Winter Institute Registration Filling Fast

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Less than a month after the American Booksellers Association opened registration for its Third Annual Winter Institute (Wi3), the event is more than two-thirds booked to capacity. ABA is encouraging booksellers who want to be a part of the 2008 education event in Louisville, Kentucky, to book as soon as possible to avoid being shut out. Wi3 is free (including meal functions) and open exclusively to the owners and staff of ABA member bookstores and to provisional bookseller members. Registration, which is being handled on a first-come, first-served basis, is capped at 500.

Wi3 will be held from Thursday, January 24, through Sunday, January 27, at the Louisville Marriott Downtown, where the association has negotiated a special rate for members starting at $109 per night, available from January 22 through January 29. Events begin with an opening reception on Thursday evening and end on Sunday morning with a "Bookseller Cafe," offering an additional opportunity for open-ended, moderated discussions among booksellers. Wi3 education sessions have been organized into suggested education tracks for booksellers at different levels of experience: for owners and managers; for frontline booksellers; for new and prospective booksellers; and for those particularly interested in the latest technological developments.

Registration for the education program is via a web form on ABA's trade website, BookWeb.org. The event registration deadline is Friday, November 16. All hotel reservations must be made through the hotel.

The Winter Institute is made possible by the support of lead sponsors BookExpo America, Baker & Taylor, and Ingram Book Group/Ingram Publisher Services. Additional support comes from 24 Publisher Partners that are providing scholarships covering reasonable transportations costs to Louisville and up to a three-night stay at the host hotel. Owners and staff at ABA member bookstores who would like to enter their names in the random scholarship drawing may do so by sending an e-mail to Education Director Len Vlahos at len@booksense.com by Monday, October 22, or by stopping by the ABA booth at any one of the nine regional association fall trade shows. The e-mail to Vlahos must say "Wi3 Scholarship" in the subject line and must include the bookstore name and the bookseller's name and contact information. The winners of the scholarships, who will be chosen at random, will be announced in BTW on Thursday, November 1.

ABA is also sponsoring an Emerging Leaders Scholarship, covering reasonable transportation costs and up to a three-night hotel stay at the Louisville Marriott Downtown. Booksellers at ABA member bookstores who are committed to furthering the success of independent bookselling are encouraged to apply. Applications for the Emerging Leaders scholarship should be sent to ABA Education Coordinator Lisa Winn at lisa@bookweb.org by Monday, October 22; include "EL Scholarship" in the e-mail subject line.

Questions about the Winter Institute program should be addressed to Vlahos at len@booksense.com; event registration questions should be e-mailed to Program Assistant Margaret Nafz at margaret@bookweb.org. For answers to questions about hotel registration, contact the Marriott directly at (502) 627-5045.