The recession has American Booksellers Association ("ABA"). The ABA announced that it is laying
off staff and implementing other cost-cutting measures.
In another sign of the economic times, the ABA announced that it is taking various steps, among them reducing its staff and instituting a hiring freeze, to scale back operating costs. The decisions, which came out of the ABA board meeting last week in Salt Lake City, will result in a 12% staff reduction (equivalent to at least five full-time positions) through attrition; suspending contributions to employees' 401(k) and SEP plans; and eliminating all discretionary travel and discretionary spending. The ABA also intends to deliver educational programs electronically, through webinars and other "web-based communication." The cutbacks have also led to the cancellation of the group's spring forum schedule and a revamping of employees' medical benefits.
Gayle Shanks, the president of the ABA also announced that the cost savings will allow the organization to cut membership fees by 50% in 2009. The goal is to help as many bookstores weather the recession as possible.