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Find Waldo Local to Return for Fifth Year in 2016

Find Waldo Local, which is co-sponsored by Candlewick Press and the American Booksellers Association, will return in 2016 for its fifth annual celebration.

The “Shop Local” campaign, which runs the entire month of July, invites community members to visit small businesses in downtown shopping districts across America to search for the character from the Where’s Waldo picture book series. According to numerous participating ABA member booksellers, this year’s campaign was extremely successful.

Candlewick will again be providing participating bookstores with a kit containing all they need to launch their own Find Waldo Local celebrations. Preregistration, which is capped at 250 stores, begins early next year.

SIBA Announces New and Returning Board Members

In 2016, the Board of Directors of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) will welcome Stephanie Crowe of Page & Palette in Fairhope, Alabama, as its newest member. Returning to the Board will be Doug Robinson, general manager of Eagle Eye Bookstore in Atlanta, Georgia.

Robinson and Crowe will join current Board members Linda-Marie Barrett, general manager and senior buyer at Malaprop’s in Asheville, North Carolina; Jill Hendrix, owner of Fiction Addiction in Greenville, South Carolina; and Erica Merrell, co-owner of Wild Iris Books in Gainesville, Florida. Crowe will fill the seat vacated by Jamie Fiocco, owner and general manager of Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, who currently serves on the Board of the American Booksellers Association. SIBA will be offering a bookseller scholarship to the 2016 SIBA conference in Fiocco’s name.

The new board members will be inducted at the Industry Breakfast during SIBA’s Fall Discovery Show, to be held in Raleigh, North Carolina, from Friday, September 18, through Sunday, September 20.

BISG Announces 2015 Lifetime Service Award Recipient Tom Clarkson

At its Annual Meeting of Members on September 18, the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) will present its 2015 BISG Lifetime Service Award to Tom Clarkson, former leading distribution standards consultant and long-time director of Supply Chain Technology at Barnes & Noble. Until his retirement in 2007, Clarkson, a member of BISG since the 1970s, had advocated for standards and best practices to make the industry more efficient.

Candidates for the award, which recognizes an individual’s outstanding work on behalf of BISG over the course of a career, were nominated by BISG and selected by a specially convened awards jury.

University of Akron Press to Reopen

The University of Akron in Akron, Ohio, which shut down its University of Akron Press last month and laid off its employees as part of $40 million in budget cuts, is rehiring the workers and recommitting to the press, the Akron Beacon Journal reported.

In a prepared statement on August 17, University of Akron President Scott Scarborough said, “The University of Akron Press has been and will continue to be a vital part of the academic core of this institution… We will take all steps necessary to make sure it maintains its well-earned reputation as a vibrant, active academic press, and to maintain its full membership in the Association of American University Presses. It will honor all existing publishing commitments, continue to seek out new, high-quality works to add to its catalog, and proudly continue to support its nationally recognized poetry series.”

The university’s decision had led to negative publicity and a protest last week outside a board of trustees meeting. Immediately following the announcement of the closure, the Association of American University Presses (AAUP) issued a statement expressing shock at the university’s decision and offering a pledge to help.

The university has rehired Press employees Carol Slatter and Amy Freels, while Jon Miller, associate professor of English, will serve as transitional director, taking over for UA Press Director Thomas Bacher. The school is also moving Press operations into its University Libraries system.