Notes: Teicher Is ABA's New CEO; Ayers Event Canceled
Oren Teicher will become chief executive officer of the American Booksellers Association, effective June 1. Teicher, the ABA's current COO, succeeds Avin Mark Domnitz, who announced his impending retirement in January.
In a statement, ABA President Gayle Shanks said the decision by the board of directors was made "after a full and thorough search," adding that Teicher's commitment to the ABA and independent bookstores is longstanding: "He was our associate executive director, director of government affairs, founding president of ABFFE and, for the past 12 years, has been our chief operating officer. . . . He has played an integral part in our IndieBound Local First initiatives, and he serves as an advisor to independent business alliance boards and other independent retail trade associations."
Details of Teicher's new contract will be disclosed to ABA members after they are finalized, the statement continued, noting "the board wants to assure the membership that the terms of the new CEO's contract will fit well within the norm for trade associations of our size. The hiring of a new CEO is an appropriate time to conduct a review of all of the association's programs and expenses, and the board has requested that Oren undertake that effort. To that end, I know that he will welcome your ideas and thoughts, so please feel free to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org."
Safety concerns and community reaction caused the recent cancellation of appearances by controversial educator and activist William Ayers at Naperville North High School and Anderson's Bookshop, Naperville, Ill., according to the Sun. The bookstore's decision "was one the business did not happily make. Anderson's also asserted that 'freedom of speech was threatened' by the community's reaction to the scheduled appearance of Ayers, a University of Chicago education professor who admitted to participating in domestic bombings as a way of protesting the Vietnam War."
A statement posted on the bookstore's website said, "Anderson's Bookshops host hundreds of authors and newsmakers each year and will continue to do so. The hysterical and ugly comments about the appearance multiplied each day and we feared our customers and staff might be in physical jeopardy if we held the scheduled program."
Anderson's also noted that it plans to "host a town meeting-type freedom of speech forum to provide an outlet for examining how respectful discourse can enrich our lives and our community."
Tragedy struck Flintridge Bookstore and Coffeehouse, La Canada Flintridge, Calif., yesterday when a truck slammed into the bookstore, killing two people and injuring several others. The Associated Press reported that the truck, which left "several damaged and overturned vehicles strewn across the pavement" at the busy intersection and "was lodged inside the Flintridge Bookstore and Coffeehouse where one of the two people inside was hit by a piece of wood and received minor injuries."
Last month, Clear Creek Books, Golden, Colo., was in danger of closing (Shelf Awareness, March 2, 2009), but Yourhub.com reported that "a community effort to step up and help owner Craig Morgan has lightened the load."
"The response has been amazing. I am feeling pretty good," said Morgan, who explained that a combination of individual loans and the possibility of offering memberships have given the business some breathing space.
"Membership is an attractive idea, because people get something back," Morgan added.
The Louisville Courier-Journal showcased a pair of "local heroes"--Ear X-tacy music shop and Carmichael's Bookstore--as independent businesses that are also "two fixtures of the Louisville cultural scene which appear to be thriving despite the recession."
"We operate on such a shoestring, I think the economy just hasn't affected us as much directly," said Carol Besse, co-owner of Carmichael's. "And also the kind of store that we are, the fact that we're small, we're personal, we know our customers, they're pretty addicted to reading and they've continued to come to us."
Besse added that ABA's IndieBound program and buy local movement have also helped. "I think the success of the 'buy local' movement is really what contributed to our sales not declining this holiday season. I think people are starting the get that message, that shopping at a locally-owned business is a good thing for the community and is also ecologically responsible."
Today's New York Times reported that as public libraries nationwide become increasingly popular destinations in a down economy, the role of librarians in the community has been altered substantially "to fill a void for more people, particularly job-seekers and those who have fallen on hard times."
Happy birthday to the Association of American Publishers's Get Caught Reading campaign, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary in May by teaming with the National Basketball Association and Reach Out and Read to distribute thousands of posters featuring NBA and WNBA stars "caught reading" their favorite books at select NBA events and through Reach Out and Read pediatric centers in 50 states.
On the lookout for the First Dog. USA Today reported that "the presidential puppy is about to arrive--and so are two new children's picture books about the next canine occupant of the White House." The piece highlighted April releases Which Puppy? by Kate Feiffer, illustrated by Jules Feiffer (S&S, $16.99, 9781416991472/1416991476) and and First Dog by J. Patrick Lewis and Beth Zappitello, illustrated by Tim Bowers (Sleeping Bear Press, $15.95, 9781585364671/1585364673).