Blog - Library Services Centre

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

 

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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On April 8th, the government of Ontario declared a third provincial emergency, and  issued new stay-at-home restrictions for the province except in cases of essential services. Having reviewed the new guidelines, LSC continues to comply with the requirements, and will not be closing.

 

Since reopening in June 2020, we have positioned ourselves to comply with the most vigorous health and safety requirements of the Region of Waterloo public health and the Ontario Ministry of Health, in order to remain open except in the case of a mandatory lockdown, as in the spring of 2020.

 

This has included:

  • Only essential personnel on-site,
  • Screening every employee when they enter the building,
  • Physical distancing of employees inside the building, and capacity limits for all areas of the building,
  • Face covering, cleaning, and disinfection.

As with every announcement of new restrictions, we understand that this will impact the library operations of our clients differently. Please contact Michael Clark if you require a pause to shipping, changes to receiving instructions, or anything other needs you may have during this period.

 

We are here to help in whatever way we can.

 

Stay safe and stay healthy.

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LSC is proud to announce that as of January 2021 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.

 

Backstory

 

The Truth and Reconciliation commission delivered its report in Dec 2015. This report included the 94 Calls to Action. A little over a year later, the Canadian Federation of Library Associations delivered its own report reacting to the TRC, and included 10 of their own calls to action. This report was endorsed by 37 associations and organizations across Canada.

 

This project, to create respectful Indigenous Subject Headings, is meant to be a step towards fulfilling the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation. It specifically is designed to achieve one of the CFLA calls to action, action 5: “libraries should strive to decolonize access and classification.” While it is beyond our power to reorganize Dewey (though we have worked with several libraries who have created their own bespoke classification schemes), subject headings are another matter entirely.

 

We were asked for a number of years by the majority of our clients for a solution. Especially because a solution does not appear to be forthcoming from our national standard makers. LAC has been reviewing Indigenous terminology since at least 2007. As of 2019, LAC continues to say that consolations are on-going, with no timetable for when they will make recommendations to changes in Canadian Subject Headings. Likewise, as of 2020 RVM has said they are forming working groups. For many of our clients, this wasn’t good enough.

 

In the mean time some libraries had begun to work on the project themselves, in isolation or with regional partners. Prominently in this regard is the University of Manitoba, who established their own working group in 2013, unveiled a prosed list in 2016, and implemented it in 2018. In general, universities were able to get working on this project earlier than public libraries as, in general, universities have the funding and bandwidth to tackle such a major project. That being said, many libraries across Canada are at some stage of this project themselves, examples include PEI, Toronto, Regina, Greater Victoria, Peterborough, and so on. 

 

LSC’s Project

 

In 2018, LSC’s position was to wait for LAC to provide a national standard or at least recommendations. It was our understanding at the time that an announcement would be made soon. In 2019, the announcement was that there were no timelines. This spurred LSC to action. As a non-Indigenous Canadian company, LSC recognizes Canada’s colonial history and our place within it. We recognize how existing library standards continue to subjugate Indigenous Peoples by perpetuating names appointed by settlers, and have chosen to take action to affect real and substantial change within our industry. LSC feels the act of appropriate, respectful representation for indigenous peoples in library records is long overdue. This correction to years of misidentification of cultures and peoples is too important not to take action upon. Doing nothing was simply no longer an option.

 

Why did we feel that we had any purview to undertake such a project? LSC has what amounts to one of the largest cataloguing departments in Canada. We catalogue - item in hand – 50,000 new titles a year and work with over 120 libraries across Canada. When we were created 50-odd years ago, it was to be a cataloguing and processing house, and while we have grown over the years into a full service vendor, we have a longevity of experience cataloguing, and cataloguing for scale.

 

At OLA 2019, we made contact with representatives from the Greater Victoria Public Library, who were developing their own list building on the work done by University of Manitoba as well as other consultations. With the idea that good work builds on good work, GVPL’s list was open source, and so we were able take it and adapt it. We undertook a research project, both reaching out to others who had been working on similar projects, and using the GVPL list as a base. At the same time, requests for these headings increased from clients.

 

By OLA 2020, we were able to announce that we would be able to start testing and implementing our list within six months. Then COVID happened. LSC was shut down by provincial order from March until June, and much of our energy after June was invested in getting our operations back up and running, and adapting not only our own COVID safety requirements, but those individual needs of our libraries, in different provinces with different levels of restrictions that were constantly in flux. However, despite the delays, we were able to take our list live in Jan 2021, and have been in full implementation since.

 

It is critical to note here that these are not in any way official headings. They are not approved by CSH or LOC. They are empathetic headings. LSC has been doing empathetic cataloguing based on the individual needs of libraries for years. This is the first time we have pushed out an empathetic service to our entire client base. It is also important to note that our original position stands: we have neither the authority nor the inclination to say that our headings are the final and best option. This is a living project that will continue to evolve over time, until such time that LAC, RVM, and LOC finish their consultations and provide national standards. A considerable amount of the technical work we did was to ensure that when a national standard is revealed, we’ll be able to update or override our headings with the new ones.

 

We worked with our ILS provider to create a way that we could uniquely input the new headings, and flip those headings into standard fields when sent to a library. So, when we create a new record, the colonial headings continue to be entered in a 6xx field, and we flag the heading with a $9x. This tags this headings in our system, so we can more easily locate it in the future. The new headings are entered as local headings in a 69x field.

 

When the MARC record is sent to a client, our system converts the 69x field into the appropriate corresponding 6xx field, and is coded with a 4 in the second indicator position. What our clients see are just the 6xx fields, either with a $9x which doesn’t affect how the record appears in your ILS, or with an indicator 4 to identify it as a non-LOC or CS heading. Why go to all this trouble? So that when a national standard is released, our systems department can map that list both to ours and to the older headings, and update the whole system in one fell swoop. And that includes working with libraries to updates the records in their ILS, which I’ll get to in a minute.

 

What does our list look like? As I mentioned, the base of our list was the GVPL list, which in turn took into consideration the work done by the University of Manitoba and others. Not every institution has publicly shared their lists, and we are grateful for GVPL for sharing theirs. In their spirit, our list is not strictly proprietary. We are not publicly sharing it, however we would be happy to let any library who is interested in seeing the list have a look; please contact Jessica Philyaw, Cataloguing Manager.

 

We would ask if you do, that you provide feedback. Perhaps your institution is already doing this work themselves, perhaps you are curious to see what others are doing. We are curious as to what everyone is doing. Everyone will have different regional priorities. What is most important to Saskatchewan won’t be what is most important to New Brunswick. We consider this to be an on-going, collaborative project, and consider the current version of the list version 1. We are fully prepared to issue updates to the list as needed, and the best source for updates come from feedback and further research.

 

That being said, the current list features nearly 2000 altered, updated, or created headings. The priority focus here are Indigenous peoples in Canada, but North America is well represented. There are an additional 500 headings for South America, and GVPL had identified a long list of global Indigenous groups for whom no work has been done yet. The nature of the new headings adheres to the notion of “call people what they want to be called, not what you want to call them.” Some headings, like “Indians of North America” have been removed entirely. A common question we have gotten is, what is the logic we use to apply “Indigenous peoples” vs specific groups, or headings like “First Nations”, “Metis”, or “Inuit”? We use “Indigenous peoples” as the most general heading. “First Nations”, “Metis”, or “Inuit” would be used on items that are primarily about those groups. And of course, the preference is always to use the specific individual names for groups and bands whenever possible.

 

Stage One

 

These new headings have been live since Jan 2021. In that time, they have been added to all relevant, newly created MARC records. They have been delivered to our clients without additional charge as part of our cataloguing service. This will be our standard service moving forward. Until such time as a national standard is developed, we are delivering both the older colonial headings and the new headings in our records. If a library wishes, they can elect to receive only the new headings, and approx. 25% of our clients have thus far decided this is what they want. It doesn’t matter to us which way it happens, and those decisions are for each library to make for themselves. Internally, we’ve been updating records created before Jan 2021 with the new headings, prioritizing items from the last five years as they are more likely to be wanted by libraries than older materials.

 

Stage Two

 

This stage depends on you, the libraries of Canada, retrospectively updating their catalogue with the new respectful headings. We are also undertaking several retrospective projects with libraries, to update the records already in their ILS with the new headings. As this requires a considerable amount of manual work on the part of our staff, we are currently charging for this service, and will provide a quote to any library interested. The quote will be based on the number of records in your collection that need updating, and is priced for cost-recovery. Critically, because we are only providing updates based on standardized subject headings, we can do this retrospective work with any library regardless if they are a current client, and if they created the MARC record themselves or received it from another vendor. If you want to know more about how LSC can help with retrospective work, please contact Jessica Philyaw.

 

Stage Three and Beyond

 

based on feedback, the list will be updated as needed. At the time of updating, we would be in contact with libraries and provided the updated headings where needed. And once a national standard comes along, we will work with libraries to ensure the smooth transition from one list to another. It will be work for us down the line, but work we have accepted to do, because it was becoming increasingly clear that no action in this regard was worse than action that might have to be changed or repeated.

 

Looking beyond Indigenous headings, we have already started to receive requests from clients to do a similar empathic headings project for Queer headings. Right now, based on our research, there is less consensus in the community as to what terms would be preferred, and we are working on getting involved with libraries that have made their own lists, or are forming working groups. Still, viable headings of this sort are likely some years away. Likewise, the headings related to immigration are in need of improvement. In 2016, LOC gave recommendations to implement improvements, but they were not enacted due to American political pressures at that time. We shall have to wait and see if those changes are made official, but we at least have their recommendations that we can act upon.  

 

LSC is located on the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabe, and Attawandaron. LSC is located on the Haldimand Tract, the land promised to the Six Nations that includes six miles on both sides of the Grand River. We also serve libraries across Turtle Island, the lands now occupied by Canada. We recognize and respect the deep history and heritage that these lands bear, and also recognize that Indigenous peoples continue to shape and strengthen our communities. As Settlers, we're grateful for the opportunity to live and work here.

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Due to scheduled maintenance, our secure ordering services will be unavailable from Friday, November 6th at 9:00 pm until Monday, November 9 at 7:00 am.  

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


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


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

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

Changes to shipments

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

 

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


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


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


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


Stay safe
Michael Monahan, CEO

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

 

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

 

Please reach out to the following immediate contacts:

 

Fran Quinn, Customer Service Representative

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

 

Angela Stuebing, ARP Coordinator

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

 

Trish Hayes, VP of Marketing

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

 

Michael Clark, Sales and Marketing Representative

Sales and Marketing, general enquiries

mclark@lsc.on.ca

 

Services available during warehouse closure:

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

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

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

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

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

 

Special notes concerning some services:

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

 

For the immediate future:

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

We’ll speak to you soon.

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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LSC 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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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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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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