Well, summer has certainly blown by, and now we are in the midst of resuming our autumn routines. Hopefully, each of you is settling into a “new normal,” whatever that may look like during these curious times. Here at the New York Book Forum, we wanted to give you an update of how our organization is coming along. And we wanted to share some exciting news with each of you!

The Forum has been hoping to launch its charter membership drive, but the ongoing complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult to do that. The Board of Directors has decided that we will extend a complimentary six-month membership to all interested at no charge. This will give members of the publishing industry and interested members of the general public an opportunity to be part of the group and to become familiar with our mission, vision, and programs. Those interested will be welcome to sign up for a committee to help us move forward in the community. Then after the six months is up, we will offer a discounted membership rate of $25.00 for the first full year of membership. Just keep an eye on our website and when the membership application becomes interactive, sign up for the 6-month trial.

Our October Program, which premiered on our YouTube channel on October 20 featured Ann Friedman, Founder and CEO of the new Planet Word Museum in Washington, D.C. While you are there, you will also see recordings of other past programs, including one featuring Kyle Zimmer, President & CEO of First Bookone featuring Dr. Naomi Baron, professor emerita at American University, and another with Dr. Camea Davis and two National Youth Poet Laureate finalists. Have a look and see what you think!

The entire board laments that ongoing pandemic restrictions preclude us from holding the New York Book Show this fall. We will be hosting it in the future, when the industry is able to gather safely at in-person events.

Have a look at the blog section of our website to see the interview with Jay Diskey, industry expert on educational publishing. He shares his opinions on the complexities of printed versus digital materials and touches on funding patterns moving forward. Diskey discusses a variety of topics including the concepts of remote learning, the digital divide, and reading proficiency levels. There are several points he makes which Dr. Baron addressed in her comments in her program on June 30.

Finally, in December, we have decided to forgo a formal program in favor of a virtual holiday gathering. We hope that you will join the NYBF on December 15 with a beverage of your choice to catch up with friends from the industry! Watch for more details in the upcoming weeks!

Janet McCarthy Grimm
New York Book Forum, Inc.