NEIBA Scholarship

2018 Rusty Drugan Scholarship Winner

(with Support from BPRNE)

Nicole Brinkley
Oblong Books & Music, Rhinebeck, NY

Nicole Brinkley is an independent bookseller at Oblong Books & Music in Rhinebeck, NY. She loves dragons and plants. The rest tends to change without notice. She is the floor manager, the weekend manager, and runs all website, social media, and newsletter content—so it’s really faster to call her the Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Oblong. Her favorite books to handsell include An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson, A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab, and The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi.

When she’s not at the bookstore, you can find her running a website devoted entirely to young adult literature, advocating for a more inclusive publishing world on Twitter, or tending to her growing collection of succulents.


Rusty Drugan pic

The Rusty Drugan Scholarship for Emerging Leaders is awarded annually in memory of Wayne “Rusty” Drugan, Executive Director of the New England Independent Booksellers Association from 1992 to 2006.

  • Applicants must presently be working full-time in a NEIBA member bookstore and have been working for at least a year.
  • Candidates may apply directly for the scholarship or be nominated by others in the book industry.
  • The scholarship includes 2 nights at the Fall Conference NEIBA Headquarters Hotel and 1 ticket to each meal function.

If you are nominating yourself, please describe in detail your background, the reasons for your interest in the award and include a copy of your resume.

If you are nominating someone else, please indicate in detail why you are nominating this person.

Email – Nominations/applications must include all the following information for both the applicant and the nominator: Name, Store Name, Current Position and Store Address.


Past Winners

2017 Katie Eelman, Papercuts J.P., Boston MA
2016 Cathy Taylor,  Northshire Bookstore in Manchester VT
2015 Alex W. Meriwether, Harvard Book Store, Cambridge MA / Ryan Elizabeth Clark, Gibson Bookstore, Concord NH
2014 Ann Zimmerman, Everyone’s Books, Brattleboro VT
2013 Skylar Atkins, Vermont Book Shop, Middlebury VT
2012 Marika McCoola, Odyssey Bookshop, S. Hadley MA
2011 Stacey Fish, Village Bookstore, Littleton NH
2010 Josh Christie, Sherman’s Books and Stationery, Freeport ME
2009 Susan Schlesinger, Brown University Bookstore, Providence RI
2008 Susan Fox, Red Fox Books, Glen Falls NY
2007 Megan Sullivan, Harvard Book Store, Cambridge MA