March was quite a busy month. The ABA came to the Twin Cities in full force. Carrie, Nancy Simpson-Brice, and I were part of an educational task force to review the recent Winter Institute in Denver, and we also met with the ABA and booksellers from the upper Midwest in a special focus group to look ahead to Wi12 in Minneapolis.
At the same time, March's spring meeting kicked off with a lively discussion about the Shop Local movement and where it can go in the future. We covered a lot of topics, but perhaps the most important message was that booksellers often underestimate our ability to influence lawmakers and public policy. As both small businesses and tastemakers, we have valuable messages to share--and not just for the customers in our store. If you weren’t able to attend, you can find the materials in the ABA’s New Localism Toolkit. The afternoon concluded with a fun and lively author social. We learned about a dozen of the spring’s most interesting books direct from their authors. The conversations were animated, and it’s hard to tell who had more fun, them or us. Follow the links for the full list of authors and photos from the afternoon.
Last but not least came the March meeting of MIBA’s board. We devoted a full morning to strategic planning. Thanks to all who participated in our recent survey. We took your comments to heart as we reviewed our goals for MIBA’s future. We’ll wrap up our planning process this summer, and we’ll have a summary and report to share with you then.
Planning is well underway for the Heartland Fall Forum--October 5-7, 2016, at The Depot in Minneapolis. We’re especially interested to hear your suggestions for education sessions. What do you want to learn this fall? And what authors are you keen to meet? Please send your ideas to Carrie Obry (firstname.lastname@example.org), or be in touch with any of us board members.
Best to all,