NECBA’S DARWINIAN RECORD
The New England Children’s Bookselling Advisory Council (NECBA)
BY CAROL CHITTENDEN AND PATTY CRYAN, APRIL, 2008
NECBA was begun in the summer of 1987 by Bina Williams and Carol Chittenden, soon joined by Terri Schmitz, Suzanne Sigman, and others. At first it functioned completely separately from NEBA (now NEIBA), and met occasionally to discuss matters of interest to children’s bookstore owners. By 1989 it was thriving, and by mutual agreement, it was adopted into NEBA as an interest group and Advisory Council. In time, as the bookselling trade has evolved, the emphasis has moved away from service to children’s bookstore owners, and more toward the interests of children’s bookselling in general. The NEIBA bylaws are broad in their definition of its existence and mission:
Section 2. The President shall appoint a chairperson of the New England Children’s Booksellers Advisory Council, which will be open to any member of NEIBA actively involved in children’s bookselling. The Children’s Booksellers Advisory Council will convene at least three times a year, including a meeting during the Annual Trade Show
Below are the structure, activities and responsibilities it has carried on, with the dates when they began and, in some cases, ended.
1] All discussions and communications are open and unregulated, but conducted with care to avoid competitive bias. (1987 et suite)
2] The NEIBA President names the Chair or Co-Chairs for NECBA, who serve for two-year terms. (Bylaws, 1989)
3] The duties of the Chair or Co-Chairs of NECBA are to set agendas, conduct meetings, and communicate decisions to the President, to NEIBA staff, and to NEIBA and NECBA members. The NECBA chair also serves on the NEIBA Advisory Council. (1989)
4] The NECBA membership chooses a Secretary to record meeting activities and decisions, and communicate them to the members. (1987)
5] NECBA meets at the annual trade show, and three other times each year. (Bylaws, 1989) NEIBA staff assist in setting up NECBA meetings and trade show events.
6] Meetings are open to all interested NEIBA members. (Bylaws, 1989)
7] Aiding in the defense against infringement of trade allegations and litigation (1994-5?)
8] Helping NEIBA staff prepare and distribute for sale a directory of New England Authors and Illustrators of Children’s Books (1994?-2007)
9] Routine activities besides the meetings include:
9a] Maintaining an e-mail listserve and newsgroup, available in either individual replies or in digest form. (1998?)
9b] Planning and execution of an educational session at the Fall Trade Show (1992)
9c] Planning and execution, with help from NEIBA staff and supporting publishers, of a Children’s Author and Illustrator dinner at the annual NEIBA trade show (1992).
9c] Assembling a Spring Review Project (2005) and a Fall Review Project (1996) to share reviews of forthcoming middle-grade and young adult fiction. Sharing those reviews with the NEIBA membership and BookSense.
9d] Suggesting likely titles to NEIBA staff and supporting publishers for the Holiday Catalogue. (2008)
9e] From time to time members share or exchange inventory by mutual terms and agreement. (1987)
10] Maintaining communication and relations with other organizations in the publishing and bookselling industry as appropriate
11] NECBA members offer and help maintain content for the dedicated NECBA website. (2008)