National Book Festival

Conference Circuit: A Victory For Independent Bookstores

Indie booksellers take center stage at the Library of Congress National Book Festival. Plus: Environmental journalists head to a city that's had more than its share of environmental setbacks.

The National Book Festival may not be led by an association, but the Library of Congress’ annual event is being heralded as a great promotional opportunity by¬† members of the independent bookselling community.

The 14th annual festival will be held Saturday at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. It’s the first time the event has been held indoors and the first time that an independent store is the event’s official bookseller.

DC institution Politics and Prose was selected over large-scale booksellers to tackle the responsibility of bringing more than 17,000 copies of more than 200 different books to the festival. That decision has the American Booksellers Association excited, in part because of the additional celebration of independent booksellers that will take place during the event.

“Prominently displayed in the pavilion will be special ‘wallpaper’ created by ABA, featuring the names and locations of more than 2,000 member bookstores,” BookWeb‘s Sydney Jarrard wrote earlier this month.

“What we hope to do is take this opportunity to let people who come to the festival know that the indie bookselling community is alive and well in the United States,” Politics and Prose co-owner Bradley Graham told Jarrard.

The Week Ahead

August 30: Not all events are multiday, star-studded affairs. Consider the Silicon Valley-Shenzhen Innovation and Investment Conference. More than 10 Chinese mayors and 20 business leaders will meet with their counterparts from Silicon Valley to talk investment and innovation without a vendor booth in sight.

September 2-6: Right on the heels of the National Book Festival, the Association for Rural and Small Libraries will hold its annual conference in Tacoma, Washington. Of particular note is the promotion of numerous state library scholarships, which in many instances are exclusive to members of ARSL.

September 3-7: The Society of Environmental Journalists is holding its 24th annual conference in New Orleans, a city that has felt the direct impact of two of the biggest environmental disasters of the past decade: Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Down the Line

September 15-17: The Air Force Association’s Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition at National Harbor, in Maryland, will host a who’s who of current and past military leaders. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James, former CIA and NSA director Michael Hayden, and a multitude of others will address attendees. It just goes to show that sometimes it’s possible to reach high and succeed in corralling the best speakers for your next event.

(Bob Staake/National Book Festival)

Morgan Little

By Morgan Little

Morgan Little is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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