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Minutes OGM

Published on 21 Dec. 2009

(Use the PDF for printout) 


Mount Cuba Room, Hotel DuPont, Wilmington, USA

Saturday 9th September 2006



The Meeting is called to order by President Bob Fleck at 9:35 am. He addresses the assembly and reads a welcoming letter sent by the Governor of Delaware.




From the ILAB Committee:

Bob Fleck, President

Steven Temple, General Secretary

Poul Poulsen, Treasurer

Dieter Tausch

Adrian Harrington

Georg Beran

Paul Feain

Nevine Marchiset, Executive Secretary

Kay Craddock, Past President


From the National Associations:

Louella Kerr (Australia and New Zealand, ANZAAB), Norbert Donhofer (Austria – VAO), Ton Kok (Netherlands, NVVA), Roger Auger (Canada, ABAC), Georg Beran (Czech Republic, SACR), Poul Poulsen (Denmark, ABF), Frederic Castaing (France, SLAM), Eberhard Kostler (Germany, VDA), Robert Frew (Great-Britain, ABA), Mitsuo Nitta (Japan, ABAJ), Sten Ringselle (Sweden, SVAF), Marcus Benz (Switzerland, VEBUKU), David Lilburne (USA, ABAA)


Nominees for the future Committee:

Arnoud Gerits, Jean Pierre Fouques, Tom Congalton.




Apologies have been received from Michael Steinbach, Vice President, who has been unexpectedly taken ill with influenza; and also from Presidents of Honour Bob de Graaf, Anthony Rota, Anton Gerits and Alain Nicolas, and from ALAI president Umberto Pregliasco.




Dieter Tausch and Paul Feain are appointed as scrutineers.


Robert Frew holds a proxy for the ALAI (Italy)

Mitsuo Nitta holds a proxy for ABAK (Korea)

Norbert Donhofer holds a proxy for AILA (Spain)

Ton Kok holds a proxy for CLAM (Belgium)

Sten Ringselle holds a proxy for Norway

ABLA (Brazil) and SAY (Finland) are not represented.


In all, there are a total of 22 votes, with the reminder that Germany, France, Great Britain and the USA have each 2 votes, in accordance with our by-laws. The quorum is reached, and a motion needs 12 votes in favour to be carried.




A standing minute of silence is observed in memory of:


Jacques Lévy (29 Jan. 06)

Bernard Privat (04 March 2005) (Librairie Ancienne Georges Privat)

Robert Chassaniol (29 Sept 2005) (Librairie à la Recherche du Passé)


Ruari McLean (27 March 06) (honorary member)


Florence Finn (mother of ABAA member Anne Bromer - Mrs Finn organized the Boston Book Fair for the first 10 years)


Edward Berry (02 May 06)




Motion to approve the Montreal minutes is moved by Robert Frew, seconded by Norbert Donhofer and is unanimously carried.




Bob Fleck reads his report:

“My report to you in Montreal in 2005 emphasized the hard work that the Committee had done during the past year and you will perhaps not be surprised that the level of work was even more intense this year.


Every person on the Committee will join me in expressing their admiration for the fine work done by our Executive Secretary, Nevine Marchiset. Our goals could not have been accomplished without her. The Presidents decision to fund her position in Australia was very wise.


Michael Steinbach as Vice President offered sage advice on every issue but was especially helpful in working behind the scenes to find the opinions of our European and Japanese colleagues. He represented ILAB at AJAI’s celebrations held this past year. Poul Poulsen continued his heroic role as ILAB’s longest serving Treasurer. Steven Temple as General Secretary made sure the hours of tapes of our meetings found their way into hard copy form. Steven also has a real skill in writing and his language skills fine tuned many of our announcements. Dieter Tausch was our steady rock concerning ILAB principles and worked closely with our long time ILAB colleagues to make sure their voices were heard. Paul Feain became our Security person as you all know by the many security warnings that you get from him each year. He has also become involved with other organizations such as IFLA as an ILAB representative. Georg Beran continued to help us with internet matters and personally arranged our last Committee meeting in Prague. He is very instrumental in helping the Czech organization re-establish itself. Adrian Harrington has many PR and marketing thoughts which he has agreed to present to you and is a forward thinking member of our team. We have called Arnoud Gerits out of semi-retirement to help us with our newly established relationship with CINOA. And of course our distinguished Past President, Kay Craddock, was always there for us when needed. I personally thank her for all the steadying emails she sent me whenever she sensed I needed an emotional lift. I am really proud of this team and must say that it has been the most pleasurable experience of my ILAB life to work with this particular group. They were absolutely the best you could get.


The accomplishments will be discussed during our meeting and I will not detail them here. In summary, I believe our greatest accomplishments were 1. Our increased visibility with IFLA and CINOA; 2. The large increase in participation of dealers in our data base with an accompanying large increase in visitors to the site; 3. Our firm negotiations with Publications UK concerning the next Directory; 4. Firm footing for our Bibliographical Prize.


And now I would like to indulge in some very personal feelings. This is my last report as your President and I believe I am allowed to be more philosophical on such an occasion.


ILAB started life as a Federation of countries that had very little need to take any centralized action to survive. Times have now changed. Bookselling has now changed. The new electronic world has had a major impact in our lives for both good and bad. There are many who are saddened by this change as they see their old ways of doing business becoming obsolete. They see an entire cultural shift away from the books that make up the foundation of our business and do not have the will or energy to change with these new times.


They are the pessimists. I am the optimist.


I see ILAB in the perfect position to launch itself successfully in this new world. We have built a much better foundation for ourselves than any of the other dealer organizations selling books, art or antiques. The last decade has seen ILAB redefine its rules and regulations for the new century, develop an excellent website which is still the only site protected by the ethical standards of an organization, outreach to the important library and book organizations as THE international bookselling organization – in summary take many steps on an international level, a centralized level, that will allow us to grow into the future.  The last decade has seen an increasingly important role for the Committee of ILAB as the Presidents continue to better fund centralized plans of action and expect an aggressive and willing Committee to accomplish them. I believe that it is the organization known as ILAB rather than individual countries that has the best chance to promote itself to an outside world as the internet makes country boundaries disappear. ILAB’s challenge will be to constantly find Presidents and Committee members who have the will to move ILAB, as an organization, forward.


For those of you who think that the cultural shift away from books will end our profession, I see things differently. There will always be a market for the books that we sell as they are not just texts, they are artefacts to be touched, smelled and handled with love. In my own business I see a large number of people who have revolted against the TV and computer screen and are returning to the handcrafts of printing, binding, papermaking, illustration. It isn’t only the text that is important; it is the text as presented to the reader with all the subtleties of an artefact.  Text as text will soon be electronically available – our books will not.


I feel much honoured to have served you all as President for these last four years. I will continue to serve when called with pleasure as you are not only colleagues, you have become friends as well – and that is what ILAB is all about.”


It is welcomed by a round of applause.


David Lilburne, seconded by Louella Kerr, moves to approve the president’s report, the motion is unanimously carried.




Steven Temple reads his report:


“Dear Colleagues,

This is my last report to you as ILAB General-Secretary, as after four years, my time has passed and I must retire back to obscurity somewhere in Canada.

Since our last meeting I have attended to the routine task, with a great deal of assistance from our Executive Secretary, of putting out the official minutes of previous meetings. I have also, with much assistance from Kay Craddock and Nevine Marchiset, drafted a suggested template for a member survey for the use of ILAB associations. I have also helped us get an electronic forum for the public as well as affiliates, which can be found on the home page of our website. I have also occasionally had news items put there. There were other tasks I have forgotten, but nothing of very great importance. Much of our secretarial work is now done very ably by our Executive Secretary.

I mostly want to use this opportunity to give thanks to the Committee and the Presidents for the great honour of having asked me, an ordinary “cloth” bookseller from the “boonies”, to serve in this office. It has been one of the great experiences of my life, and what’s more, I managed to survive without getting sued, assaulted, or expelled. I initially declined when Bob asked me to come onto the Committee on the grounds of incompetence. But after a fight with my conscience, I agreed, even though I was terrified and still incompetent.  Well, the ride wasn’t so bad, even in the beginning when many new, complex projects were going through and I had no idea what I was doing. One thing I’ve learned better is how to fake it. Another thing I have learned – more than I wanted to learn – is a rudimentary skill in word processing.  MicroSoft Word is a demon and should be condemned by the United Nations.

I want all of ILAB to know that it his been my experience that your Committee functions exactly as intended.  We, from around the world, have become friends, have worked hard and well together without big fights, and have been non-partisan, seeking to accomplish things that we believed, rightly or wrongly, would benefit every single ILAB affiliate - whether they sell books on the internet or not.  The fundamental goal of ILAB to foster good will among the professional trade has most certainly been achieved in my time among this Committee. Bob has been a great President, as was the President before him, our eminence grise Kay Craddock.  And Michael Steinbach will be one too, you can be sure of it.

I hope to see you all at the next ILAB Congress and Book Fair in 2008. And again, thanks so much for asking.”


This report is also received with a round of applause.


Poul Poulsen, seconded by Roger Auger, moves to approve the secretary’s report, the motion is unanimously carried.




Paul Feain reads his report:


« This year we had the usual number of stolen book notices . Emails are sent out without  great expectations of success, but this year we had a major victory when a book stolen from Adrian Harrington was recovered when the thief tried to sell the book in New York. The arrest can be directly attributed to our ILAB stolen book network.

The Stolen Book Database continues to grow and I sent a number of emails to members who had books stolen, asking them to add the details to the database.

Presidents are urged to remind their members about the stolen book database.

As the ILAB Security Officer I recently represented ILAB at the IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations) in Seoul.

Here follows the report of that visit:


Korea Trip 23 to 25 August 2006

Left Home 5.15am left Sydney Airport 8.30am and flew to Hong Kong, a nine and a half hours trip, and then changed planes for Seoul or Incheon as the airport is called. Then three and a half hours flying, 45 minutes to get through immigration and customs and a further 90 minutes to the hotel by bus. Got to the Intercontinental Hotel Grand at about midnight which was 1 am Australian time, so about 20 hours to get where I wanted to go.

In the morning I walked to the COEX centre which is a huge conference centre almost next door to the hotel. The IFLA conference is being held here. IFLA is the International Federation of Library Associations. There are 5000 delegates attending this meeting.

Attended the exhibition where I met various librarians and other interested parties.

Met with Mr Alex Byrne the President of IFLA and Acting Vice Chancellor University of Technology (UTS) Sydney.

In the afternoon I met with the Chairs and Secretaries of The Document Delivery and Resource Sharing Section and The Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of IFLA to discuss Illicit Traffic in Library Materials. More specifically the meeting was to discuss stolen books and how ILAB (International League of Antiquarian Booksellers) and IFLA could co-operate to reduce such things happening or what to do when books are stolen.

I informed them of our stolen book data base and told them that National, State and academic Libraries could access that database by contacting the President of the Booksellers Association in their country who would arrange the necessary access codes.

I undertook to pass on the details of all our National Presidents to Mr Koopman, the Coordinator of Professional Activities at IFLA.

I also reported that ILAB had a direct link to the list of books discovered stolen from the Royal Library of Copenhagen and that if any Library wished to have a similar link that they should contact the security chair at present myself of ILAB. The contact details of the ILAB Security Chair would be on ILAB’s home page.

The committee held some debate on the feasibility of creating their own database of stolen books. The meeting decided to investigate this issue and recommend to their organization that such a step be taken. I told them that Rockingstone had devised such a thing and gave them his contact details.

They liked the idea of having such a data base open to the public as they felt it would be a deterrent to thieves if they knew that the information on stolen books was public knowledge

I informed the meeting that it would be possible to list books stolen from their affiliates on our data base but that it was a time consuming process and not possible to enter large numbers of entries unless we came to an arrangement where they entered the books on the data base form and that these entries were later approved by the ILAB Security Chair.

Further contact will be made by IFLA to ILAB to continue these discussions.

Present at the meeting were :


- Sjoerd Koopman Coordinator of Professional Activities IFLA

Mr Koopman chaired the meeting.

- Ms Susan M. Allen (Chair of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section)

The Getty Research Institute, Research Library

1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100

LOS ANGELES, CA 90049-1688

United States

- Jan Bos (Secretary of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section)

Koninklijke Bibliotheek

- Poul Erlandsen Chair, Chair of IFLA Document Delivery and Resource Sharing Section (Finland)

- Penelope Street, Secretary Document Delivery and Resource Sharing Section (UK)

- Paul Feain ILAB representative.


The next day I visited Mr Soon Ku Yo the proprietor of Korea Overseas Publications Inc. Mr Yo is the founder and first president of ABAK. Mr Yo attended a number of ILAB Congresses and Presidents meetings. He is an old friend and welcomed me with the usual warm Asian hospitality. We lunched at a traditional Korean restaurant after he had shown me some of his treasures. These included an eleventh century printed wood block scroll which was a Buddhist text, a thirteenth century Buddhist Manuscript written in silver and another thirteenth century manuscript of a Buddhist Sutra which was written in gold.

Mr Yo said that no bookfairs had been held since he ceased being president but that he hoped another one would occur soon

Due to my inability to master the Korean language, communication was difficult but Mr Yo informed me that he had resigned from the ABAK. He said that this was because of his advanced age. He is 73 years old. His two sons are now running his business which has been split into two divisions. The rare book division holds regular online book auctions of rare Korean material.

After lunch he took me to see the former secretary of the ABAK, Mr Gwan Hoon. He informed me that he is still a member of the association but no longer secretary. The president and secretary reside in provincial areas. Mr Hoon was also hospitable and showed me some of his best items which included a fourteenth century printed scroll which had a price of 35,000,000 Korean Won approximately US$40,000.

The shops in Korea are similar in size to those in Tokyo very small and to the Western eye strange.

I visited a number of other bookshops in Seoul who were non members. I purchased a few old scrolls which in years to come I am sure will remind me of my stupidity in buying things about which I know nothing.

I returned to Sydney via Hong Kong where I visited a customer who has 15,000 crime fiction books in his ever growing collection. Attached are a few photos of this surprisingly delicious collection (surprising because you do not expect to see such a fantastic collection in Hong Kong)

Bob Fleck comments that this is an area where ILAB has a role to play, and thanks Mr. Nitta for having brought IFLA to the Committee’s attention. He is very glad to have now established good relations with IFLA which we wish to pursue.”


Norbert Donhofer, seconded by Mitsuo Nitta, moves to approve the security chairman’s report, the motion is unanimously carried.




Poul Poulsen reads his report:


“First of all let me underline that the account is in Danish Kroner, that is the figures in the first column of the statement, the figures in the second column are converted into US$ or € in rounded figures, you can see the rate of exchange at the top of each column. The figures in the third column are from the budget, which was adopted in Montreal in 2005.

I am not so pleased to report that this year’s account shows a deficit on 5.525 $ or 4.413 € (In the preceding financial year we had a profit on 20.623 $ or 16.471 €), but when this is said let me add that we can direct the loss to our shares and bonds since they in this financial year had to face a loss in value on 5.982 $ or 4.777 € , with that in mind I can only say that I am reasonable satisfied with the result of this financial year and I will also say (claim), when I look at the amount we have in the Bank, that the League’s financial situation is good and sound.


If we begin by looking at our income during the last period you can see that the Subscription have brought in about 41.145 $ or 32.861 €, a little lower than estimated. As you know the 2006 subscription is based on 20 US$ per entry in the latest edition of the ILAB Directory. For details look at page 6. Here I would like to remind our members that according to our rules the ‘Annual subscriptions from the League’s Members must be paid within 60 days of invoice’ far too many of our members seem to have forgotten this rule (this year 25% did not pay before at the end of June and the invoice was dates February 1st).

The sale of our publications and the ILAB pins, added only 816 $ (or nearly 650 €) to our income, but after all a little more that estimated.

The levy from various Book Fairs around the world have contributed with 43.000 $ (or 34.400 €). broken down by country, see page 7. The question marks means - that I am still waiting for the money. Here I would like to repeat what I have said every year during my time in office – Dear Presidents please remind your Book Fair committees to send the Book Fair levy, as soon as possible after the fair is closed and again according to our rule it ‘must be paid within 120 days’ after the Fair is closed. Thank you for your kind cooperation in this matter.

But let me continue – The Newsletter advertisement gave us nearly 2.000 $ (1.578 €), and in this financial year the League has earned interest to the amount of nearly 4.000 $ (or 3.200 €.)             


The ILAB/ expenses and that include: The yearly maintenance [21.600 $ (17.300 EUR.)]; the Stolen Book Database [costs us a little over 900 $ (750 EUR)], the membership database [2.500 $ (nearly 2.000 EUR)], the new web design [6.3000 $ or 5.000 €] and on ads on Google  and on the expenses for our participation in the London Books Fair, where ABA gave us a free booth.

We have spent nearly 14.200 $ (about 11.350 EUR.) to cover the Committee members’ travel expenses to their various meeting places.

One of the more heavy items of expenditure is as always the Administration, where we in all have spent nearly 28.250 $ (or 22.565 EUR), but after all that covers the yearly allowance to the president, our general secretary and the treasurer plus the meeting allowance to the Committee members - nine persons - covering the meetings in Montreal and the spring meeting in Prague.

The rest we have spent on expenses for the rent of rooms during the meetings in Sydney/Melbourne, Montreal and Prague, on a good-will diner, committee lunches and diners. The storage fee for our books, the fee for our account, the Committee insurance and other minor expenses

Our new Executive Secretary in this financial year only cost us a little over 12.500 $ (or 10.000 €) a modest sum for a lot of work. [27646-15078=12.568 $ / 22.080-12042=10.038 €]

The ILAB/LILA identity cards cost us only 491$ (or nearly 400 €), the expenses for ILAB/LILA Bookmarker amount to 865 $ / 691 €. and the bank charges amount to around 650 $ or 515 €.

On July 1st 2005 we had 159.289 $ (127.218 EUR) in the bank on June the 30th 2006 we had 153.764 $ (122.806 €) that means we have reduced our balance with 3,5 %

Bibliographical Prize Foundation

The Bibliographical Prize Foundation, now has in cash in the bank nearly 1.557 $ (1.243 €) and on July 1st 2006 the Foundation have shares and bonds for the amount of nearly 35.000 $ or around 27.500 €.

In this financial year the Foundation have received donations from private persons and national associations to the amount of 9.000 $ (nearly 8.000 €) and earned interest to the amount of 1.621 $ (nearly 1.300 €).

On the disbursement side the Foundations handed our 5.000 $ to each of the 2 winners of the Bibliographical Prize, and the Foundation had used 865 $ (691 €) the cover the jury members travel and meeting but also the Foundation had to face a loss on the value of its shares and bonds.”


It is followed with a round of applause.


Ton Kok, seconded by Marcus Benz, moves to approve the treasurer’s report, the motion is unanimously carried.




Nevine Marchiset reports that as had been decided, the League was registered at the Registry of Commerce in Geneva in March 2005, because the Committee thought that a registration would give ILAB a legal visibility. But we discovered this year that ILAB would be required to pay Swiss taxes. This would not only mean paying them, but would have also entailed having a Swiss accountant who could file our tax documents for us. We have done so for this present year. We nevertheless decided to cancel our registration, because under Swiss law we do not need to be registered as a non profit organisation, and this does not affect our insurance policy in any way. The cancellation will be effective once the Registry in Geneva has made sure that we are in good standing order with the fiscal authorities.




11a) Report on the forthcoming edition


Bob Fleck explains: “we have a 4 issue contract with Publications UK, and we should consider this directory as a PR tool. It is not designed for our members, but as publicity for the outside world. It is colourful, visually attractive and has been successful in spite of the many editorial and other problems. We must make sure these mistakes do not happen again. A delegation met with them during the Olympia Fair in London this June (Michael Steinbach, Adrian Harrington, Nevine Marchiset) and minutes were drawn which were approved by Publications UK. I spoke to Stewart Lee yesterday and he expects the directory to be done before the end of the year. They are sending us templates for the font, size and display. We hope that this time they can manipulate database information correctly. I definitely want to remain optimistic about this. At our last meeting, the Italians asked for a smaller sized directory. We’ll do it in one way or another, either PUK will do it or us, as it shouldn’t be too difficult or too expensive to produce. We commit to you to do it. If this new issue works out, we must remember that it is an excellent PR tool. Stewart Lee has reported that advertising from countries is perhaps lower than last year, but they are doing well with outside parties which will certainly increase their income. We can only monitor conflicting ads. If their advertising is at least as good as last year, they have agreed to distribute it freely to all the associations instead of only 3 locations.”


Robert Frew reports that his association has been receiving a certain number of complaints about the methods of requesting adverts, and that, coupled with the dissatisfaction about the preceding issue, there is a lot of resentment about it.


Norbert Donhofer reports that he has just received an email from them offering him a 25 percent rebate on the price. Adrian Harrington states that it is against what had been agreed upon during the London meeting. Sten Ringselle states that he received a similar offer during a telephone conversation.


11b) Submitted by the ABAJ

The format and layout of the present ILAB directory book should be reconsidered, particularly the font size which is too small.


Motion 11b is withdrawn from the table.




Submitted by the SLAM:


During the General Meeting of 22nd September 2005 in Montreal, a motion was adopted at the majority of votes to allow Abebooks to add the ILAB initials and logo after the name of each ILAB affiliated dealer member of Abebooks. The SLAM asks that this decision be reconsidered and that ILAB should  refuse to support or to back any other website but its own.


Frederic Castaing explains in his usual eloquent style that many SLAM dealers have complained about ABE. SLAM organized a meeting between ABE and the French official trade where the problems could be discussed. But ABE's attitude was as it has been everywhere and even told the French that they will accept private sellers, that the commissions charged by ABE are at the discretion of ABE only and no subject of discussion, and last but not least ABE wanted the help of SLAM to promote ABE and asked if ABE could use SLAM's logo/name. Obviously this was all badly received by the members of SLAM and its committee. The French committee takes the position it does not wish to promote, under any circumstance, ABE. Instead, the French committee, realizing that only less of a quarter of its members list their books on the ILAB site as opposed to many more members having their books on ABE, and realizing the current dissatisfaction with ABE, launched a campaign to bring more of their members to list their books on the ILAB site. The French committee stressed again and again that this is the only site with expertise, professionalism, experience and a code of ethics and as such a unique place on the world wide web. In this campaign to direct more French dealers to the ILAB site the French committee felt it was seriously obstructed by the motion adopted in Montreal (General Meeting of 22nd September 2005: ”The ABA proposes that be requested to insert the initials and logo of ILAB-LILA, and those of the relevant national association (e.g. ‘ABA ‘), after the name of each affiliated bookseller offering books for sale on the site.") which allows ABE to use the ILAB initials and logo after the name of each affiliated member dealer member of ABE books. SLAM therefore asks that this motion is withdrawn: while the SLAM is working hard to direct more dealers to the ILAB site we, ILAB, give our "imprimatur" to ABE as if there is not really a great difference between our site and ABE. It will allow ABE to distinguish themselves on the web from other sites. SLAM discussed the possibilities of directing more French dealers to the ILAB site with Rockingstone and to solve the problems of communication between the French dealers and Rockingstone agreed to hire French speaking staff. But, so argued FC, what is the point of all these efforts by SLAM and Rockingstone if we allow ABE to use our logo and name, which are what we treasure most ? If we suggest that ABE is a site that we endorse with our logo/name ? FC stressed again that it is of vital importance for SLAM and its current efforts to direct more French dealers to the ILAB site that the aforementioned motion be withdrawn.


A discussion follows, at the end of which it is decided that  it is better to leave it up to the discretion of the book dealer of the national association to decide what they want to do.


A vote is taken to reconsider the previous motion: 17 are in favour and 5 oppose (Netherlands, Belgium, Australia, Sweden, Norway). The motion is carried.


Frederic Castaing, seconded by Roger Auger, moves to rescind last year’s motion. 17 are in favour, and 5 oppose (Netherlands, Belgium, Australia, Sweden, Norway). The motion is carried, and last year’s motion is rescinded.




Robert Frew reports that the giving away of the 14th Prize during the ABA centennial ball was a success.


Bob Fleck says that the books which are left from this and the preceding prize should be converted into cash. Perhaps an association could buy them or perhaps, as Mr. Nitta suggests, they could be offered to a Chinese University as a PR gesture. BF reports that the fund is in better financial shape than ever and that approximately forty thousand dollars have been raised, and he is still negotiating to raise more funds, even if we have to associate another name with the prize for that purpose. He adds that the 14th Prize results were advertised on various listserves and newspapers.


He concluded by thanking thoroughly Raymond Kilgarriff for the wonderful job he had done as Prize secretary.




It is decided to reconsider this item at the same time as the budget later in the meeting.




Bob Fleck says that he has volunteered to remain as our liaison man on internet with Rockingstone, in order to achieve a better communication between us. He explains that Jelle Samshuijzen was unable to join the meeting, but reads a report which he has sent:


“First of all my apologies for not being able to come to the meetings. This is the first time in the past six years that I haven't been present at the meeting. Hereby a short report about the Ilab website and database. First of all the statistics of the website of this year:


Month-         Unique visitors       Number of visits         Pages           Hits             Bandwidth

Jan 2006      74076                    113074                     676709        3095609      15.64 GB

Feb 2006      59636                     90399                      560405         2464125       13.42 GB

Mar 2006     71761                    112423                     651710         2980735       16.46 GB

Apr 2006      93738                    143152                     894691         3795418       23.56 GB

May 2006     117002                  170903                     1062275       4574866      28.39 GB

Jun 2006      97181                   141064                     936842         4027736       24.48 GB

Jul 2006       111014                  167306                     1074861       4640725       29.59 GB

Aug 2006      122661                  183778                     1194568       5123146       33.43 GB


From the above we can see a gradual growth of the amount of visitors. The total number of sales have remained about the same, although we can  see a shift towards more sales via the ILAB and less via Addall and Bookfinder. Considering that the general trend with bookdealers worldwide is less sales, we can say that the market share of the ILAB has grown.

The amount of ILAB members who participate in the database has grown to 557. That's an increase of about 50 since the beginning of this year. Here are some technical improvements we have done this year:

* Static pages for search engines.

To increase the chance of all the books being indexed by search engines like Google, a "hidden" link on the website will link to a static version of the website. The pages are not actually static, but are simulated. Externally the pages will have the extension ".html", which have a greater chance of being indexed by search engines. This is because many search engines stop indexing at pages which are "too dynamic". The static pages will contain a main page that lists all the database participants. For each database participant there is a link to a complete lists of books divided over several "html" files. The static pages are simulated using a technique called "URL rewriting".

* Installation and migration to new DELL servers.

New high-end DELL servers have been installed. The ILAB/ABAA websites and ILAB/ABAA books database have been moved to these new servers. These new servers have advanced features which allow the systems engineer to perform maintenance without physically having to be near the servers. This reduces the chance of the websites being down when a problem occurs. Furthermore, these servers are very reliable and much faster. The greater capacity will allow the books database to continue to grow for the coming year(s).

* Server load balancing.

The ILAB/ABAA database are run on two servers simultaneously. This will improve the search speed and provide a backup system. If one of the servers would fail, the websites would continue to run without error.

* Greater amount of server memory producing faster search speed. Additional internal memory has been installed on the servers that run the books database. The amount of additional memory will mean that the database will fit totally in the internal memory. This implies a drastic increase in the search speed.” 



15a. Submitted by the Committee

The Committee encourages the addition of other languages on the ILAB website and specifically recommends the addition of Japanese, Italian and Spanish.


Each language addition will cost 2000 euros not including translation cost. ILAB is willing to pay half of that sum. Robert Frew reports that the Italians don’t want an Italian version, Mr. Nitta says that for the time being, Japan does not see the need for a Japanese version, and Norbert Donhofer adds that the Spanish don’t want their language either on the website. Georg Beran states that it would be important perhaps to add Russian. None of the presidents present make a request for a translation in their language; we ought to remember, however, that it would make our site much more attractive to have a great number of languages available.


15b. Submitted by the Committee

Rockingstone has asked ILAB for permission to organize a bookfair in Beijing and for ILAB to provide moral support for this bookfair (use of logo etc.). The Committee recommends accepting this proposal, provided Rockingstone can give satisfactory answers to a list of questions that the Committee submitted to him.


15b is taken off the table.


Paul Feain and Mitsuo Nitta mention the possibility of organizing a bookfair in Hong Kong within the next 15 months.


15c. Submitted by the Committee

Rockingstone has asked ILAB for permission to create another database for ILAB and non-ILAB dealers, as an alternative to Abebooks. All ILAB database participants would automatically have their books uploaded, with their permission, into the new database. At first it would be free for ILAB database participants, and then, if it becomes successful, a discounted fee would be charged. Rockingstone has promised that they will mark the books of ILAB booksellers in such a way that they will be distinctive in a search result.


15c is taken off the table due to Jelle’s absence.


15d. Submitted by the Committee

Rockingstone has asked ILAB for permission to organize online book auctions for ILAB affiliates only. The Committee recommends accepting this proposal.


The following motion is moved:


Rockingstone will have to submit a written proposal with a well defined plan which will then be subject to the approval of the Presidents. In favour: 20, opposed 2 (Great Britain). The motion is carried.


15e. Submitted by the ABAA

We would like to suggest asking each ILAB member country to post to the ILAB website a summary of that country's customs regulations as they apply to rare books, maps & prints, and manuscripts. This could be, and probably should be, taken verbatim from each government's official regulations, and could conceivably be no more than a link to that member country's government postings.  We would then have the material from the source, without involving lawyers and thereby even be adding some useful content to the website.


Frederic Castaing thinks that this is a lot of work and also a very difficult task. Rules and laws change constantly and it is almost impossible to keep track of them. Hence, there is the risk that dealers looking for information concerning import and export issues find outdated information. FC agrees with the suggestion from the committee to not do all this work which certainly involves risks such as FC has pointed out, but to place links to the relevant ministries and institutions responsible for national laws and rules regarding import and export. Our website would then be the portal to the information concerning this subject for all countries. One click and one has access (or so it is hoped) to the information needed or wanted.


After discussion, it is decided that links to the relevant official government sites will be added to our website. The Presidents will need to send them to the Executive Secretary.




Arnoud Gerits explains that he has attended a meeting in Brussels and their General Meeting in Utrecht. CINOA’s structure is very similar to ILAB’s. We have a lot in common, we face the same problems: droit de suite, Unesco, Unidroit, etc. They are a much larger organization than ours, richer and employ lawyers. We have a lot to gain from a closer collaboration. Arnoud Gerits strongly recommends that we exchange letters of intent in which we state our desire for a stronger collaboration, invite each other to our General Meetings. We should also imitate their market reports, where at each General Meeting, each delegate gives a market report for his country.

FC informs the committee about the recent survey the SLAM did among French bookdealers, regardless whether they were a member of SLAM or not. In all 450 surveys were returned and they showed interesting results and these were published in various publications in France, among which the Newsletter of SLAM. To help in making an annual market report, our General Secretary has devised a questionnaire – based on the ABA’s and the SLAM’s – which our presidents could adopt or adapt to send to their members. It will be sent by email to all the presidents.


A lunch break is observed between 12:40 and 13:50.


Adrian Harrington adds that another questionnaire has also been devised by our General Secretary, it is designed to enquire what the affiliates feel about ILAB and its activities. With the presidents approval, it will be sent to the affiliates.




17a. Submitted by the SLAM

An ILAB affiliated bookseller should not be allowed to use a business address in another country unless he becomes a member of the national association of that country  and his business  is also  legally registered in that country.


17a is just a reminder of our regulations, the case which had prompted this motion has now been resolved.


17b. Submitted by the ABAJ

The ILAB website currently maintains Chinese and German versions, apart from English and French. This multi-lingual interface, although not undesirable in itself, is causing a blurring of the Rules which stipulate English and French as its official languages. For this reason, we suggest that ILAB’s language policies be discussed as well.


Mr. Nitta reminds that the Korean association does not speak or understand English, and that all correspondence or invoices should be sent to him so that he can have them translated into Korean.


17c. Submitted by the SVAF


SVAF (Sweden) calls for a need to revise the Code of Ethics to include sale at internet auction sites.

Our Code of ethics was written before the internet. Material was offered for sale in shops, at fairs or in catalogues with a selling price.Some material was offered for sale at auction but under the auction company´s name.

Now material are being offered at ebay and other internet sites under the name of the bookseller.This is part of the trade that has increased rapidly during the last years and will continue to do so.

(Quote) "2. 5 Price: Members shall be responsible for accurate and professional pricing of all material offered for sale, regardless of wheater they are dealing with experts or amateurs."

(Quote) "2. 12 Clear pricing: Members should ensure that all material offered for sale in an open shop or at book fairs is clearly marked with the selling price…."

At internet auctions the price is set by reseve and bidding of customers. Current writing does not cover this kind of trade. As it also implicates "an accurate and professional pricing" we think it is matter to take into consideration.

We don´t have a proposition for a new text as it is more a matter to discuss and consider before rushing into writing a new text.


The matter has been discussed at length during the workshop, and it is decided to leave it on the table until appropriate wording has been found.




18a. Submitted by the ABAJ

The purpose and objective of the ILAB as stipulated in the League’s Guidelines, and the merits of holding the biannual Congress and Book Fair, along with the future direction for both, should be clearly established at the committee meetings. Based on this, the ABAJ will determine its future relationship with ILAB.


Bob Fleck summarizes the outcome of yesterday’s workshop:


1. The Presidents are unanimous in  believing that ILAB Congresses are essential to our organization.

2. All countries no matter their  size should be encouraged to host an ILAB Congress.

3. ILAB Bookfairs are often a part  of the ILAB Congress experience and should be encouraged. However, they  need not be part of a country’s proposal to host a Congress.

4. Our Rules require a Congress or  equivalent meeting of the Presidents every two years and the Presidents  agree that this is satisfactory.

5. Any country that wishes to host  a Congress must submit a Proposal to the Presidents that includes a  preliminary budget showing multiple levels of participation and a  timetable of steps to be taken. The ILAB Committee will develop a revised  set of Guidelines to help guide the structure of the Proposal. Important  areas to be described in the Proposal.

            a. Costs should be kept down to  encourage greater participation.

            b. The length of the Congress  (and Bookfair if there is one) should be reasonable.

            c. Countries should link to an  existing bookfair if possible if they choose to have a bookfair in  conjunction with their Congress.

            d. September-October are often  the best months for a Congress but other months should be allowed if that  would increase the success of the Congress.

            e. The program of the Congress  should be a balance between social and educational events.

            f. Multiple hotel choices of  different price ranges should be given.

            g. Alternative locations should  be considered which would be part of an event of another organization  (ie, IFLA, Frankfort,  CINOA, etc).

            h. Open workshops should be  considered as part of the Congress.

            i. If an ILAB Congress is  cancelled, all registration fees must be refunded.

            j. If a Bookfair is attached to an  ILAB Congress and the Congress is cancelled, the attached Bookfair must be  cancelled and all registration fees must be refunded.

6. Once the Proposal for a  Congress has been accepted by the Presidents, the ILAB Committee will  monitor the progress.

            a. The Committee will appoint a  liaison member to the host country’s Congress Committee who will  provide support and insure that deadlines are being met.

            b. If deadlines are not being  met, the Committee will inform the Presidents and request that the  Presidents take firm action to insure the success of the Congress.

7. The ABAA will submit a  description of problems which caused the cancellation of the Congress and  this document will be used by the Committee to develop the revised  Guidelines.


Adrian Harrington reminds Bob Fleck that the workshop had also mentioned that all member countries should be encouraged to sponsor at least one young dealer to encourage fledging booksellers to attend.


18b. Submitted by the ABAJ

The ILAB must explain with responsibility to all of its member associations in full detail the course of events that led to the present confusion. Full reimbursement must be made to associations or members that have suffered financial loss as a result of the cancellations.


David Lilburne explains that this matter has already been talked about, it is an independent contractor who has been running the fair, and the ABAA is caught in the middle.

Bob Fleck states that a clause will be added to our guidelines, and that is if a congress is cancelled all deposits must be refunded.

David Lilburne adds that as at the moment, the ABAA has no exact idea of the liabilities they are facing, but that he will personally take back to his committee the demand for the refund of the deposits and that he hopes it will be possible to refund as much as they can. He adds that Sandy Smith does not want to pay the ILAB levy on the forthcoming Jarvits fair, the meeting asks David Lilburne to remind Mr. Smith that he insisted that the fair be advertised on our website as an ILAB fair.


18c. Submitted by the Committee

Discuss whether the Congress dates should be moved to another time of the year, discuss  its duration, how often it is organised, whether the Congress can be linked to an existing book fair. Decide how the next Congress (Spain) will be organised.


It has already been discussed, see 18a.




Arnoud Gerits explains that he has been in charge for the past 5 or 6 years, but that he is facing many problems: the number of dealers willing to advertise is diminishing, the financial burden is entirely on the budget. Another problem is contents as publishing the minutes of our meetings is not enough. Interesting content gets you more advertising.

Bob Fleck states that committee nominee, Tom Congalton has accepted this challenge. Tom says that he has ideas about producing it cheaply with interesting content, possibly  smaller and appearing more often.




Submitted by the Committee :

In order that our budget be balanced, and all the expense which has been voted on be met, the Committee recommends :

19a) that, beginning in 2007, we raise the subscription fee to 30.00 $US per affiliate. The 30.00 $US would include the 7.50 $US currently being collected for the directory. [This makes a total increase of 9.09%, 27.50 $US to 30.00 $US]. At the same time, we propose that the book fair levy be raised from 2% to 2.5%.


19b) that, beginning in 2007, we raise the subscription fee to 33.00 $US per affiliate. The 33.00 $US would include the 7.50 $US currently being collected for the directory. [This makes a total increase of 20%]. At the same time, we propose that the book fair levy be raised from 2% to 2.5%.


After a lengthy discussion, motion 19b is moved by Ton Kok and seconded by Marcus Benz, it is carried unanimously. The new subscription per affiliate is raised to 33.00$US and the new book fair levy is raised to 2.5%.




Submitted by the Committee

That an expenditure of $16,000 be devoted to increasing the visibility of

ILAB. This money will be spent on

a. Developing new advertising design for ILAB and using this design in magazine advertising.

b. Funding a permanent Google campaign and a Constant Contact campaign (email)

c. Funding an ILAB booth at various bookfairs including the costs of having someone at the booth.

d. Funding production of posters and bookmarkers.

e. Help finance the addition of new languages on


If the motion is carried, it will leave a deficit in the budget, as motion 19b does not cover the 16,000 dollars budget of advertising. It is nevertheless decided to agree to this expenditure and use some of our capital to fill the budget which will otherwise not balance.


The motion is moved by Robert Frew and seconded by Marcus Benz, the expenditure of 16,000$ on PR and advertising is unanimously carried.




20a. Submitted by the SLAM

The SLAM Committee proposes and supports the nomination of Jean Pierre Fouques as a member of the next ILAB Committee.

Frederic Castaing presents Jean Pierre Fouques, who is presently Vice President of SLAM and who has been instrumental in putting up a series of conferences. He is fully bilingual and he is sure he will make a very good committee member.


20b. Submitted by the NVVA

Arnoud Gerits has been nominated by the NVVA as ILAB General Secretary.

Ton Kok says that it is very difficult for him to describe Arnoud Gerits as he has served already on ILAB committees and on the Committee of his national association. We probably all know him better than he does, and he’s sure he’ll do an excellent job.





20c. Submitted by the ABAJ

The Antiquarian Booksellers Association of Japan (ABAJ) recommends the following ABAJ member as candidate for the Committee member selection at the coming Presidents’ Meeting : Mr. Tsukasa Maeda, from Kikuo Bookshop Co, in Kyoto.

Mr. Nitta explains that Japan has nominated a past president of ABAJ, Mr. Maeda from Kyoto. There will perhaps be language and distance barriers, but which will certainly be overcome. Mr. Maeda deals in continental as well as Japanese books and is a very good friend of his.


20d. Submitted by the ABAA

The ABAA proposes the nomination of Tom Congalton as member of the next ILAB Committee.

David Lilburne is very pleased to nominate Tom Congalton who has modernized the ABAA when he was president, and who is very efficient. He will certainly help ILAB move forward.


All nominees and Kay Craddock leave the room.


David Lilburne, seconded by Norbert Donhofer, moves that all four be elected to the new Committee. The motion is unanimously carried.


20e. Submitted by the Committee

That Kay Craddock be elected as ILAB President of Honour

Poul Poulsen moves the motion and makes the following speech: “I have had the pleasure working with Kay first as a committee member and later when ILAB was wise enough to elect her as its president. When she came, new ideas came into the committee and ILAB meetings. In the earlier days a presidents meeting normally was finished before or just after the lunch break. She was concerned that our members would like to go back and report about other things than social events and lunches and dinners, and that they would have the opportunity to bring forward to the committee new ideas and other ways of doing things, and also place more work on the committee’s shoulders. So Kay started with the workshops where we could disagree on many things within the trade. These workshop gave us all the  possibility to discuss many subjects, test new ideas. She has given guidelines to our organization, and has brought with her an enthusiasm and energy and the love for the trade, in short she has brought the League into the 21st Century.”


David Lilburne seconds the motion, Kay Craddock is unanimously elected as ILAB President of Honour.


20f. Submitted by the ABA

The ABA wishes to nominate Keith Fletcher, former Vice President of the ILAB and Past President of the ABA, to be an ILAB Member of Honour.

Bob Fleck reads a document prepared by the ABA: “Keith Fletcher’s roots in the ABA and the antiquarian bookselling business go deep. Keith’s grandfather, Robert Fletcher, of the firm H. A. Fletcher in Ramsgate in Kent, became an ABA member in 1907, less than a year after the Association was founded. Robert Fletcher moved to 46 High Street, Rochester, in partnership with E. Bolleter as E. Bolleter Ltd in 1913, but moved out of bookselling during the First World War when he served in uniform. Setting up in London after the war as Robert Fletcher Ltd, Robert was re-elected to ABA membership in 1920, and joined by his sons Alick in 1921 and W. R. (Bill) in 1922. Unfortunately, the firm went into liquidation on 22 May 1933 during the great depression, but set up again almost immediately as H. M. Fletcher (Robert, Alick & Bill Fletcher) in Enfield in East London. The firm was re-elected to ABA membership in 1934, moved to Cecil Court in central London for a couple of years before WWII but then back to Enfield during the war. Bill bought his brother Alick’s share in the business in August 1945 and the business moved back to Cecil Court. Robert retired and sold his interest in the business to I. M. Fletcher, Bill’s wife. Their son Keith, the very Keith you see before you, became a partner in 1965. Keith’s first taste of the ILAB, however, was actually a wide-êyed schoolboy (he says) at the champagne party in the Crush Bar at the Covent Garden Opera, hosted by the inimitable Peter Murray Hill during the 1956 London Congress. And the next year, 1957, he attended his first full congress in Munich which confirmed his enthusiasm for ILAB! Bill Fletcher was ABA President in 1961 and 1962, and Keith held the same office from 1982 to 1984. In 1982 Keith’s parents retired and Keith and Marina moved the business out to its present abode Much Hadham. Since his first Congress in 1957, Keith has been to twenty-one! He says that they have been responsible for a host of life-long friendships - and not a few very profitable deals. He heartily commends them to one and all. At the Los Angeles congress in 1996, Keith was elected to the ILAB Committee, serving a total of eight years - 4 years as a committee member; 2 years as general secretary; and 2 years as vice-president. He did not miss one meeting, he says, despite the fact that on two occasions they prevented him form exhibiting at Chelsea. Given Keith’s illustrious background, his dedicated service to both the ILAB and the ABA, and his stature in the trade as friend and genial colleague of many, I have great pleasure in proposing on behalf of the ABA, that he should be elected a Member of Honour of the ILAB.”


Poul Poulsen seconds the motion, Keith Fletcher is unanimously elected as ILAB Member of Honour.


The nominees and Kay Craddock return into the room, they are welcomed with a round of applause.


Kay thanks the assembly and makes the following acceptance speech: “I feel very privileged to be made a President of Honour and I thank the ILAB for considering me worthy of the prestigious award. Since the formation of the League nearly 60 years ago, hundreds of booksellers have been actively involved in maintaining its values and in advancing the standing of antiquarian and second-hand booksellers throughout the world. Of these hundreds of booksellers only 20, as of today, have been given the ultimate responsibility of leading the League. Being elected 18th President of the ILAB has been the highlight of my career, and I am proud of all that was achieved during my term of office. None of these achievements can be credited to one person alone. During my years on the ILAB committee I had the good fortune to work with stimulating and dedicated colleagues, many of whom are now close friends. In particular I pay tribute to those who formed the committee of 2000-2002, several of whom are in this room. Together we worked to uphold the tradition that we inherited, and to build upon that inheritance by implementing the fresh ideas and initiatives we thought necessary at the start of the 21st century. Other Past Presidents have been just as appreciative of their own teams. Today, Bob Fleck declared his the best team ever, and I suspect that Michael Steinbach will make the same claim at the conclusion of his term as ILAB President. All such claims are correct because during one’s term of office 8 people from 8 countries work as one. In the same

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