Believing that nothing is so valuable to a small business owner as the opportunity to confer face-to-face with their colleagues, the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance launched a scholarship program for booksellers in conjunction with its 2013 trade show, inviting exhibitors to donate to the SIBA Scholarship Fund when they registered for the show. The initiative received a strong start in the form of a sizeable donation from The Reba and Dave Williams Foundation for Literature and the Arts. This year, The Reba and Dave Williams Foundation for Literature and the Arts has continued its support for the fund, again providingSIBA a significant donation to help offset bookseller costs in attending the upcoming 2014 trade show, to be held in Norfolk, Virginia, on September 19 – 21.
Dave and Reba White Williams have a long history of support and commitment to the literary arts. They are the founders and sponsors of the annual Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction. Reba Williams is also the author of the Coleman and Dinah Greene mystery series, the most recent of which is Fatal Impressions, published in March of 2014. Dave Williams is the author of Small Victories, an account of the Williams’ forty-year-long passion for collecting fine art prints. As passionate believers in the importance of independent bookstores, both see SIBA’s Scholarship Fund is the best way to help ensure a strong “next generation” of booksellers.
Again this year, SIBA will use the Scholarship Fund to help as many bookstores as possible coming to the tradeshow in Norfolk, Virginia, including assistance with expenses such as hotel rooms, meals, and more. Since admission to the trade show is free for its bookstore members, SIBA designed the fund to assist member stores in offsetting some of the expenses that accrue and can make the difference in a store’s ability to attend.