Blog - Library Services Centre

LSC will be closed for the holidays from Dec 24th, and will reopen on Jan 3rd, 2022. Merrys and happys from everyone at LSC to all of you.

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Today is Indigenous Veterans Day. Thursday is Remembrance Day. While we do not close for these dates, we do take a moment to reflect and to remember on the brave and valorous individuals who have fought and sacrificed, across history and the world. May they never be forgotten.

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Thanksgiving likely looks a lot different than usual this year. Reagrdless, take the day to be thankful that we've gotten this far, and be hopeful that things will get better from here. LSC will be doing so, but back at it all the more Tuesday morning. Happy turkey day, everyone! Gobble-gobble.

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Sept 30th is the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. LSC is open, however, we recommend you refer to the resources for settlers we posted back in June, whether you have the day off or not. Take the day to reflect, learn, and improve. 

 

 

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The publishing industry is currently being affected by large-scale delays. These delays are the result of many different pressures on the supply chain, including shortages of truck drivers and trailers, congestion at the ports, escalating transportation costs, paper shortages, and more. This has resulted in titles across all collections types having unforeseen delays. 

 

LSC is taking the following steps to remain knowledgeable and proactive in response to these delays:

  • We have increased staffing to ensure that when items do arrive at LSC, they experience no additional delays moving through our processes and in getting to you.
  • Our Selection team has ramped up ordering beyond our normal peak and end-of-year volumes, to ensure as best we can that budgets are met by year-end.
  • We are prioritizing the release of A-list/highly visible bestseller titles as best we can.
  • We are in constant communication with our suppliers and publishing partners to have the most up-to-date information about when items are expected, when items will have known delays, and when Best Sellers have their pub dates pushed. When we know, you'll know.

As the talking point has warned us, there is a “new normal” affecting every industry, and the publishing world is no different. As this article from Publisher’s Weekly highlights, the problem has no single source, and as such no easy solution. Part of this is driven by the Great Resignation, which - in America - at least 4 million people have quit their jobs in this past spring. This combined with already high levels of unemployment and a recession in the US have caused ripple affects across multiple sectors, where there simply isn’t enough employees to carry out the amount of work needed in certain areas. Major commercial shippers are cutting their capacity by 25% or more because they can’t find qualified drivers.

 

Add to this a global shipping congestion. You’ll no doubt remember earlier this year when the Ever Given was stuck in the Suez Canal for the better part of five months. This caused significant delays to the global shipping industry. Add to this, continued closures at primary Chinese ports, from which a huge majority of products – including paper and books – ships out of. For decades, industry has shifted production and manufacturing to China due to low costs, and the global affect of that decision is a bottleneck for a considerable amount of product.  When supply is low, demand is high, and prices rise. With spots on the ships that are getting out at a premium, costs for those spots have quintupled. And the cost of the materials being shipped, like wood for paper pulp, have tripled. This isn’t just affecting the publishing industry – no doubt you’ll have noticed that coffee is getting more expensive, as is gas, toilet paper, and chocolate. 

 

Last year, the industry was impacted with printing capacity issues, and these continue, adding another layer of delay. Industry experts expect gift books, box sets, art books, cookbooks, and coffee table books to be the most effected - anything with high gloss and lots of colour pictures. They are also forecasting long delays for reprints, especially on high interest materials. The advice is, pre-order in advance. While the fall titles are already on ships, transports, and in some warehouses, these effects will linger well into 2022. Those analyzing the situation also have no optimism to report, and expect that things will continue in this way for the next 18-24 months. Moreover, as life experience teaches us, when the cost of things goes up it rarely comes back down.

 

As for what LSC is doing in the face of all this is paying attention and being proactive. For ARP accounts, we regularly order bestseller titles as soon as we know they exist, anywhere between 6 months to a year and half in advance. For those libraries doing their own ordering, we recommend ordering well in advance. If you normally wait to within a couple weeks of release, don't. Order as soon as you can. Our Selectors are happy to build lists, carts, or help your selectors in whatever way they can, you need only ask for help. Additionally, order from our best seller catalogues as soon as they are released. The Spring Notables for Adult and Juv will be out in October, and the Winter catalogues can be found in the Selection List area on our catalogue or through Issuu. 

 

We are also talking with our suppliers regularly, and when we have definite information, we will pass it along. As of right now, official shelf dates for Fall Best Sellers have not moved. Despite this, we know that many of those titles will have some unofficial delays. Every publisher is affected, and affected differently. It is our commitment to you that when we have information, when we know how this will impact your budgets and collections, and your patrons, we will let you know with as much notice as we receive ourselves.

 

We’re all in this together. And we will get through this, together.

 

UPDATE OCTOBER 5th:

Publisher's Weekly hosted a webinar on Oct 5th, with leading US industry experts to discuss the situation. While much of the information remains unchanged from above, additional details were shared.

 

Across the industry, production has moved oversees due to 40% savings when things are working well. During COVID though, there has been an increase in demand (for instance, a 12% growth in adult fiction - the highest since 2008) complicated by existing issues and new problems. Before the pandemic, there was already a steady increase in the cost of wood pulp (which is currently higher than a previous peak in 2014), and a significant loss in skilled workers in the printing industry. Approx. 1.2 million workers in the US have been lost to retirement alone. Paper mills and printing presses have been closing in record numbers over the past five years. The labour cost to bring on new staff is steep, and many companies are easier going out of business or choosing to close.

 

Getting items from oversees to the publishers have seen shipping times increase from 3 weeks to over two months, with bottlenecks at both ends (in addition to COVID, there are also apparently fires in China forcing ports to close. On the other side of the Pacific, the Port of Los Angeles has over 70 ships waiting at sea to dock and unpack, compared to a usual one). Once items do arrive, they are subject to the previously mentioned delivery shortages. FedEx has introduced caps and increased their pricing, and Canada Post has noted that package deliveries will have delays as we head into the Christmas delivery season. The experts suggested that long haul shipping will see driver shortages be common for the next six years.

 

These longer lead times have started to impact publication dates. For now, many publishers are pushing titles back by weeks (see below for a current list of know delays). They are trying their best not to postpone or push titles into new publishing seasons, especially for A-list titles with lots of marketing. However, that could be a possibility in the coming publishing seasons. They are advising, as we are, that you pre-order items in advance so that they can up initial print runs based on demand, as reprints are basically impossible for the time being. 


Our publishing partners have alerted us of some known delays to specific titles based on the Industry Delays affecting us all. The following titles have had their publication dates pushed back. In this case, these titles have all been delayed due to printing capacity issues.

 

Old Pub Date Expected New Pub Date Title ISBN
10/12/21 11/02/21
Surrounded by Setbacks
9781250789518

11/02/21

11/09/21

First Christmas, The

9781250790699
11/02/21 11/09/21
(Very) Short History of Life on Earth, A
9781250276650
11/02/21 11/09/21
Watching Darkness Fall
9781250206961
10/26/21 11/16/21
Muhammad, the World-Changer
9781250239648

11/16/21

11/23/21

Deathwatch Beetle

9781250766168

11/16/21

11/23/21

American Kleptocracy

9781250274526

11/16/21

11/23/21

City of Time and Magic

9781250260697

11/16/21

11/23/21

Man of Honor, A

9781250187451
11/16/21 11/23/21
His Greatest Speeches
9781250763457
11/16/21 11/23/21
Any Way the Wind Blows
9781250845771

 

UPDATE OCTOBER 8th:

We have received word that Video Games are likely to be struck with some delays in all formats. The majority of video game software is routed through a small number of manufacturers in the US who are suffering from staffing shortages within their plants. These delays are then compounded by the delivery issues experienced by everyone. As a result, it is expected that last minute changes to title release dates, and late deliveries past street dates are expected as we enter the largest and busiest season for video games.

 

UPDATE OCTOBER 12th:

 

While Multilingual materials from all locations have been affected by the international shipping delays that everyhting else has, we have been alerted by our Japanese supplier that, due to the earthquake on the 7th, distributions centres in Japan are experiencing delays

 

UPDATE NOVEMBER 22nd:

As much of the world is aware at this point major highways connecting the city of Vancouver, B.C. and the Lower Mainland to the rest of inland Canada are currently closed, and rail traffic in and out of the Port of Vancouver is also closed.

 

UPDATE NOVEMBER 24th:

We have received the following news from Raincoast Books in Vancouver:

 

I’m happy to report that with highway 3 open for freight traffic, albeit at cautious speeds, our two main carriers report the beginning of eastbound trucking. They both have distribution facility backlogs, which include some of the shipments we gave them last week but both are making positive signals about clearing up the backlog.

 

Barring further shutdowns, they expect to be able to start picking up from us again by Thursday Nov 25.  You can expect to begin to receive the backlogged shipments from us from approx. Nov 24 + normal transit time to your area.  And then newer orders after that.  For those of you who don’t know, highway 3 is a windy mountain route that will add some transit time – perhaps a day or so - to any shipments coming your way from our facility.  The main highway, #5, will not be fixed for many months.

 

Please reach out if you have any questions or concerns to Jamie Quinn, Manager of Customer and Selection Services.

 

PDF versions of our catalogues are available on Issuu. 

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The summer wanes and the world begins once again to smell of red leaves and pumpkin spiced drinks. We're taking Sept 6th to relax before leaning into the fall. Enjoy yourself.

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LSC wraps up its year tomorrow, and we decided to look back at a messy, unpredictable year that was and present the second annual LSC Awards for Performance. The following items were compiled using our internal sales data based on number of units purchased collectively by our client libraries between July 2020 and June 2021. All the material listed here is available for your convenience in Slist 45438, in case you missed any of these hits.

 

a time for mercy by john grisham / space and a sunrise at the end of a long country road with a large tree at the end.The first award is for Adult Fiction. John Grisham’s Time for Mercy topped our charts this year. This is a sequel to both his first novel, A Time to Kill, published 32 years ago, as well as 2013’s Sycamore Row. It appears that his return to southern courtrooms was well anticipated. Don’t worry though, he released another two novels this past year. He’s not going anywhere.

 

The top selling Adult Non-Fiction was the memoir of former US President Barack Obama, Promised Land. I can’t possibly think why in 2020 there would have been such an interest and nostalgia for Obama’s hopeful terms of office. Must have been a coincidence.

 

salma the syrian chef by ahmad danny ramadan and illustrated by Anna Bron / an illustration of a young girl holding a bowl and wearing a chef's hat, with nine people of various ethnicities behind herThe prize for Picture Book is the delightful Salma the Syrian Chef, by Ahmad Danny Ramadan, illustrated by Anna Bron. This delightful book follows a recent newcomer and refugee to Canada as she tries to cheer up her mother by making food from home. A wonderful message of community and hope, and a subject that is seemingly evergreen.

 

Marking our first repeat winner at the LSC Awards, following a similar performance in the category of Juvenile Fiction is Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Deep End by Jeff Kinney. Yes, the adventures of Greg continue in the 15th(!) installment of the series. This one follows directly on from last year’s winner Wrecking Ball, and will continue in Big Shot, coming in October of 2021.

 

Best Young Adult Fiction goes to Cousins by Karen M. McManus. This mystery thriller following three cousins as they unravel the web of family secrets left behind by their mysterious grandmother was a hit, perhaps reminding people of the twists and dark turns of VC Andrews.

 

This Place: 150 years told / an illustrated half face of a young indigenous child standing before the world, with north america centredTop selling Adult Graphic Novel this year was the exquisite This Place: 150 Years Retold, an anthology of stories by 11 Indigenous authors and illustrators, telling diverse stories of Indigenous peoples across Canada, and what they have experienced in the time since Contact. An essential component of any library collection.

 

Our second repeat winner runs the table yet again in Juvenile Graphic Novel, as Dav Pilkey defends the title with Dog-man: Grime and Punishment. The ninth in the series, though far from the last as a tenth book has also been released and an eleventh is on the way. Will Pilkey retain this position for a third year? Only you can determine that.

 

With this past year being one of the stranger for the film industry, with no master blockbusters having been released, it is nice to see that the top selling DVD this year was the winner of Best Picture at the Academy Awards, Nomadland. Directed by Chloe Zhao and starring Frances McDormand, this quiet film about the modern nomads of America stuck a cord in a year where there were fewer CGI explosions to drown it out.

 

super mario 3d world plus bowser's fury / a busy picture centred on the title, with mario, luigi, princess peach, mario in a cat suit, princess in a cat suit, and mario and bowser junior staring at a giant volcano BowserTop Selling Video Game was a wider field this year, as there were two generations of Playstation and two generations of Xbox on the market. And yet, winner of this category goes to Super Mario: 3D World and Bowser's Fury on the Nintendo Switch. Yes, everyone’s favourite plumber – who turned 35th this year – jumped over the turtles and mushrooms of the competition and landed on the flag pole at the top of the charts.

 

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

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Two years ago, Playaway launched the Wonderbook as a digital solution to the decreasing number of book-and-disc read-along books. Two years on, and Wonderbook continues to amaze, now with chapters books joining the collection.

 

Every Wonderbook is a library-bound print book with a ready-to-play audiobook mounted on the inside cover. No need for additional equipment, an internet connection, or anything. It circulates like a print book with no packaging or additional pieces to manage. And the device is mounted using the strongest adhesive, ensuring that it will remain a single unit regardless of wear and tear. Let kids pick their own storytime with hundreds of read-alongs from the world's best children's book publishers. All with the crisp, clean audio that Playaway is known for.

 

The device is easy to use for kids, and easy to maintain for library staff. The one-touch power and reset buttons are soft, self-sealing to prevent liquids from seeping into the device. The outside-facing speaker allows for the highest quality audio performance, with no muffling as the pages turn. For those long car rides or post-bed time stories, the device has a headphone jack for independent listening.

 

the bottom corner of the inside cover of a picture book, with a Wonderbook audio device, a black triangle, mounted inside. Like the Launchpad, the Wonderbook uses a universal micro-USB charging port, the standard for Android devices. The device charges in 1 hour and delivers up to 10 hours of play once fully charged. This is an average of 50 listens before recharge needed. At LSC, samples that have sat on the shelf the length of the pandemic are still charged 16 months later!

 

After reading along, kids can switch Wonderbook into Learning Mode to keep talking about the book they just read. This fun, narrator-led question and answer session offers open-ended, educator-vetted questions about the story they just read. Not only is this a powerful way to teach parents how to dialogue with their children about books, it also builds comprehension, as the child will stop and think about what they’ve just read. This active listening will set them on a path to success and good information literacy. In all, Read-along and Learning Mode provide two wonderful Wonderbook experiences.

 

a young black girl with pigtails reading a copy of Duck on a Bike, a picture book featuring a cartoon duck riding a bicycleAt launch, Wonderbooks were available as picture, leveled readers, and early chapter books. Now, Wonderbook is also available on select chapter books as well, for those kids who need a little extra help with comprehension. Research shows that hearing and seeing words at the same time can improve reading success rates, at any age. Wonderbook gives kids an edge with vocabulary development, phonics, and comprehension, plus encourages deeper engagement with every book.

 

If you are interested in starting, or growing, your Wonderbook collection, LSC is your one-stop source for everything you need. ARP and customized selection is available, as well as cataloguing and processing on all titles. All customer support, invoices, and shipping is done through LSC, with Canadian dollars and taxes. We can also provide merchandising materials for free from Playaway, to create patron awareness and boost circulation. For more information, check out the Playaway Wonderbook site, or if you are interested in ordering, email Karrie Vinters to explore the possibilities with Wonderbook.

 

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

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We're taking Monday off for the Civic Holiday, same as all our friends in Alberta, BC, Saskachewan, Ontario, New Brunswick, and Nunavut. Everyone else, we'll see you on Tuesday.

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The federal stat holiday designated Canada Day falls on a Thursday this year. Thus Thursday we'll be closed, but open again on Friday the 2nd. Spend the day doing what you want, but perhaps this year spend a little time reflecting on the day.

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