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Minutes Paris 2014

Published on 25 Sept. 2018

MINUTES

ORDINARY GENERAL MEETING

Sunday 13th April 2014

Paris, France

 

 

The President Tom Congalton calls the meeting to order at 10 am with the following welcoming speech.

 

1. President’s Welcome

I would like to welcome the Presidents, Committee Members, ILAB Presidents and Members of Honor, and distinguished guests, to Paris and to the 2014 ILAB Presidents’ Meeting graciously hosted by the SLAM on the auspicious occasion of their 100th Anniversary. We are indebted to Anne Lamort, her Committee, and the members of SLAM, for both our meetings and for the eagerly anticipated Congress that will follow.

While it has been a relatively brief time since our last Presidents’ Meeting, it is no less important that we meet face-to-face in order to address the many issues that concern us all, not just in the formal meetings, but even more importantly when we meet informally to discuss these matters in greater detail. The Presidents have come here from around the World and each of you bears with them a unique perspective, both geographically and philosophically, of how our fascinating and esoteric trade has fared in an evolving technologically and economically challenging climate. As swiftly as these factors have changed, one thing remains constant, Amor Librorum Nos Unit: The Love of Books Unites Us.

 In my President’s Report, which has been emailed to you previously, I have touched briefly on the many topics that we hope to cover today in more detail. After the meeting we will have a Workshop presented by Sally Burdon and Brian Lake, and moderated by Bob Fleck, on the ILAB Code of Usages and Customs, and both its use and its limitations.

 I look forward to hearing from all of you on the many topics we will be covering today. Because we have a reasonably full agenda and I would like to allow sufficient amount of time at the end of the meeting for the Workshop, I hope you will forgive me in advance if I keep the Meeting moving at a brisk pace. And to that end I will now ask Naveen to move on to the Presence and Apologies.

2. Presence, apologies, announcement of proxies and establishment of quorum, appointment of scrutineers

National Associations

ABA (UK) - Brian Lake (2 votes)

ABAA (USA) - Thomas Goldwasser (2 votes)

ABAC (Canada) - Wesley Begg (1 vote)

ABAJ (Japan) - Masagi Yagi (1 vote)

AILA (Spain) - Gonzalo Fernandes Pontes (1 vote)

ALAI (Italy) - Fabrizio Govi (1 vote)

ANZAAB (Australia & New Zealand)- Jörn Harbeck (1 vote)

CLAM (Belgium) - Evelyne Morel de Westgaver (1 vote)

NVvA (Netherlands) -  Ton Kok (1 vote)

SLAM (France) - Anne Lamort (2 votes)

VAO (Austria) - Dieter Tausch (1 vote)

VDA (Germany) - Eberhard Koestler (2 votes)

VEBUKU (Switzerland) - Peter Bichsel (1 vote)

Committee

President - Tom Congalton

Vice President - Norbert Donhofer

Treasurer - Paul Feain

General Secretary - Ulrich Hobbeling

Committee Members - Michel Bouvier, Gonzalo Fernandes Pontes, Brigita Laube, Umberto Pregliasco

Immediate Past President - Arnoud Gerits

Presidents of Honour - Bob Fleck, Adrian Harrington, Michael Steinbach

Members of Honour - Keith Fletcher, Mitsuo Nitta, Poul Poulsen

Website editor - Barbara van Benthem

Executive Secretary - Naveen Marsh

Guests

Jim Hinck - Metasearch

Sally Burdon, Stuart Bennett - Nominees for the Committee

 

Apologies Received

 

SVAF - Tomas Jansson

ABF - Maria Girsel

MAE - Adam Bosze

Kay Craddock, President of Honour

 

Proxies

ABF (Denmark) - Maria Girsel (1 vote), to Poul Poulsen

MAE (Hungary) - Adam Bosze (1 vote), to Dieter Tausch

 

Total 19 votes.

The Quorum for the Ordinary General Meeting is 10 votes.

 

Arnoud Gerits and Adrian Harrington are appointed scrutineers.

 

3. In Memoriam

The following list is read out loud:

ABA

Björn Löwendahl

Katriina Marrin

David Mayou

Jean Rota

ABAA

James O’Neil

ABAJ

Takeshi Sato

ANZAAB

David Spode

NVvA

Ronald Jansen

Evert Mulder

Willem Burgers

SLAM

Yvonne Sartoni Cerveau

Jacques Herbinet

Elise Vibert Guigue

VDA

Dr. Heide Bücklein

Horst Joachim von Nolting

 

And a minute of silence is observed by the assembled, standing.

 

4. Approval of Siena Minutes, September 2013

Ton Kok and Poul Poulsen second the motion

Vote:

18 in favor (Evelyne Morel de Westgaver has not yet arrived)

 

5. Brief Reports from National Associations

Each attendant introduces him or herself in turn, and the representatives from the national associations make or read the following reports:

Eberhard Koestler (VDA) -  announces that the fair held last January in Stuttgart was successful as the economical situation is all right and that as a result the sales were satisfying. The VDA is planning to establish a rare book school similar to the one in the US or the UK, and is now working on its details, it would be four or five days long and accessible to all people who are interested in the subject.

Jörn Harbeck (ANZAAB) - Reads the following report:

Since the Siena meeting the main activity for ANZAAB has been the Sydney fair in November 2013. As our Melbourne fair is now an annual event, 2013 was the first year that ANZAAB has held two fairs, one each in Melbourne and Sydney. While the Melbourne fair in July 2013 was again a big success, visitor numbers at the Sydney fair were well down, due largely to us being forced out of our usual venue at quite short notice of just a few months. Although our organisers Paul Feain and Peter Tinslay did their best to promote the fair sales at the fair were also well down on previous years. ANZAAB is now considering new concepts for its Sydney fair to find a better venue and to make it more attractive.

In November award-winning author David Malouf accepted our invitation to be our ILAB Patron of Honour. David was presented with the ILAB medal at a dinner at Sydney’s Maroubra Beach Pavilion.

The major activities this year so far are the planning of our two-day conference in May, to be held jointly with the National Library of Australia, and the next Melbourne fair in July.

The conference in Canberra is being organised by Sally Burdon and Michael Treloar, and will bring together book dealers (incl. those that are not ANZAAB members), librarians and private collectors. It will be the first of its kind in Australia and will include sessions on bibliography, photography, libraries and the rare book trade, conservation, a mini book fair, as well as panel discussions. Two of the talks will be presented via Skype including one by outgoing ILAB President Tom Congalton. Nicolas Barker, editor of the Book Collector, and who will be in Australia for the Sydney Writers Festival, will also be a speaker. ANZAAB has already received a large number of registrations for the conference and we expect that about 60-70 people will be participating.

The next Melbourne Rare Book Week and Melbourne Rare Book Fair, again being organised by Kay Craddock and her team, is shaping up to be bigger and better than in the previous two years. Rare Book Week now has over 25 partner institutions that all put on special events that are free. The fair is also fully booked with 38 exhibitors, including 7 from the UK and the USA.

Trading conditions in Australia remain fairly strong with healthy library budgets and confident private collectors and we are looking forward to another good year.

 

Ton Kok (NVvA) - In his term as president, he has attended in all 13 meetings. The book fair organized by the NVvA was supposed to see its last edition last October, but he has good news to report as there will be another one this coming October.

Peter Bichsel (VEBUKU/SLACES) -  Reads his report in French to honor the SLAM; 

Since meeting last September in Siena, the Swiss association has not had many activities. For the time being, we are preparing the General Meeting of our Jubilee, « 75 years VEBUKU/SLACES » which will take place May 10th in Berne. Among our 58 members there seemed to be no interest for the activities of the Jubilee, so we decided to organize a festive dinner after the Meeting. During that meeting, the association will discuss the future organization of our Antiquarian Book Fair in Zurich. For the past 20 years, the Fair was organized by an independent group. To concentrate forces and human resources, which are rare in Switzerland in this domain, it would be advantageous if the future Zurich book fairs were organized by our national association. Our web site should also be re-vamped on time for our meeting in May. In Switzerland, business is calm. One can still do good deals with the proper material, but the days when books sold on their own are definitely over. For many of our colleagues, export is a big part of their business. It is not always easy as Switzerland is not part of the EU. The President of the VEBUKU is elected for two years. Next elections will take place in May 2015.

 

Mr. Yagi (ABAJ) - Reads the following report:

The decision of awarding the 2020 Olympics to Tokyo has energized all levels of Japanese society from the young to the old. It has given the youth of Japan a sense of hope and stimulated their desire to marry and have children, while the elderly who can recall the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, are excited at being able to once again relive the thrill of such an event. Incidentally, the senior population of Japan is extremely healthy, with many active people aged between 80-90 years. The Olympics will boost construction momentum in Japan and metropolitan Tokyo, and is likely to stimulate corporate activity as well as bolster employment in the future. Japan’s technological innovations, such as the linear motor car, improved vehicle mileage, hydrogen fuelled cars, and cleaner factory gas emissions, have traditionally been consistently studied and will continue to serve as global models by exporting the identical plants of these innovations to Asia. As for government finances, although expenses are expected to swell, the consumption tax rate will be raised to 8% (currently 5%) from this April, and rising corporate earnings and personal income will also increase tax revenue. The International Antiquarian Book Fair will be held on a grand scale at the large venue of a central Tokyo hotel from March 5-7, 2015, which is also the 50th Anniversary of the foundation of the ABAJ. In conclusion, the demand for Japanese rare books and historical materials is largely comprised of university libraries and researchers, public research institutions (humanities), museums of historical materials, museums, art galleries and so on, which have a substantial budget for such purchases. However, we need to increase the number of individual researchers and collectors in our customer base, as there is still room to develop demand from individuals who are quick in making decisions and payment. The ABAJ will continue to educate the public about rare books as its main objective, and work on stimulating demand through greater publicity.

Tom Goldwasser (ABAA) - He has been president for one week, the ABAA produced 3 book fairs in the past year, and coordinated an event with the Rare Book and Manuscript section of the American Libraries Association. Other projects for the coming year include: the launch of an extensively redesigned website, and other issues of public relations and security.

Brian Lake (ABA) - The Sienna Meeting was not long ago, so his report will be brief. The trade presents a mixed picture. The ABA has reduced the size of council but is growing its membership. He is proud of having being part of the reform team to bring the ABA up to date. The setting up of the Rare Book School in York with the help of American colleagues is well under way. A new ABA Secretary, Tony Russ, has been hired to replace the magnificent John Critchley who is retiring.

Anne Lamort (SLAM) - She has been president of SLAM for 18 months. It would seem that the market is better than it was last year. This is an encouraging fact. The SLAM is developing relations with bibliophile societies and encouraging the creation of new ones, such as the bibliophile society of the Ecole Polytechnique. The SLAM has been very busy organizing this Congress and will be able to devote more time to other activities as soon as the Congress is over, among which, the Conferences organized in Paris destined to attract and educate new collectors.

Mr. Yagi then stands to present Anne Lamort with a present on behalf of ABAJ, to celebrate SLAM’s centenary, and he makes a presentation speech in French. He is applauded. Anne Lamort thanks Mr. Yagi, saying that this is a very refined gesture, such as can be expected from the Japanese. She hopes to be able to celebrate their Jubilee with them and show her friendship in return upon that occasion. She opens the package, shows a beautiful clock, and says it will serve to measure the time that goes by, as it is time that allows associations to last and live up to their centenary and beyond. She reads the inscription that has been engraved at the back of the clock: April 2014, upon the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of the SLAM, from the ABAJ founded in 1964. Both Mr. Yagi and herself are applauded.

Evelyne Morel de Westgaver (CLAM) -  The CLAM has not yet held its annual meeting. The market seems stable and they are happy because they have received two requests for membership and a third one from the USA.

Dieter Tausch (VAO) - This is the 15th congress he has attended in his 30 years as member of the VAO.

Fabrizio Govi (ALAI) - He has been president of ALAI for four years, his mandate is about to expire. He does not think he will run for another mandate. ALAI is trying to keep alive the Milan book fair, the market is not doing so well, the main reason being the bureaucracy that is very stifling. As for the Girolamini matter, the second trial has not yet begun. The two ILAB members who will be tried are under house arrest, the charge held against them for being part of De Caros’ network has been dropped which is a good thing.

President Tom Congalton states that Fabrizio Govi deserves all our thanks for doing such a wonderful job in this matter.

Wesley Begg (ABAC) - He became president last November, had previously spent eight years on the Board of Directors, three of which as a treasurer. He is preoccupied in setting up a successful Canadian fair, there was none previously, it was established, the first two events were successful, then the third was disastrous; the venue was moved last year, and it was again very successful. It is not a large venue, but it did very well, a number of younger people came to the fair, it is the sort of thing they like to appreciate. Business among booksellers is getting better, and ABAC is recruiting younger members. They are hopeful for the future.

Poul Poulsen (ABF) - He is representing Maria Girsel who was unable to attend. He had been president of the Danish association for a great number of years, he has served 21 years as ILAB Treasurer ,has been elected member of honour of ILAB and today he is proud to be once more acting as president of his association! ABF is working hard on changing the website and search engine in order to improve it, and hopefully it will be ready this year. This November they are holding a book fair in Copenhagen. Business is stable, some members are happy and others not. He is hopeful for the future.

Michel Bouvier then mentions his involvement in the sponsorship project and hands out to each a beautiful brochure designed to attract sponsors. He tells the presidents that he has also drafted a letter to go with it and he can send it upon request.

Gonzalo Fernandez Pontes (ALAI) - Mentions that he is both ILAB Security Chair and president of the Spanish association. He goes on to read the following report:

The Spanish association, currently with 46 members, is involved in the organization of an international bookfair to be held from 15 to 17 May at the Wellington hotel (Madrid).

Exhibitors from different countries and Spanish booksellers will get together to offer the best of their stocks. This fair will help to test how the Spanish market behaves after some years of decreasing commercial activity.

The country’s economical situation is shaping  up much better than in the past two years but Spain is not alien to the scant number of new collectors coming up in the book market.

The internet market of middle and low end books is slowing down according to statements of many colleagues in our last national meeting held in Madrid last December. One of the reasons is the overwhelming offer of books in the net that, according to them, is causing a sort of a counter-reaction with many customers that see internet’s lack of attractiveness so that they get bored sitting in front of a lap-top and searching for something new to purchase.

The usual complaint was  that buying and selling is getting more difficult because of the competition of the auction houses either online or live and for the book price data accessible through the internet that has made it near to impossible to buy old books with a reasonable margin of profit from private sources as was the custom.

I use this opportunity to show the lack of confidence of most of the Spanish affiliates regarding an ILAB-ABEBOOK agreement.

ABEBOOK’s present strategy including lack of transparency, unfair competition between private sellers and registered booksellers who pay taxes, their previous lack of willingness to upgrade ILAB booksellers from the rest of sellers, etc. make the Spanish affiliates very distrustful. The general comment at the meeting was : “we need to see substantial changes to believe in an eventual agreement”.

Fundamental policy changes from ABEBOOK would be welcomed by Spanish affiliates.

He adds that he has spoken yesterday to his Vice President, and that AILA trusts him to take the right decision in the ABEBooks matter.

 

6. President’s Report

President’s Report

Only six months have passed since the last Presidents’ Meeting in Siena. This relatively short time between Meetings was necessitated by holding the 2014 Presidents’ Meeting in concert with the 41st ILAB Congress and Paris Antiquarian Book Fair.

We are greatly indebted to SLAM and its President Anne Lamort for hosting this Presidents’ Meeting and Congress, in concert with their distinguished book fair. We are also honored by having such a distinguished member as SLAM allowing us to celebrate their centenary with them in this beautiful city.

Because of the short time since our last Meeting, there will not be a formal Budget presented at this Meeting. This eventuality has been considered and the Presidents will vote on the 2015 Budget via the Presidents’ online discussion list serve later this fall. Suffice it to say that the financial health of ILAB remains steady, although our coffers are currently a bit low, as they usually are at this time of year. By the time of the traditional Presidents’ Meeting held in fall we usually have received income from the California, New York, Paris, and London Book Fairs, the amounts that are received help the Treasurer to determine our income and formulate the next year’s budget.

The 16th ILAB-Breslauer Prize for Bibliography was awarded by Jury member Jean-Marc Chatelain and Anne Lamort to Jon Gilbert for his exhaustive “Ian Fleming: A Bibliography” at the Paris Antiquarian Book Fair. The Jury members, ably Chaired by Arnoud Gerits, again deserve our thanks for their hard work and insightful judgments.

We continue to make progress on the ILAB website and book search. Jim Hinck, who has generously provided the ILAB search in conjunction with his website ViaLibri, has recently made some advances in searching member websites, which he will explain more clearly at the Presidents’ Meeting. Our website editor Barbara van Benthem continuously updates our website and delivers a lively presence through social media. Barbara and Naveen deal with our website provider Neteor, which has had some financial set-backs but has overcome them. During the Presidents’ Meeting, there will be a presentation from ABE Books and a discussion on whether we wish to cooperate further with them on joint promotion. The sub-committee that has been involved in these discussions has been deliberate in negotiations and will continue to be so, with the Presidents making the ultimate decision on whether or not we should cooperate.

The latest edition of the ILAB Directory is due to be printed in December. Thanks to the efforts of Naveen, who has painstakingly compiled the Directory, as well as gathered the advertisements that pay for it, the Directory remains under our complete control, as well as hopefully providing a modest amount of income to ILAB. We encourage you and your members to buy advertising space in this wonderful promotional tool.

Naveen has also overseen the “Bibliophily by Country Project”. Most of the texts have been submitted and translated, but a few more are yet to be received.

Michel Bouvier has completed his attractive brochure intended to promote ILAB in order to encourage potential corporate sponsors to support our book fairs. He is to be applauded for conceiving and bringing the project to fruition.

ILAB served as one of the sponsors of the Library of Congress’ symposium “Authenticity” which resulted at least in part from the events surrounding the Girolami Library. Several ILAB members have been especially proactive in dealing with these events, beginning with immediate Past President Arnoud Gerits, the Herculean and continuing efforts of ALAI President Fabrizio Govi, and of our Security Chair Gonzalo Fernandes Pontes. The repercussions of those events are likely to haunt the rare book world for years to come, but I am convinced that progress is being made in unraveling them, and that ILAB has lived up to, and continues to live up to its responsibilities.

Our member nations have steadily appointed Patrons of Honor, whose gravitas help to lend luster to ILAB, and I encourage all those member nations who have not done so already to nominate a Patron.

Norbert Donhofer continues to oversee the ILAB Intern Program. Originally begun as a program for Russian students, we now are considering and placing students from other nations.

The next Presidents’ Meeting will be hosted by AILA in Sevilla in 2015, and the 42nd ILAB Congress will be hosted in Budapest by our newest member MAE in 2016.

The Paris Presidents’ Meeting will see the election of new officers and Committee Members. Once again we have more candidates than openings. While some might see this as unfortunate – inevitably someone will not be elected – I see this as a continuing strength for ILAB, and the clear recognition that the future direction of ILAB is inextricably entwined with the future of the antiquarian book trade. I’d prefer more – not fewer – contested elections.

At the conclusion of the Presidents’ Meeting, Sally Burdon and Brian Lake will conduct a workshop moderated by Bob Fleck on ILAB’s role in mediation and arbitration between our Member Nations and their affiliates. This workshop arose from questions raised at the last Presidents’ Meeting in Siena, and will hopefully clarify some questions that have arisen about the duties and powers of the Committee in these disputes.

In the past several years the antiquarian book world has been plagued by a persistently weak world-wide economy, as well as by fundamental changes in the way that people experience and buy printed books. My observation and belief is that despite some obvious geographical disparity, the economy is slowly recovering, and our trade is beginning to benefit accordingly. 

This will be my last report as President and I can only express my thanks for the hard work of those on the Committee and for the help and advice of the Past Presidents and Committee members I have served with. I’d also like to express my gratitude to the Presidents of the national associations, and extend my good wishes to those that will continue to serve and support ILAB in the future.

 

President Tom Congalton says that as his report has sent it out by email on the presidents’ email list, there is no need to read it out loud as he hopes all have read it.

The Committee proposes the adoption of the President’s Report

Gonzalo Fernandez Pontes (AILA) seconds the motion.

Vote: 19 in favour - Adopted.

 

7. Security Report

Gonzalo Fernandez Pontes, Security Chair, reads the following report:

The security report for the period since last September 2013 has no substantial contributions or changes.

 The stolen book database is continuously updated as soon as any new file arrives to the ILAB editor Barbara van Benthem.

 I was contacted by an American journalist writing for Paste Magazine based in Atlanta. He sent me a file with different questions on different topics:

- How does ILAB helps to catch book thieves? How common is it for dealers to be offered stolen books?

- The trend on book thefts nowadays: How do ILAB and national associations proceed  when a bookseller is dealing in stolen material? He ended with a direct  question on the Girolamini issue with the Zisska and Schauer accusations.

 I provided careful responses to all these questions having in mind that this magazine has ample diffusion in some  areas of the United States.

 Otherwise, we are waiting for the next IFLA security conference that will be held end of this year and where the ILAB Security Chair will have the opportunity to give updated information about different issues concerning the security and particularly on the Girolamini affair that has raised concerns and interest with many institutional libraries worldwide.

 

8. Prize for Bibliography

Prize Secretary Arnoud Gerits has little to report other than the Prize was presented yesterday during the book fair at the Grand Palais by jury member Jean-Marc Chatelain, and that the ceremony was preceded by the SLAM Prize presentation. As everyone knows, the Prize was awarded to Jon Gilbert’s bibliography on Ian Fleming and it was highly praised by the jury report. He informs that he has already started receiving books for the next Prize. A new jury will be formed, and the presidents will be kept informed in due course.

Item 10 of the agenda is broached before item 9.

 

10. Work in Progress

a) Directory

Executive Secretary NM advises that the advertising campaign is well under way, that the sum of 24,000 Euros has been reached but that she needs to raise more funds to make the project viable. She encourages the presidents to advise their members of the advantages of this advertising and promotional tool. As last time, the directory will go to print in December and will be ready for distribution in January. The dealer data will be collected from the website early October, she requests that the data be corrected on the website before it is collected and not after on the Word draft sent to the associations.

b) Booklet on Bibliophily

NM advises that 75% of the texts are ready and translated into French. That about 3 texts are still missing. That it will be ready sometime next year.

c) President Tom Congalton gives the floor to Member of Honour Mitsuo Nitta, who stands.

Mr. Nitta states that in his 50 years of experience in international business, this is the 37th time he attends an ILAB congress or event. Maybe this is his last time! A new generation is growing. It is now up to them to organize positive events for the ABAJ anniversary. He would like to congratulate the SLAM for its centenary. He recounts that when he was young he had started to buy books from foreign countries, and had met a few foreign dealers, among whom Menno Hertzberger - Father of the League - who had welcomed ABAJ into the League stating that it would thus become more international. At the time, communication was difficult, even by phone and what made business on an international level possible was the trust that was established between dealers who believed in each other. He still believes in this philosophy, even in this internet age, where communication is easy, and where it is easier to open or close a bookshop through the internet but where  business is hard. Believing in each other and trusting each other remain the foundation of ILAB. He adds that he is also the voice of Asia; it is true that ILAB was started with Western Europe after the war to bridge barriers, which is why the ILAB languages are French and English. Now everyone understands English, but Asia’s importance is growing and there are one two dealers in each Asian country, but it’s difficult for them to come to meetings every year. He is thinking on how he can help them to come to the ILAB organization. He knows about 20 dealers in Asia, they are starting to handle western rare books, so maybe ten years from now, they can become an important market for the rest of us. He plans on publishing Printing and the Mind of Man in English and Chinese. ILAB is the only league in the world that anyone can join. Perhaps we are wondering why those dealers don’t join other associations such as ANZAAB? Unfortunately, they cannot join ABAJ as its rules state that a business has to be based in Japan. Those dealers wish to have their own association, but with one or two dealers per country it is impossible. So maybe if all of us believe that these countries are important to the market’s future, we have to see what can be done, as he wishes to help them as much as possible. He is soon going to be 80 years old. He thanks the assembly to having given him the floor and listened to him.

He is applauded and congratulated before he sits down.

 

9. Internet

a) Brief Report

Barbara van Benthem takes the floor, states that her report - shown hereafter - is included in the file handed to all which is why it will not be read, and that the main subject is the proposed cooperation with ABE Books.

The ILAB website report presented at the Presidents’ Meeting in Siena, half a year ago, gave a detailed account of the website statistics, ILAB’s social media activities, the monthly ILAB Newsletter, new articles and features on the ILAB website as well as press and general responses. A summary of the negotiations with AbeBooks was sent out to the Presidents along with the agenda. For this reason I will here only highlight some general tendencies and new developments which came up in the last six months without going into too much detail.

 

Statistics: The number of website visitors remains constant with around 35.000 to 39.000 visitors and around 125.000 to 140.000 page views per month. Every month there are around 36 % new visitors, and 64 % returning visitors. Many of them browse up to 20 different pages, among them the ILAB Metasearch, the Calendar of Events and the ILAB Library – which are the top landing pages and provide the top content of the ILAB website. Visitors come from all continents, mainly from North America and Europe, but also from Asia, Australia, Russia, India, Brazil, Turkey, Greece, New Zealand or South Africa. Around 65 % of the website traffic comes from Google or other search engines, the other 35 % are generated through direct traffic, referring websites and the social media. There is a considerable increase of numbers, especially in the social media. ILAB’s Facebook group gets 5 to 6 new members every day. Compared to 821 members in September 2013, ILAB now unites near to 1.200 members in its Facebook group, while we have around 1.800 followers on Twitter (1.500 in September 2013).

 

ILAB Newsletter campaign: Another important PR tool is the ILAB Newsletter sent out monthly to nearly 3.200 subscribers, including bloggers and international magazines and newspapers such as the Frankfurter Allgemeine, The Guardian and The Independent. Another ILAB Newsletter campaign is planned for May 2014. LAB affiliates and national associations will be asked to forward it to their customers with an appeal to subscribe and to receive further editions.

 

ILAB Metasearch improvements: Jim Hinck has added active links from every search result to the directory page of the individual dealers. Thus, customers have the option to contact directly the antiquarian bookseller who offers a particular item via the ILAB Metasearch without going over the commercial databases.

 

Articles – interviews – catalogues – job offers: Meanwhile the ILAB website – updated every day – is filled with over a thousand articles and interviews on every imaginable book-related theme, nearly 1.300 catalogues uploaded by ILAB dealers, a video archive with booksellers’ interviews and numerous announcements of fairs, auctions, exhibitions, lectures and conferences. Plans to further enrich the content of the ILAB site are a series of interviews about booksellers and their “second lives” along with articles on “Bibliophile  Societies Worldwide” and “Introducing Rare Book Schools in America, Europe and Australia”. In May Sheila Markham will publish her “Second Book of Booksellers”, ILAB will promote the launch of her long awaited new “conversations with the antiquarian book trade” with a series of previews. Well received are book fair reports – previews of the rare book weeks in New York and Melbourne belonged to the top content of the ILAB site along with all information about the forthcoming ILAB Congress and Book Fair in Paris – and, of course, the reports of the ILAB interns like Ksenia Batueva who spent six weeks in Spain and Maria Rodionowa who worked in Australia. In this context we received several applications for internships or jobs from young or soon-to-be booksellers. This led to the idea to establish a new section with job offers on the ILAB website.

 

The ILAB website archived by the Bavarian State Library: With its numerous search tools and ever increasing content the ILAB website is a virtual meeting point where all who are interested in rare books and their history find a huge amount of information. In regard of this ILAB received an interesting request from the Bavarian State Library (BSB). The BSB, one of the largest research libraries in Europe, runs a digital long-term archive in cooperation with the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre which also includes websites of scientific relevance. The BSB has added the ILAB website to this archive so that ILAB.org has become a virtual part of the BSB, side by side with millions of real books, manuscripts and pamphlets from all centuries searchable over the OPAC library catalogue. The first version of the ILAB website was saved on January 27th, 2014. Another update will be archived in summer 2014. The BSB archive shows that websites and their content can be of permanent worth and become a part of scientific research. All archival copies will be permanently stored, indexed in the OPAC catalogue, and made available for open access. Further long-term preservation measures will be carried out if necessary, including, for example, format migration into newer formats. The archival copy of the ILAB website now available via the OPAC catalogue is not meant to replace or compete the original ILAB website, which will further on be daily updated. Have a look, click on

http://www.ilab.org/eng/documentation/1318ilab_website__archived_by_the_bavarian_state_library_bsb.htmland

Then click on the last link of the article and once you reach the BSB,  click on “Online lesen” to see the state of the art archived by the Bavarian State Library on January 27th, 2014. 

 

She adds that after controversial discussions with ABE, in which a first proposal was rejected by the Committee for being unsubstantial and hastily conceived, ABE finally came up with an improved proposal and ABE Books Representative Udo Goellman is coming in person to present it; Udo G. has been working for a while for ABE, and he has a PHD in medieval history.

President Tom Congalton says that we should now listen to the ABE presentation and that the discussion should take place later.

Udo Goellman comes into the room and is made welcome.

b) ABE Presentation

Udo Goellman thanks the SLAM for welcoming him at this meeting, as well as the ILAB Committee. He adds that it is a great privilege to talk here today. He hands out to each a booklet containing the same presentation that he will show on the screen through the retro projector. Some of the people attending the meeting know him quite well, he has met them in book fairs in various countries. When he met part of the committee last year in New York during the book fair, he had asked what could be done to create more trust with the ILAB dealers, as there is a lot of distrust towards ABE. What could be the first step taken to show that ABE cares about rare books and that they value what ILAB dealers do in the area of rare books and bookselling. There are new customers on line who don’t know what ILAB is. So he thought ABE could show ILAB dealers as being the best booksellers. Why? So that trust can be built allowing ABE to be more attractive to ILAB booksellers.

He then goes into a brief history of ABE. Nowadays, the company counts about ten thousand sellers from fifty countries, through eight websites. He adds that in a way a form of cooperation already exists as 915 ILAB affiliates list their books on ABE. All of them would profit immediately and sell more books if a collaboration were signed between ILAB and ABE.

About 50% of all transactions are trans-borders. ABE spends a lot of money on advertising. People search for rare books on Google, and ABE spends time in technically preparing book results to show up on Google in a prominent way. They also have a lot of visibility in the social media. This is where they create extra value. Many people believe that ABE only sells cheap books, but the rare book market is very important, and on the long term, the rare book market is going to grow in importance. He then shows the top sales of March 2014. He says - and this information is asked to remain confidential and not go public - that ILAB dealers sold in 2013 a total of 433,000 books for a total worth of 24 million dollars.

How would ABE advertise ILAB sellers? They can create an area exclusive to ILAB sellers, showing on this page what ILAB stands for, with a search leading only to ILAB members, with a permanent link to the ILAB website. On the side, a rare book gallery, or videos or any other suggestions we may have can be executed. Basically, this was his first proposal, but after a year of negotiation with the ILAB Internet Committee and where he tried to fight for ILAB with his management team, he has succeeded in obtaining a permanent link to the ILAB website on their home page, with a rotating banner that would be on the top hand corner of the website, plus a link to the ILAB landing page on the storefront of each ILAB dealer, that would help them to stand out from other dealers on the website. This is a feature that needs to be built, but they are willing to do that. Then he shows where the links to ILAB would show. Last but not least, they would help ILAB dealers to attract customers by sending targeted emails to selected people. They respect those who don’t want to sell through ABE, but are making a special offer to those who might want to join. He goes on to say what ABE would be asking in return, basically a reciprocal link on our website, as well as letting our internet public and dealers know of the cooperation signed with ABE.

He adds that his would not be a one way street, nobody would be forced to join in as any dealer or national association can be excluded from the deal. He concludes by stressing that a cooperation can benefit both sides.

He asks if there are questions for him to answer.

Tom Goldwasser (ABAA) asks a question about the daily feed that ABE already provides the ILAB website. Jim Hinck - provider of the ILAB metasearch - replies that this is how the ILAB metasearch can access their data.

Umberto Pregliasco asks what is the percentage of non professional dealers selling on ABE. Udo does not have the exact number, but he says that the majority of sellers are professional, adding that many amateurs close their account after a 3 months trial. The German site, Zvab, requires sellers to have a business registration number. Perhaps this can be applied in the future to the other ABE sites as well. He adds that a collaboration would be a step towards giving more visibility to professionals.

Tom Goldwasser then asks if the data from ILAB members will be used to direct marketing with customers? will the data be shared with others? Udo G. replies that generally they have a pretty good knowledge of who are the collectors, and that there can be talks about how much information can be shared with ILAB to find out how successful an eventual collaboration would be. He would have to go back to his board for this. He says that on the long term, rare books are going to be more and more important and that ABE works independently from Amazon, even if they are owned by it.

Anne Lamort (SLAM) says that one often believes that the market of private sellers corresponds to the market of cheap books. What will happen if private people want to sell more important books? And what about the rumour that some ILAB dealers have a double identity in order to sell books at a lower price? Some customers may well rush towards private sellers hoping that they are getting better deals than buying from a professional dealer!

Udo G. replies that he is not aware of dealers operating under double identities. Maybe they exist. But he does not think that customers come to search specifically for private sellers because they would be cheaper. Selling is a combination of price, description, picture, and whether the book description is professional. Many non professionals have bad descriptions or no descriptions at all. This is why he believes that showcasing ILAB will convince more customers to pay higher prices. Amateur sellers copy and paste description and offer a book for sale, and when the customer buys and sees that the book is not as described, he sends it back. ABE measures how many books are sent back as they create problems and they are going to have to exclude in the future the sellers who have a lot of returns, or maybe be more aggressive with them. ABE know that professionals sell more than private sellers. Showcasing ILAB out will also educate customers.

Gonzalo Fernandez Pontes has two questions; the Spanish association counts 46 members; last week he went to check the Spanish version of the ABE website, and found that there are 350 sellers in Spain. He spent one hour checking them, over 50 have only a nickname, without even a phone number. When their inventory is searched, there are no description, and each book has a maximum price of 100 Euros. The General Meeting  with his members took place last December, there are complaints from his affiliates, about the lack of transparency from ABE about these people. What can ABE do other than showing that ILAB sellers have a pedigree? What are ABE’s intentions about the amateurs? Even customers ask him who is behind a nickname? This data cannot give confidence, and this is why his affiliates want more transparency. All ILAB book fairs make a turnover of 60 million Euros. That said, it is very interesting to have a landing page for the high end books. This cooperation needs to be more concrete, as he has to go to his affiliates, telling them that this seems to be a fantastic venture.

Udo G. replies that the first question is overlapping with Ms Lamort’s. Sellers can decide whether to show phone numbers or not. He asks the dealers present that if they know of sellers who are dodgy to please let him know. Nowadays, every seller has to give a VAT number, which was not the case before. People who sell on ABE and who don’t declare their sales to the fiscal authorities are stupid because all is registered on the ABE site and can be very easily verified. When customers have a question and can contact a dealer, ABE knows very well that it may lead to other sales that are made outside of ABE. He agrees that some sellers should be kicked out, however, he cannot himself decide to change the existing rules.

Brian Lake (ABA) says that he is confused, because ABE make less money out of high value sales as the maximum commission is 40 dollars. So why does ABE want to sell more expensive books? Or will ABE see an opportunity in the future to raise fees?

Udo G. replies that there is no plan to change the fees in the immediate future. ABE does not charge more commission on high value books because they know that the margin on high books is less, and they want to keep dealers happy.

Bob Fleck asks who owns the books descriptions and Evelyne Morel de Westgaver asks whether they are kept and used, and if so, how.

Udo G. replies that as they need to show the books, advertise them, send them to Google and other marketing tools, ABE needs to be able to use the book descriptions.

Bob Fleck states that Amazon takes the book information, such as images, and uses it.

Udo G. replies that images are not sold, but just used to promote the book they represent.

Bob Fleck wants to make sure that his information is not sold to third parties. Udo G. confirms that fact. Bob Fleck adds that he likes Udo G. who seems to be in favour of booksellers’ interests, but at some time, he will have to go to his company and explain how ILAB will generate more money. Udo G. replies that he has convinced his Board that it would benefit from this eventual cooperation on the long term as ABE would attract more dealers and customers. He was not able to give his Board exact figures, but he hopes he is right. Bob F. asks if ABE will get negative feedback from non ILAB dealers. Udo G. replies that ABE wants to help ILAB sellers because they believe they are the best and this deal could encourage non ILAB sellers to join associations.

Tom Congalton asks whether, should we agree to a trial basis and if it did not work for either stop, one or both could back out. Udo G. confirms that it would be possible.

Tom Goldwasser asks where the reciprocal requested link on the ILAB website would land? Udo replies that it would link back to the ILAB landing page.

Jörn Harbeck asks a question about print on demand books and whether there is any plan to get rid of them showing in the results? He adds that ABE is trying to be everything to everyone, and that is difficult objective to achieve.

Udo G. replies that ABE implemented a year ago a technical change, where PODs can be filtered out when a search is made, however not yet for the e-books; he agrees with these concerns, it is very possible that ABE will be able to do a trial within the next year to filter them out, they represent tons in terms of listing, but very little in term of income. They need to build the technical foundation for that extra feature. They should create filters for e-books, mega-listers and new books. They want, though, to keep them on their site and not send them to Amazon. One idea would be to collapse all these books in one entry. They are working on this at the moment.

President Tom Congalton announces a coffee break during which presidents can ask Udo Goellman any question.

Udo G. thanks the presidents and the Committee and is applauded.

A coffee break of 15 mn is observed, after which Tom Congalton thanks Udo Goellman for coming; he, in turn, gives his best wishes for the meeting and the Congress. He is applauded and he leaves.

President Tom Congalton proposes to continue with the regular agenda.

 

11. Proposal from the ABA

ILAB Code of Ethics :

The ABA proposes that the following paragraph should be added to the ILAB Code of Ethics (Code of Customs and Usage), and would suggest that it be included in Section 2.3, Description and Disclosure

'Catalogue descriptions and images are a species of intellectual property: members or their representatives should not steal or plagiarise from their colleagues; any quoted material should be acknowledged, and if substantial use is made of another bookseller’s text or images, permission should be sought in advance.'

The ABA Council agreed to this for inclusion in its own rules and also voted for the same wording to be submitted for inclusion in ILAB rules.

The proposal is read out by President Tom Congalton, and is seconded by Fabrizio Govi (ALAI)

There is no discussion. The vote is called.

Vote:

In favour: 17

Abstention: 2  [Ton Kok (NVvA); Evelyne Morel de Westgaver (CLAM)]

Motion carried.

 

12. Proposal by the Committee

The Committee proposes the idea of promoting a common annual event to all the ILAB associations, such as the organization of an international Rare Book Week.

Evelyne Morel de Westgaver seconds the proposal.

Norbert Donhofer explains that on 23rd April worldwide, Unesco celebrates the book and copyright. A structure is built up, and perhaps we might join in? We could thus attract more customers. We can work the proposal out in depth and go back to the presidents with a feedback.

Brian Lake (ABA) says that it is a good thing in principle, but some associations already have a rare book week, they are in existence and surround major fairs.

Norbert Donhofer replies that the idea is that on a special common day, all dealers would open their shop and ILAB would promote it so that it becomes a worldwide joint event.

Umberto Pregliasco adds that the events mentioned by Brian Lake are limited to our small world. But if we joined a worldwide event even if it concerns new books, it would be more publicized.

There is no further discussion. The vote is called.

Vote:

In favor: 16.

Abstentions: Brian Lake (2) - The president of the VEBUKU has gone out for a short while to check on his Fair booth.

 

13. Election of 3 Committee Members

There are 3 posts  to be filled as three Committee Members are resigning: President Tom Congalton, Treasurer Paul Feain, Committee Member Brigitta Laube.

4 Nominations have been received:

a) The ABAA nominates Stuart Bennett, past president of the ABAA

b) The ANZAAB nominates Sally Burdon, past president of ANZAAB

c) The NVvA nominates Ton Kok, past president of NVvA

d) The Committee nominates Bob Fleck, past ABAA president, past ILAB president and ILAB president of honor, as Treasurer

Ballots are handed out. Countries with two votes receive two ballots.

The scrutineers pick up the filled ballots and leave the Meeting room to count the votes. While they are out, item 15 of the Agenda is seen to, and Arnoud Gerits is unanimously elected as ILAB President of Honour.

The scrutineers come back five minutes later into the Meeting room with the election results.

Are elected:

Stuart Bennett, as Committee member, with 14 votes

Sally Burdon, as Committee member, with 17 votes

Bob Fleck, as Treasurer, with 13 votes

Ton Kok , with 10 votes, is not elected.

The newly elected members are applauded.

 

14. Election of New Officers

The Committee proposes that the following new Officers be elected:

President: Norbert Donhofer

Vice-President: Gonzalo Fernandez Pontes

The ballots handed out previously also contain the results of this election:

The scrutineers announce that each is elected with 17 votes.

There is a round of applause. Tom Congalton gives the ILAB President medal to Norbert Donhofer, who thanks him and says:

Thank you for your vote which I accept gladly on behalf of the whole committee. We will try to do our best to navigate this ship ‘ILAB’ through hopefully quiet sea in the next 2 years. We can count on the long experience of our past presidents and presidents of honour and are therefore quite optimistic to be able to handle this. From a more personal point of view my life should become easier now after six hard years on the Committee: I am having now my personal secretary – Naveen Marsh -, my personal web-editor – Barbara van Benthem -, and 7 slaves. My first action as President of ILAB is to present this plaque to now immediate past-president Tom Congalton…

He presents Tom Congalton and Arnoud Gerits each with a badge and a plaque. Arnoud Gerits thanks everyone and adds that he has served with honour and pleasure and as long as he can help, he hopes he will be able to do so.

He gives back the Chair to Tom Congalton, saying: And now, dear Tom, I would like to give the chair back to you and ask you to proceed with the meeting and finish it.

 

Tom Congalton then reads out a plaque to thank the SLAM and its president Anne Lamort for organizing and hosting the Congress, then presents it to her, and she thanks him in return.

 

16. Other Business

a) Future congresses and meetings

The next presidents’ meeting will take place in the Fall of 2015 in Seville by invitation of the AILA; Gonzalo Fernandez Pontes who will be the host in his quality as AILA President made a short presentation in Lucerne about this event, it will probably be programmed early October rather than September because of the heat. He is asked by Ton Kok to set a date quickly as the NVvA also needs to set the date of its book fair in October.

Norbert Donhofer announces that the next congress will be organized by the Hungarian association, unfortunately Adam Bosze (MAE President) had a TV show today which is why he could not be present. He gives some basic information about the congress: Budapest is an old town with a rich heritage and history, heavily influenced by both the Turkish and the Austrian empires. There are lots of libraries to visit, including the National Library that contains the remains of the library of King Mathias Corvinus. There is a Museum of Hungarian literature. Music will obviously play an important part in the Congress. Budapest has the largest house of parliament in Europe. The Congress will be followed by a short book fair of two days. The Congress will not be expensive, between 800 and 900 Euros. It should take place at the end of September or early October.

b) Internships

Norbert Donhofer says that the programme runs more or less automatically. He has sent various Russian interns to various countries, including Spain and Australia. In six months, there will be a request for another intern.

c) Possible new Member

It seems like a Croatian association will apply for ILAB membership. He will shortly meet with its president a bookseller from Zagreb. The association is comparable to the Hungarian in size. He hopes it will work out.

d) Patrons of Honour

Tom Congalton reminds that countries that have not nominated Patrons of honour to do so.

e) Book Fair Sponsorship

Tom Congalton asks Michel Bouvier to talk about the brochure he has worked on. Arnoud Gerits hands a copy to each and it is greatly admired. Michel Bouvier adds that the idea is to find partners to sponsor our book fairs. The aim of the brochure is to be accompanied with a cover letter and sent or given to prospective sponsors. He asks the presidents to try and find sponsors in luxury brands, banks, etc… the money they will give will be used to do more communication about our book fairs. We can also find partnerships with the press and other media.

Tom Congalton thanks him for his hard work. If anyone wants to avail themselves of this opportunity, they can get in touch with Michel Bouvier.

 

As there is no further business to discuss, the Ordinary General Meeting is unanimously adjourned, and the Extraordinary General Meeting is opened.

 

***

Extraordinary General Meeting

 

1. Establishment of quorum

A motion needs 13 votes to pass.

 

2. Proposal by the Committee

Tom Congalton reads the proposal:

ABE has presented the attached proposal (see annex) to ILAB for consideration by the Presidents. This proposal is a result of a great deal of discussion by the ABE/ILAB subcommittee and ABE.

- Should this proposal be declined by the Presidents

OR

- should the Committee be authorized to proceed in getting a legal review of the proposal

once the proposal will have been legally reviewed, the Committee would forward it to the Presidents for a final vote, that would be taken via electronic and written means upon presentation of the vetted contract.

Ton Kok (NVvA) seconds the proposal.

Tom Congalton explains that the IT committee has carefully considered the ABE proposal and while we realize it will not be without controversy, the ILAB Committee recommends that the presidents hope to allow us to begin a limited partnership with the ABE website, realizing that the decision can be reversed at anytime if it proves unsatisfactory.

The discussion starts.

Anne Lamort (SLAM) states that we have already devoted two meetings in a row where a vote is taken to pursue our discussions with ABE. This is enough, it is about time the real discussion took place, we have all understood the arguments in favour or against, we have to study the matter in depth and see who is categorically opposed to the project or not.

Eberhard Koestler (VDA) asks whether the Committee has any idea of how much a lawyer would cost, and if we can have a trial period without any financial consequences?

Tom Congalton asks Jim Hinck for his opinion, who says that this proposal of collaboration is an incredible gift from someone who does not really need us, and that it would especially benefit affiliates who sell on ABE, and he does not see a downside to this. He would be very disappointed to miss this unique moment. ABE will not come back in 3 or 4 years and make another proposal. He believes that they are looking to take things forward with their activities in the antiquarian book trade, and if they see we are not going with them,  who knows what they will do.

Bob Fleck replies that we should ask ABE to write the contract, we would then review it, thus our lawyer fees would be minimal. If all this is done correctly, there’s nothing that prevents us to go to other search engines and tell them to do the same as ABE. In that case, we would not be promoting ABE  but all search engines would be promoting us.

Brian Lake (ABA) says that for his heart, you don’t go to bed wit Amazon. But from the ABA’s point of view he supports the motion to continue. He would ask each association to urge their members to vote on the final contract.

Anne Lamort replies that perhaps Brian is mixing up associations and ILAB? Because either this ABE deal is signed by all the associations who want to participate or by ILAB in which case one cannot ask affiliates to take a decision for ILAB. Her own board is unanimously opposed to this proposal. She asks whether we are conscious of the long term consequences of signing such a collaboration. She sent out an email on the Presidents’ discuss list, she only received 3 replies, and there was no real discussion. So it’s now the time to have one, and to come out with different arguments than those given by ABE.

Evelyne Morel de Westgaver (CLAM) says that her association is reticent, and questions are asked such as: what is the degree of independence of ABE towards Amazon who buys second hand books from its own customers. This is why she asked what they did with the book descriptions and how can we make sure that ABE will not itself become a bookseller.

Tom Congalton says that he is strongly in favour of the proposal and adds that ILAB does not stand any chance of losing its identity but rather gain enhancement and optimization. We stand to benefit greatly.

Peter Bichsel (VEBUKU) reminds that Udo Goellman said that they wanted to specialize ABE into the rare book market and Amazon into the mass book market. If they don’t do that, he sees difficulties in collaborating with them, otherwise we could give it a try.

Jörn Harbeck (ANZAAB) says that he was undecided before coming, he had sent comments to the presidents on the email list, and that he has heard today other arguments, which will mean that he will vote in favour. The ANZAAB committee was split down in two, but he is allowed to take a decision on its behalf. He likes Bob Fleck’s arguments to go to other sites with a similar proposal, we will have to observe them carefully and see how they go.

Poul Poulsen (ABF)  reminds that members of the national associations will have no obligations to list on ABE and that any individual or national association can opt out.

Anne Lamort (SLAM) replies that it would be the worse solution. She is surprised to find out that nobody is shocked by the fact that ABE is open to private sellers and the more so that we are supposed to represent the high end of the trade; it’s as if the Book Fair at the Grand Palais allowed exhibitors who were private sellers. She reminds everyone that these people don’t pay taxes and don’t play with the same rules. She is astonished that this aspect is not more prominent in our discussion, as it is the main argument. Other websites make a selection and decide to take on board only registered sellers. This is why ABE is more successful than others, because they open up their website to private sellers.

Gonzalo Fernandez Pontes believes that this is a train we have to take as we have a return ticket. The only thing to say is that if after one year it does not work according to our plan we can take the decision as to whether we continue or not.

Dieter Tausch (VAO) says he agrees 100% with Anne Lamort.

Fabrizio Govi (ALAI) says that we are all concerned by the fact that private sellers operate on ABE, but that we have to face reality. Half our members already list on ABE. Either we ask them to withdraw their books, or this agreement can help our affiliates to improve their sales.

Arnoud Gerits says that he has a lot of sympathy for Anne’s arguments, but various SLAM members list there, and with this collaboration we would be standing out so that we would no longer be mixed with private sellers, and we cannot be against that.

Jim Hinck adds that it is obvious that ABE is the dominant force in the internet, and the internet is important. If they are so powerful, we would want to have some influence over them. If we reject them, then they have no reason to listen to us in the future.

Keith Fletcher says that he is happy to know that if the deal goes through we can withdraw from it if it’s not successful. We would need to have a mechanism to assess its success with more than statistics, and to study whether our image would be enhanced or not.

Tom Goldwasser says that this proposal is fraught with potential for some sort of negative consequences for associations and affiliates, it might resemble a Trojan horse. The ABAA has very narrowly and in small numbers spoken in favour of trying it out. We are entering into an advertising proposal with them. It is not the private sellers that are the greater danger, but maybe the failure to promote our own website and allowing the dominant player to have that role. If we go into it, the final wording of the contract should be asking for proof on the result of how it has enhanced or otherwise affected ILAB reputation. It might be worth trying for a short time, the arguments in both ways are compelling and it is an attempt to show more visibility to our affiliates.

Adrian Harrington says that we he have to remember the collector to whom we have a duty. The collector does most of his shopping on Google and he is going to land on ABE most often. If we can use our influence to improve his shopping experience then it is something we should do. ANZAAB asked a while ago their members what was wrong with ABE and they replied. Sally Burdon who was then ANZAAB President went to Abe with the dealers’ suggestions and ABE complied. It is easy to imagine what we might be able to do if we have a foot in.

Tom Congalton stops the discussion and calls for the vote of the following motion:

In favour of authorizing the committee to get a legal review of the proposal: 14 votes

Opposed:  5 votes - SLAM (2), CLAM (1), MAE (1), VAO (1)

The motion is passed.

The Extraordinary General Meeting is over, and the Meeting is adjourned at 1:45 pm.

***

 

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