Blog - Library Services Centre

Please continue reading for important information regarding LSC's reopening.


Shipments will resume the week of June 22nd.
LSC’s management team are working hard to make the changes to the LSC workplace that will allow us to re-open with our employee’s and customer’s safety top of our priorities. Because LSC is more like a very large technical services department than simply a warehouse, the changes are somewhat complex.


In the week of June 22nd, shipments will be of material that was in house at LSC when we closed in March. However, we will quickly begin providing material published since then. Our processes prioritise bestsellers and other popular items. These will arrive – in quantity – starting the week of June 29th.

  • We will ONLY send material when you have confirmed that your receiving is open.

Changes to shipments

All LSC shipments will be labelled to show the date that the box or bin was packed at LSC.

 

Selection Services
Our selection department is already back at work. Fall bestseller catalogues are in development and will be released ahead of schedule in June. Other fall selection resources are also in development and will be ready for ordering into the summer. Many new fall titles are already in the LSC database and can be ordered.


If your library has made changes to your budget or ARP profile, please let the LSC selection team know.


LSC selection staff are also available to assist with recommendations in any area that your staff might have fallen behind in.


Reducing touch points
The best way to get material to patrons safely AND quickly, is to reduce the touch points when it first arrives at the library. To this end, LSC is happy to do any finishing steps that the library would normally do before items are shelf ready. Just ask.


Stay safe
Michael Monahan, CEO

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LSC wants to thank everyone for the kind thoughts and emails we have received during this crisis. We hope that everyone is and remains safe, and extend our best to each and every library across Canada. We’re here to help in whichever ways we can. We’re all in this together.

 

We are aware that your needs and status are constantly shifting during this time. While LSC’s warehouse is closed to comply with the Ontario Government closure of non-essential work places, we have ensured staff are available to meet your needs remotely.

 

Please reach out to the following immediate contacts:

 

Fran Quinn, Customer Service Representative

Customer Service and general enquiries
fquinn@lsc.on.ca

 

Angela Stuebing, ARP Coordinator

ARP and Selection Services requests
astuebing@lsc.on.ca

 

Trish Hayes, VP of Marketing

Marketing, Cataloguing, general enquiries
thayes@lsc.on.ca

 

Michael Clark, Sales and Marketing Representative

Sales and Marketing, general enquiries

mclark@lsc.on.ca

 

Services available during warehouse closure:

  • LSC.on.ca is fully operational. Carts can be built, orders can be placed, on-order MARCs can be downloaded, and reports can be generated.

  • Publishers continue to send us new title information, which is reflected in the database. This includes any changes made to publication dates. Due to pre-pub and ARP ordering, most summer and many fall titles may have already been included in orders.

  • Titles not in the database can still be requested via the L1 function on the website to ensure titles not provided by our publishers will still be ordered.

  • ARPs continue to be maintained. If there are any changes your library needs to make to their profiles, please contact us, and we will make any adjustment necessary.

  • If there are any custom selection tools that your library wants, please let us know.  As before, LSC is focused on making things as easy for you as we can.

 

Special notes concerning some services:

  • Release dates have been postponed or delayed for AV materials. We will provide selection tools for these materials when physical release dates are confirmed.
  • If the physical closure of library branches has caused shifts in your physical materials budgets. LSC will make any changes a library wants to their orders. Please feel free to contact us and make adjustments to fit your changing needs.
  • LSC will be sending the second installment Fixed Price Processing Plan invoices on schedule from May 1st. However, we are extending the period for volume adjustments to August 1st, as we understand that actual unit volumes for 2020 may have been impacted. We will make any adjustments to final billing / credits as needed. Please let us know.

 

For the immediate future:

  • LSC will be reaching out to libraries individually to help us understand what your timelines and priorities are.
  • LSC will ensure that we communicate our own timelines to our clients as the situation develops.
  • LSC will work with libraries who have requests for how they want to structure their receiving of materials (ex. best sellers above all else; shipping delays after packaging for in-box quarantine; increased shipments; etc.)
  • Once we have a picture of what will be needed when libraries reopen, LSC will develop an internal plan to make it happen.
  • Reducing touch points on materials is likely to be a concern when libraries reopen.  Box-to-shelf for new material would be the straightest line to that end.  Any library that wants to add processing or cataloguing options to their profile to achieve that is encouraged to let LSC know. 

We’ll speak to you soon.

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The government of Ontario has announced that all non-essential business in Ontario is to cease. While what we do at LSC is important – it is not essential by the government's definition. Therefore, LSC will cease plant operations as of Tuesday, March 24. This closure will be for a minimum of 2 weeks. Orders can still be placed via the website. We will provide updates as they happen.

 

For more information on the governement closure, please see the following links:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/covid-19-coronavirus-ontario-monday-1.5506445

 

The ordering catalogue will remain operational during this period. Carts can still be built and orders placed. However, orders will not be processed at LSC until we reopen. 

 

Everyone at LSC looks forward to working with our wonderful clients when we are able to return to work.  Stay safe and healthy.

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LSC understands and sympathizes with the difficult decisions made by libraries across Canada during this ever evolving and uncertain time. We are keeping up-to-date on the situation as it develops. We are taking steps to ensure the continued health and safety of our clients and our staff. In the meantime, LSC will endeavor to continue to provide the same level of service to which you are accustomed. LSC is continuing to process shipments and do cataloguing and processing.  Our plan is that when libraries are able to accept deliveries, we will be able to provide material with as little disruption as possible. As this situation changes further, we will be in communication with you.

 

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out. 

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I don't consider myself a foodie. I'm not picky enough to pull off that moniker. But I do love food, and I love cooking. I am a recipe hog, taking pictures of recipes in magazines, or having innumerable tabs open on my phone to curious concoctions I’ve stumbled across. I’ll try anything, and try to make anything. And very occasionally, I stumble across some unusual cookbooks that really challenge me.

 

My partner and I just completed the Whole30 diet in February. Well, to be fair, it was a Whole28 (leap days don’t count). Now, I’m not one for dieting; I believe that diet culture is as malicious and poisonous as gluttony. Folk have enough body image issues without policing what they eat, and I won’t feed that beast. I believe that food is life’s great pleasures, and should be celebrated in all its configurations. There should be no guilt, no feeling like you have cheated, and no deniying yourself something you love or something you need because of society’s pressures. It turned out though that the Whole30 “meal plan” wasn’t that different from how I normally eat, so in solidarity, I took it on.

 

Whole30 recommends removing grains, dairy, and sugar from your diet for a month. It is a meat-protein and vegetable heavy course, and helped me to realize a deep inner truth about myself: I love bread. I knew I loved cheese, and being cheeseless for a month was hard enough. But never have I so crystalized the notion that bread is an intrinsic part of the my being. You better believe the first thing I did on the 29th was slap a grilled cheese on the skillet. Never has a sandwich tasted so good.

 

I took the tact of seeing Whole30 as a challenge rather than a diet. I have a food comfort zone, the lulls we all fall into when we have neither the time nor energy to attempt a grand production. For some it is frozen fish sticks and crinkle cut fries. For me, its jasmine rice and stir-fry. And a lot of take out. Too much take out. If nothing else, the last month has done my wallet a courtesy. Whole30 made me have to think about my meals again. What are rice alternatives? What are bread alternatives? What are sauce alternatives, sauces purchased in stores laden with excess salts and sugars?

 

There are a myriad of Whole30 recipes books by Melissa Hartwig, but the one I found the most helpful and enjoyable was Whole30 Friends and Family: 150 Recipes for Every Social Occasion. This was more of a snacks and hors d'oeuvre compendium. Sweet potato stuffed dates, for instance, wrapped in bacon was a hit. Potato sausage breakfast bites became a Sunday staple for sure. Lemon garlic sautéed zucchini noodles were a terrific replacement for pasta. Sweet potato waffles (or pancakes) were a quick and easy addition to any meal, made all the tastier with the discovery of a syrup replacement made from pureed dates. While dietitians can argue the health ramifications of diets, I at least found these books a unique looks at how to shake up my food rut.

 

But I’m glad to be back on the bread.

 

As for other books that adorn my shelf, one I return to often is Feeding Hannibal: a Connoisseur's Cookbook by Janice Poon. Ms Poon was Toronto-based the food stylist for the TV series Hannibal, which followed Hannibal Lecter’s murderous and cannibalistic culinary adventures. Her challenge was preparing meals in a way that it looked gorgeous on camera, and the legally available food could reasonably be cooked human. This cookbook brings those recipes to life. While Hannibal might have been cutting into a bit of man-thigh, readers can recreate the recipe with Clay-baked Chicken. Can’t enjoy the mythical French dish of ortolan? Why not sculpt the small birds out of tofu. If you are feeling adventurous, you can make Heart Tartare Tarts from veal heart instead of insurance broker. And despite Hannibal’s insistence, there are vegetarian dishes here too.

 

Speaking of Vegetarian, Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give a F*ck is a terrific resource for those looking for less meat in their diet, but not wanting to sacrifice fun or flavor. Their motto of verbally abusing you into a healthier diet holds up, as the pages are littered with obscenities as well as delicious recipes. Looking for a pulled pork alternative, why not give the Cola Braised Jackfruit a shot? The Crispy Crabless Cakes make surprising use of artichoke hearts instead of shellfish. And it you’re searching for something hearty, give the pumpkin chili a whirl; all the flavor, none of the beef!

 

And now we come to my favourite way of making food: waffling it. Waffles are not a singular food, they are a genre. Anything can be a waffle if you believe it can be. And there is a whole cookbook with exactly that premise: Will It Waffle by Daniel Shumski. The basic notion is, there are far far more foods that you can cook on a waffle iron than just batter. And you should. If I had my way, all food would come in waffle form. The waffle pocket is the perfect flavor delivery device.

 

Think outside the waffle box. Mix some shredded cheese into mash potato, cook that on the iron, and pour over with gravy, and you’ve got poutine waffles. Want to keep things vegetarian, how about a falafel waffle with hummus? A personal favourite of mine: panko crusted mac and cheese, done in the Belgian style. It’s not just savory and cheese based options. Cinnamon buns are ideal for the waffle treatment, as are double chocolate brownies or cookies or pretty much any construction. Just make sure your iron is hot and well greased!

 

Cookbooks are one of the most published genres of book, and if you dig, there are more than a few that will scratch the itch of an oddball in the kitchen. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go waffle a grilled cheese.

 

To keep up to date with all of LSC’s latest offerings, please follow LSC on Facebook, on Instagram, and on Twitter, and to subscribe to our new YouTube Channel. We also encourage you to subscribe to the weekly Green Memo, and we hope you check back each and every week on this site for our latest musings on the publishing world.

 

Yours, Fictionally

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LSC is proud to announce our Comic Book Subscription Service!

 

Graphic Novels have long been a part of library collections, and have seen increased popularity as interest rises across all age ranges. Libraries have even started putting on their own mini comic cons. However, for those unfamiliar with the material, it can be an intimidating collection to maintain.

 

With so many titles, with on-going and limited series runs, and content appropriateness a factor, it can be hard. LSC prides itself on the value and scope of its Graphic Novel service, it becoming one of our most requested ARPs. We are happy to extend the same diligence and selection to individual Comic Book issues as well.

 

These issues mostly run 24 to 30 pages printed on magazine stock. Many libraries use these issues to add to their juvenile serials collection, though as with Graphic Novels titles are available across all age ranges. This service can also service as a testing ground for titles whose Graphic Novel bound editions could be added to a regular collection later on.

 

LSC is offering this service without cataloguing and processing. Should a demand for a cataloguing record emerge, we will happily develop a format that works for the library on request, likely a serial monograph for these titles. LSC will not be providing processing on these items for the time being, as like magazines they are more fragile, and we feel it is best to extend the shelf of the product to simply ship them untouched. 

 

There are hundreds of comics titles published every month, from a variety of publishers and on a variety of frequencies. Our Graphic Novel Selector will work with libraries to cull this intimidating list down to titles relevant and valuable to each library. If you aren’t sure where to start with your comic book collection, we will offer suggestions based on popularity in other public libraries. Do you already have a popular Graphic Novel collection? We can look together there for inspiration, as to what might be popular for a monthly title.

 

As part of this service, LSC will provide:   

  • Suggested series lists based on popularity amongst public libraries, for collection age groups.
  • Series updates provided, along with suggestions for replacements when titles end their runs.
  • Tracking of series done by the selector.  ex. 14 different Batman variations published in the month of August. 
  • Publication schedules tracked by LSC (bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly).
  • Monthly shipments to libraries.
  • Bulk ordering discount!

Trade discounts will be applied to most titles, and consistent monthly shipments will keep your comic books readers entertained with the newest chapters of stories. With LSC's service, there is no long term commitment to any title. If Scooby-Doo isn't working for you after a couple months, cancel the title and try something else, such as Ninja Turtles. There is also a limited ability to get backissues of titles, so if you'd like to start your collection with several of the most recent issues, we will try our best to accommodate . Availablity of backissues will vary based on title and publishers. 

 

For more information, or to start your own Comic Book subscription, please contact our Graphic Novel selector Angela Stuebing, at astuebing@lsc.on.ca.

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Books scare people. That might seem like an outlandish statement, but it’s true. Not the physical item per se, but the content that’s in them. Throughout history, books have been a popular target of censors. Whether it be because of, sexual situations, racial or religious issues, violence or political viewpoint, People have tried and continue to try to remove books from school and library shelves. Luckily, few books actually get banned in Canada, but many still get challenged.

 

When I was in high school, I was extremely lucky to never have encountered any kind of censorship (that I knew of). I had the privilege of taking many genre courses with really interesting reading lists that included frequently challenged titles such as A Clockwork Orange and The Color Purple. We were also never challenged on what personal reading material we brought to school or choose for independent study with the exception of evaluating its suitability for the project.

 

The other day I read a fantastic YA novel titled Suggested Reading which is a story about standing up to censorship and fighting against banned books. The protagonist learns that the school has banned a list of 50 YA novels such as Speak, Catcher in the Rye, and Perks of Being a Wallflower, and decides to start an “underground library” in her school of these banned books. The book reminds us of the power of words to transform, educate, and challenge us in ways that we often can’t predict.

 

We are very fortunate in Canada that intellectual freedom is guaranteed to us under the Charter of Rights and Freedom. Intellectual freedom is our right to seek out information from all points of view without restriction, and free access to ideas.

 

Libraries are a key part of how we exercise this right. A library provides ideas and information to the public in a variety of formats with the goal of allowing people to educate themselves about these different ideas regardless of how the librarian or individual feels about it. I learned very early on in my role as a selector to keep my feelings out of it. I can like or dislike a book or author for my own reasons, but I have no right to withhold a book on that basis.

 

In Canada, Freedom to Read Week is celebrated annually in the last week of February as an affirmation of our right to intellectual freedom, and several events are held in libraries across the country throughout the week. In honour of this event, I thought I’d highlight a few common titles by Canadian authors that have been banned or are frequently challenged in Canada, many of which I read in school, and some of which might surprise you.

 

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

 

I first read this iconic novel in University and was both feared it and loved it. I feared it because I was just starting to understand the debate on women’s rights and what we label “right wing” politics. I loved it for its brilliance and for making me think. Not surprisingly, it’s on the ALA’s top 100 banned books of the decade for the 90s and 2000s. At its core, dystopian fiction is a warning about where the author fears we’re headed but it’s also about freedom.  The freedom to think, say, believe and live what and how we want. These books aren’t meant to be comfortable, and perhaps that’s why they are so frequently challenged. Handmaid’s Tale (and recently the graphic novel) has been challenged for violence, offensive language, and sexual content, and it definitely falls into the “because it scares people” category.

 

The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz by Mordecai Richler

 

This classic Canadian novel put Mordecai Richler on the map, but in 1990, a group of parents in Essex County wanted the book removed from high school reading lists due to sexual innuendo, vulgarity, and sexual expression. Notable Canadian authors defended the book, but the board advised teachers and principals to avoid using potentially controversial novels in class.

 

The Lives of Girls and Women by Alice Monroe

 

When Alice Monroe published this coming-of-age novel about a young woman’s passage into adulthood and sexual experience in 1971, she made waves. The book met a highly publicized challenge in Peterborough, Ontario when the school board banned the book due to “explicit language and sex scenes”.  Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men and Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye were also included on that list for similar reasons. According to CBC, this censorship attempt was the catalyst for the creation of Freedom to Read Week.

 

The Diviners, Jest of God, and Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence

 

At the same time that Alice Munroe was facing challenges for Lives and Girls and Women, Margaret Laurence was also facing challenges and subsequent bans in numerous schools due to what Christian Fundamentalists deemed “blasphemous" and "obscene”.  The Diviners is widely considered to be the author’s masterpiece and to be one of the greatest Canadian novels ever written, but it has continued to face challenges over the years. Laurence, who was already dealing with depression and alcoholism was deeply disturbed by the public attacks on her books, but she didn’t speak out until she was faced with a new round of censorship in the 80s.

 

The Wars by Timothy Findley 

 

Timothy Findley’s 1977 novel The Wars was one of those life-changing books for me when I was in high school. I did my O.A.C. author study on Findley, and I think that his portrait of a 19-year-old Canadian officer fighting in WWI was one of the first books that really made me understand the horrors of war. It’s undeniably a difficult book to read, and Findley presented the war in all of its brutality. In 2011, a group of parents in Bluewater District School Board in Owen Sound, Ontario fought to have the book removed from school shelves, complaining about the violence and sexual descriptions. The novel also faced pre-publication censorship with attempts by the publisher to remove a homosexual rape scene. Findley was also vocally opposed to censorship, and defended other authors like Laurence whose works were challenged.

 

As long as there are books, there will always be somebody who steps up to object to them and attempt to impose to limit our access to potentially valuable and powerful material, and the best way to combat that is to resist by reading and discussing those books.  As Alice Munro said, “I think that as soon as one step is taken you have to start resisting because that makes the next step easier.” For more information on Freedom to Read Week and details on events across the country or how to get involved, visit their website.

 

To keep up to date with all of LSC’s latest offerings, please follow LSC on Facebook, on Instagram, and on Twitter, and to subscribe to our new YouTube Channel. We also encourage you to subscribe to the weekly Green Memo, and we hope you check back each and every week on this site for our latest musings on the publishing world.

 

Happy Reading!

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Children’s Display Day Spring 2020 is coming up on March 4th at the Sherwood Community Centre in Milton, and we are very lucky to have special guest, Forest of Reading winning author Elizabeth MacLeod joining us for an author talk and book signing. We had a chance to talk with Elizabeth about her new books ahead of the day.

 

Elizabeth MacLeod loves science; that much is clear from her bibliography. A catalogue deep with biographies of Chris Hadfield , Albert Einstein, and Marie Curie, she pulls these figures out of recent and far history, and brings their lives and accomplishments to the attention of children across Canada.

 

This attention to science makes sense, as a former editor at OWL magazine. But with more than 60 books under her belt, she is a writer who can find passion and interest in any subject sent her way, as diverse as the subjects of her two new books, biographies of Willie O’Ree and Terry Fox.

 

With your background in biology, it is interesting that many of the scientists you have profiled have been physicists, chemists, and engineers. How do you choose which historical figures you write about?

 

"I love science so I want to interest kids in it and show them that it’s part of our lives every day. I also hope to help kids see that scientists aren’t necessarily geniuses, but they’re people who look at the world carefully and really see it. That’s something we can all do.

 

"There are so many great people to write about that I’m always sending names to my publisher. When I give presentations in schools and libraries, I ask kids, teachers and librarians for ideas. When I listen to podcasts or read blogs and newspapers, I’ve always got this series on my mind. My editor, Erin O’Connor, is also great at coming up with suggestions (and she’s a fabulous editor!).

 

"Choosing the subjects is hard because there are so many wonderful options. Diversity is really important in the series since we want kids to see themselves reflected in the books. We’re trying to include Canadians from many different backgrounds, men and women and from all across the country."

 

I’d like to ask you about your process a bit. How long do you spend researching your subject before you start writing? Are you researching multiple subjects at once, writing about one while researching another; or do you pick one, get it done, and move on to someone new?

 

"As soon as I’m given the subject, I start researching. I’m looking for facts and amazing stories as well as photos that the illustrator, Mike Deas, can use for visual references. I’m also searching for each subject’s most important characteristic — for Tom Longboat, for example, that was his love of running, while for Elsie MacGill it was her determination to work hard.

 

"The amount of time I spend researching depends on when the first manuscript is due and what other projects I’m working on at the same time. It can take me anywhere from two weeks to two months. I write each of the books in the series one at a time, but sometimes I’m working on books for other publishers too. As well, depending on the schedule, I may be writing one of the biographies in this series, while reviewing final pages for an earlier book."

 

Which of the figures you’ve written about has been your favourite? Which has surprised you the most?

 

"I think what I like best about the people in this series is that they were ordinary people, but went on to do something extraordinary. Viola Desmond was a businesswoman, not a black rights activist, when she sat down in that movie theatre, refused to move and made history. Chris Hadfield dreamed of being an astronaut when Canada didn’t even have a space program, so his ambition seemed impossible.

 

"I think each of the people in the series has surprised me. Did you know that Chris Hadfield is afraid of heights? Or that Elsie MacGill took drawing lessons from Emily Carr, Canada’s most famous female artist. Willie O’Ree not only faced discrimination because he’s black, but also lost the vision in his right eye when a puck hit it. I love discovering incredible stories like this!"

 

It was just announced that the Canadian Mint chose your newest subject, Willie O’Ree, as the figure to grace the 2020 Black History Month coin. What drew you to Willie?

 

"I’ve always loved hockey, so I was so happy when Scholastic, the series’ publisher, agreed to let me write about Willie. He really came on our radar when he was made a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame in November 2018. I also loved how he inspired kids with sayings like, “If you think you CAN or you think you CAN’T — you’re right!”

 

"When I researched Willie’s story, I discovered that as a young teenager, he’d met baseball great Jackie Robinson and told him that he, Willie, was going to be the first black NHL player. Isn’t that amazing? The stories about the discrimination that Willie faced are so disheartening, but it’s important that kids hear them and understand what Willie had to overcome."

 

Terry Fox may well be one of the most famous Canadians, ever. With the 40th anniversary of the Marathon of Hope this year, is there anything about Terry that still surprised you while researching him?

 

"First of all, I was amazed that it’s already been 40 years since Terry’s Marathon of Hope.

 

"My editor and I and the whole Scholastic team have also been surprised at how emotional Terry’s story still makes us. We keep complaining that someone must be cutting onions nearby when we watch videos of him running or the interview he gave when he had to stop his Marathon of Hope! Such a brave man and he united and inspired all Canadians.

 

"I was also surprised that at one point Terry said that he was more upset at losing his hair during the chemo treatments than he was at losing his leg. As well, before the treatments, his hair was straight, not at all curly as it grew back after his treatments."

 

Is there someone you’ve wanted to write about but haven’t had the chance to?

 

"There are so many great Canadians to write about! There are a few that are almost definite for upcoming books and I can’t talk about them yet, but I’d also love to write about Joseph-Armand Bombardier, who invented the snowmobile; singer and activist Buffy Sainte-Marie; Jeanne Sauvé, Canada’s first female governor general; wheelchair athlete Rick Hansen (who was inspired by Terry Fox) … the list goes on and on! And we’re always open to suggestions — let me know if you have any good ideas!"

 

If you want to hear Elizabeth talk more about her books, her process, and her new subjects, Willie O’Ree and Terry Fox (and maybe suggest a future subject), she’ll be speaking and signing books at LSC’s Spring Children’s Display Day on March 4th, at the Sherwood Community Centre in Milton. RSVPs can be sent to Jamie Quinn at jquinn@lsc.on.ca.

 

We’ll see you there!

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January 19th, 2020 is the inaugural I Read Canadian day, a day (and week) dedicated to encouraging young people to celebrate the richness, diversity, and breadth of Canadian literature.  The aim is to have Canadians, especially young people, take just 15 minutes out of their day to read a Canadian book, or have it read to them. 

 

Many libraries and schools are participating, including Ajax Public Library, Guelph Public Library, and Lethbridge Public Library. Here at LSC, we asked staff to let us know their favourite Canadian authors and/or books.  See below for their choices!

 

CEO Michael M. notes that one of his daughter’s favourite books was The Paper Bag Princess by the one and only Robert Munsch, illustrated by Michael Martchenko.  Originally published in 1980 by Annick Press, the book has withstood the test of time, Mike feels. Robert Munsch was a theme among our staff, also mentioned by CFO Kirk O., Multilingual Selector Julie K., and Nonfiction Selector Stef W. This year is the 40th anniversary of this classic book.

 

Stef’s personal favourite Canadian authors are Tanya Huff, Guy Gavriel Kay, and Gemma Files.  All three authors have written urban fantasy set in and around Canada: Tanya Huff’s Smoke trilogy and Enchantment Emporium trilogy; Guy Gavriel Kay’s Fionavar Tapestry; Gemma Files’s We Will All Go Down Together; and short fiction The Puppet Motel from the collection Echoes, edited by Ellen Datlow. 

 

In juvenile nonfiction, Stef recommends the Scholastic Canada Biography series, Indigenous author Theresa Corky Larsen-Jonasson, the Mothers of Xsan series, Eric Zweig, Elise Gravel, Jess Keating, the Haunted Canada series, and Helaine Becker.  In adult nonfiction, be sure to check out Metis author Jesse Thistle’s autobiography From the Ashes; The Skin We’re In: a Year of Black Resistance and Power by Desmond Cole; and The Vagina Bible by Jen Gunter.

 

Kirk O. cites Patrick DeWitt as one of his favourites; he’s loaned and recommends The Sisters Brothers to friends and family as a great read.  He also loved Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel.

 

Acquisitions Clerk Fabiana S. recently read Sweep: the Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier and enjoyed it so much that she plans to read the rest of his bibliography.  She also recommends the Lullaby series, which includes Canada Lullaby, British Columbia Lullaby, and Alberta Lullaby.  They’re even available to listen to on Youtube.

 

Rachel S., Adult Fiction Selector, has always had a special place in her reading heart for Gordon Korman.  Not only did she attend the same elementary school he did, but she’s met him professionally (he’s always charming and funny) and his book Don’t Care High was loosely based on the high school she attended.  She also recommends quintessential summer camp book I Want To Go Home, as well as No More Dead Dogs.

 

Outside of Gordon Korman, Rachel makes a point of reading Courtney Summers’s YA fiction, and books like Very Rich by Polly Horvath.  She notes that Dennis Lee wrote a picture book – Lizzy’s Lion – in 1984 that’s one of the most twisted and brilliant picture books she’s ever read, and some of her favourite adult fiction authors are Timothy Findlay, Michael Ondaatje, and Robert Sawyer.

 

Finally, Library Service Representative Michael C. has two recommendations to make.  First up is John Bianchi, who was actually born in New York but came to Canada in 1968 and made his career here.  Snowed in at Pokeweed School was a childhood favourite of Michael’s, and he’s always found Bianchi’s drawing style a delight.  His second recommendation is Canadian writer – and computer programmer – Ryan North.  North created Dinosaur comics, has written a Choose Your Own Adventure style version of Hamlet, and recently published How to Invent Everything: A Survival Guide for the Stranded Time Traveller.

 

These are just some of the great Canadians creating great literature.  For more information on I Read Canadian Day, check out their website, which offers awesome reading lists, including the Forest of Reading Awards and the CCBC Book Awards.

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Another year, and another night of fancy dress and surprise winners at the 2020 Oscars!

 

It’s that time of year again, where all the celebrities dress up in their best - and sometimes worst (think Bjork’s swan dress, circa 2001) – and celebrate a year of wonderful films.  Natalie Portman in particular, stunned on the red carpet. As both a fashion and feminist statement, the star chose to wear a custom black cape, embroidered with the names of the female directors that were snubbed at this year’s award ceremony. Names included Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Lorene Scafaria (Hustlers), Lulu Wang (The Farewell), Melina Matsoukas (Queen & Slim), Alma Har’el (Honey Boy), Celine Sciamma (Portrait of a Lady on Fire), Mati Diop (Atlantics), and Marielle Heller (Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood).

 

Cynthia Erivo, who was the only African American actor nominated this year for an award, gave a show-stopping performance as she sang the song ‘Stand Up’, from the Oscar Nominated film, Harriett.  The show didn’t stop there. After 18 years, Eminem finally got to perform his song Lose Yourself from his 2002 Blockbuster hit 8 Mile

 

While his performance may have been confusing and random to some, Eminem made the following comment on Twitter: “Look, if you had another shot, another opportunity…”, using the lyrics from his song to somehow explain his surprise performance.  Regardless, the crowd loved it and gave Eminem the standing ovation that he deserved.

 

Taking home the awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best International Feature Film, Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing and Best Production Design was the South Korean Film, Parasite. This is the first award to be handed out under the new name for the International Film category, which was previously known as Best Foreign Language Film.

 

This is the first time in history that a non-English film won the Best Picture award. While giving his acceptance speech, director Bong Joon-Ho thanked the other directors nominated for this category, particularly Martin Scorsese, which prompted the audience to give Scorsese a standing ovation for his work in film.

 

The award for Best Actor went to Joaquin Phoenix for his incredible leading role in Joker. While he was among some other very strong contenders in this category, his role as the Joker was raw, emotional and powerful, and personally makes him my favorite Joker by far.  His acceptance speech was also another favorite of the night. Phoenix used his time on stage asking for equality and for there to be more selflessness in the world, finishing off his emotional speech by quoting a lyric by his late brother, River Phoenix: “Run into the rescue with love and peace will follow.” This was Phoenix’s first Oscar win.

 

Winning Best Actress for her role in the biopic Judy, was none other than Renee Zellweger. Her portrayal of Judy Garland was breathtaking and wonderful, and while she was up against some pretty strong competition (Scarlett Johansson, Saoirse Ronan, Charlize Theron, and Cynthia Erivo – all strong performances) this award was very well-deserved. This is the second Oscar in Zellweger’s career, having won Best Supporting Actress in 2004 for her role in the film Cold Mountain.

 

Taking home the win for Best Supporting Actor was Brad Pitt, for his role as stuntman Cliff Booth in the film Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood . The film had a very strong male cast, with Pitt playing alongside actors Leonardo DiCaprio, Kurt Russell, Bruce Dern, and Al Pacino, just to name a few.  While Pitt has won an Oscar once before, for producing 12 Years a Slave, this is his first win for acting.

 

The award for Best Supporting Actress went to Laura Dern, for her role as the hard-shelled divorce attorney in the film Marriage Story. While this film was nominated for Best Picture, along with 5 other nominations, Dern’s win was the only one taken home.

 

The winner for Best Animated Feature was none other than Toy Story 4. The fourth in the series did not disappoint. This film was beautifully written, and wonderfully animated, and just the latest in a long line of trophies for animation powerhouse Pixar.

 

The offbeat WWII film Jojo Rabbit, from New Zealand writer/actor/director Taika Waititi won Best Adapted Screenplay, based on the novel Caging Skies by Christine Leunens. The odds on favourite to win big this year had been Sam Mendes’ 1917, and it did win perhaps its most deserving award, Best Cinematography, for its seamless presentation of a single unbroken shot as two soldiers make their way across No Man’s Land and into enemy territory in WWI.

 

For a complete list of winners, please see Slist #43271

 

To keep up to date with all of LSC’s latest offerings, please follow LSC on Facebook, on Instagram, and on Twitter, and to subscribe to our new YouTube Channel. We also encourage you to subscribe to the weekly Green Memo, and we hope you check back each and every week on this site for our latest musings on the publishing world.

 

Happy watching!

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