Jeff Shi—Batman, Book Seller, and Volunteer Extraordinaire

August 1, 2015 | 826 Blog Post

Jeff Shi smiling

Jeff is a scientist and a musician, but it’s impossible to label him with just a few words, or for that matter, with just a few 826michigan programs.  For example, while he has taught multiple STEM-based writing workshops for us (Busting Bat Myths, Do You Dig It, and Sound and Instrument Building), written zany stories with our field trip students, and become a local celebrity in our in-schools program (he responds to the delighted calls of “Jeff-Jeff!” when he walks in the classroom), he is also doing amazing behind the scenes things for 826michigan. We love that work he’s done lately is not only extremely important (being done to a high standard of excellence), but it’s also not at all in the realm of his background. He’s learning as he’s going and it’s remarkable to watch him learn and grow and help us all at the same time.

Jeff is a one-man book distributing machine. He’s sought and built relationships

with independent bookstores nationwide which has resulted in Where is It Coming From? being sold in 21 different stores in six states. That’s soon to expand, thanks to Jeff’s securing a deal for us to distribute the book via a national wholesaler. His work in this area has helped our students gain a much wider audience than they otherwise would have.

Where is It Coming From? was featured in the Boston Globe:

In Yak’s Corner, the Detroit News and Free Press Newspapers In Education program supplement to classrooms:

100 Scope Notes:

He’s also going to help with marketing and distribution our latest publication A Lantern of Fireflies.

jeff shi, batman

The work he’s doing with book distribution requires collection of millions of details, smart planning, strategic reminder emails to booksellers, creation of invoices, schlepping of books, and much more which he does ably and with great joy. We’re also amazingly fortunate to have Jeff taking on an altogether different important job as liaison between 826michigan and our friends at Google. With help from 826michigan board member/Googler Lacie Sandstrom, Jeff is taking over our AdWords and Google analytics accounts, making our online visibility more wonderful and our digital communications more effective. This is important and time-consuming work, and we are so grateful to Jeff for all of his excellent work.

Did we mention Jeff also led a fabulous volunteer social event this year, giving us a behind-the-scenes tour of the University of Michigan Natural History Museum? He also responds to emails within FIVE MINUTES of us sending them no matter where he is in the world. Holy bats, Batman! Where would we be without Jeff Shi, our favorite expert on just about everything? We’re so grateful to you for your unending curiosity, enthusiasm for learning and sharing information, energy, and willingness to help in any and all ways!

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