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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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June is National Indigenous Peoples History month and today, June 21st, is National Indigenous Peoples History Day. As Settlers, we are educating ourselves on the history and heritage of Indigenous Peoples, and reflecting on how we can contribute to the ongoing process of reconciliation. Today, we present without commentary several resources that can be used to aid others in their journeys of education and reflection.

 

LSC operates on the traditional territory of ‎the Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabe, and Attawandaron, on the Haldimand Tract. On October 25, 1784, Sir Frederick Haldimand, the governor of Québec, “granted” this tract of 950,000 acres, - of which only 5% remains - to the Haudenosaunee, also known as the Six Nations, for their service during the American Revolution. The Haldimand Tract extends 10 kilometers on both sides of the Grand River, from Dundalk Township to Lake Erie.

 

To find out whose land you are located on, the interactive map Native-Land.ca allows you to search by address and see who called this home first. It also allows you to toggle between territories, languages, and treaties. The map’s creators are quick to point out that this map is not meant to be definitive, but an educational tool that is meant to start how we think about where we live. They also provide a quick form to be alerted of errors or required updates.

 

The Residential School System in Canada is a long-standing tragedy that many Canadians are only just discovering. The CBC has developed a map that allows you to enter an address and identify the nearest residential school to that location. It also provides the years the school was operational , and can be a good starting point in your research and learning. Additionally, the Government of Canada has set up a 24-hour National Indian Residential School Crisis Line, for those experiencing trauma from the Residential School system. Callers can access emotional and crisis referral services at 1-866-925-4419. 

 

Critical resources in our reconciliation journey are the reports and materials generated by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. These reports include the 94 Calls to Action that were delivered in 2015, but include a wide array of valuable, educational, historical materials that uncover the full scope and impact of colonization on the Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island.

 

For some library focused material, the Canadian Federation of Library Associations has its own report, delivered in February 2017 and endorsed by 33 library associations and organizations across Canada. This report contains 10 calls to actions for libraries to aid in decolonization and indigenization efforts.

 

Looking to add some educational credentials to your experience? The University of Alberta offers both a credited and an audited primer course in Indigenous Canada through their Faculty of Native Studies. This 12-week beginner course is a primer for any stage of your journey. 

 

If you are looking for book and film recommendations for either your own learning, or to aid in your educating of children, teens, and other adults, educator Megan Tipler has compiled a massive list of materials across all ages and collection types, all of which are by Indigenous authors. She also has a small list of works by non-Indigenous authors that are of particular note and value. She makes notes where some works may be problematic and includes a short list of authors to actively avoid. You can follow her on Instagram @tiplerteaches where she has links to her resources, including book displays and posters.

 

IMBD has a list of films on the subject of Residential Schools for your reference, and NFB has curated a collection of shorts by Indigenous filmmakers and allies on the impact of the Residential School System. CBC Gem also has a selection of documentaries, including Inendi and We Were Children, to watch.

 

This is far from an exhaustive list of resources. It does, however, provide a starting point for those seeking to learn more, re-educate themselves, and be a better - and better informed - ally moving forward.

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Let’s talk about memes.  A meme (pronounced ‘meem’) is defined as “an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture” and “an amusing or interesting item… or genre of items that is spread widely online especially through social media.”  The word was coined in Richard Dawkins’ 1976 book The Selfish Gene but it wasn’t too well-known until the explosion of the internet.  In 1993, in the June issue of Wired, Mike Godwin proposed the concept of the Internet meme and a cultural phenomenon was born.

 

what do you meme board game / big block letters of text in shades of blue and purple on a pure white box.Memes are everywhere; you have to essentially live in the middle of nowhere, with no access to modern electronics or other people, to not have come across a meme recently.  They range from the original LOLcats (yes, you can has cheeseburger), to Britain’s 1939 Keep Calm and Carry On campaign brought back in the early 2000s, to completely surreal art like the Youtube Poop videos.  They pop up on every social media site, they’re used in commercials (usually long after the meme ceased to be relevant), and they can cause global crazes like planking and the ice bucket challenge. Heck, memes are so popular, recognizable, and adapatable, they are have been turned into a party game.

 

bart simpson standing in a classroom before a blackboard with a piece of chalk in his hand. the black board has the phrase "all your base are belong to us" repeated ten times Personally I’ve been online a long time, back to the days of All Your Base Are Belong to Us (20 years old this year!), Domo, Oogachaka Baby, and—sigh—The Hamster Dance.  I’ve been Rickrolled so many times I recognize the ‘XcQ’ in the Youtube URL, but I usually click it anyway because I actually like the song.  The songs ‘levan polkka’ and “Dragostea Din Tei” are better known to me as, respectively, Leekspin and Numa Numa.  However, memes outside the Internet have existed for even longer, though they might not have had as global a reach.  Folklore, clapping games, obscene graffiti, “Kilroy was here”, and that weird angular S that everyone draws in elementary school even though no one knows where it originally came from?  All memes.

 

20-minute or less meme hacks by Sheela Preuitt / a yellow tone stick figure and a photograph of five multi ethnic children frame with 8-bit frames against a purple backgroundSo what makes a meme, especially in the age of the internet?  Well… anything, really.  Take an image, slap some text on it of varying degrees of absurdity, and see if the internet likes it.  It can also be a saying, a reference to a movie, or a meme within a meme within a meme.  I’m sure plenty of people with specialized degrees have tried to explain memes, but I feel it’s somewhat hard to explain why I laughed until I wheezed at a self-portrait of 18th-century artist Joseph Ducreux with the text ‘Oh hot reservoir/This is my jelly’ over it.  Maybe it’s because I grew up with Monty Python and enjoy surreal humour; maybe it’s just because the first principle of comedy is surprise.  Either way, kids can try their hand at creating their own memes with a little help from 20-Minute (or Less) Meme Hacks by Sheela Preuitt.

 

two images stacked on top of one another. the top photo is of actor sean bean as boromir from the film The Lord of the Rings the Fellowship of the Ring, captioned with "one does not simply walk into morder". the lower picture is of actor Hayden Christensen playing Anakin Skywalker in the film Star Wars The Revenge of the Sith, standing in front of a flowing lava field, with the caption "you underestimate my power." Memes concerning celebrities and pop culture are, naturally, quite popular.  Sean Bean - as Boromir from Lord of the Rings – telling the viewer that one does not simply walk into Mordor became so popular that Google put it into their map system as an Easter egg when trying to get walking directions to Mordor (sadly it doesn’t seem to work anymore).  Other examples include Woman Yelling at Cat (a combo meme featuring Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast members juxtaposed with a puzzled-looking white cat called Smudge), Sad Keanu, Strutting Leo, and recently, Bernie Sanders and his inauguration mittens.  And fortunately, sometimes memes can be used for good: merchandise referencing the Sanders meme has helped to raise money for organizations for seniors, dogs, and LGBTQ+ youth.

 

Because he's jeff goldblum by Travis M. Andrews cover / a drawn caricature of actor jeff goldblum wearing an orange suit, in front of a blue fieldOne celebrity who often makes an appearance in memes is Jeff Goldblum, star of Jurassic Park and some other less important stuff. Jurassic Park spawned at least three memes featuring Jeff Goldblum: You Did It; Life, Uh, Finds a Way; and, of course, Shirtless Ian Malcolm.  There’s even a melodica version of the Jurassic Park theme song, played over the scene where they first see the dinosaurs, that was briefly viral and still makes me laugh helplessly before I even hit play… but back to Jeff Goldblum. In May, the book Because He’s Jeff Goldblum by Travis M. Andrews will be released, detailing Goldblum’s life and just why he’s so memeable.

 

There’s so many memes out there that a single blog can’t possibly do more than scratch the surface.  I could, in fact, write an entire blog just about loss.jpg and how the sequence of characters | || || |_  actually means something to me.  There are entire Tumblr essays about how memes can be combined and build on each other into a memeception that would make absolutely no sense to anyone not into that particular culture at that particular time.  Perhaps that’s what makes memes so enduring as a whole, even if the majority of individual memes explode and die in weeks or even days: the versatility of putting text on an image and seeing if it makes other people laugh.

 

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.

 

Enjoy!

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It’s been a long winter and an even longer year, spent mostly cooped up inside due to various lockdowns and stay-at-home orders.  But though we’re still battling the coronavirus, getting outside into the sunshine and fresh air is important, even if we have to do it spaced apart.  Unfortunately trips to take the garbage out don’t count, according to my mom, but I have a good excuse to get outside in an isolated area: my horse and his propensity to find every single burr in the field, get it in his mane and tail, and turn into a unicorn.

 

Getting kids outside is especially important for their health, both physical and mental.  Even a quick walk around the block can lower blood pressure, boost energy, and improve your state of mind.  With winter retreating, the sun is getting stronger and there’s nothing as invigorating as turning your face up to the spring sunshine (just make sure you wear sunscreen and don’t look directly at the ball of burning light).  Although kids have had to adjust how they play and who they can play with, getting them outside – with family, if possible – will benefit everyone.

 

outside you notice by erin alladin / a watercolour painting of a young girl with braids sitting in the branches of a treeTowards the end of April, Pyjama Press is publishing Outside, You Notice by Erin Alladin and illustrated by Andrea Blinick.  A combination of lyrical observations of nature and quick nonfiction facts, the book encourages kids to get outside and explore, from their own backyards to woods, fields, and public trails. Erin Alladin graciously did a presentation for LSC during our Children’s Display Day on the 18th.

 

Wild Outside by Les Stroud / an animated version of Les Stroud flanked by various wild animals from around the worldLes Stroud, Survivorman on OLN and Discovery, recently published Wild Outside a book for kids detailing some of his adventures in the wild, along with nature facts and tips for safely observing local wildlife.  These adventures include being stalked by a jaguar, traversing the desert in search of weaverbird eggs to eat, and even being chased by a moose!  While most kids won’t encounter anything that extreme, they can still respectfully check out their local birds, small animals, and plant life.

 

On the other hand, some kids aren’t very outdoorsy, and that’s okay.  As a kid and teen, I often took a beloved book and relaxed out on the back deck while I read, but I was never big on activities like camping, or sports that didn’t involve animals.  There’s nothing wrong with bringing traditionally indoor activities like painting, writing, or board games outside, to backyards or local parks.  And while most parents would like their kids to have less screen time, the portability of modern electronics means video games and TV can go just about anywhere.

 

Nature heals by Blue Owl / a young person sits on the edge of a rock in a mountain range with a wild sky stretching out before them After a year of disrupted schooling and isolation, parents are rightly worried about the mental health of their kids.  Many libraries have books on mindfulness, anxiety, and relaxation for kids.  Combining those topics with nature and the outdoors, Blue Owl Books published the Nature Heals series in January, featuring activities like camping, gardening, and simply listening and watching. 

 

 

slow down by rachel williams / an illustration of the various stages of a butterfly life cycleWe live in a fast-paced world and sometimes everyone – kids and adults – needs a reminder to slow down and take in the beauty of the natural world.  The book Slow Down: 50 Mindful Moments in Nature by Rachel Williams helps kids do just that.  Each spread illustrates a unique moment in time that we can appreciate by slowing down, whether that’s the appearance of a rainbow after the rain, or a shooting star flying across the night sky.

 

So if you’re feeling sluggish and everyone’s sick of looking at a screen, head outside on a nice sunny day.  Take a walk, get down in the dirt, or stretch out in the backyard with a good book and your favourite drink.  If anyone needs me, I’ll be at the farm, pulling endless burrs off my horse.

 

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.

 

Enjoy!

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There’s a common misconception (among those who don’t use them) that libraries are a product of a bygone era, good only for books and fairly useless in today’s high-tech age.  This isn’t true, as anyone who’s stepped foot in a library in the past decade can tell you.  Beyond print books, libraries offer audiobooks, AV like DVDs and video games, and even toys and games. 

 

They are community hubs where you can learn how to write a resume, how to use a computer, and how to create art ranging from knitting to 3D printing.  Libraries provide a space for anyone to use, no matter their income; offering study groups, tutoring lessons, children’s activities, or just a warm place out of a cold Canadian winter.

 

One way that libraries are changing to meet current technical needs is by offering kits that can be borrowed just like a book.  These kits can contain a multitude of things, including educational toys, STEAM activity books, and technological gadgetry like the Raspberry Pi and solar robots.  Kits can also be more party-based, like with green screen props; focused on music like the ukulele; or even a collection of family games like a kid-friendly magnetic darts board.

 

Discovery kits are a good way for libraries to help support the school curriculum in their community.  Kits can cover a wide range of subjects, from chemistry to astronomy to minerals, crystals, and rocks.  You can even go on a dinosaur dig in the comfort of your own home!  The hands-on aspects of these kits help kids learn by doing, but for those that are more reader-inclined, discovery kits also include print books.

 

Steve Spangler's Super Cool Science Experiments for Kids / pictures of simple science experiments engulfed in lightningFortunately, science and art are perennial topics, with books published each season for both kids and adults.  In Steve Spangler’s Super Cool Science Experiments for Kids, children 8-12 can find dozens of experiments ranging from the world’s simplest motor to an artificial lung to eggshell geodes.  Instructions are simple to follow, cleanup is easy, and each project includes an explanation of how it works and a fun Did You Know? factoid.

 

For those with mathematical minds, DK is publishing Math Maker Lab in July. Suitable for ages 10 and up, the book offers 25 creative projects and experiments designed to make learning about math fun. Projects include a times-table dreamcatcher, a multiplication machine, and the ability to draw impossible objects.

 

Crayola Create it Yourself / two children displaying home made craftsArtier kids may be interested in Crayola’s Create It Yourself, with a colourful project for every week of the year organized by the seasons.  Projects include a DIY fish tank using moldable air-drying clay for the fish, a puffy paint rainbow, and melted crayon ornaments.

Adults can get in on the fun by working on projects with their kids (or by themselves; no judgement, says the woman with a 2-foot cardboard T. rex on her side table) or by looking for kits geared towards adults at their local library.  These kits can include textile art like quilting or cross-stitch; gardening complete with seed packets; or even tool kits for DIY home repairs.

 

Libraries are a vital part of the community.  They provide safe spaces, community outreach, and, yes, books.  Libraries are ever-evolving and working to support their communities, so if you haven’t been to one in a while, take a trip there and see what they have to offer. 

 

For clients looking to supplement their kits, LSC offers SLIST 44667: 82 titles on science, math, textile art, and more!  Kits themselves can be created by special request; please contact our new ARP Coordinator Julie Kummu, or Selection and Customer Service Manager Jamie Quinn.

 

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.

 

Enjoy!

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Everyone is working their way through a new set of to-do lists that look nothing similar to what they were doing in early March. Many budgets have been shifted to electronic collections that patrons could take advantage of during the time library doors were closed. Now that libraries are reopening, staff members are juggling the tasks of filling holds, managing quarantine, cleaning of materials, and trying to figure out how best to spend the remaining collection budgets in a short time frame.

 

LSC’s selectors are trained professionals in spending collection budgets. Their help, with a few LSC tools, can maximize your budget whether you have had to cut, remain the same, or were able to add funds.

 

LSC’s Administrative Console is a very useful tool for budget tracking. The ADMN login is additional to your regular OLSC login and has many handy features, especially the real-time budget tracking. By quickly entering your budget amounts per fund, you can see how much is spent, how much is outstanding, how much has shipped, and more. This quick glance makes making decisions like moving money to another fund, easier.

 

In addition to the publisher catalogue selection lists we produce every week, LSC releases Bargain Books selection lists every 2 weeks that feature backlist and newer titles available at steep discounts. This lists can be especially useful to supplement children’s programming, or to backfill series. You will continue to find our regular monthly LSC catalogues like Mass Market, DVDs, Large Print, Small Press, Graphic Novels and more on our website as well as on Issuu. You'll also find the lists for all Findaway products including Wonderbooks, Launchpads and newly released Reading Academy. 

 

LSC HomepageFrom the front page of LSC’s website, you’ll see featured topical selection lists based on current world events and social relevancy like Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ+, Trans Support, Indigenous Voices, and more. The selectors put these together using resources to ensure they are valuable additions to Canadian library collections. Aside from the topical lists, the selectors can make specific suggestions for your library based on circulation data, budget or collection type. In their ARP selections and suggestions for budget management, they ensure, especially where budgets have been cut, that libraries are still receiving top of the market and popular material.

 

We do anticipate some publication date changes in the seasons ahead, as COVID has affected printing schedules industry-wide. LSC will do our best to communicate these changes to you, and make sure your orders are preserved. LSC’s selectors are here to help. If you need carts put together, specific selection lists created, or simply advice on how to proceed with a smaller budget, they are here to help alleviate some of that stress. Just reach out.   

 

And now, some collection specific updates from the Selectors.

 

Angela Stuebing, ARP Coordinator and Graphic Novel Selector:
Nightschool: Weirn Books Vol 1Graphic Novels are as popular as ever for readers both young and old, and are continuing to be released on a regular basis.  We have specifically seen an increase within the Juvenile collection.  There are so many fantastic titles from some of our favourite authors such as Svetlana Chmakova who wrote the Berrybrook Middle School series (Awkward #1Brave #2; Crush #3).  The first book in the new Weirn Books series shouldn’t be missed as part of your collection either!

 

Young Adult/Adult Graphic Novels should not to be forgotten when looking to boost your current event displays, both in the library and on your website.  The recent announcement of the Eisner Award Winners has overlapped with some of the LSC produced topical lists.  Some highlights include: Best Publication for Teens and Best Writer winner Laura Dean Keeps’ Breaking Up with Me, and Best Graphic Album winner Are You Listening.

Rachel Seigel, Adult Fiction Selector:
The CompanionsFiction publishing has felt the impact of the COVID shutdowns, primarily in the form of delays and cancellations. Many titles that had previously been announced for publication from late winter onwards have been either pushed back to fall or into 2021, but there will be plenty of regular print titles and big name releases to fill out budgets. Thanks to the quarantine, there is renewed attention on “pandemic novels” such as the buzzy new novel The Companions by Katie Flynn which focus on the effects of massive global outbreaks on a population.

 

The areas that have been more severely impacted by cancellations and postponements are mass market and large print where we’ve definitely seen a reduction in available titles. If your library has a large budget devoted to these categories, this might be a good time to look at series gap-filling, or bumping up copies of popular titles.

 

Karrie Vinters, AV Selector:
While theatre closures may have affected box office titles, the rest of the film world seems to be keeping up just fine. Direct-to-DVD, TV series, documentaries and re-releases of classics seem to be releasing as per usual, with maybe fewer children’s titles than normal. Libraries may want to consider opening up their collections to these other areas in order to get their budgets spent. TV series on Blu-ray and DVD are on the rise, with more people staying home and ‘binge-watching’ their favorite shows, both old and new.

 

Playstation 5 with controllerThere were some delays earlier this year regarding video game production, but the fall appears to be heavy with great new releases, including the new upcoming platforms Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X.  With so many people playing video games to pass their time, this would be a great place to increase spending as this collection is known to circulate very well. Similar to video games, some music releases that were slated for a spring release were delayed to the fall, so watch the upcoming music lists for these exciting titles.

 

Stefanie Waring, Non-Fiction Selector:
As an introvert, I like being at home and I keep myself busy; I cross-stitch, write, og jeg lærer til og med norsk (my grammar is atrocious but I have a lot to say about bears).  But with COVID, many more social people are now stuck at home, looking for something to do with themselves and/or their kids.  This has led to a rise in nonfiction about activities at home, both in terms of homeschooling and in terms of stuff to do that isn't just gaming and binging Netflix.

 

Although schools have reopened, their situation is in constant flux and so libraries are especially interested in nonfiction for all ages that supports the school curriculum, including the new commitment to teaching elementary-school kids how to program.  Outside of school, science - especially nature science - has risen in popularity, many people are discovering new recipes, and there's even been an uptick in witchcraft and spirituality.  With the shift towards people working from home, I also anticipate that upcoming seasons will see more nonfiction on remote work, technology that allows it, and how to be productive outside of the office environment.

 

Sara Pooley, Children’s Product Manager:
The CousinsAs a mother of 4 kids myself, I was incredibly thankful and privileged to have a variety of fiction books while stuck in quarantine at home. This helped pass the time and entertain all the girls (and get them off their devices!) However, there are only so many times you can read the same story before you want or need something new. While my one daughter discovered Percy Jackson for the first time (contact me for if you want to refresh your collection with this classic series), my other daughter discovered a love of thriller/murder and young adult horror. Some of her favourites have been Killing November, a thriller set in a secretive boarding school by Adrianna Mather.  The sequel Hunting November was published in May this year. My daughter also loved One of Us is Lying, along with the sequel One of Us is Next by Karen McManus.  She is very excited to read a new book also by Karen McManus; Cousins, a YA book full of family secrets and mystery, coming this December.

 

Little SquirrelAs happy as I am to see Young Adult Fiction taking off during this pandemic, my other favourite collection has not fared as well: board books. Because of the tactile nature (babies love to gnaw and touch these highly engaging books), they have naturally taken a hit, so libraries have cut back spending in this area. I can only speculate that caregivers with babies who would have traditionally taken part in a library “Books for Babies” initiative which allows play, talk and browsing, are not braving the holds queue at the moment for books that harbor germs. That said, if budget allows, there are two amazing new board book titles through Orca that would make great additions: Little Owl and Little Squirrel, part of the All Natural series by Britta Teckentrup.  

 

Julie Kummu, World Languages:
World Language/Multilingual purchasing has continued to rise over the past few years as libraries strive to maintain and enhance the provision of multilingual materials within their communities. LSC has also recognized this need and responded with offering services such as: including original script in MARC records; cover art for multilingual materials; transliteration stickers; selection lists; and, more frequent shipments throughout the year. While the availability for print materials continues to grow, there is a significant downward trend in the amount of AV materials produced in NTSC format & legally copyright for Canada.

 

As countries around the world continue to deal with the impact of COVID, acquisition of multilingual materials in 2020 has been challenging process. Many countries have been forced to lockdown for months, as a result multilingual publications and shipments have been delayed. This continues to be a fluid situation, as second waves are being reported and possible additional closures are required.  LSC is in contact with our multilingual suppliers on a regular basis, receiving updates as the situation continues to evolve.  As information is communicated to us, we will reach out libraries to let them know if there are any difficulties supplying certain materials; at this time, we will provide various options on how we can proceed temporarily to complete the 2020 budget year. 

 

Since we have re-opened in June, LSC has continued to receive a steady flow of multilingual materials, which so far has included materials in the following languages, but is not limited to:  French, Chinese, Spanish, Persian, Hindi, Panjabi, Tamil, Russian and Hebrew.

 

Libraries have had a hard time, and will be living with the ramifications of the lockdown and continued COVID safety measures for months, if not years. As a not-for-profit, LSC is focused on helping in whatever way we can. If you need additional help for a couple weeks, a month, six months, however long, we can take things off your plate and ensure that new materials continue to arrive in a state that saves you money, time, and stress. We will build lists, build carts, develop temporary ARPs, take on cataloguing, processing, whatever you need for however long you need it. It hasn’t been an easy time for us either, but together we’ll be alright.

 

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 weekly Green Memo, 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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Back in January 2020, COVID-19 was just something on the news, happening in a far-away country.  We knew about it, we sympathized with Wuhan, but it seemed like just another flu-type illness.  By February, it was hitting closer to home: a coworker’s sister, who lives in Italy, was under lockdown and the WHO had declared the outbreak a global public health emergency.  Mass cancellations of public events and the closure of schools followed, and by mid-March COVID-19 was officially a global pandemic, sparking lockdowns all over the world.  Even as we head into summer now, restrictions remain in place for many people, including social distancing measures and the requirement of face coverings.

 

So what exactly is COVID-19?  In broadest terms, it’s a coronavirus, part of a large family of viruses named for their spiky appearance.  According to the CDC, there are four main sub-groupings of coronaviruses – alpha, beta, gamma, and delta – and seven types that affect humans.  229E and NL63, both alpha coronaviruses, and OC43 and HKU1, beta coronaviruses, are the most common and usually cause mild respiratory symptoms.  The three remaining coronaviruses, however, are the dangerous ones, evolving from infecting animals to infecting humans.  These three are MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2, aka COVID-19.

 

Which is a lot of science to try to explain to kids who haven’t been in school, or seen friends and family, since the lockdown began. Add to this a number of new terms that have been introduced to our lexicon, including social distancing and flattening the curve, and it’s a glut of information to take in even for an adult.  To help kids understand these terms, and COVID-19 as a whole, ABDO Kids is releasing two series: The Coronavirus, aimed at grades 2 and under, and Core Library Guide to COVID-19, for kids in grades 4-8.  The Coronavirus series includes information on the virus itself as well as information on staying connected, maintaining healthy habits, and distance learning.

 

The Core Library Guide series goes more in-depth for older kids.  Understanding COVID-19 examines why the virus is so dangerous, and what steps scientists and medical professionals have been taking to combat it.  Flattening the Curve explains this and other measures people can take to help stop the spread of the disease, or at least slow it down to help keep hospitals from being overwhelmed.  Other books in the series include Front-Line Heroes and The Economic Impact of COVID-19.

 

Beyond avoiding social activities and large groups, some ways that everyone can help slow the spread include proper hygiene and face coverings.  COVID-19 is destroyed by the simple act of washing your hands with soap and water.  Teaching kids hygiene has always been important, but especially so now.  To aid in this, check out How Does Soap Clean Your Hands? by Madeline J. Hayes and Srimalie Bassani.  For more of an overview of germs and diseases, The Germ Lab by Richard Platt and John Kelly offers plenty of fun facts and great illustrations.

 

All these sudden changes and dire warnings can cause anxiety even in kids (and adults) not prone to worry.  This is understandable, but parents will likely want to help their kids feel more confident and reassured.  In October, Vancouver author-illustrator Scot Ritchie will release Follow Your Breath!: a First Look at Mindfulness.  An introduction to mindfulness, the book will help kids learn how best to manage stress and remain calm even when upset.  Other upcoming books to help kids manage their feelings include The Worry (Less) Book by Rachel Brian, Mindfulness For Children by Sarah Rudell Beach, and Puppy In My Head by Canadian author Elise Gravel.

 

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 weekly Green Memo, and we hope you check back each and every week on this site for our latest musings on the publishing world.

 

Stay safe!

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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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