The WNBA: Connecting, educating, advocating, and leading since 1917

What's your favorite banned book? WNBA-NYC members share their favorite banned books and the reasons they were banned or challenged. Some of those reasons may surprise you.
WNBA Shines at the Heart of the Brooklyn Book Festival Members of WNBA-NYC had a great time meeting others in publishing at Brooklyn Book Festival 2016 to talk about WNBA, books, and publishing. Click to read more about BBF.
Celebrate Intellectual Freedom during Banned Books Week 2016! Celebrate Banned Books Week by fighting back against censorship. Why some of your favorite books were banned or challenged.
Brooklyn Book Festival 2016, Here We Come! Join WNBA-NYC this Sunday, September 18th from 10a-6p, rain or shine, at Brooklyn Book Festival at our booth. Pick up some swag and some info on upcoming events.
99 Years and Counting 99 Years and counting of WNBA connecting, educating, advocating, and leading women and men in publishing. This year is filled with great events and panels.

Who We Are

WNBA Invitation, 1917; Credit: WNBA Archives

WNBA Invitation, 1917; Credit: WNBA Archives

The Women’s National Book Association was founded in 1917 by female booksellers who weren’t allowed in the men’s organizations. Nearly 100 years later, the WNBA is still supporting women in the book industry through literary events, networking, literacy projects, workshops, open mic nights, book clubs, and many other entertaining programs throughout the season!

Membership grants you access to a fun and dedicated group of women and men whose mission is to serve the book community. Whether looking for professional networking, personal growth, volunteer opportunities, or just a fantastic community of smart, well-read colleagues, the WNBA is open to you.


Get Involved with the WNBA

2016 National WNBA Meeting; Credit: Hannah Bennett

2016 National WNBA Meeting; Credit: Hannah Bennett

Volunteering with the WNBA-NYC is a great way to give back to your community and make lasting connections with your fellow members. Member volunteer opportunities range from blogging to joining the board! It all depends on how involved you’d like to be. Contact Hannah Bennett, the NYC chapter president, at president@wnba-nyc.org for more information on how you can get involved.

RIGHT NOW: We’re looking for volunteers to run the booth at this year’s Brooklyn Book Festival on September 18th. Help spread the word about the WNBA for a 2-hour shift, and then spend the rest of your day enjoying the beautiful literary festival! This is a fun and low-pressure way to volunteer, and you’ll likely get candy–that is, if they don’t run out. To sign up, please contact programs@wnba-nyc.org.


Our History

A quote from founding member Madge Jenison:

The Women’s National Book Association was founded when great ideas were about. It was in the years of the First World War, toward the end of it. Big ideas of civilization and what we wanted of it; how we could keep all we have and get some more. It seemed to us that books are power–that if we could create a working body of all those who have to do with the circulation of ideas in books…if we could start up such an organization, we would have a mechanism, through which we could throw our weight en masse behind anything in which we believed; that we could even stop war if our organization became complete and vigorous enough. Books are a step above the newspapers, magazines and radio. They are the cream of the crop. And it seems to us logical that women should undertake such an enterprise as this.

A letter from Victoria S. Johnson, National President 1967:

Letter from Victoria S. Johnson; Credit: WNBA Archives

Letter from Victoria S. Johnson; Credit: WNBA Archives


UN Initiatives

Did you know the Women’s National Book Association has been a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) member of the United Nations since 1959?

An NGO is defined as “any non-profit, voluntary citizens’ group that is organized on a local, national or international level. Task-oriented and driven by people with a common interest, NGOs perform a variety of services and humanitarian functions, bring citizens’ concerns to governments, monitor policies and encourage political participation at the community level.” As a NGO affiliated with the Department of Public Information (DPI), we must meet the following four criteria in order to remain a member in good standing:

  • Share the ideals of the UN Charter.
  • Operate solely on a not-for-profit basis.
  • Have a demonstrated interest in United Nations issues and proven ability to reach large or specialized audiences, such as educators, media representatives, policy makers and the business community.
  • Have the commitment and means to conduct effective information programmes about UN activities by publishing newsletters, bulletins, pamphlets; organizing conferences, seminars and roundtables; and enlisting the cooperation of the media.

In short, it is our responsibility to support the United Nations in its goals and to win support for those goals among the wider community we work with. In effect, WNBA members are to be ambassadors for the UN. Our organization disseminates information about the UN. through all the means at our disposal, especially through our national and chapter publications and monthly programs.

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