ABC and ABA Agree on Steps for Merger Proposal [1]

The Boards of Directors of the Association of Booksellers for Children and the American Booksellers Association today released the following letter of agreement detailing the principles under which the two organizations will pursue further development of a merger proposal. In spring 2009 [3], ABC began exploring a merger with ABA as an option to keep the organization viable in the face of unprecedented change in the industry.

To Whom It May Concern:

We, the Boards of Directors of the Association of Booksellers for Children (ABC) and the American Booksellers Association (ABA), undertake this letter of agreement on the principles under which the two organizations will pursue further development of a merger proposal.

The two Boards agree to the following:

That after June 1st, 2010, ABC and ABA will enter into a good-faith process at the staff level to generate a formal plan for how ABC will be integrated into ABA should a merger vote be approved. This plan will address programming, staffing, and projections for financing these elements under a merged organization.

This process will be overseen by the members of the joint ABC/ABA Task Force. The goal will be to generate a merger plan that can be put before the voting members (booksellers) of the ABC for a formal vote in September 2010. Who constitutes the voting membership of ABC shall be determined in accordance with the existing ABC bylaws.

Should a merger vote be passed by a 2/3 majority of the voting membership of the ABC, the Boards also agree to the following:

That a formal date for ABC dissolution be set. Ideally this day will be at the end of the ABC’s accounting period, which runs January 1 - December 31.

  1. That prior to formal ABC dissolution, the ABA Board shall amend its Ends Policies to include the following language: "Members will have access to programs specifically aimed at growing and expanding the reach of children's books to a wide audience of both consumers and booksellers and would include such things as communication vehicles, appropriate awards, and educational programs."
  2. That in the event of merger, five seats on the ABA Booksellers Advisory Council (BAC) shall be designated for representatives of the children’s bookselling community, including booksellers from both children-only stores, as well as those from general stores with substantial children's departments.
  3. That in the event of merger, the ABC Board shall make a final review of all plans and will take the final vote for dissolution.
  4. That in the event of merger, after formal dissolution, the merger shall be implemented in accordance with the formal plan generated by both organizations and voted on by the ABC membership as the basis for dissolution/merger.
  5. That in the event of merger, the new combined organizations will operate under ABA's current Governance Procedures as outlined in the ABA Policy Manual [4].

Sincerely,

The Board of Directors of the Association of Booksellers for Children (ABC)

Elizabeth Bluemle [5]-President
The Flying Pig Bookstore
Shelburne, VT 

Valerie Koehler [6]-Vice President
Blue Willow Bookshop
Houston, TX 

Carol Stoltz [7]-Secretary
Porter Square Books
Cambridge, MA 

Dara LaPorte [8]-Treasurer
Politics & Prose
Washington, DC

Leslie Reiner [9]-Bookseller at Large
Inkwood Books
Tampa, FL 
 
Antonia Squire [10]-Bookseller at Large
Kepler's Books & Magazines
Menlo Park, CA 

Sally Bulthius [11]-Bookseller at Large
Pooh's Corner
Grand Rapids, MI
 
Melanie Chang [12]-Publisher Advisor
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Judith Haut [13]-Publisher Advisor
Random House

The Board of Directors of the American Booksellers Association (ABA)

Michael Tucker [14]-President
Books Inc.
San Francisco, CA
 
Becky Anderson [15]-Vice President/Secretary
Anderson's Bookshops
Naperville, IL

Steve Bercu [16]
BookPeople
Austin, TX

Betsy Burton [17]
The King's English
Salt Lake City, UT

Tom Campbell [18]
The Regulator Bookshop
Durham, NC

Dan Chartrand [19]
Water Street Bookstore
Exeter, NH

Cathy Langer [20]
Tattered Cover Book Store
Denver, CO
 
Beth Puffer [21]
Bank Street Bookstore
New York, NY

Ken White [22]
SFSU Bookstore
San Francisco, CA