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Minutes OGM

Published on 23 Dec. 2009

(Please use the PDF for printout - The reports are at the end of the minutes)








The meeting was called to order at 9:10 AM by President Bob Fleck.





ILAB Committee: President, Bob Fleck (BF) - Vice-President, Michael Steinbach (MS) -  Treasurer, Poul Jan Poulsen (PP) - General Secretary, Steven Temple (ST) - Committee Members: Paul Feain (PF) – Dieter Tausch (DT) – Adrian Harrington (AH) – Georg Beran (GB). Executive Secretary, Nevine Marchiset (NM).


National Associations: ANZAAB (Australia / New Zealand) represented by Louella Kerr, President; ABAC (Canada) represented by Wilfrid de Freitas, President; ABF (Denmark) represented by Poul Jan Poulsen, President. SLAM (France) represented by Frédéric Castaing, President; VDA (Germany) represented by Ulrich Hobbeling, President; ABA (Great Britain) represented by Robert Frew, President; ABAJ (Japan) represented by Mitsuo Nitta, President; NVVA (Netherlands) represented by Ton Kok, President; VEBUKU/SLACES (Switzerland) represented by Marcus Benz, President; ABAA (United States) represented by John Crichton, President; ALAI (Italy) represented by Umberto Pregliasco, President.




Apologies were received from Presidents of Honour Alain Nicolas, Anton Gerits, and Anthony Rota. Immediate Past President Kay Craddock, no longer officially a part of the Committee, sent her best wishes. She has attended the previous ten Presidents’ Meetings. SVAF President Sten Ringselle also sent his regrets and best wishes.




Marcus Benz (VEBUKU/SLACES) had a proxy from SACR (Czech Republic) and from VAO (Austria)

Ton Kok (NVVA) had a proxy from BBA/CLAM (Belgium)

Poul Jan Poulsen (ABF) had a proxy from SVAF (Sweden)

Ulrich Hobbeling (VDA) had a proxy from AILA (Spain)


Not represented : ABAK (Korea) – ABLA (Brazil) – NABF (Norway) – SAY (Finland)


There were a total of 20 votes: ABAA (2), ALAI (1), VEBUKU/SLACES (3), NVVA (2), ANZAAB (1), ABF (2), VDA (3), ABA (2), ABAC (1), SLAM (2), ABAJ (1). The quorum was established at 11 votes. Michael Steinbach and Dieter Tausch were appointed as scrutineers.




A minute of silence was observed in memory of the following colleagues who have passed away since our last meeting in Melbourne in 2004: From the ABA: Rodney Drake, H. D. (“Dickie”) Lyon, Laurence Oxley, Albi Rosenthal, Bernard Breslauer, George Holleyman, and Boris Harding-Edgar. From the ABAA: George Chamberlain, Muir Dawson, Dorris Harris, Geraldine McGilvery (Laurence McGilvrey Books), and Leona Rostenberg (Rostenberg & Stern). From the VDA: Heinrich Hugendubel, Jürgen Stammerjohann.





John Crichton (ABAA) moved that the minutes of the ILAB Presidents’ Meeting in Melbourne be approved, seconded by Robert Frew (ABA). The motion was unanimously carried.




BF distributed and read his report (see attached)


The ABAA moved to accept the report, was seconded by the ABF, and the motion was unanimously carried.




PP distributed and read his report [see attached].


The following comments were made: BF said that it should have been a balanced budget and that the surplus was due to the fact that some of the budgeted money had not been spent by 30 June. Louella Kerr (ANZAAB) remarked that the ANZAAB contribution to the Bibliographical Prize had not been recorded in the accounts (USD 2000). Umberto Pregliasco (ALAI) said that the ALAI organised a book fair in Rome last year and asked what  the procedure is for paying the levy. AH noticed that the levy for the Olympia fair had not yet been paid.


The Treasurer announced that as the Philadelphia meeting is scheduled for early September, the accounts will close on 13th June 2006 to enable him to send the accounts before the meeting. All income or expenses incurred after 13th June will count for the next financial year. He added that every year the budget is made out of what money should be coming in, whereas all the projected income is not received on time.


Mitsuo Nitta (ABAJ) remarked that the situation with the Korean association (unpaid dues, no communication) is a big problem, but that he feels a responsibility towards the ABAK as it joined in 1990 during the Tokyo Congress and book fair. The Korean President he knew has retired so he has no more contacts. Next March 2006, an antiquarian book fair will be held in Seoul. He will attend, make enquiries, then will report back to the ILAB Committee and the Presidents. He asked that a delay of six months be made before taking further action. BF informed him that the Committee plans to send a letter in Korean to all 30 dealers of the Korean association, a copy will be sent to Mitsuo Nitta, and the Committee will coordinate its energies with Mr Nitta to solve this problem in the next year: either contacts will be renewed, or else it would become necessary to cancel the membership of the ABAK in ILAB.


The Treasurer then explained the projected budget for 2005/2006. He agreed to the Frédéric Castaing (SLAM) request asking that item 9 be re-phrased to mention “Executive Secretary” instead of “translation...”. BF explained that the item referring to “Chinese translation” does not cover the costs of translation but only to the technological part.


A motion to accept the Treasurer’s report was moved by the Robert Frew (ABA), seconded by Ton Kok (NVVA), and was unanimously carried.




ST read and distributed his report [see attached].


A motion to accept the General Secretary’s report was made by the Mitsuo Nitta (ABAJ), seconded by PP (ABF), and was unanimously carried.




PF read his report. He has received numerous stolen book reports and circulated them on our electronic lists. He has written each bookseller who reported a loss and asked them to be sure to enter the data in our stolen and missing books database. He has been in discussion with the IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations) about cooperation in the reporting of stolen books. They are also building a stolen books database. PP recounted his participation at the IFLA conference this summer in Copenhagen. He has invited Dr. Carducci [Chief of International Standards Section, Division of Cultural Heritage, UNESCO] to the Philadelphia Congress to talk to us about the UNIDROIT treaty. BF added that it is the task of the Committee to set up contacts with international organisations like IFLA. Frédéric Castaing (SLAM) agreed that it is in the interest of the League and within its scope to develop links with international organisations. He added that discussions with UNESCO should be one of our aims but should not necessarily mean agreeing to their views. We should remember that UNESCO is a supporter of the UNIDROIT treaty and that we rejected this treaty during a past General Meeting. He reported that the Bibliothèque nationale had invited SLAM to a meeting about security cooperation. He thinks most librarians do want to cooperate with us. BF said that SLAM has taken a leadership role in this area which has been very much appreciated by all. He is aware that we must be careful of our dealings with UNIDROIT and UNESCO. Mitsuo Nitta added that he is very pleased that his suggestion that ILAB get in touch with IFLA representatives has been followed. He announced that IFLA’s next conference will take place in Seoul in Summer 2006. PF informed us that the actual president of IFLA is one of his neighbours in Sydney who is very anxious that we establish further communication with them. The matter of cooperation concerning stolen books will be approached later in the Meeting.


The motion to accept the Security chairman’s report was moved by the ABAA, seconded by ANZAAB, and was unanimously carried.






The motion from SLAM was read: “That ILAB opens two bank accounts, one in Euros, the other one in US Dollars.”


PP explained that the purpose of such a move would be to save money on currencies, but that he believed it wouldn’t save much money overall. His accountant and his bank have warned him that it would cause problems for him, that it would be difficult and costly to administer many accounts, and that there are always bank fees when you change USD into EUR. His book-keeping system would have to be changed in his computer and that would cost money which he is not willing to spend. He concluded that he was not in favour of this motion. Frédéric Castaing said that, after direct discussion with PP, he had come to agree with him and that he therefore moved to withdraw the motion. The BBA/CLAM (Belgium), which had originally seconded the motion, also agreed (through its proxy vote with the NVVA), to withdraw the motion.


The motion was seconded by the NVVA and was unanimously carried.




BF explained that the Committee is studying the possibility of covering the Committee members with a personal liability insurance policy and that quotes have been received from Swiss insurance companies. NM reported that she had received three quotes from Swiss companies – CHF 250,000 coverage for CHF 2000 in annual premiums, CHF 500,000 at a cost of CHF 3900 / year, and also CHF 500,000 at CHF 4300 /year. However, we do not really know what are the responsibilities and liabilities of committee members of non-profit organisations under Swiss law, and that an enquiry with our lawyer will be necessary. SLAM agreed that it is an absolute necessity to have insurance coverage for Committee members. ALAI asked that the Committee find out if we could also get such insurance to cover the national presidents.


After further discussion, the following motion was moved by the ABAA and seconded by the ALAI:


“The Committee is given permission to further study getting insurance and is authorised to spend up to USD 6000 for a policy, including study expenses”.


The motion was unanimously approved.




The actual rule 2.8 of our Manual reads:


2.8 DAMAGE IN TRANSIT. Responsibility for damage in transit shall rest with the sender. Members should attend to the careful and appropriate handling, packing, posting and shipping of material to ensure that it reaches the buyer in the same condition as when purchased.


The ALAI moved to change it to :


2.8 DAMAGE OR LOST IN TRANSIT. Responsibility for damage in transit shall rest with the sender. Members should attend to the careful and appropriate handling, packing, posting and shipping of material to ensure that it reaches the buyer in the same condition as when purchased. “When books are being despatched, risks of transport are the responsibility of the sender, who should cover himself by insurance if he thinks fit. The cost of insurance should be debited to the recipient of the book”.


Seconded by the ABAA.


Ton Kok (NVVA) said that national laws would override any ILAB rule. Ulrich Hobbleing (VDA) explained that in Germany the sender’s responsibility for a parcel stops as soon as it is shipped, and that they therefore offer insurance to the customer. Robert Frew (ABA) observed that it is difficult to make a general rule, and that it would be much better to have an insurance coverage for both sales and acquisitions. Frédéric Castaing (SLAM) agreed with the Italian proposal but felt that the wording should be changed. A new wording was formulated:



2.8 DAMAGE IN TRANSIT. Responsibility for damage or loss in transit shall rest with the sender. Members should attend to the careful and appropriate handling, packing, posting and shipping of material to ensure that it reaches the buyer in the same condition as when purchased.


A motion to adopt this wording was moved by Umberto Pregliasco (ALAI), seconded by Wifrid DeFreitas (ABAC), and was unanimously carried.




The motion submitted by the ALAI was seconded by the ABAA and was discussed: “We recommend two mailing lists – one trade and one announce.”


John Critchton explained that in the ABAA there are four lists: discuss, trade, announce (official announcements), and security. BF added the Committee had already agreed in Zürich that the list should be split in two - ILAB Announce and ILAB Commercial Announce.


The motion to split the ILAB mailing list into two was carried unanimously.


PF has talked with Jelle and it can and will be done. He will send out an e-mail message. ILAB booksellers will be able to opt out of either list.


[The meeting recessed for a short break at 11 AM and was reconvened at 11:15, at which time Jelle Samshuijzen (JS), ILAB Webmaster, joined the meeting]




BF announced that the new website would be now shown on a projector screen and that he wanted to have the Presidents’ thoughts on it and on how it should be advertised in order to gain more members and customers. The new version had cost us about EUR 5000. He pointed out that the previous front page had been cluttered, requiring scrolling down to see the bottom. The new page is much simpler and needs no scrolling.  It was observed that previously only expensive books with a picture were being shown in the random highlights, feature, but now books were being chosen randomly across the price spectrum to more fairly represent all participating book dealers. Umberto Pregliasco remarked that the advanced search function is very Anglo-Saxon. BF asked him to think of extra criteria which would better concern continental rare books. Ton Kok asked how we get notices of book fairs on the website. NM asked that they please be sent to her, she will get Committee approval, and then she would have them displayed on the website. JS pointed out the new wants service, where a person can now register his personal information (except credit card numbers) so that he doesn’t have to do it again every time he orders something from the database. The “wish list” is also new – it can remind people of books they would like to have but not necessarily buy right away. JS mentioned that he would like to develop other languages on the website; he thinks that Spanish and Italian should be added and that the national associations should try to get more of their members to join the database. In an ABAA promotion, JS has offered to waive the set-up fee of EUR 100 for new ABAA subscribers who sign on to the database before a certain date. He will be offering an incentive for other affiliates to join, but he badly needs the national associations to lead the campaign to get more participants. He said that he had installed another server so that the speed of our search engine has been increased again. BF said that we need to market the launch of the new website, send emails to listservs and that a PR text should be written to launch the site, alongside a marketing plan made by the Committee. Ullrich Hobbling remarked that the problem in Germany was that dealers are not selling on ILAB, because customers are used to ZVAB. The new site may be better, but we have to face the existence of a giant competitor which we’ll never be able to beat. He recognised, however, that the ILAB site is a viable alternative to ZVAB, especially if we try to make it look more European, as a European customer will then find it more attractive. If customers find it more attractive, dealers will be more easily convinced as their chief aim is to sell books. Umberto Pregliasco added that it is the same thing in Italy with Mare Magnum. He is not sure that an Italian version would attract Italian dealers and customers. DT remarked that a lot of Italian dealers also use ZVAB. Marcus Benz (VEBUKU/SLACES) asked whether it would be possible, when switching to the German version, to only have one search criteria for the quick search, instead of four. JS replied that it could be done. BF remarked that Abebooks is currently encountering problems and that the ILAB site is a viable alternative. He added that ILAB booksellers should not be only looking at short term interests. John Crichton agreed and said that there is a big view and a small view, and that we should adopt the big view. Frédéric Castaing protested that JS was asking them to promote the database whereas he thinks it should be Rockingstone’s job to do so. JS answered that it has never been his responsibility to do so. He added that since 2000 he has done a lot of things to try and promote the website: virtual bookfairs, etc. The response of the booksellers had been small. It was finally decided that Rockingstone would make a special offer, limited in time, waiving the set-up fee of EUR 100, and giving one month’s service for free. In return, Rockingstone would expect the full support of the national associations. Louella Kerr said that she will see that the offer is advertised at the forthcoming ANZAAB book fair.


Many felt that this was the database’s last chance to attract a great number of new dealers and that the marketing campaign has to be very well thought out. A discussion then ensued about how the website is presently advertised. JS explained that the best advertising is to be had on Google (the clicks on the right side), but that it can cost up to EUR 1000 a month.


The following motion submitted by the ABAA and seconded by the VEBUKU/SLACES was unanimously carried:


“The Presidents will allow the Committee to spend 3000 EUR on a Google campaign, to coincide with the launching of the new website. “


JS was thanked for coming and the meeting adjourned for lunch at 1:00 PM. Reconvened at 2:00 PM.




Submitted by ALAI: “We propose that the database of stolen books should be public, the access free to libraries and customers”. After discussion in which it was pointed out that some nation’s laws may prohibit that, the ALAI withdrew the motion.





Submitted by ALAI: “Why don’t we reconsider the format of the database, as it is also very expensive ?” After private discussion with JS, the ALAI also withdrew this motion. JS will find a way in which the ALAI list of stolen books can be imported into the ILAB stolen books database




Submitted by the Committee: " The Presidents of ILAB member associations propose that the Committee be permitted to allow access to the ILAB stolen books database by select governmental, legal, or library organizations. Reciprocal benefits that further the goals of ILAB should be negotiated with any organization that is given such access. "


Moved by the ALAI, seconded by the ABAA, and unanimously passed.




The motion 14a, submitted by ALAI, was read:


“We think that the dictionary of books terms on the website, now in English, German, Dutch and French, should include also Italian. So, we ask the authorisation to prepare the translation, and we would like to know to whom we should forward the text. “


The meeting was happy that the ALAI wanted to do this and they were thanked. The ALAI was asked to send its translation to Rockingstone and Committee member Georg Beran will coordinate the action.  PP reported that the SVAF would also like a Swedish translation.


The Committee moved that if a translation is provided by any national association, it will negotiate a fee with Rockingstone to have it added on the website. The motion is seconded and carried unanimously.


The motion 14b, submitted by the ABA, was read:


”The ABA proposes that the ILAB ‘Glossary of Book Terms’ presented on the ILAB website be reviewed and updated.”


Robert Frew asked why Carter’s ABC for Book Collectors had been taken off the website. BF explained that Mr. Barker didn’t like the idea of the ABC being downloadable and that it will be put back once a non-downloadable version is made.


Motion 14b was seconded and carried unanimously. Robert Frew said that the ABA would take responsibility for updating and reviewing the glossy as it appears on our website.




The questions submitted by the ALAI and the BBA/CLAM were read. BF explained that the identity cards can be easily updated, that from now on all changes should be sent to NM who will send updates to the printing company once every three months, starting 01 November, 2005. He argued that trying to get a card back (resignation, retirement, exclusion) is not worth spending the energy.




The ABA proposed a motion to add an expiry date on the cards. Seconded by the BBA/CLAM.


In favour: 5 votes


Abstention: None


The motion was rejected.




AH said that he had talked about this matter at lunch time with JS. They will study it on their own then report back to the Committee and Presidents.




”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."


Seconded by the ABAA.


AH explained that it is free advertising for ILAB, and that our webmaster agrees. John Crichton added that if we don’t like the way it works, Abebooks can be asked to take it back. PP explains that he’s afraid Abebooks might wrongly use ILAB’s name.


A vote was taken. There were 16 votes in favour, and four votes against (SLAM, ABF & SVAF), so the motion was carried.




BF said that there has been a lack of communication. He wished that the Committee had been involved earlier and apologised. He added that the new website shows that we’re back on the right track and that the work involved is worth more than the EUR 5000 paid. Ullrich Hobbeling replied that he thought the original German version, which had cost the German-speaking associations (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland) EUR 6000, was unprofessional and not the product they felt they had paid for. They had already complained in Potsdam, but at last they are happy with the new German version. Marcus Benz added that in 2003, the other presidents were pleased that the German-speaking associations took the initiative. ILAB had then said that it would participate in the costs. How does the Committee expect them to accept the idea of a German version costing EUR 6000 when a Chinese version will only cost EUR 1500? This is why the Austrian association has moved that the difference be reimbursed to the German-speaking associations. He added that the contract between Rockingstone and ILAB was never openly discussed with the Presidents nor made public to them, and that the Presidents never knew what they were getting for the money they put in Rockingstone, and he therefore requested more transparency. BF replied that part of the problem resided in not having clearly defined what the German version should have included. He added that in the future, ILAB will have to be more specific with its expectations of Rockingstone. He hoped that the EUR 5000 paid by ILAB for the new website might perhaps make up for past mistakes. Moreover, ILAB has just spent EUR 750 to correct the new German translation. He added that the expected cost of a Chinese version is so much lower because only a few pages will be translated.


Marcus Benz read the motion put forward by the Austrian association, but which had reached the Committee after the agenda was sent out. BF said that the motion would be voted on anyway. By proxy, the VAO (Austria) moved that ILAB refund the German-speaking associations EUR 4500 of what they had spent on the German version. Seconded by Marcus Benz (VEBUKU/SLACES).


AH commented that the German-speaking associations had accepted a contract, the price of which was brought down from EUR 9000 to EUR 6000, and then there was a misunderstanding about who would be providing the translation. Now all the problems have been resolved. The Chinese site is not the same as only very few pages will be translated, and EUR 1500 does not cover translation costs. He felt everyone had benefited from what had been previously done. Now, should ILAB refund on a contract which had been accepted? It would set a very bad precedent. Frédéric Castaing agreed with the Austrian demand, and commented that a President owes his members an explanation of how their money is spent. Marcus Benz added that he thinks that the internet is costing ILAB too much. Paul Feain remarked that Rockingstone’s fees are very competitive in his experience. Umberto Pregliasco said that the German-speaking associations should have checked the contents of the German version before agreeing to pay Rockingstone, and that it would now be impossible to refund.


A vote was taken, with the following results:


In favour: 8 votes


Against: JC (ABAA) – UP (ALAI) – TK (NVVA & BBA/CLAM) – LK (ANZAAB) – PJP (ABF & SVAF) – RF (ABA) – WF (ABAC) – MN (ABAJ) = 12 votes


Abstentions: 0


The motion was defeated.


Umberto Pregliasco suggested that ILAB should reimburse 20% of EUR 6000 because the development of the Chinese version may be using the technology they paid for. Robert Frew seconded this proposal. Ullrich Hobbeling replied that it was a generous offer but that they do not want it as they now have something satisfactory to give to their members. He thanked the Presidents for having considered the possibility. Umberto therefore withdrew his proposal.





Everyone had now received a copy of Rockingstone’s contract. BF reported that JS feels that he is underpaid by ILAB. He has asked the Committee whether he can get EUR 13,000 instead of EUR 10,000 for next year. He has also asked whether ILAB could pay half of his travel expenses. This used to be done, was stopped a few years ago, and he’d like it to be done again. BF added that we must expect his fees to rise in the future. John Crichton said that the ABAA is planning to reduce Rockingstone’s work for them, hoping thereby to bring down their fees from USD 18,000 to USD 5-6000. Wifrid de Freitas was bothered by having to pay the expenses of a supplier, but BF explained that this is a way of making JS continue to feel that he part of the ILAB team instead of just a supplier.


The following motion was put to the vote:


The Committee recommends that ILAB extend for a period of one year its contract with Rockingstone, starting on 1st December 2005, for the yearly amount of EUR 13,000. Seconded by Louella Kerr (ANZAAB).


In favour: 19 votes

Against: SVAF = 1 vote

Abstentions: 0


The motion was carried.




BF reported that here is the list of what we have raised to date. 


Benefactors (USD 10,000 and over)

Bromer, Ann and David USD 10,000

ABA (GB) USD 10,000 (over 4 years)

ABAA (USA) USD 10,000 (over 4 years)


Patrons (USD 5000-9,999)


Donors (USD 1000-4999)

ANZAAB (Australia & New Zealand) USD 2000

Harrington, Adrian USD 1000

Harrington, Peter USD 1000

Shapero, Bernard USD 1000

SVAF (Sweden)  USD 4600


Friends (under USD 1000)

VDAO (Austria) EUR 750

Nitta, Mitsuo USD 500

ABAJ (Japan) USD 500


The total is now about USD 41,500. It’s a good start, but we have a long way to go to rearch our goal of making the Prize self-supporting


AH remarked that the ABA was hoping that their gesture would set the example for other associations and pointed out that they can be listed as a Benefactor in this way. BF remarked that it would be difficult to request money from US firms after the Katrina and Rita hurricanes. He added that Raymond Kilgarriff has prepared the stationery on which the names of the donors appear.




The development of a Chinese version of the website will cost EUR 2250 (including translation). The question was raised as to how we would handle inquiries sent in Chinese. Shall we have them translated or shall we request them to only address us in English and/or French? The Committee reported that it had already authorised Rockingstone to go ahead with the Chinese version.


Mitsuo Nitta then mentioned the project of a Chinese version of Printing and the Mind of Man. Mr. Pressler, owner of the rights of the second edition, is asking for EUR 30,000. BF said we should study the legal aspects of copyright, as perhaps if the translation is made from another language, we not have to pay a fee to Mr. Pressler and that Pressler may be wrong about his legal rights. He has found a Hong Kong publisher who is willing to publish PMM at a retail selling price of USD 75, provided that ILAB buys 1000 copies at USD 45 each.


BF explained that Rockingstone has expressed an interest in organising, at its own financial risks, a book fair in China (Beijing) in Spring 2007. He thinks he can get subsidies from the EU for this project. A full proposal will be made at the March Committee meeting. If the project goes through, a Committee meeting might even be scheduled in Beijing. Mitsuo Nitta will also be able to advise the Committee as he is going to be exhibiting in China.





The following proposal, submitted by the Committee, was seconded by John Crichton (ABAA).


The Committee proposes to change rule 1.4 of the Internal Regulations, by keeping the first sentence only and deleting the rest of the paragraph. It would therefore read: "Only those who have rendered continual and exceptional services to the League may be appointed for honorary titles."


In favour: 18 votes

Against: 0

Abstention: 2 votes (SLAM)


The motion was carried.




The meeting was informed that Publications UK had sold only nine copies of the new directory. BF asked whether all the Presidents had read the contract with Publications UK, which shows that they have an option to publish three more issues. He explained that when they came to Barcelona to present their project, they had said that they would widely distribute the directory they would publish. It did not happen. They have either mislead ILAB or have been incompetent. Their selling technique offended lots of dealers. BF said it might be hard to get out of the contract. However, the directory is more visible to non-booksellers. But, Publications UK may find that they have a lot of trouble getting advertising from the booksellers for the next edition when they learn that the directory was not being widely distributed outside the trade. We now own 2000 copies which are stored with Scott Brinded in England. BF added that he will get in touch with CINOA and see whether they are going to have another edition of their directory made by Publications UK. Publications UK has made a good profit on our first directory, so they had better be prepared to spend money on distribution. BF plans to request Publications UK to take most of the 2000 copies we have in storage and distribute them at their expense, and to show us a distribution plan in writing for the next edition. He then asked the Presidents whether, had the directory been well distributed, they would have been happy with it?


Robert Frew said that he supported Umberto Pregliasco’s idea to revert to our traditional handbook. The members are not happy with this format, they miss the old one, and this is a very poor substitute. AH said that he doubted very much if the old form of the directory was actually much wanted by the booksellers. He reminded the meeting that we seem to be forgetting the customers. He wondered if we should still keep the idea of reaching out to the public with the new directory, but instead produce and sell it ourselves. BF pointed out that the website has made it very easy to download any necessary information when going abroad. Wifrid de Freitas added that this directory is a new concept, aimed at the public. The previous format was in-house and he never looked in it. The new one is attractive but impractical to use when travelling. Louella Kerr said that if it hasn’t been distributed to hotels and libraries, as we believed it would be, then it is as completely useless for promotional purposes as it is for dealers when travelling. Ton Kok agreed with her. BF felt that we should give it away, not sell it, and asked whether, if it got out of the warehouse, the dealers would agree to keep the new form.


Marcus Benz asked whether we now have the means to print a directory like the old one. Umberto Pregliasco said that he estimated the printing cost of this new directory to be around USD 80,000, and that the income runs around USD 225,000, so that the profit is quite comfortable and that they do not need to sell it. Therefore, why not do it ourselves? If we break the contract ourselves, it may cost us a lot of money. But he would still prefer to have a smaller-sized directory for his personal use, and not print a list from the internet. He asked whether we are nevertheless entitled to print another directory even if Publications UK publishes theirs. John Crichton said that the ABAA is divided about the directory. Some felt that it was not egalitarian and that the project had flopped. He felt it was a worthy experiment, that he supported the demands that BF intended to make, and that we should give it at least one more try. Robert Frew said he was disturbed that ILAB had signed for four issues. He asked what are our obligations towards them? AH replied that they have a contractual right to produce the next directory. We have to look at our old directory. It was financed by the national associations who had a compulsory duty to buy it. A handful of dealers liked it, the others never opened it. We now live in a different world where we can download and print information from the website. We can ask Rockingstone to have it on the website in a small downloadable format. We now have to distribute and get rid of the 2000 copies of this new directory. If we are chasing the private customer, this is a better PR tool than the old one. At the Olympia book fair, as many copies as possible will be given to visitors for free. Perhaps we should look into Umberto’s proposal and see whether we could produce something similar ourselves. We would control its production, we’d make money out of it, and we’d have a PR tool. It can be improved. We have to decide whether we want an in-house directory or a PR tool. Today, we’re stuck with Publications UK; the old format is not on the table for the next edition.


Frédéric Castaing complained that he had presented the project to his committee and got its approval because he had received from BF, at the New York fair, the assurance that if ILAB booksellers did not like it, we could always go back to the old directory. But now BF was telling us that we are bound for three more issues because of the contract. He added that he did not accept such methods which are contrary to the ethics we had been talking about for two days. The Committee cannot function with methods such as these, trust is necessary between the Committee and the Presidents. AH responded that he only saw the contract for the first time two months ago himself. The Presidents were right to say that it is a disaster. But we have to find ideas as to what to do next. MS said that many are telling us we have to find new ways to find new clients. We tried one. Perhaps we were naïve, but if we try nothing, we’ll be told we are not doing anything.


Mitsuo Nitta said that the index of the future edition will have to be properly done. He added that he had thought that the directory would be free, but that the postage to have it sent from the UK to Japan had been quite expensive.


It was finally decided that BF will negotiate with Publications UK to try and obtain a maximum of concessions for the next edition. He asked the Presidents to write in order to express their wishes for the future edition. He will also look into the cost of producing an in-house inexpensive directory. AH asked the Presidents to send their comments in writing in order to leave a paper trail. BF said he would know within a couple of weeks what the outcome of the negotiations would be.


The Committee moved that all the proposals concerning the Directory (proposals 12a to 12h of the agenda) be tabled until further explanation was received from the Committee.


The motion was seconded by Ton Kok (NVVA) and was unanimously approved.




The projected budget is for USD 109,875 or EUR 90,225. It needs to be raised by USD 14,245 or EUR 12,475 to finance the motions which were carried during this meeting. If we do not increase our income accordingly, next year’s budget will be show a deficit.


The increased budget was moved by John Crichton (ABAA), seconded by Ton Kok (NVVA), and was unanimously approved.




John Crichton thanked those who had sent letters of support for what happened in the USA [hurricanes Katrina and Rita], and hopes to see us all next year in Philadelphia.


Robert Frew asked about the bookmarkers and said that the ABA had to pay for something that they did not want. BF apologised that the mailing costs were very high, but it was the only way to have them reach London before the Olympia book fair. He added that he would like to see all countries prepare bookmarkers promoting by ILAB and their national association and that ILAB would pay half the cost. He thinks that a professional designer should be hired to design it, and that suggestions are welcome. AH remarked that the one which has just been printed does not mention the search engine.


Frédéric Castaing made a point concerning export problems. France has obtained from the French government a relaxation of the export levels, but this is valid only for exports within the EU. Concerning exports outside the EU, the levels are very low and create obstacles to trade. France has, for the time being, obtained the maximum it could get. It now needs the help of ILAB to intervene on the European and international level. Umberto Pregliaso agreed and explained that in Italy, an authorisation is needed for all books over 50 years old. Italy will have to wait for the next government and will need ILAB’s help.


BF reported that AH had agreed to serve as the Export-UNESCO person on the Committee, and that Steven Temple had volunteered to serve as website editor.


There being no further business before the meeting, John Crichton (ABAA) moved to adjourn, seconded by Umberto Pregliasco (ALAI), and passed unanimously.


The meeting was adjourned at 5:30 PM



Respectfully submitted by Steven Temple, ILAB General Secretary




Robert D. Fleck, President




Steven Temple, General Secretary







President’s Report 2005 Montreal


Much has happened since our last meeting in Melbourne. Our problems with bookselling pale in comparison to the tragedies of hurricanes, London bombings, strife in the Middle East and tsunami. Our livelihoods depend on our ability to figure out ways to position ourselves in this changing world of bookselling. We are becoming more of a global community that must act together to preserve the craft that we all love.


I would like our meeting in Montreal to be a time of rejuvenation of our collective energy to confront our problems and find solutions. I want us to finish our last day with the feeling that we as a group have made decisions that can make a difference in the lives of our ILAB colleagues. Let us work together to forge a strong program for the next year.


The Committee has been active in accomplishing the goals given to us by the Presidents.

Our progress in developing a new web site, a new style of Directory, ID cards, the Bibliographical Prize and promoting the principles of ILAB will be discussed during the meeting. I can tell you that our Executive Secretary, Nevine Marchiset, helped make our accomplishments possible. Your agreement in Melbourne to fund her position was an excellent decision.


You as Presidents do not see the day to day activity of the Committee. There is rarely a day that goes by that doesn’t have a series of emails concerning ILAB business on our computers. Our Vice President, Michael Steinbach, has worked endless hours behind the scenes finding solutions to complaints. Poul Poulsen has continued his long legacy of being our most beloved Treasurer and again has helped us generate a “profit” for ILAB He will present a budget for 2006 which will reflect the financial strength of the organization. Steven Temple has continued his role as General Secretary and has spend many nights transforming days of meetings into hardcopy (and internet present) Minutes of our various meetings. He is also always available for sage advice and wise comments. Dieter Tausch has helped us with PR work and works hard to remind us that there is a world beyond the internet. Our newest Committee members have also found their niche – Paul Feain took over Security for us and has monitored the ILAB announce list. His expertise on internet bookselling will be shown during his workshop on this subject. Georg Beran has dealt with internet matters for us and has been extremely helpful in analyzing the new web site that you will see during this meeting. Adrian Harrington has taken on the job of Export-Import issues and was very helpful when dealing with UNESCO and IFLA. And of course there was our Past President, Kay Craddock, sending her thoughtful emails on very hard issues.


There is much more to do and your Committee is ready to meet whatever challenges that you give us. I personally would like to see more and better communication with the Presidents and with our ILAB booksellers this coming year. I intend to make this a personal priority. We must also make some important decisions concerning our internet presence and the value of service that Rockingstone provides to ILAB. I would like to see more open discussion with library groups and police agencies on security issues. Our meetings this year with representatives from UNESCO and IFLA and Poul Poulsen’s recent participation in the IFLA conference in Denmark were steps in the right direction.


 The rise of ILAB’s internet presence has also increased the number of complaints that ILAB receives. Our guarantees to the public concerning ethical behavior are the very backbone of our League and we must make sure that we handle all complaints in a conscientious and expeditious manner. I will lead a workshop discussion on this subject.


Now we shall begin our work. I want you all to work hard so that we can end our meeting with feelings of accomplishment, inspiration for the future and, most important, heartfelt feelings of congeniality for each other as booksellers united in doing the good work of our League.


Bob Fleck













From July 1st2004 to June 31st 2005


Montreal 2005


First of all let me underline that the accounting is in Danish Kroner, see the first column of the statement, so the figures in the statement 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 MELBOURNE last year.


I am pleased to report that this year’s account shows a profit on 20.283 $ (or 16.471 €), but when this is said let me add that we have not spent all the money that was estimated on expenses on the budget adopted in Melbourne last year. But even with that in mind I can only say that I am satisfied with the result of this financial year and I will say 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 36.200 $ or about 29.400 €, a little lower than estimated. As you know the 2004 subscription is based on 20 US$ per entry in the latest edition of the ILAB Directory. For details see page 6. Here I can add that the Austrian Association have paid their subscriptions but after I have finished the accounts. About the Koreas Association I have no address I have tried to get it through the Korean embassy but they claim that their is no Antiquarian Booksellers Association in Korea and the other ways I (we) have tried up to now gave no result.


The sale of our publications, including an old invoice for the 2003/04 directory, and the ILAB pins, added 4.900 $ (or nearly 4.000 €) to our income.


The various Book Fairs around the world have contributed with 31.186 $ (or 25.326 €). Broken down by country, see page 7. The question marks means - that I am still waiting for the money. But more important please remember that the Book Fair levy in Postdam was changed from 30$ to 2% of the booth hire pr. exhibitor. 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. Thank you for your kind cooperation in this matter.


But let us continue – The Newsletter advertisement gave us 400 $ (325 €), and in this financial year the League has earned interest to the amount of nearly 5.600 $ (4.500 €.) and in this financial year have had a profit of a little over 1.100 $ (nearly 950 EUR) on our stocks and bonds


In all we, in this financial year, have received 92.606 $  or 75.204 €









The expenses on our Newsletter was nearly 7.600 $ (nearly 6.200      EUR.)


The yearly maintenance of  / amount to 12.300 $ (10.000 EUR.)

the Stolen Book Database cost us a little over 900 $ (750 EUR)

and the membership database cost us nearlty2.500 $ (nearly 2.000 EUR)

And we have spent 730 $ (nearly 600 EUR.) on advertisements.


We have spent nearly 14.000 $ (about 11.300 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 17.800 $ (14.500 EUR), but after all that includes the yearly allowance to the president, our general secretary and the treasurer plus the meeting allowance to the Committee members. The rest we have spent on the Swiss lawyer, who helped us with our registration in Geneva, (about 3.500/2.800 EUR). Other expenses are for the rent of rooms during the meeting in Zürich, on good-will reception, lunches and dinners. The storage fee for our books, the fee for our account, the new stationary etc.


Our new Executive Secretary in this financial year only cost us a little over 9.000 $ (or 7.400) a modest sum for a lot of work.


The ILAB/LILA identity cards cost us 1.500 $ (or 1.225 EUR)


Postage, phone, fax expenses amount to nearly 400 $ (325 EUR.), the bank charges amount to around 600 $ (500 EUR),.


On July 1st 2004 we had 136.374 $ (110.745 EUR) in the bank on June the 30th 2005 we had 156.657 $ (127.218 EUR) that means we have increased our balance with 14,87 %




The Bibliographical Prize Foundation now in the bank has in cash nearly 20.000 $ (16.000 EUR) this amount in now placed in shares and bonds and on July 1st the Foundation have shares and bonds for an amount of nearly 18.000 $ (nearly 14.600 EUR).


In this financial year the Foundation have received donations from Private persons and national associations from Japan, Austria, Great Britain, and USA








International League of Antiquarian Booksellers La Ligue Internationale de la Librairie Ancienne                 STATEMENT OF CASH RECEIPTS AND DISBURSEMENTS

JULY 1ST 2004 TO JUNE 30TH 2005

Cash in Sydbank, Copenhagen:                                                                                                                                                 1 EUR  =  .DKK 7.45


Current account 100 308 3                  DKK      98.268,33                 EUR   13.190

Seed-funding                                       DKK      48.690,00                 EUR     6.536

Shares and bonds:

Nominal amount:  DKK 634.800

- market value  per June 30th 2004      DKK    678.102,50                 EUR    91.020

A.                                                        DKK    825.060,83                 EUR  110.745


Receipts:                                                                                                                                BUDGET


Subscriptions                                      DKK.   218.924,34                 EUR    29.386         EUR   32.385

Executive Secretary                             DKK      79.783,35                 EUR    10.709         EUR   12.150

ILAB Directory 2003/04                     DKK.     26.326,23                 EUR      3.534        

ILAB books and pins                          DKK.       3.333,13                 EUR         447         EUR        825  

Book Fair income                                DKK.   188.675,93                 EUR    25.326         EUR   31.350

Newsletter advertisements                   DKK.       2.397,72                 EUR         322         EUR        825

Diff. in markt values shares & bonds  DKK.       6.961,15                 EUR         934        

Interests                                               DKK.     33.870,00                 EUR      4.546         EUR     3.330

B.                                                        DKK    560.271,85                 EUR    75.204         EUR   80.835

DKK    825.060,83                  EUR  110.745

In all [A + B]                                      DKK.1.385.332,68                 EUR  185.949




ILAB/ [1/12 04 –30/11 05]  DKK.     74.442,00                 EUR      9.992         EUR   20.600

ILAB/LILA – Membership DatabaseDKK.     14.880,60                  EUR      1.997

ILAB/LILA – Stolen Book DatabaseDKK.       5.580,23                   EUR         749         EUR        750

Ads. and translation – ILAB-event     DKK.       4.415,35                 EUR         593

ILAB/                                 DKK.     99.318,18                 EUR    13.331         EUR   21.350

ILAB Directory – Delivery & transl.  DKK.     30.094,50                 EUR      4.040

ILAB/LILA Identity card                    DKK.       9.134,24                 EUR      1.226         EUR     1.200

Newsletter 57                                      DKK.     45.946,55                 EUR      6.167         EUR     5.000

Administration                                    DKK.   107.460,14                 EUR    14.424         EUR   16.500

Executive Secretary to February 2005DKK.     54.973,48                   EUR      7.379         EUR   20.500

Travel expenses                                   DKK.     83.878,63                 EUR    11.

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