The Northern California Independent Booksellers Association and Southern California Independent Booksellers Association announced on Monday, January 20, that they have officially joined together to form a single organization representing independent bookstores throughout California. The new organization is called the California Independent Booksellers Alliance (CALIBA).
Both the Northern and Southern California Independent Booksellers Associations have a long history of working closely, first joining together a dozen years prior to the 2011 victory in the fight for tax equalization against online competitors and then again in 2013 to create California Bookstore Day. California Bookstore Day has since grown into Independent Bookstore Day and is celebrated annually nationwide. In 2017, the two regional organizations came together again to produce a Summer Book Catalog Campaign followed by a Fall Holiday Book Catalog Campaign for their members to distribute.
As of Tuesday, January 21, the California Independent Booksellers Alliance is fully in place with a diverse board of directors representing independent bookstores of all shapes and sizes throughout the state. A transition committee comprised of booksellers and publishing reps from all over California worked with the CALIBA office staff to ensure a smooth shift in the organizational structure.
Under the guidance of Michael Tucker of Books Inc. (retired), the committee has shaped the new organization and built a road map for future endeavors based on new perspectives and an examination of existing programs.
The first CALIBA Spring Workshops will be held March 8 at the Central Library in downtown San Diego and March 29 at the Presidio in San Francisco. The Fall Discovery Lab, a trade show dedicated to education, publisher interaction, and author celebrations, will take place September 23–25 in South San Francisco. There will also be a one-day Fall Workshop in the Los Angeles Metro Area dedicated to engaging frontline booksellers with education, authors, and publishers (date to come). The organization will also continue to promote Independent Bookstore Day and the Holiday Catalog program in the coming year.