ABA Board Announces New Ends Policies

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Following the American Booksellers Association Board of Directors’ meeting this month, new association ends policies have been posted on BookWeb.

The ABA ends policies serve to inform the board and ABA staff of the goals of the association. The ABA staff then works toward those goals (“the ends”) at the direction of the CEO based on the CEO’s choices about how to meet those goals (“the means”). Members are periodically surveyed to measure ABA’s success meeting the goals. In accordance with governance policy, each year the ABA Board reviews the association’s ends policies, and this year, the board made some changes.

The ends policies were edited to make the association goals more transparent and explicit; two of the ends had elements that were felt to be too vague or broad to reasonably measure or interpret the intention behind them. The ends policies were also revised to ensure that they focused on ends (goals) rather than means (the resources and methods by which staff arrive at the goals). Finally, the new ends policies state the association’s commitment to antiracism, inclusion, representation, and diversity.

“The ABA Board regularly reviews our ends policies, and as we’ve hired a new CEO and expanded the board itself over the course of the last 18 months, we waited until these parties were able to discuss together and vote on the changes,” said ABA Board President Jamie Fiocco.

Questions about the new ends policies can be directed to Fiocco.

ABA Ends Policies, as of January 2021

The American Booksellers Association exists so that its core membership of independent bookstores can operate successfully as sustainable businesses and constitute a vital channel in the U.S. book market. This will be achieved at a level that justifies the resources invested while ensuring the association’s long-term financial sustainability. This also will be done in a manner that demonstrates a commitment to antiracism, inclusion, representation, and diversity.

The ABA has four broad tasks — education, promotion, partnership, and advocacy. Accordingly, the association will work to ensure that:

  1. Core members have the necessary skills, education, technology, community (including other independent businesses), and resources to be successful and financially sustainable.
  2. The general public have an awareness and understanding of the cultural and economic value of independent bookstores.
  3. The book industry views independent bookstores as vital and valued partners.
  4. Legal and regulatory policies reflect the interests of independent bookstores in such areas as antitrust action, small business assistance, and the First Amendment right to disseminate information as it relates to the bookselling industry.