BookSense.com Establishes Council of Booksellers

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BookSense.com recently announced that it has created the BookSense.com User's Council (BUC). The council was established, in part, as a result of the suggestions of numerous booksellers, and, while it is not a governance body, it will provide valuable feedback and will play a key role in helping ABA staff determine the future direction of BookSense.com. "We do seek a lot of bookseller feedback, but we thought it would be nice to formalize the process," said Len Vlahos, BookSense.com director. The BUC is composed of 12 independent booksellers from around the country.

Bob Sommer of Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, Arizona, is one of the BUC's members and was one of the booksellers who first suggested a type of user's council for BookSense.com. "We wanted to see if we couldn't have a forum to review what the [Book Sense.com] staff had in mind and communicate what our needs are," he told BTW. "I felt [the establishment of BUC] was very responsive."

Donna Urey of White Birch Books in Conway, New Hampshire, and an ABA Booksellers Advisory Council member, is also a member of BUC. "BookSense.com is essential for bookstores," she said. "If I can do something to make it better and get it more in the public eye and the booksellers' eye -- we need more people to [participate]. We definitely need an e-presence, and this is the best way to do it. We obviously can't [create Book Sense.com] by ourselves, so we have to do what we can do…. I am just glad to see that something like [BUC] is happening -- the more communication, the better."

The members of the BUC are: Sandy Torkildson of A Room of One's Own in Madison, Wisconsin; Michele Lewis of Afro-American Book Stop in New Orleans; Beth Puffer of Bank Street Books in New York City; Bob Sommer of Changing Hands; Neil Van Uum of Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Cincinnati; Clark Kepler of Kepler's Books in Menlo Park, California; Tom Campbell of Regulator Bookshop in Durham, North Carolina; Kerry Slattery of Skylight Books in Los Angeles; Matt Miller of Tattered Cover in Denver; Chuck Robinson of Village Books in Bellingham, Washington; Donna Urey of White Birch Books; and Ann Christophersen of Women & Children First in Chicago.

The inaugural BUC meeting will occur Monday, January 13, at the Doubletree Hotel in Santa Monica, California. Questions regarding the BUC should be directed to Len Vlahos at (800) 637-0037, ext. 1215, or via e-mail at len@booksense.com.