Blog - Library Services Centre

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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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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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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LSC is proud to offer libraries a more budget friendly, Canadian option for libraries supplies.

 

Even for libraries which receive processing from their vendors, there are supplies which are valuable to keep on hand. And for libraries doing their own processing, supplies are a required component to their day-to-day operations. However, the price of supplies can be detrimental to an annual budget. Aware of this hardship, LSC conducted an analysis on what libraries would be paying for supplies from the conventional vendors, and what LSC paid for the supplies it sourced. Having one of the largest processing departments in Canada, LSC purchases a large volume of supplies. Large enough to be able to offer libraries extended discounts.

 

One of the harsher costs involved in supplies is shipping, especially when cross-border duties and currency conversion are factored in. With LSC's service, shipping for supplies follows current rates with existing clients. More than that, items will be shipped in the same boxes or tubs as your books and AV material. And, because we know that supplies are often paid from a different budget, separate invoices for supplies will be issued.

 

LSC's supplies service is a two tier system. Tier one are the supplies that can be ordered directly off of our website via Slist #43174, or from our printed catalogue. These listed items are kept in inventory at LSC. Items can be added to carts and ordered directly. When ordered, they will be taken from inventory and put in your next scheduled shipment. 

 

The second tier is for unlisted items. As LSC deals with a variety of vendors for supplies, there is a wide range of items that could potentially be available to libraries through us. Anything available through Demco Library Supplies is available through LSC. However, unlisted items are not kept in inventory. If you wish to receive a quote for unlisted supplies, please contact Supplies@lsc.on.ca. Please provide a link or example of unlisted material, if available. No purchase is necessary to receive a quote for unlisted items. However, orders for unlisted items must meet a minimum $200 total value. Quoted items are ordered once a month from suppliers, and will be shipped upon delivery to LSC.

 

Bulk purchasing and pricing is available. For more information or to receive a quote, please contact Supplies@lsc.on.ca.

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LSC is proud to announce that in 2020 we will offer libraries the option of receiving topical subject headings that are more respectful of indigenous peoples instead of, or in addition to, the professional-standard headings in LCSH and CSH, which currently use colonial language.

 

The notion of adding subject headings that are more respectful to Indigenous peoples has been a topic of conversation in the library world for many years. Some academic libraries began working on such projects independently or consulting with one another, but were able to invest dedicated time and personnel to consulting and correcting these headings. Public libraries however have largely been left to their own, without the resources that academic libraries have access to. We at LSC are aware of how monumental a project this is for libraries to undertake on their own, and the trepidation of starting a project of this level of sensitivity.

 

However, with the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation commission having been delivered nearly five years ago, LSC feels the act of appropriate, respectful representation for indigenous peoples in library records is long overdue. This correction to over 120 years of misidentification of cultures and peoples is too important not to take action upon. Worse than doing nothing would be rushing this task and attempting a correction that results in headings that are equally disrespectful.


LSC's position has been to wait for the Library and Archives Canada to produce a national standard. As with all things in the library world, consistency is important, and we had felt that a national standard would best serve all libraries. However, LAC has not issued a list of respectful headings, and it appears that they will not do so in the near future.  LSC’s position is this change is far too important and necessary to wait any longer.

 

To this end, LSC has adopted the extensive English language list created by the Greater Victoria Public Library, in consultation with the University of Manitoba. GVPL has made this list publicly available, and LSC wants to make clear that we hold no propriety over it. The GVPL list contains over 700 respectful headings which applies to indigenous peoples in general and to specific peoples and groups in Canada and the rest of the world. LSC is aware of other lists created by other institutions, which have not been made publicly available, and while we are open to investigating their use at this time we believe the Greater Victoria list to be reasonably exhaustive. We want to be clear: if and when LAC issues a national standardized list, LSC will adopt this standard as the preferred headings. 


LSC is happy to offer this service as a complimentary part of our cataloguing records, provided upon request from libraries. Libraries can chose from three options: one, to exclusively keep the older, traditionally used headings; two, to solely adopt the new respectful headings; or three, and is LSC's recommendation, records which contain both the older and the new headings. Inclusion of the respectful headings in our base records will be the standard operation for our cataloguing team moving forward, and it is our hope that the older headings will be phased out entirely in the near future. However, we understand that a transition period may be preferable for libraries.

 

As such, as we are implementing the new records, they will be coded for easy identification and mapping, should future standardization require them to be updated. And, so that the old headings can be quickly overwritten. As with all changes made to the structure of MARC records, there will be a period of adjustment. As our service begins, we will work one-on-one with libraries conducting tests with the new records to ensure that individual ILSs are capable of handling the new headings. We stress, there is no time limit on libraries opting in to receive the new headings. They will be available at any point after our service is fully realized.


Our one caveat to this new service: LSC is continuing to investigate French language versions of the new headings. At present, many French headings are translations of colonized terminology. The effects of French language grammatical conventions may also have an effect on preferred terminology. Until we have found a respectful standardization to adopt, we are willing to work with libraries on-demand with French headings.

 

This is a new service that we are in the process of developing in-house, and hope to have active and tested within the first quarter of 2020. This timeline will rely mostly on the cooperation of technology involved. To learn more about this service, to receive updates, or to opt-in to receiving these new headings in your MARC records, please contact LSC at 1.800.265.3360, or send an email to CustomerServiceDepartment@lsc.on.ca.

 

*A previous version of this post used the phrase "decolonized subject headings". This had been the terminology in use by multiple segments of the industry in relation this these kinds of projects for many years. As with so many things, the terminology has evolved. As with so many things, there is no consensus as to what the preferred terminology should be. As such, LSC will no longer refer to its service using this language. We have opted to use "respectful" and "Indigenous". We are comfortable with these designations as they represent the intent of the service, which has been so long coming to fruition.

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OLA is next week, and we will be there. Stop by our booth for new services announcments and terrific prizes! Our annual Wine and Cheese is once again happening on Thursday night at 5pm. We look forward to seeing you all!

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With the end of the year rapidly approaching, we asked staff here at LSC to choose their favourite books, movies, games, and/or music of 2019.  And boy did they have some.

 

Nan M., our Plant Manager, chose Kate Mulgrew’s second memoir How to Forget (3544210), following 2015’s Born With Teeth.  In How to Forget, actress Kate Mulgrew returns home to Iowa to care for her ailing parents, and discovers long-hidden family secrets after their deaths.  Nan says the book hooked her immediately and Mulgrew, most famous for Star Trek: Voyager and Orange is the New Black, is a great writer.

 

Paul A. in Shipping chose Jojo Rabbit, directed by Taika Waititi as his top movie of the year.  Based on the book Caging Skies, the film follows a young boy in Nazi Germany who discovers his mother is hiding a Jewish girl in the attic, and who must face blind nationalism with the help of his imaginary friend – Adolf Hitler.  Paul says, ‘Great acting, great story, above average production values and above all else, a human story with wicked social, moral and intellectual value. It will make you chuckle, think, and maybe tear up a bit too.’  His runner-up movies are Judy and Rocketman.  

 

Cataloguer Ray G. chose two movies as his top of 2019.  The Farewell is based on Lulu Wang’s What You Don’t Know radio essay and features a Chinese family returning to China to say goodbye to their matriarch – who doesn’t actually know she only has a few more weeks to live.  Avengers: Endgame is, of course, the conclusion to the Avengers storyline (for now), where the Avengers have to restore balance to the world after Thanos snapped half of it into nothing.  Ray also chose More Giraffes, Ali Gatie, and Guardin for best music of 2019, but loved too many games to choose just one.

 

From HR, Carrie P. chose Crawl – also Quentin Tarantino’s favourite movie of 2019 – and Downton Abbey as her top movies of 2019.  While Downton Abbey continues the story of the wealthy Crawley family in the early twentieth century, Crawl is a creature feature horror movie about a girl and her father trapped by a hurricane in a house filled with alligators.  Carrie’s favourite book of the year is Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid, an adult fiction novel about a legendary rock band of the 70s – and the reasons why they broke up just when they were most popular.

 

In Selection Services, Children’s Product Manager Sara P. picked a board game as her favourite of the year: Ms. Monopoly, where female players collect $240 when they pass Go.  Her favourite book is Holly Black’s Queen of Nothing, the third in the Folk of the Air series.  Sara says Holly Black is the queen of writing about the Fae.

 

Michael C. in Marketing had three great book selections for 2019.  If, Then by Kate Hope Day, in which three neighbours start seeing visions, almost ghosts, of their lives on very different paths. Are they hallucinations? Are they another world, another time? The book is emotionally focused on these characters and the existential ramifications these visions have on their lives, each reacting in a wildly different but completely believable way. 

 

Recursion, by Blake Crouch was also one of Michael's favourites. As with his previous novel Dark Matter, Crouch explores the nature of self and reality through the tragedy and perseverance of his characters, while driving us through the chapters with action and intrigue. In this novel, a grief and guilt stricken police officer has to contend with the outbreak of a disease which implants an entire life's worth of new memories into people, memories they cannot stand to live with.

 

Finally Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language by Internet linguist Gretchen McCulloch. McCulloch explores how the internet and mobile technology has created an entirely new facet to language. From the evolution of slang and text abbreviations, to memes and how digital communication has changed over the last 20 years, this book is a fun read for anyone who wants the TL;DR on 21st century language.

 

Back to Shipping, Patrick B. has a favourite book, movie, and music release.  His book choice is Booker Prize shortlist nominee Quichotte by Salman Rushdie, a comic but tender love story about a TV-obsessed travelling salesman, his imaginary son, and their road trip to find love, as told by spy novelist Sam DuChamp.  In movies, Patrick enjoyed Us, directed by Jordan Peele, where a family’s vacation at the beach turns to horror when they’re attacked by doppelgangers.  For music, Patrick’s choice is the second studio album, South of Reality, by The Claypool Lennon Delirium, a psychedelic rock band comprised of Sean Lennon and Primus’ Les Claypool.

 

Accounts Payable Clerk Lee-ann B. already knows she’s going to love the new Star Wars movie, but her movie pick for 2019 right now is Motherless Brooklyn.  Based on the Jonathan Lethem novel, and written, produced, directed, and starring Edward Norton as a private investigator with Tourette’s, Motherless Brooklyn is a neo-noir focused on Norton’s character’s quest to solve the murder of his mentor.  Her best book choice is a tie between domestic suspense novel The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald and The Long Flight Home by Alan Hlad, which Lee-ann says taught her a lot about the service of homing pigeons during World War II.

 

Kirk O., our CFO, said, "while looking for something to read I find that I can never go wrong with titles that have been nominated for consideration for the Man Booker Prize.  I did wander down to my local library, Idea Exchange, to grab two titles that are nominated and were available.  Both are new authors for me.  The first was My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite.  I didn’t read this book so much as inhale the 238 pages in a few days.  Engaging story with great characters taking place in modern day Nigeria.  I highly recommend this book.  I will also be looking for other titles that she has written.  If I would compare her to anyone in style I would say it is Patrick DeWitt, another author I enjoy.

 

"The second title that I tackled from this list is The Wall by John Lanchester.  Once again a well written book that I enjoyed immensely.  Whereas the book above was as light hearted as a serial killer book could be, The Wall, set in the near future, takes on a much more serious tone.   You can read this story with a thought to both migrants looking for a better life as well as the effect of climate change on future generations.”

 

Customer Experience Manager Jamie Q. has two favourite books for 2019 in Shortest Day by Susan Cooper, illustrated by Carson Ellis and Guestbook: Ghost Stories by Leanne Shapton.  She said, “Carson Ellis beautifully illustrates a poem about winter solstice by Susan Cooper. The moody illustrations remind us of the origins of Christmas, and what a celebration light is after a dark winter.  Shapton creates tales by combining writing, photographs, artifacts and other ephemera to express the cryptic imperfection of human life. It has the feeling of marveling over someone’s private cabinet of curiosities, or being in a dream.”

 

Last but not least, Elizabeth K. in Cataloguing chose a contemporary fantasy called The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H. G. Parry.  In the book, Charley Sutherland is hiding an unpredictable ability: he can call literary characters out into the real world.  He discovers he’s not the only one who can do this when the escape of various literary characters threatens the world itself, forcing Charley and his older brother, Rob, to save it.

 

Those were but a handful of the media we enjoyed this year. And now, with 2019 behind us, we can look forward to starting all new lists in 2020. As, we expect, will you.

 

Happy new year!

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LSC is excited to announce the launch of its newest search engine update: BISAC subject searching.

 

A lot has changed in the world of searching since we went live with our first online catalogue. Google and Amazon have changed expectations for how people search, and what kinds of results they get when they search. While much can be said about how both of those corporate giants push results to users, and searching on their platforms isn’t as effective as people think it is, the fact remains: you type a thing, and get results regardless. While LSC has long offered the most powerful ordering tool available to public libraries, built in-house by our programmers, the search feature has remained surgical rather than general. That changes today.

 

Using BISAC subject headings, our catalogue is now far more open to generalized searching, and far more forgiving to the kind of searching that people are used to in the modern day. Using nondescript terms like “cars” or “travel Canada” will now return a broad range of items, allowing users to browse available materials on subjects rather than locate specific items. You don’t need to know the exact BISAC heading - TRUE CRIME / Abductions, Kidnappings & Missing Persons, for example. “Abductions” or “True Crime” will return results.

 

 

 

It will, in fact, return too many results. You will get the “maximum number of results found” error. Which is why we strongly advocate making use of the many Limiters, including Format, Material Type, and Publication Date make this search all the more effective. With the BISAC search you can narrow your search to just paperbacks published in the next two months about “Cooking”, which will return a bountiful, relevant, current list that you are able to browse and order from at your convenience.

 

 

 

To increase the effectiveness of this search even further, users can now combine in any order words from the Title, Author, Series, Dewy and BISAC in the Keyword search for more structured results. “Oliver cooking” in hardcover from the past thirty days returns, for example, a single result – Ultimate Veg, by Jamie Oliver. A Keyword search of “Canada Train travel” – the sort of search you might run if a patron is looking for books on train travel in Canada and you just want to see what we have – with no limiters returns 5 results, pulling from both the title and BISAC.

 

 

 

 

This BISAC search ability greatly increases the power of catalogue, allowing users like you more flexibility in locating items for your library. And for the majority of items in our catalogue, this search is incredibly effective. However, nothing is perfect, and we admit that. Programming allows us to make use of only what is available. BISAC subject headings are provided to LSC as part of the OYNX feeds from publishers that we use to populate our catalogue, meaning these items are now BISAC searchable from the moment they are in our catalogue; no additional input from us is required. This is not the case for AV and Small Press materials, for which we do not receive ONYX information and are manually entered by staff in-house. Should publishers of these materials ever provide us with information we can import into our system, it would immediately be searchable. However, given these industries, this is unlikely to occur. As such, DVDs cannot be found using the BISAC search. Keyword, Title, and the Slists remain the effective way to located AV materials.

 

The desire to have a more generalized search in our catalogue was something we heard from library staff across the country. And when we hear a request like that, we listen. We take every bit of feedback we receive, and we turn it into action. Some actions take longer than others. Implementing this function was not a fast process, and refinements will continue to be made, as refinements are constantly being made to everything we offer. We appreciate and encourage libraries to let us know how they use all of our services, so we can continue to make improvements which benefit everyone.

 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Michael Clark.

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