As part of an effort to better communicate about the work it is doing with its members and the industry in general, the Book Industry Study Group is planning to significantly expand its programming for 2017.

In a plan approved by the BISG board before Thanksgiving, the organization will hold two webinars per month, six topic-driven programs during the year, and four major events.

“The new schedule will help us showcase the significant work our committees and working groups have been doing,” said Brian O’Leary, who took over as BISG executive director in the fall. “The first webinar each month will explain what our committees are working on, why it matters, and how members can join in to shape their work. We’ll typically use the second webinar each month to explain product updates and highlight new releases that benefit our membership and the industry.”

The first webinar, set for January 3, will address supply chain issues, and a webinar planned for January 17 will discuss BISG’s partnership with Outsell. Other topics likely to be covered in early webinars include metadata, content structure, and subject codes. All webinars will be free.

The four topic-driven programs will feature senior-level discussions of issues that include the implications of the plan to combine IDPF and the W3C (tentatively set for February) and the business case for ONIX 3.0 in the U.S. market. The programs will be offered without charge to members and at a “reasonable” cost to non-members when space is available, according to O’Leary. The goal of the forums, O’Leary noted, is to “foster a conversation about where the industry is headed and how our committees and working groups can help pave the way.”

The four events set for 2017 include BISG's annual membership meeting set for September; Making Information Pay, scheduled to take place in New York on April 21; a planned one-day workshop in June called The Accessibility Imperative, and the return of Making Information Pay – Higher Education, scheduled for November 9.

BISG board chair Maureen McMahon, CEO of Kaplan Publishing, said that the expanded programming is a natural next step for the organization. “We have renewed our focus on providing members with information, standards, and research that help them do their jobs more effectively. Engaging broadly with our membership and the industry is the right thing to do in 2017.”