In an open letter to the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association, executive director Jim Dana, who has led the organization since its founding in 1989, announced yesterday that he will retire after this fall’s trade show. Starting November 2, he will serve in the Peace Corps as an education volunteer in Lesotho, a small country surrounded by South Africa.

“This is a bittersweet circumstance for me,” wrote Dana. “On the one hand, I’m excited about the new phase of life—an adventure, really—that I’m about to embark on. On the other, GLiBA and bookselling have been a huge part of my life.... I’ll be sad to be leaving it behind.”

The GLiBA board has already begun looking for a new executive director. The job is posted on; applications are due by September 3.