The Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association announced last weekend at their annual general membership meeting, held during the second Heartland Fall Forum at the Crowne Plaza-O’Hare Hotel in Rosemont, Ill. that the regional booksellers association is establishing the Jim Dana Literacy Grant. Beginning in 2014, $1,000 will be given annually to one nonprofit literacy program or organization nominated by a GLIBA member bookstore. The grant is named for Jim Dana, GLIBA’s founder and long-time executive director, who stepped down from his position in 2010 to work for the Peace Corps in Morocco.

“We’ve been collecting money for literacy at the trade show for many years,” GLIBA executive director Deb Leonard told PW. “We wanted to find a systematic way to distribute it to a good cause or to several good causes. Jim Dana built GLIBA from scratch and has been teaching people to read in Morocco in his stint with the Peace Corps. It just seemed natural to name it for him.”

Application forms for GLIBA member bookstores are available from the organization, with a deadline for the first grant being July 15, 2014. The winning nonprofit and bookstore nominator will be announced at the third Heartland Fall Forum in Minneapolis in 2014.

GLIBA was founded by Dana in 1989 as the Michigan Booksellers Association. It was expanded in 1991 to include Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and northern Kentucky booksellers. GLIBA currently has 262 bookstore members, up from 256 in 2012.