Spotlight on Becky Anderson, Candidate for ABA Vice President

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Becky Anderson of Anderson's Bookshops in Naperville, Illinois, is up for approval by membership for a second one-year term as ABA vice president/secretary. This year's board ballots must be submitted electronically by midnight on April 26.

Becky Anderson, the vice president of the American Booksellers Association, sees the book business as more than just a job. "We're selling so much more than a product or a thing," she said. A bookseller's job, Anderson believes, is to match the right book with the right person at the right time. "It remains with that person throughout their life."

Anderson, in her second three-year term on the ABA board, is up for approval by membership for a second one-year term as vice president. During her tenure on the board, she has been an enthusiastic proponent of IndieBound, and the program's continuing success is one of the areas she plans to focus on. The Shop Local movement, she said, is "on the verge of really taking off," making ongoing support from independent businesses crucial.

As the co-owner -- along with her brothers -- of three independent businesses, Anderson has no doubt that local retail is an essential part of a community. "I'm the fifth generation" to work in the family business, she said, "and our children are the sixth generation." In addition to Anderson's Bookshops in Naperville and Downers Grove, Illinois, Anderson and her brothers own a pharmacy, Oswald's, and W.W. Wickel, a children's book wholesaler, which handles school bookfairs and educational events.

In addition to sharing her enthusiasm for IndieBound, Anderson wants to continue using her position as vice president to encourage her fellow booksellers to focus on critical, fundamental questions surrounding the future of bookselling. "I'm really looking forward to seeing how we can resolve some of our issues," she said. "I want to work with publishers to see how we can all be more profitable."

Anderson is a past president of the Association of Booksellers for Children and the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association. She has served on ABA's Booksellers Advisory Council and on several industry task forces, as well as on the board of the Downtown Naperville Alliance.

Anderson sees the bookseller community, and the "spirit and energy" of booksellers, as one of ABA's strongest assets. "It's such a privilege for me to be part of the ABA board," she said. "I don't see this happening in any other business, the way we share and communicate." --Sarah Rettger

Read BTW's profiles of board candidates Sarah Bagby of Watermark Books in Wichita, Kansas, Steve Bercu of BookPeople in Austin, Texas; and Tom Campbell of The Regulator Bookshop in Durham, North Carolina. See also BookWeb's complete board candidate bios.