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ILSR Responds to Amazon’s Acquisition of Whole Foods

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) has released a statement urging regulators to block Amazon’s deal to acquire Whole Foods Market for more than $13 billion.

In the June 16 statement, Stacy Mitchell, co-director of ILSR and co-author of the nonprofit’s recent report “Amazon’s Stranglehold,” wrote that Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods raises significant anti-competitive issues that should be troubling to federal antitrust regulators as well as the public.

“This deal would allow Amazon to leverage the Whole Foods chain in ways that would expand its monopoly power in online commerce, including by integrating these locations into its rapidly growing logistics and delivery network,” Mitchell wrote. “And it would give Amazon, which already sells more clothing, books, toys, and consumer electronics than any other retailer, a substantial share of an even bigger consumer goods category, groceries. Regulators should block this acquisition.”

Mitchell went on to list some of the key data points found by “Amazon’s Stranglehold,” which outlined Amazon’s rapidly expanding reach.

See Mitchell’s entire statement here.

Tubby & Coo’s and White Birch Books Win Blackout Challenge

Independent bookstores Tubby & Coo’s in New Orleans and White Birch Books in North Conway, New Hampshire, have been named the grand-prize winners of the Sourcebooks Bookstore Blackout Challenge.

The contest was launched in honor of the publisher’s release of the U.S. edition of Marc Elsberg’s internationally bestselling novel Blackout earlier this month. During the contest, readers were asked to vote for the bookstore most likely to “Survive the Blackout” by judging the creativity of stores’ #BlackoutChallenge social media campaigns. Tubby & Coo’s, which received the most votes, and White Birch Books, which received the second most, each won a $2,000 grand prize.

Customers who voted for their local bookstore were also entered to win a $250 gift card to their store and a Blackout survival kit. Twelve second-place winners received a $50 gift card to their local indie.

We Need Diverse Books Launches OurStory App

We Need Diverse Books has launched OurStory, an educational resource app for mobile and desktop devices to help children, parents, educators, and librarians discover diverse books.

Using the app, launched June 15, users can search for books by and about people of color, LGBTQIA+ people, Native people, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic and religious minorities. The app will feature three tiers: Kids (ages 12 and under), Teen (ages 13 and up), and Pro (educators and librarians), which offers three paid membership levels (Bronze, Silver, Gold). OurStory Kids and Teen have both free and paid levels, and children will be able to use the free version of OurStory Kids without creating an account.

The OurStory app is now live across all Internet browsers, with downloadable apps for iOS and Android tablets to follow later this summer. Apps compatible with iOS and Android phones will be made available in late 2017.

The launch of OurStory will be celebrated with a party during the 2017 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago this month, which will include a special presentation and hands-on demonstrations.

NEA Awards $84 Million in Grants

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has issued 1,195 new grants, totaling $84.06 million, to arts organizations across the country, Newsweek reported.

These grants represent the endowment’s second round of funding this year, in spite of a proposed budget from the White House that would defund the entire organization.

Among the groups that were awarded grants are Poets & Writers, which received $75,000 to support Poets & Writers magazine, add content to its website, and improve its online directories.

Lambda Literary received $25,000 to support its Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices, the LGBTQ Writers in Schools Program, and its national reading series.

Chicago Review Press Acquires Bright Ideas for Learning Series 

Chicago Review Press Incorporated, the parent company of Chicago Review Press (CRP) and Independent Publishers Group (IPG), has acquired all 11 titles in the Bright Ideas for Learning series, with the acquisition effective July 1.

The series was originally published by Bright Ring Publishing, Inc., founded in 1985 by author and educational consultant MaryAnn F. Kohl to publish her award-winning Bright Ideas for Learning series, which consists of art resource books for children, parents, and teachers.

Chicago Review Press publisher Cynthia Sherry will oversee the acquisition, and IPG will continue to distribute, now under CRP, all new and backlist series titles.

David Grossman Wins 2017 Man Booker International Prize

Israeli author David Grossman has won the 2017 Man Booker International Prize for his novel A Horse Walks Into a Bar, translated by Jessica Cohen and published in Britain by Jonathan Cape.

The prize recognizes a single work of fiction translated into English and published in the U.K. This is only the second year that the Man Booker International Prize has been awarded to a single book, with the £50,000 prize divided equally between the author and the translator.

The winner was selected from 126 books by a panel of five judges. Both author and translator received £25,000 (about $31,885), as well as another £1,000 each for being shortlisted.

Carla Hayden and Louise Erdrich Win WNBA Award

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden and author and bookstore owner Louise Erdrich have been named the winners of the 2017 Women’s National Book Association Award.

According to the organization, the award is presented to “a living American woman who derives part or all of her income from books and allied arts, and who has done meritorious work in the world of books beyond the duties or responsibilities of her profession or occupation.”

This year, in honor of its Centennial anniversary, the WNBA has chosen to bestow the award to two women, rather than one. Hayden and Erdrich will be honored at the WNBA’s Centennial celebration on October 28 in New York City.

2017 CILIP Carnegie Medal and CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal Awarded

The 2017 CILIP Carnegie Medal and CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal have been awarded to Ruta Sepetys and Lane Smith, respectively, The Guardian reported. This is the first time that an American author and an American illustrator have taken home both awards in the same year.

Septeys received the U.K.’s CILIP Carnegie Medal for Salt to the Sea (Philomel Books) and Smith received the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal for There Is a Tribe of Kids (Roaring Brook Press).

The awards are overseen by the London-based Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) and were given out at a ceremony on June 19 at the Royal Institute of British Architects. Each author received a specially commissioned gold medal, £5,000 from the Colin Mears Award, and £500 worth of books to donate to their local library.

Two books were also chosen to receive Amnesty CILIP Honors, awarded to children’s books that explore human rights: the Amnesty CILIP Carnegie Honor went to Zana Fraillon for The Bone Sparrow (Disney-Hyperion), and the Amnesty CILIP Kate Greenaway Honor went to Francesca Sanna for The Journey (Flying Eye Books).