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[BKARTS] Guile of Book Workers Standards Videos

As the current President of the Guild of Book Workers, I would like to
respond to the various comment and questions recently raised on the
Book_List-L by both Bruce Levy and Jack Thompson about the GBW Standards
Seminar videos.  I have known both Bruce and Jack as colleagues for many
years.  Unfortunately neither of them are now (nor have been for some years)
members of GBW or they would have received the rather lengthy President's
Report on Videos that I wrote in the October 2001 issue (#138) that explains
the present situation and that would answer many of their questions.

Bruce reportedly was concerned that he had never received any money from the
video of his GBW presentation.  The answer simply put is that none of the
presenters ever has.  The Guild is a 501 (c)(3) tax exempt corporation
incorporated in New York State in 1978 for educational, charitable, or
scientific purposes.  Those who make presentations at the Standards Seminar
do so primarily to contribute to the combined knowledge of the field.  The
Guild does pay their expenses and a small honorarium as token compensation
for the time spent in preparation but there never has been a prospect of
royalties from the sale of the videos.  In fact, to date the Guild has not
sold its videos but has simply lent them from its library to its membership.
If the Guild ever does decide to sell copies of its videos (and it may), it
would not be for a profit but only to offset the substantial costs of
producing them.

The fact that the videos from recent years are not available is a matter of
great concern and of high priority on the Executive Committee's agenda.
Finding qualified people to edit them at a reasonable price has been
difficult but progress is being made.  Jack mentions that someone named Betsy
Palmer Eldridge once insisted that they not be edited.  If so, she was only
expressing her opinion as a member....  What constitutes proper "editing" of
one of these videos is still not clear:  what is too much, too little, or
just right?  I/she still favors less as more in a documentary video but
concedes that some may be necessary.  Opinions vary, practices vary, and the
tapes vary.

Jack has mentioned that the agreement of his Istor Productions company with
GBW was that he would pay GBW $5.00 for each video sold.  The current GBW
Treasurer does not remember receiving any money from him so we can only
conclude that he has not sold any in recent years.  The fact that the
agreement gives GBW no way of knowing or checking on these sales is reason
enough for canceling it.  It was simply not a good business arrangement.
What other factors might have been involved in 1992 when all of this occurred
are impossible for us to comment on at this point.

While we at GBW are happy to try to answer these questions, they seem to be
organizational matters that would be more appropriately addressed to the GBW
list or to members of the GBW Executive Committee directly instead of the
Book_List-L. They also refer to matters that occurred 10 or more years ago
and so are considered ancient history.  The current Executive Committee is
busy, working on a forward looking agenda, and has little time or patience to
resurrect these problems from the past.

Betsy Palmer Eldridge
President, GBW

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