Career Center | Print Page | Sign In | Register
News & Press: General Announcements

When Trivia Is Not Trivial

Monday, May 11, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Brian O'Leary

Last week, BISG announced an addition to our content calendar that deserves special mention: an online Bookish Trivia Social, taking place at 7:00 p.m. (ET) on May 21. There's a nominal charge to attend - just $5. All proceeds will be matched by BISG and donated to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (BINC), which supports booksellers in need.

The event is organized by Julie Blattberg, who has partnered with BISG the past three years to help structure and deliver our in-person programming. With events moving online for the foreseeable future, Julie is working on things the BISG community can do with and for one another. This is an early answer, but it won't be the only one.

Because the pandemic has affected the industry in many ways, BISG has taken a broad view, surveying the industry and describing the impact of COVID-19 across the book industry supply-chain. We are currently revising our content plan to address what we heard in the survey. Look for an announcement on some near-term changes coming later this week.

As excited as we are for the new calendar, we have also stayed true to the ways that BISG delivers value to the book publishing community. One example: our bookish trivia event is one of seven meetings, including five regularly scheduled committee gatherings, taking place in just the next 10 days. Even with a pandemic, we're set to host more than 90 different gatherings in 2020, a number that will probably push past 100 when the new events are announced.

Committee work forms the backbone of what BISG does to solve problems that affect two or more parts of the supply chain. Charters, created each year by members of the metadata, rights, subject codes, supply chain, and workflow committees, guide that work. More than 400 people are members of at least one BISG committee. They join committee calls to keep up with current issues and trends, contribute to a shared solution, and exchange ideas with peers from across the chain.

Through our committees, we continue to connect the industry. That has been more apparent in the past several socially distanced weeks. We're about to begin our third cycle of post-pandemic monthly committee calls, a time when people have moved from not knowing what to make of things to making the best of things even as we face an uncertain future. Some colleagues have been furloughed; some are juggling full-time jobs with equally demanding roles as teachers for children now schooled from home.

This doesn't put us in a special place; we're affected no more or less than the world around us. But we do have a chance, whether in a single committee meeting, an online event, even a bookish trivia contest, to see one another, at a time when the importance of those encounters is elevated. We share, we debate, we laugh - yes, even metadata can be funny, at times - and we try to work together to make the book business better.

In April we announced that, for the duration of the pandemic, we'd open our committees to participation from anyone in the book industry who wanted to join. Normally, membership is required, but we feel that BISG can help bridge the gaps that the pandemic has created in our industry. We've had a number of people take us up on the offer, which remains open. Write to me ( and we'll get you set up.

And do try to join us for trivia next week. Julie is working hard, as she always does, to make it a fun and bookish event. BINC does great work, and we're happy to host an event that helps their efforts. I hope to see you there.


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