The Southern California Independent Booksellers Association (SCIBA) board has passed a resolution to dissolve the bookselling organization at the end of 2019.
SCIBA members will vote on the Resolution to Dissolve at SCIBA’s Fall Trade Show that opens on Friday, September 27 at the Sheraton Los Angeles San Gabriel Hotel. The board has scheduled a meeting on Friday afternoon at the annual convention so members can ask questions about the new resolution ahead of the member vote.
“The good news is that because of this process, there is an exciting path forward,” said Maryelizabeth Yturralde, the president of the SCIBA, referencing the hope that California booksellers could become part of a single independent booksellers association. If SCIBA members vote to dissolve, it could pave the way for a single association. Currently, the state has two bookselling groups--SCIBA and the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association. “We are trying to be more excited about the new opportunities, and not the ending,” she said.
“We’ve always been inclusive with SCIBA. If anything, this expedited where we were going to be as a state,” said Calvin Crosby, the executive director of NCIBA. His organization has been exploring the possibility of a single California bookselling association through bookseller outreach, surveys, and a special “transition committee” focused on the prospect. “The transition committee has given us a roadmap, and I don’t see a reason to detour,” Crosby said. The executive director added that NCIBA has three open board seats that could be filled with Southern California booksellers in a few months.
During a special meeting on September 22, the SCIBA board reviewed the nonprofit organization’s budget and determined that it could not raise enough income to meet its ongoing expenses. The organization is currently searching for a firm to audit SCIBA’s finances and independently verify the board’s conclusions. “This is not in any way a questioning of our bookkeeping,” said Yturralde. “This is simply due process to meet the board’s obligation to make sure our members have all the pieces.”
SCIBA membership grew last year, counting four new stores in 2018. The Fall Trade Show also saw attendance rise slightly last year, but some member stores had to divide staff between the SCIBA show and Politicon, an annual politics and entertainment event held in Los Angeles the same weekend.