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The New Pioneer Bookshop Is Open

The Grinnell College Bookstore and the Pioneer Bookshop have been combined into a new location at 933 Main Street in Grinnell, Iowa.

After two weeks of moving and setting up, the Pioneer Bookshop is now open for business.

The hours are:

  • Monday–Friday 8:30 a.m.–6 p.m.
  • Thursday night until 7 p.m. and
  • Saturday 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

Save the date of September 16 for the Pioneer Bookshop Grand Opening.

Bookstores to be Closed June 18 – July 4 While Moving

The Grinnell College Bookstore, on campus, and the Pioneer Bookshop, at 823 4th Ave., will be closed for moving starting on June 18, 2016.

The two stores will be combined at the new location at 933 Main Street, Grinnell. The new store will open on July 5 as the Pioneer Bookshop. The online bookstore is also closed during the move.

The new Pioneer Bookshop will still offer the same wide selection of children’s books and toys, fiction, and non-fiction. It will also have the same special order service and gift wrapping.

In addition, the store will feature Grinnell College clothing, school and office supplies, art supplies, consumer electronics, greeting cards, and gifts.

Temporary Location for College Bookstore

Grinnell College recently purchased the former Gosselink's Hallmark Store at 933 Main St. to serve as the temporary location for the College Bookstore.

Although this location is walkable from campus, the College is exploring options to make it easier for students to visit this off-campus site, as well as campus delivery services for items ordered through the bookstore.

The bookstore — now housed in an addition to the east side of Carnegie Hall at 1210 Park St. — needs to move before the addition is torn down early in the construction of the new Humanities and Social Studies Complex. The complex will consist of new space constructed as an addition to the existing Alumni Recitation Hall and Carnegie Hall buildings, which will be renovated as part of the project.

This summer the bookstore will move into the former Gosselink's Hallmark Store. Although the building is in very good condition, the College plans to make several upgrades, such as constructing accessible restrooms and installing new exterior signage.

"We believe we have secured the best possible temporary location for the bookstore to move to this summer," said John Kalkbrenner, assistant vice president for auxiliary services and economic development.

Also during the summer, the College will combine its downtown Pioneer Bookshop at 823 Fourth Ave. with the bookstore in its new temporary site.

"Consolidating the operations of the College Bookstore and the Pioneer Bookshop," Kalkbrenner added, "will reduce costs because we will be operating one store rather than two at a downtown location that will be as convenient for local residents as the current Pioneer Bookshop."

Eventually, a permanent bookstore will be located in the neighborhood between downtown and campus referred to as the Zone of Confluence.

Before that can happen, however, Grinnell College will need to create an overall plan for the zone, including a new bookstore. At this time, the College is in the early stages of developing plans for the zone.

"As we move forward with developing a comprehensive plan for the Zone of Confluence," Kalkbrenner said, "one of our primary goals will be to identify a prime site for the permanent bookstore."

Help support reading at Grinnell High School by shopping at Pioneer Bookshop

Shoppers can help promote a love of reading among Grinnell High School students by making purchases at Grinnell College's Pioneer Bookshop during December, when 10 percent of all sales will be donated to the GHS library. 

"The Pioneer Bookshop wants to support reading by contributing to the Grinnell High School library through our Partners in Education program," said Cassie Wherry, manager of the College Bookstore and Pioneer Bookshop.  

Local shoppers raised $1,706 for the GHS library by making purchases at the Pioneer Bookshop in December 2014.  

 GHS Librarian Chelsey Kolpin said those funds enabled the library to buy books of high interest to students and to add and expand popular series collections. In addition, the donations helped the library launch an audiobook collection and expand its ebook collection. 

"Grinnell High School students and staff are pleased that the Pioneer Bookstore and Grinnell College have been so generous to donate funds to our library," Kolpin said. "In the past, these funds have greatly benefited our library and our students." 

Kolpin added that funds generated by bookshop sales this December will be used to expand the library's collection, including biographies and autobiographies, as well books featuring projects students can create in the library's makerspace area.  

Located in the historic downtown Grinnell at 823 Fourth Ave, the Pioneer Bookshop has books for all ages and interests, featuring children’s books and current best sellers. The staff specializes in recommending books for gifts and can quickly special order books not in stock. The Pioneer Bookshop also carries a special selection of toys as well as local team sportswear, stationery and cards. 

The Pioneer Bookshop is open:

  • Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and
  • Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Starting Monday, Dec. 14, the bookshop will have the following extended holiday hours: 

  • Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.,
  • Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and
  • Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. 

On Christmas Eve, the store will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.   


Shop to Help High School Library

Shoppers can help Grinnell High School students by making purchases at the Pioneer Bookshop during December, when 10 percent of all sales will be donated to the GHS library.

"We, at the Pioneer Bookshop, want to support the love of reading by contributing to the Grinnell High School library," said Cassie Wherry, manager of the Grinnell College Bookstore and Pioneer Bookshop. "We hope to make it a little easier for the librarian to fulfill the special requests of high school readers and spark the interests of future readers."

Last year, local shoppers raised $1,720 for the GHS library by making purchases at the Pioneer Bookshop in December 2013. 

"Grinnell High School students and staff are pleased that the Pioneer Bookstore and Grinnell College have been so generous to donate funds to our library," said GHS librarian Chelsey Kolpin. "In the past, these funds have greatly benefited our library, especially by expanding our series offerings, and classic novels collections.

GHS junior Katrina Sieck said she greatly enjoyed reading Cassandra Clare's The Infernal Devices series, which was purchased with the donated funds last year. "The characters were complex and built up throughout each book, and the love triangle was fun to read about," she added.

Sieck also said that it's great to have the College help support the high school library. Her message to community members about this year’s promotion is simple: "Help support reading at our school by shopping at the Pioneer Bookshop." 

About Pioneer Bookshop

Located in downtown Grinnell at 823 Fourth Ave., the Pioneer Bookshop features current popular books, books with Iowa connections, children’s books and educational toys, Pioneer and Tiger apparel, and more. The Pioneer Bookshop is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Starting Monday, Dec. 8, the bookshop will have the following extended holiday hours:

  • Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Sunday, 1 – 4 p.m.

And on Christmas Eve, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.