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The IOBA Standard is the journal of the Independent Online Booksellers Association and covers the book world, with a special focus on the online used, out-of-print, and collectible bookselling markets.


25th Annual Colorado Book Market Seminar

The 25th Annual Out-of-Print & Antiquarian Book Market Seminar convened in scenic Colorado Springs this past August 3-8th. Thirty-six participants from all over the United States and Canada found their way to the foot of Pikes Peak for an intense week of lectures, discussions, networking, and hands-on learning at the unofficial “Boot Camp for Booksellers.” As coordinator, I had been working at my job since early in the year; gathering and organizing information, answering queries, sending confirmations and encouraging interested people to register. It is always a great pleasure for me to meet and greet participants as they arrive on the Colorado College campus where I can finally put a name to a face! At registration on Sunday afternoon, we armed participants with notebooks, t-shirts, book bags and maps to prepare them for the busy week ahead. Later that evening we all gathered at a reception and Keynote address, which is a wonderful opportunity to meet faculty and fellow students, and begin “networking.” In addition, the Keynote address and reception is the only portion of the seminar open to the public, so we invite local booksellers, librarians and even former seminar participants who have stopped by on the way home from the Denver Book Fair to join us for the evening. Of course after introductions, the highlight of the evening is always the Keynote address. This year’s talk was delivered by Dan DeSimone, Curator for the Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection of the Library of Congress. In addition to stories about his experiences in the book trade, Dan outlined strategies and practical advice to booksellers for developing professional relationships with libraries as customers. One enthusiastic participant commented that DeSimone’s speech was worth the total price of the whole seminar!

“The Faculty was beyond outstanding.” 2003 participant.

In addition to Dan De Simone, who stayed for the week after his Keynote presentation, this year’s faculty included experts in many areas of the book business. Michael Ginsberg, the seminar director, is a businessman, consultant, appraiser and past president of ABAA who led discussions on appraisals, book scouting, the mail order book business and directed the “Auction.” Ed Glaser, a veteran of all past book seminar faculties as well as noted specialist in rare and important books in science and medicine and another ABAA past president, is our expert on producing catalogs and on ethics in the trade. Jennifer Larson guided students through bibliographical description, an exhibition of binding and printing and led discussions on the Library as a market. This year, Jennifer was joined on the faculty by her husband and business associate Jeffrey Marks, a lawyer and bookseller. Jeff along with friend and partner Rob Rulon-Miller acted as Specialist Dealer describing adventures and experiences in high end book selling. John Townsend, owner of Town’s End Books, mail order specialist and our computer “wizard,” was our technology professor covering many aspects of this new and very important tool in the trade. Mary Ciletti and Lois Harvey, our outstanding Colorado business owners, taught practical lessons on owning and running a bookstore and on book fairs. Last, but certainly not the least, of our faculty members was Jim Canary, book conservator, repair specialist and Head of the Special Collections Conservation at the Indiana University Libraries. Jim ran several very popular and well-attended tutorials on the nitty-gritty of book repair and conservation.“I’m not sure how so many long days can make up such a short week!” 2003 participant.

The schedule was jammed packed from 8:30am Monday until the closing luncheon on Friday. Classes ran until 6pm most days and Tuesday and Wednesday included evening tutorials. Even lunchtime was used for casual discussions and individual one-on-one with faculty.

“Loved the time staff devoted to teaching, even at lunch.” 2003 participant Of all the special features of the seminar, the Auction Demonstration is one of the favorites and most fun. Items are donated by faculty, our friends in local book shops, and supportive businesses from all over the country. All proceeds are donated to the libraries that loan us reference books for the week.

At our final session on Friday, we said goodbye to our new friends and colleagues with hugs and certificates.

We eagerly collected evaluation questionnaires (submitted anonymously so we know they are going to be honest and critical) to begin work on improving the experience for our next seminar. It is always a pleasure to hear that we did a good job!

“Basically, this was one of the best weeks of my entire life! Not only did I get what I came for– a new direction for my business as well as better skills, but I was able to get to know people I would never have had the opportunity to meet and make friends with who will be a part of my life for years to come. It was an incredibly invigorating week.”

I look forward to Book Seminar 2004!

Kathy Lindeman, Book Seminar Coordinator

Pictures courtesy of Sue Gallagher, of Denver’s The Gallagher Collection, our great friend and perpetual volunteer!



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