The American Booksellers Association is ramping up its efforts to be ecologically responsible at next month's BookExpo America in Los Angeles. This week, as worldwide celebrations of Earth Day brought added focus to the need for individuals and businesses to lessen their impact on the environment, ABA announced changes that will reduce the carbon footprint of its participation in BEA.
In a change that will significantly cut down on the use of paper, and the attendant energy to produce and ship materials, ABA is making all of its education session materials, which previously would have been printed and provided in a binder at the show, available to every member bookseller via BookWeb.org by Thursday, May 8.
"We've listened to the booksellers at this year's Winter Institute who told us that, while they valued the contents of the binder of educational handouts we provided, ABA needed to find a better, more ecologically friendly way to distribute them," said COO Oren Teicher. "Making them all available on the web allows booksellers to read, review, and download them, if they wish, before the show. This change will significantly reduce the use of paper and fuel in relation to our participation in BEA. And there's the added benefit of enabling our members to make more informed decisions about which sessions to attend."
Materials related to five of this year's ABA education sessions are already available via BookWeb: "Building and Rewarding Customer Loyalty," "Green Retailing," "Creating Killer Events," "Loss Control: How to Stop Profits From Running Out the Front (and Back) Door," and "Introduction to Co-op Advertising." These and all other session materials are being posted to the Day of Education schedule at www.bookweb.org/events/bea/program. In addition, all education materials are accessible by topic via BookWeb's Education Curriculum Guide.
ABA is also encouraging booksellers to bring a bag from home to fill with trade show-related information that will be available for pick up at the Day of Education registration desk at Hotel ABA. "There's one thing that we know booksellers have received plenty of, and that's bags -- some of which we're provided in the past, and some of which have come from publishers and wholesalers. Rather than provide another bag, this year we're asking booksellers to recycle and reuse one of their older bags," explained Teicher.
In related news, this week ABA announced that actor, author, and environmental activist Ed Begley, Jr. will be the keynote speaker kicking off the Day of Education on Thursday, May 29, at Hotel ABA. (Read more.)
Bookselling This Week itself will also become greener at BEA. As usual, we'll be producing three editions at the show that will be posted to the web and sent via e-mail to our entire subscription list on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday evenings. However, this year, we will forego printing the issue for handout at the trade show. BEA attendees will be able to read our daily reports from their laptops, PDAs, and the ABA Lounge's Booklog Internet Cafe, where member booksellers can check their e-mail accounts or browse the web.
Over the next several weeks, BTW will feature announcements regarding the remaining education session handouts as they are posted to the web, as well as more about ABA's developing green initiatives. --Rosemary Hawkins