employment type: Part-time, 12-24 hrs/week. Must be able to work up to 40 hours per week over the holiday season.

About the Position

As a bookseller, you will work on the retail store floor to help customers find and purchase great books, share information about our programs and events with customers, manage store sections, make buying recommendations, and maintain health and safety standards pertinent to the COVID era. You may also have the opportunity to create interesting and topical displays and handle a variety of back-office activities including receiving and returns., Kepler's is a creative and innovative place to work, and if you're committed to books and bookselling, we want to talk to you. You can see profiles of our current staff on our website at www.keplers.com

This position will start as part-time but candidates must be available to work up to 40 hours per week during the month of December. Applicants who are not available to work during December will not be considered.

This is an hourly position with compensation ranging from $16-18 per hour, depending on experience. In addition, you will be eligible for PTO (paid time off), staff discounts on books and merchandise sold at Kepler's, and profit-sharing. We prefer promoting from within and successful candidates will have opportunities for permanent positions with broader roles and responsibilities within Kepler's team.

 

Ideal candidates will have/be:

  • A passion for talking with people about books, and a proclivity for reading across genres
  • Outgoing personality and excellent customer service skills
  • Organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Efficient and resourceful with their time
  • Strong communication skills
  • Self-directed and proactive
  • Ability to lift heavy boxes of books
  • Excited and available to work evenings and weekends
  • Previous experience working in a bookstore or library

 

In addition, these qualifications are preferred but not required:

  • Commitment to a long-term career in bookselling and/or social enterprises
  • Bachelor's or advanced degree in Literature, Education or related field
  • Experience working with IBID-IE inventory system for books

 

The health and wellbeing of our staff and customers is a key priority at Kepler’s and we would expect the same level of care and attention from any new staff members. You can read about the changes we have made to the store environment to create a safe experience for our staff and customers: https://www.keplers.com/keplers-reopening

 

To Apply

  • Please send a current resume and cover letter to jobs@keplers.com. Your cover letter should include your thoughts on the following:
  • Explain why you want to work in a bookstore with a social mission.
  • Write about a book you read and enjoyed recently, what type of customers this book might appeal to, and how you would talk about this book with customers.
  • Please spend some time reviewing Kepler's history and mission and recent news on our website at www.keplers.com and tell us about the aspects that resonate with you.
  • Please include the hours you are currently available to work, as well as your ideal schedule.

Incomplete applications will not be considered for an interview.

 

About Kepler’s

Kepler's, based in Menlo Park, California, has been the intellectual and cultural hub of the Silicon Valley community for over 65 years. Kepler's is known for its outstanding literary events, knowledgeable staff, a broad selection of books and magazines, and deep ties to the community, including local schools and non-profit organizations. Kepler's is a social enterprise with a mission, enshrined in our corporate articles and bylaws, to provide public education and cultural enrichment for our community. Kepler's is located next door to the popular Café Borrone and is conveniently accessible by Caltrain and the public bus system.

Kepler's is the first bookselling institution in the US to pioneer an innovative hybrid business model that includes a community-financed bookstore, and a non-profit organization that produces a rich roster of literary events with leading intellectuals and writers. This new approach to creating sustainable bookstores has won numerous accolades and received wide coverage in the media, including Stanford Social Innovation Review, Washington Post, and Publishers Weekly. In the last few years, Kepler’s Literary Foundation has produced well attended premier events with Al Gore, Barbara Kingsolver, Margaret Atwood, Bill Nye, Katherine Applegate, Temple Grandin, Rick Riordan, Drew Daywalt, and Oliver Jeffers, and many others.

For more information, please visit www.keplers.com