The Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association’s Board of Directors has tapped GLIBA board member Larry Law to be the organization’s executive director, effective March 1. Law marks the third person to hold the position since GLIBA was founded in 1989.
GLIBA’s board president Kate Schlademan (who owns the Learned Owl in Hudson, Ohio) said in a release that the appointment was made “after an extensive search that resulted in an incredibly rich and impassioned pool of candidates." Law, she went on, was chosen "for his deep commitment to not only our organization and our mission, but his love of the region as a whole. His many skills, both technological and interpersonal, make him poised to provide our association with the tools and enthusiasm we need to move forward into the new vibrant landscape of bookselling.”
Law, 37, who lives in the Chicago suburb of Downer’s Grove, has been a member of the region’s bookselling community for almost 20 years. After a brief stint working at a Barnes & Noble in the area, Law went to work for the Naperville, Ill.-based Anderson’s Bookshops in 2001; he began his career there as a frontline bookseller. He currently serves as Anderson’s Bookshops' director of e-commerce and marketing. His last day at Anderson's will be March 1.
Law has been a member of GLIBA’s board of directors since 2015, and redesigned the GLIBA logo a few years ago to better represent its current membership and geography. He said that he had been considering applying for the position of GLIBA executive director “for a while.” He plans, he said, to visit all 116 member bookstores in GLIBA’s five-state region, and to create a GLIBA bookseller database which publishers can access to obtain information about booksellers’ specific areas of expertise and interests.
“I want to use my creative and digital background and my love of reaching out to bookstores to build relationships between GLIBA’s indie booksellers and publishers,” he said, “A huge part of the organization itself is advocacy, and to properly advocate for booksellers, I’ve got to know the bookstores themselves and to relay that information to publishers.”