A Report on the ABA Board’s July Meeting

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The American Booksellers Association’s Board of Directors held its summer meeting from Wednesday, July 23, to Friday, July 25, 2014, at ABA’s headquarters in White Plains, New York.

Over the course of the meeting, the Board:

  • Heard a report by ABA CEO Oren Teicher on his activities since the last Board meeting, in May 2014, including:

    • Welcoming to the meeting Tim Godfray, chief executive of the Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom and Ireland, as a guest of the Board;
    • Meeting with senior executives of Reed Exhibitions to discuss next year’s BookExpo America and BookCon;
    • Working with the Main Street Alliance and other allies to advocate in Washington, D.C., on behalf of sales tax fairness;
    • Helping to direct ABA’s efforts in assisting Washington’s Politics & Prose, which has been selected as the official bookseller for the 14th Annual Library of Congress National Book Festival, to be held on August 30, 2014, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center;
    • Working with staff on formulating ABA’s Ends Policy compliance reports for presentation to the Board;
    • Meeting, together with ABA Senior Program Officer Joy Dallanegra-Sanger, with senior executives at Ingram Content Group to discuss matters of mutual interest, including the upcoming Winter Institute (Wi10) in Asheville, North Carolina, which will be held from February 8 to 11, 2015;
    • Attending a meeting of the Board of Directors of World Book Night U.S., which recently announced that it would be suspending operations;
    • Planning with staff for the association’s participation in the fall regional trade shows and on programming for Wi10;
    • Conducting a conference call with the executive directors of the regional booksellers associations to discuss possible areas of cooperation and collaboration regarding the second annual celebration of California Bookstore Day, which will take place on May 2, 2015;
    • Recent travel, which included, at the invitation and expense of the host organization, attending and speaking at the Book Business Conference 2014, in Seoul, South Korea.
  • Heard a report from ABA President Steve Bercu of BookPeople in Austin, Texas, on his activities on behalf of the association, including:

  • With Board approval, ABA President Bercu appointed Sara Hines of Eight Cousins Bookstore in Falmouth, Massachusetts, and Sarah Goddin of Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh, North Carolina, as new members of the Booksellers Advisory Council.
  • Heard a presentation from the BA’s Godfray on his association’s activities over the last year, including the national “Books Are My Bag” promotion.
  • Received an update from CEO Teicher about ABA’s plans regarding the second annual celebration of California Bookstore Day. He noted that the association will be providing financial and other in-kind support for Bookstore Day celebrations and will work closely with the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association and the other regional associations that choose to participate.
  • Heard a report from Membership and Marketing Officer Meg Smith on the results of 2014 Membership Satisfaction Survey.
  • Reviewed the 2014 compliance reports from staff in regards to ABA’s Ends Policies and reviewed those policies. After discussion, the Board approved changes to clarify the articulation of the policies. The Board updated Ends Policy D(1) to read:

    • Member stores will be represented within groups of appropriate allies dealing with issues of literacy, culture, diversity, and the development of new readers.
  • Received a briefing from ABA Member Technology Director Neil Strandberg on a number of tech-related issues, ranging from ongoing discussions with companies developing applications and business strategies relevant to member stores’ operations (including e-books) to the status of IndieCommerce’s migration from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7.
  • Met with William King, senior vice president of Merrill Lynch, and Richard A. Janus, chief information officer, Victory Capital Management, who reviewed the performance of the association’s investment portfolio.
  • Heard an update from Board Member Sarah Bagby of Wichita, Kansas’ Watermark Books and Café, who is also a member of the LIBRIS Board, and CEO Teicher on ABA’s LIBRIS insurance program.
  • Heard a report from ABA Senior Strategy Officer Dan Cullen and Senior Program Officer Dallanegra-Sanger on the ongoing planning for ABA’s participation in the fall regional trade shows and for Winter Institute 2015.
  • Heard a report from Senior Program Officer Dallanegra-Sanger on ABA’s plans for assisting member stores’ participation in AmEx’s Small Business Saturday initiative.