Relief Efforts Stand Ready for Booksellers

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In a piece on coping with the effects of disaster in today's issue of Bookselling This Week, Neal Coonerty encourages those dealing with disaster to "accept contributions ... and help."

 In that spirit, the American Booksellers Association is encouraging all booksellers who have been severely affected by Hurricane Katrina to apply for relief from a fund created by the association to help meet their humanitarian needs. In addition, housing, employment opportunities, and more are being offered by booksellers and others in the industry around the country.

Those in the industry who would like to help their beleaguered colleagues are being encouraged to contribute to the Bookseller Relief Fund.

The Bookseller Relief Fund

The Bookseller Relief Fund has been created by ABA to help meet the humanitarian needs of booksellers affected by Hurricane Katrina. ABA has seeded the fund with an initial contribution of $25,000, and the association is encouraging others in the book industry, including its Book Sense Publisher Partners, to contribute to the fund, which will be used to meet the needs of all booksellers who are facing critical problems with basics such as food, housing, and transportation. Contributions to the fund will also be collected at the upcoming regional booksellers association trade shows.

Administering the fund will be a committee composed of former ABA presidents, chaired by the current ABA president, Mitchell Kaplan of Books & Books in Coral Gables, Florida.

Checks should be made payable to the Bookseller Relief Fund and sent to ABA's office at 200 White Plains Road, Tarrytown, NY 10591. Please write "Bookseller Relief" on the outside of the envelope.

Booksellers who would like to apply for relief from the fund are encouraged to contact ABA's director of special projects, David Walker, at [email protected] or (800) 637-0037, ext. 6612.

Housing, Employment Opportunities, and More

Many in the book industry have also responded to the humanitarian crisis affecting their bookseller colleagues with individual fundraising efforts and with offers of housing, employment, and more. To help coordinate offers of housing and employment, ABA has created a web page,, listing offers from booksellers and others around the country. Each day the association is adding more and more offers to the list.

Anyone who would like to add an offer of assistance to the website is asked to contact ABA's Walker, at [email protected] or (800) 637-0037, ext. 6612.

Legal Advice

ABA's legal counsel, Arent Fox PLLC, has offered to help affected booksellers with free legal advice or referral information. Booksellers can contact Deanne Ottaviano at Arent Fox at (202) 775-5781 or via e-mail at [email protected].

Business Advice

Booksellers needing business-related advice in dealing with the effects of the hurricane are encouraged to contact ABA CEO Avin Mark Domnitz [(800) 637-0037, ext. 6610 or [email protected]] or Walker at [email protected] or (800) 637-0037, ext. 6612.