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News & Press: General Announcements

BISG, At Your Service

Monday, April 30, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Brian O'Leary

The Book Industry Study Group held its annual meeting last Friday, convening 175 people at the Harvard Club of New York for the second consecutive year. The meeting included three “state of the supply chain” panels that addressed issues and opportunities in publishing, distribution, and retailing.

After BISG Board chair Maureen McMahon (Kaplan Publishing) welcomed everyone, we provided an overview the results of our recent supply-chain survey. While retailers and publishers were described as the most challenged part of the supply chain, we were encouraged to find that 75% to 97% of those responding saw various BISG committee initiatives as somewhat or very beneficial.

At lunch, we recognized our Board attorney Michael Bamberger (Dentons) with the Lifetime Service Award, renamed this year to honor longtime Board member Sally Dedecker.  Diane Degener, retiring from LSC Communications, received the Industry Champion Award. And, we surprised our literacy innovators panel, which included Margret Aldrich (Little Free Library), Susan Robbins (Project Cicero), and Noëlle Santos (Lit.Bar), with Industry Innovator awards, presented at the end of their discussion.

I’ll have more to say about the content and implications of the annual meeting, but I wanted to dedicate this first article to the content of “BISG, At Your Service”, a session we led just before lunch. In it, I outlined what BISG is doing to address the concerns of its members.

That story unfolded through a set of numbers: 36, 60, 624, 8, and 1. No, this is not some convoluted Fibonacci sequence. It’s the outline and evidence of what we work on every day to serve the book industry.

If you’ve attended any of our webinars, you’ve heard me talk about our content plan, which includes 36 different offerings in 2018. The majority are webinars, which include twice-a-year updates from our five committees plus 14 topical discussions throughout the year. These are complimented by six two-hour programs, three full-day events, and three metadata summits, critical parts of our metadata initiative.

Alongside this content plan, we host 60 committee meetings a year, with each of our five committees gathering for one to three hours on a monthly basis. This number doesn’t include other groups that meet less frequently or come together on an ad hoc basis to solve a specific problem. Taken together, the content plan and the committee meetings put BISG in contact with the book community an average of twice a week, every week in 2018.

Everything we accomplish involved the work of our members, 624 of whom are registered for one or more of our five standing committees. They don’t all attend committee meetings, but the all receive regular updates through agendas, minutes, action items, committee charters, and periodic deliverables. They’ve declared an interest, and we work hard to meet it.

That work is led by 8 members dedicated to one vision: solving problems that affect two or more parts of the supply chain. Our committee chairs and co-chairs plan, lead, and support efforts that will deliver on more than a dozen and half initiatives in 2018. We’re not everywhere, and we’re not yet everywhere I think we need to be (look for a workflow game plan in 2019). But we’re working hard to deliver value to our membership and the book industry.

If you’ve read this far and you’re not involved yet, write me at We’ll find you a home at BISG.


232 Madison Avenue, Suite 1400
New York, NY 10016
Phone: 646-336-7141 |