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Diary: Janet Webster Jones, The Bookseller’s Voice
Janet Webster Jones speaks with other booksellers featured in Danny Caine’s How to Protect Bookselling and Why: Alyson and Janet Jones of Source Booksellers, Angela Schwesnedl of Moon Palace Books in Minneapolis (Book Post story), Danielle Mullen of Semicolon Bookstore in Chicago, Nina Barrett of Bookends and Beginnings in Evanston, and Danny Caine of The Raven in Lawrence, KS (Book Post partner) at the Heartland Fall Forum last week. Below: Inside Source Booksellers last Wednesday.
Remarks by Janet Webster Jones, Book Post’s current bookselling partner, Source Booksellers, on being honored with the Voice of the Heartland Award at the Heartland Fall Forum, the annual gathering of booksellers from the American Midwest and the Great Lakes.
The Voice. By the way, one of my earlier careers was as a Speech Therapist in Detroit Public schools. Voice therapy was one of our tools of the trade. Never did it occur to me that the Voice would be so important in another way at this stage of my life.
The Voice of the Heartland is magical but deeply grounded in two of the five basic element of our planet—water and earth. Heartland—with its thirteen states representing nearly one third of the fifty states of the United States of America. Our voices spread across a lot of territory!
Our voices have a lot to do and many ways to do it.
The Voice listens to understand
The Voice speaks to inform and agree
The Voice honors thought and wisdom
The Voice rises to debate and rebuttal
The Voice guides to show the way
The Voice is silent to open thought and free speech
Our Voice can be heard today as we keep books available to all to those who seek knowledge, wisdom and understanding. That is our collective voice and our sacred mission as booksellers.
I am especially grateful to American Bookseller Association for establishing a pillar of membership for Free Expression.
Before this time one member Joyce Merkis extended herself to create that division ABAFE because of her dedication—we have “coverage” today.
Saving the best until the last few remarks, I extend by heartiest and heartfelt gratitude to each of you who are the voices of the Heartland.
To those who nominated me and to Larry [Law, Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association Executive Director] who broke the news causing me to be speechless at that moment, I thank you.
To all those who preceded me in this honor, I am grateful to you who created the shining light for me to step into.
To all those who are honored today and to those who will be honored in the future I pay my gratitude forward to continue opening the path of understanding and enlightenment.
Finally, to my dear daughter Alyson Nancy Jones Turner without whom I could not have expanded and continued through this uncertain time period. Thank you, Alyson.
Thank you again to everyone, from deep in my heart and with my head in more books to serve and speak up for people.
Come on now, let’s join together to create Literary Citizens.
Janet Webster Jones is the founder and owner of Source Booksellers in Detroit.
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