John P. Jenkins, Jr.

Presented by Provost Martin Schmidt:

"Our next Serving the Client award goes to John Jenkins, Manager of MIT Press Bookstore. In a time when independent bookstores are struggling to compete with that virtual big box store, MIT Press has thrived and grown…primarily because John has made it an indispensable and welcoming resource to the MIT community—beloved and relied upon by MIT’s readers and authors alike.

All John Jenkins’ colleagues say the same thing: He is driven by helping people to connect with good books, whether in the store, online, or at the now legendary Dock Sales, when more than 15,000 books are sold in two days. John also brings the bookstore out across the community to the customers. He packed up and set up shop at 22 different campus events in 2013.

His nominators say that John engages with customers, learns their interests, and makes illuminating recommendations tailored to each reader’s needs. They also say that his recent work to reinvigorate the bookstore speaks to his deeply held belief that the brick-and-mortar bookstore has a strong role to play in the marketplace of ideas and the community as a whole. John Jenkins instills that philosophy into a staff that shares his dedication to customers. And the bookstore’s customers return that dedication.