Booksellers Forum Tour Heads to Louisville

On Tuesday, April 10, the American Booksellers Association will be holding a Booksellers Forum and Education Program in conjunction with the Great Lakes Booksellers Association (GLBA) and the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) at the Louisville Marriott Downtown (home of ABA's 2008 Winter Institute) in Louisville, Kentucky. Registration starts at 9: 45 a.m., and the program will run from 10:15 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

All ABA, GLBA, and SIBA store owners and staff are invited to participate in the free program, which will be facilitated by ABA's COO Oren Teicher; Len Vlahos, the director of both and ABA's education program; and Kristen Gilligan, associate director of programming.

The event begins with a welcome to Louisville by Carol Besse of Carmichael's Bookstore. At 10:30 a.m., Vlahos will lead the 90-minute session "Participating in the Digital Revolution." Every day, the media features stories about how technology is changing the way people interact -- how they acquire information and how they process it. This session will explore the effects of phenomena such as digitization of content, social networking, and open source and distributed computing on independent booksellers today and in the future. Practical suggestions regarding ways that booksellers can create their own space in a digital world will be offered.

At noon will be the Bookseller Forum & Strategic Planning Session. Over lunch, booksellers will hear the latest updates on ABA's programs and initiatives. They will have the opportunity to voice concerns and to offer input on the future direction of the association, which is currently formulating its next five-year strategic plan.

The forum format fosters discussion of regional and national issues affecting independent booksellers. ABA encourages bookstore owners to attend with staff members, as the day's programming can help provide a broader picture of how individual stores fit into the larger industry.

Following the forum, the focus will be on "Buy Local First" campaigns and GLBA Holiday Catalog news and resources.

For planning purposes, all who will be attending are asked to contact ABA's Margaret Nafz at or (800) 637-0037, ext. 6614. Participants are also invited to contact Teicher or Vlahos prior to the forum with questions, suggestions, or comments. ABA has reserved several rooms at the Marriott at $109 per night; anyone interested in booking a room should contact Nafz.