In preparation for the Spring Forums, which begin this week in Atlanta and Washington, D.C., the American Booksellers Association has compiled a handout of ideas discussed at the Bookseller Discussion Groups following author and activist Roxane Gay’s opening plenary address at Winter Institute 12. The handout is being distributed at each of the season’s 10 ABA forum programs and is now downloadable from BookWeb.org.
Booksellers’ suggestions for addressing the current political/social climate in their communities in constructive ways that bring people together have been organized under the headings of activism, community, diversity, empathy, outreach, and sanctuary.
The handout was created for the 2017 forum education session “Bookstores — An Inclusive Place for Dialogue and Discovery,” which will be presented at each Spring Forum program along with the traditional open forum discussion of booksellers’ concerns relating to ABA, the book industry in general, and more.
The education session, which emanated from the discussions at Winter Institute’s Town Hall and Bookseller Discussion Groups, seeks to help booksellers fulfill the special role that indie bookstores play in their communities while recognizing that different bookstores will fulfill that role in a wide variety of ways.
For more on this non-traditional education program featuring bookseller discussions in both large- and small-group settings, see ABA CEO Oren Teicher’s March 1 letter to members.
The suggestions provided in the handout may not work for every store, and booksellers are encouraged to consider their store, their community, and their business goals when deciding to act on their colleagues’ ideas.
The 2017 Spring Forum education handout is available here; it is also available to ABA member booksellers with a BookWeb username and password in BookWeb’s Curriculum Guide along with handouts from the education sessions at Winter Institute 12.