Blog - Library Services Centre

When my youngest daughter celebrated her birthday earlier this year, one of her gifts was An Elephant and Piggie Biggie Biggie #2 a book I knew she would squee with delight about since she got An Elephant and Piggie Biggie #1 for Christmas and loved it. Throughout grade one she would bring home the single copies of Elephant and Piggie from her school library and even though she was reading beyond the level of these particular books, it didn’t matter because she found them hilarious so I knew the bind up would be a hit.

 

Elephant and Piggie Biggie Biggie 2This got me thinking about that next step up from picture books when children start learning to read on their own. Elephant and Piggie is a great choice when a child is first introduced to sentences and sounding words together, however, traditionally, many parents or caregivers will come into a library and ask/look for the classic levelled reader that you will find in the easy reader section.

 

So what exactly is an easy reader? Typically, these books are a smaller trim size (6X9), 24 - 32 pages in length and are levelled 1 to 4. Many publishers have them under series names such as “I Can Read”, “Step into Reading” or “World of Reading”. They are often limited in word and sentence length and the words are usually repeated throughout the text. My youngest daughter spent many visits over the last year at the easy reader shelf at the library and would look for the Disney Princesses, Pinkalicious, Angelina Ballerina and of course…Barbie.

 

Now I know you are probably rolling your eyes, and over the years I have heard many comments about these types of “media tie in/character type readers” and how there are “better” higher quality readers out there (and one could argue that there are). But what I have found is that no matter how many non-media type related books I introduced to all my girls (who have all grown into very different human beings), they still  asked for the Princesses and to be honest, if that got them reading, then so be it.

 

Aggie Morton, Mystery Queen: Body under the PianoFast forward and I currently have one daughter reading a graphic novel collection called Paper Girls by Brian K Vaughan, another is reading Call Down The Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater and the other is reading an advanced reading copy of a historical mystery called Body Under the Piano (Aggie Morton, Mystery Queen #1) by Marthe Jocelyn. Three very different girls who all took a turn at reading a Barbie easy reader. In saying all this, if you are looking for some non-media tie in readers, you might want to consider Cece Loves Science or Pete the Kitty Goes to the Doctor.

 

With all that being said, there are some really great engaging fun early readers that I wish had been available when my girls were younger. These types of readers are becoming more and more popular and are great for kids just starting out reading.

 

Unicorn and Yeti: Sparkly New FriendsWhat About Worms (Elephant and Piggie like reading).

 

The Acorn reading series from Scholastic, which is a step before the ever popular Branches series.

 

Unicorn and Yeti by Heather Ayris Burnell: Sparkly new Friends #1, A Good Team #2 and Friend’s Rock.

 

Dragon by Dav Pilkey: A Friend for Dragon #1, Dragon’s Fat Cat, Dragon Get’s By and Dragon’s Halloween.

 

The Jack Books by Mac Barnet: Hi Jack and Jack Blasts Off are just two of many.

 

Attack of the 50-Foot Fly GuyAnd don’t forgot Fly Guy by Ted Arnold.

 

We'd love to here about your easy reader success stories, either with patrons or family members. What did they start off readering, what did they progress to, and what are they reading now? Send your stories to mclark@lsc.on.ca and we'll feature them in a future blog!

 

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.

 

Take care!

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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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I am not a huge TV watcher but there are a few shows on Netflix and Prime that I enjoy and will tune into when I get a moment to sit down. During the last few months though I took the opportunity to get caught up on some of my “must watch” list of shows, one of these being “Cheer” on Netflix. My middle daughter did Cheerleading for three years and I had heard amazing things about this docuseries so I figured I would try an episode to see what all the fuss was about.

 

Within the first 15 minutes I was hooked and ended up binge watching the entire season. It was fantastic and immediately after I finished it I started googling the show, watched the cast on Ellen, with Oprah and finally watched Jerry interview Brad Pitt at the Oscars.  Jerry is a favourite for sure!

 

Since it was on my mind, it also got me thinking about how important sports are to kids, especially those kids who are risk and/or might not regularly attend school. What “Cheer” highlights is that there are so many kids out there with limited opportunities and if given the chance at playing a sport either at a high school level, competitive level or college, being part of a team will keep them from getting into trouble and making horrible personal decisions. Kids, whether they are 2 or 22 need guidance, structure, and acceptance and being part of team with a strong caring coach (and Coach Monica nails it) is so crucial for kids and their mental and physical development.

 

Watching this show also got me wondering about all the sports fiction titles being published that should be highlighted and talked about more. I will confess this is not a genre that I am familiar with nor do I read much of so I reached out to some of the publishing sales reps for their favourites and this is what they suggested.

 

Gravity by Sarah Deming is a young adult novel about a female boxer from a broken home who finds a new start after joining a gym and finding she has the ability to go all the way to the Olympics if she can just keep focused on what is important.

 

Running Full Tilt by Michael Currinder is another young adult novel about a boy as he discovers a love of long distance running, all the while navigating life in a new school, starting a new relationship with a possible girlfriend and dealing with his complicated relationship with his autistic older brother.

 

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander is the graphic novel adaptation of the Newbery Medal winning book about two African-American twin brothers, basketball and family.

 

My Best Friend and Other Illusions by Suri Rosen. This middle grade story follows a young girl named Charlie who is a budding acrobat who is desperate to attend a gymnastics camp that will help her to qualify for a spot in the renowned travelling circus Circo Circo. The problem is that her family cannot afford it so she must find a way to earn the money on her own.

 

Ice Chips series by Roy MacGregor. This is a great early chapter book series for kids just starting to read on their own. Perfect for kids who love all things hockey.

 

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson. The Newbery Honor Award Winner and New York Times bestseller is a heartwarming graphic novel about friendship and surviving junior high through the power of roller derby. 

 

Orca, has some wonderful High Interest Sports action stories for middle grade readers. Great Canadian authors focusing on everything from snowboarding to dirt biking.

 

If you haven’t watched “Cheer” I highly recommend it and I also hope you might consider a new display in your library highlighting some of these great sports titles.

 

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

 

“Cheers” to you all!

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LSC is proud to announce our Comic Book Subscription Service!

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

As part of this service, LSC will provide:   

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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As a mom of a toddler on the spectrum, recent life has been a crash course about neurodiversity. It’s painful to acknowledge that until recently, the main representation of autism in popular culture was the movie Rain Man, where Dustin Hoffman plays an autistic savant. Things have come a long way since then, but there is so much room for improvement. Still, only characters with “cute” special needs are reflected in popular media. Think Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory. What is never addressed is that our world is built for those who are “normal.”

 

Some treatments that were considered effective for autism therapy are being described by the now autistic adults who undertook the therapy as detrimental to their core being. Instead of focusing on inclusion and support, the focus was on compliance, but a tide is turning. Consider for example being nonverbal. Books like Ido in Autismland by Ido Kedar and The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida, both nonverbal young adults on the spectrum, have opened eyes globally. Both of them learned to express themselves (from basic needs to complex imaginative thoughts) through a simple alphabet chart. Previous to these books, there was a basic understanding among professionals that nonverbal meant non-understanding; meant non-intelligent.

 

Luckily, we have great author advocates like Meg Raby who released picture book My Brother Otto: An Autism Awareness Book this year. Otto is a young nonverbal crow on the spectrum. The book is told by his sister who describes his traits, likes and dislikes, and how much she loves him. He is pictured ordering bugs and cheese for lunch using an alternative communication device like an iPad. This picture book is ground breaking, in my opinion – the underlying message doesn’t leave you pitying Otto, it’s about two kids’ everyday experiences with an emphasis on kindness and understanding, one of them just happens to be autistic. It is also extremely refreshing to see an alternate mode of communication in popular media.

 

In a similar vein, I shared a copy of I See Things Differently: A First Look at Autism by Pat Thomas with my son’s daycare teachers for reading with his class. The gentle, informational approach describes the sensory challenges people on the spectrum deal with daily, how they might feel like an alien on their own planet sometimes, and how everyone needs a friend for love and support.

 

A less serious picture book we have enjoyed very much is Why Johnny Doesn’t Flap: NT is OK by Clay Morton. This book reverses the common depictions of neurodiversity by showing how a neurotypical (NT) kid is seen by his best friend on the spectrum. The narrator’s funny confusion at his NT friend’s habits (for example, his tardiness for showing up at 4:59pm or 5:01pm instead of 5pm on the dot) show that “normal” depends on who you ask. Similarly, we can all take a page from recent picture book My Shape is Sam by Amanda Jackson, about a square who wants to roll like a circle – but scratch that, Sam ISN’T a square or a circle, he’s just Sam! He doesn’t have to be what others want or expect him to be.

 

The point is, “normal” doesn’t exist anymore. Put your love and patience into high gear and show those who are flappy, nonverbal, hyper, and differently abled from you that you love them, want them around, and that the world is becoming a more inclusive place day by day. 

 

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

 

Until next time!

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Happy new year!

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On average there are 240 mass market titles published every month.  It can be a challenge and a huge time constraint to source these without going through multiple websites, publisher packages and catalogues. LSC has long offered comprehensive and customizable Mass Market Paperback and Graphic Novel services, with materials available for Adult, Teen, and Juvenile collections.

 

LSC is able to provide weekly shipments for these materials with no additional charges. This would enable the library to have titles on the shelf at an earlier date. These titles are available via Automatic Release Plan (ARP) or direct selection, and available with full cataloguing and processing if so desired. With some exceptions, the majority of both mass market and graphic novel items would qualify for full trade discount.

 

LSC has made the process a simple one for our customers by gathering all of the information together in one spot.  LSC has dedicated selection specialists who compile all mass market titles in the Adult, Teen, and Juvenile collections and turns them into a monthly catalogue. This catalogue lists titles two months in advance of their publication date. A Graphic Novel catalogue is produced to the same specifications.

 

Via the LSC service, title specific and series ordering is possible. We manage existing series by working with the library catalogue and LSCs database for previous titles ordered.  Based on the profile of each specific library, we are able to order at the branch level to continue series that have previously been purchased. New series will be ordered and continued, unless there is communication from the library that we should not continue with it (eg. The series is not circulating well at the library).

 

Within the catalogue the Adult section is sorted by genre.  The first section of the catalogue highlights top selling Quick Pick titles for the month.  Within the rest of the catalogue you will find sections for Fantasy, General Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction & Western.  We also include a Backlist section for those libraries who would like to refresh the titles by longstanding authors such as Louis L’Amour, Debbie Macomber and the 2-in-1 special issues from your favourite Harlequin authors.

 

To make the catalogue more user friendly and of use to the selector we have listed previous ISBNs for all titles within a series.  This is a quick way to find out if you carry the existing series, and where the series titles sits if you operate a branch-specific collection. For the Juvenile and Teen titles, we have also listed the age ranges for each title. Also noted, using an “FP code”, are titles which are first printings in the mass market binding.  This allows for a quick selection process when there is no overlap wanted between hardcover and trade paperback bindings.

 

LSC has specific vendors and publisher catalogues who focus on Canadian and Indigenous authors, which are typically listed in the LSC produced monthly catalogues. All Canadian titles are marked with a Canadian flag which make them easy to distinguish throughout the catalogue. Selectors also do independent audit of materials available to ensure we have the full breadth of titles available to libraries.  These titles are ordered based on the library profiles. While many of these titles come from well established publishers, a significant number of them will come from small publishers who do not have a regular output of these material types.

 

LSC deals with all of these small publishers because of our overall scope and because of our long standing specialist program focused on Canadian small presses.  This heightens our awareness of such titles and allows us to include them where other vendors might not see them. LSC does not impose discount terms on publishers before allowing them to participate in LSC automatic release plans.  Imposing discount terms on publishers has the direct impact of reducing the availability of titles from smaller Canadian publishers who do not match the discounts offered by large multinational publishers.  

 

In the new year, LSC will be implementing optional de-colonized Indigenous subject headings to our catalogue.  This will be the first step towards fully de-colonizing our cataloguing service. This vital process is not and should not be a simple process or serve as lip service towards actual reconcilable action. There are currently over 700 identified existing headings from the LC or Canadian subject headings that have more culturally reflective replacements, and over a thousand more awaiting updating. LSC will begin the process of using the corrected headings in new materials acquired and catalogued, and will expand to removing the headings from older records both internally and with client libraries in the future.

 

LSC can provide reporting on this collection as libraries require. If the library is doing their own selection, reports already available in the catalogue can be generated at a moment’s notice, and the Budget Maintenance feature will update your purchases against your set budget in real time. If you have an ARP, we can provide monthly updated ARP reports so that you can see the progress in spending for each ARP. These would all be broken out by collection and then by branch level.

 

ARPs are offered as a free service for this collection and has proven to be a popular one amongst existing customers.  The library and selection specialist will work together to set up a profile specific to your library needs.  Some options include ordering a range of titles based on the likes of your library and patrons; ordering a certain number of titles within a specific genre each month; Or giving a list of series that you would like to continue adding to your collection.

 

We have selection specialist dedicated to each of these materials. Mass Market Paperback items are not treated as a separate selection collection, but are an integrated component of the regular selection of fiction materials by those selectors. Graphic Novels are selected separately. Review of acceptable content for graphic novels according to each library’s intended audience is part of our process for all libraries receiving this collection type. The staff responsible for these collections are as follows:

 

Juvenile Mass Market

Sara Pooley, B.A. (Hons) M.L.I.S.,  Children’s Product Manager
Sara Pooley is responsible for the design and implementation of all LSC’s selection services that focus on Juvenile and Young Adult material. She produces Award Lists, Curriculum Lists and special replacement lists, including, the Children’s Bestsellers. After a two-year sabbatical during which she was the Health, Science and Education Librarian at London Public Library, Sara returned to LSC in May 2013 to retake her position in Selection Services as the Children’s Product Manager. Her work experience prior to LSC includes working as a children’s librarian and reference librarian in school and public libraries, in both England and Canada.

 

Adult Mass Market

Rachel Seigel, B.A. (Hons), Selection Specialist
Rachel Seigel is an avid reader and book enthusiast. She has over 15 years of experience doing children’s and adult fiction/non-fiction selections for elementary school, high school and public libraries spread across three Canadian wholesalers. She has chaired and served on a number of review and award juries, including most recently the Amy Mathers Teen Book Award and Best Books for Kids and Teens through the Children’s Book Center. In addition, she has written four educational non-fiction books for children, is a frequent contributor to Canadian Children’s Book News and co-hosts a weekly Middle-Grade Literature Chat on Twitter (under the handle @rachelnseigel). She also regularly contributes to Publishing Crawl Blog (www.publishingcrawl.com) along with several other authors and industry professionals. Her degree is in English Literature from York University.  She also has a Montessori Certificate from the Canadian Montessori Teacher Education Institute.

 

Graphic Novels

Angela Stuebing, Mass Market and Graphic Novels Product Manager
Angela Stuebing joined LSC in 2000. She has a background in Business and Marketing and over 15 years’ experience in the customer service field.  Angela spent several years in the Customer Service Department, most recently as the Customer Service Manager, which has given her extensive knowledge of LSC’s Flexpak Operating System.  In 2009, she moved to the position of the Mass Market and Graphic Novels Product Manager.  She is responsible for creating and promoting LSC’s Mass Market Program and the Automatic Release Plans.  Angela is a member of LSC’s Children’s Best Sellers Committee.  Angela has a library technician diploma from Conestoga College.

 

Any of these options, or a combination of all of these, can be discussed with an LSC selector and set up immediately.  While January is a great time to get the ordering started, we are flexible to work with you at any point throughout the year.  We can happily provide references to libraries currently and historically receiving these collections from LSC.


Please contact Angela Stuebing (519-746-4420 ext.631) for additional information related to setting up an Automatic Release Plan.

 

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When I was 16, a friend of mine asked me if I’d heard of NaNoWriMo.  It turned out that there was this event going into its second year called National Novel Writing Month, where the goal was to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days.  Both of us were writers and at 16, my only real time concern was being in my last year of high school, so we decided we would both sign up and attempt this challenge.

 

NaNo (as it’s known to us Wrimos) was small back then, at least compared to today; its inaugural year in July 1999 featured a whole 21 participants.  By the time I heard of it, I was one of 5000, and the event was being reported in the L.A. Times and the Washington Post.  I won that year with a terrible novel about vampires, a talking cabbage, and a hellhound named Fluffy, because when you need to write 50,000 words in a month, reality is the least of your concerns.  I’ve participated every year since, in both the original NaNo and in the spinoff Camp NaNoWriMo, which began in 2011 and allows me to choose my own wordcount goal rather than sticking to the 50K.  I’ve also won every year, sometimes legitimately, sometimes by cheating... I mean, rebelling.

 

In 2003, NaNo’s founder, Chris Baty, wrote No Plot? No Problem (updated and revised in 2016), a guide to writing a novel, whether in 30 days or not.  My copy hangs out on my overburdened bookcase along with Stephen King’s On Writing, Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, and Dreyer’s English. NaNo taught me a lot about writing a first draft quickly, including the fact that it will suck and that’s okay.  As King says, you write your first draft with the door closed.  And preferably locked, when you live with your parents or roommates who inevitably want to know what you’re doing (writing), why (because I want to), and if they can be characters in your story (no).

 

In past years, there’s usually been one or two news articles or blog posts questioning NaNo and whether it’s ruining the sanctity of the written word.  They usually point out that a novel written in 30 days probably isn’t very good, and also such a singleminded focus on length won’t improve that.  This is true.  A novel written in 30 days will be awkward and ungainly, full of run-on sentences, illogical actions, and plotholes you can drive a truck through.  Characters change names, appearances, and occasionally gender.  Authors forget how to English (or whatever their language is), as proved by the hilarious NaNoisms thread that pops up every year for participants to chronicle their worst typos and brainfarts.  At the end of the month, you have a novel that is certainly not in any state to be published, or even shopped around to agents.

 

That’s not the point.  The point of NaNo is to get yourself writing.  It’s to train yourself to sit down in your chair, put your hands on the keyboard, and write some words.  Sometimes that’s only a sentence.  Sometimes you drag out the first few (hundred) words and your muse finally engages and you’re off flying, words spilling out so fast your fingers can’t even keep up.  Either way, you’re doing something many people say they’ll do but never carve out the time to actually do it.

 

Of course, there are plenty of novels out there that started as NaNovels and were beaten into submission, polished, and published by real live publishers.  They include Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Wool by Hugh Howey, Cinder by Marissa Meyer, and many more.  And this year, though I haven’t actively been searching for any, I haven’t seen any handwringing about how NaNo is destroying writing as an art.  I have seen news articles, pep talks from famous authors, and library programs in areas like Burnaby, Montreal, and Cambridge’s Idea Exchange.  I’ve seen another official NaNoWriMo handbook in Brave the Page, a juvenile nonfiction guide and inspiration for middle graders.

 

In the 18 years I’ve been participating in NaNoWriMo, I’ve written almost 1 million words.  I’ve written halves of novels, full novels, short stories, novellas, 104K in a month, 50K in 6 days (Surgeon General’s Warning: not recommended unless you like uncontrollable tremors).  Whether I finish a full novel or rebel by rewriting older stories (or by writing blog posts), NaNo has taught me to just put my head down, stop complaining, and get it done.

 

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

 

Enjoy!

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At LSC, we endeavor to ensure that Canadian libraries have unparalleled access to Canadian content, whether that be materials by Canadians, about Canadians, or what is important to Canadians. Part of that commitment is improving access to materials by Indigenous Peoples. Thanks to some recent initiatives, we now have additional tools to help with that.

 

Back in June BookNet Canada announced a research project they had undertaken, to generate a list of materials specifically dealing with Canadian Indigenous topics. As a starting point, they used BISAC codes to isolate the sales data on materials associated with Indigenous or Native American/Canadian headings. They were then able to see how these materials have sold compared to other English language materials. Happily, from 2016, there have been consistent gains in sales for Indigenous themed material. Next, they pulled just the data from Junes 2018 to 2019, identified the top sellers and broke down the results into Fiction and Non-Fiction categories for Adult and Juvenile. The resulting four lists they are calling the Bestselling Indigenous Books in Canada.

 

They are quick to point out that only two of the forty items were not written by Canadian or Indigenous authors. They also point out that Canadian publishers are responsible for most of the items on the list. This is all to say, this list represents a collection of books in which Indigenous Peoples are telling their own stories, a critical and foundational aspect of decolonization.

 

For a more complete breakdown of their methodology, see their announcement post here. For your ease, we’ve put all four lists together into one single Slist, from which you can purchase the items directly. The Adult Fiction list includes recent favourites by Joseph Boyden and Thomas King, as well as brand new books like There, There by Tommy Orange, and Starlight by Richard Wagamese. The Non Fiction list is a fantastic list of items that would bolster any collection, including All Our Relations by Tanya Talaga, and Indigenous Relations by Bob Joseph.

 

The children’s lists consist of many items that I know are already being used in many elementary schools, including Fatty Legs by Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton and The Sharing Circle by Theresa Meuse. As well as newer titles that will hopefully find their ways into the hands of more young Canadians, like The Girl and the Wolf by Katherena Vermette and Go Show the World by Wab Kinew and Joe Morse.

 

In addition to this, the UN General Assembly has designated 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages. This resolution came about as “40 per cent of the world’s estimated 6,700 languages were in danger of disappearing— the majority belonging to indigenous peoples.” They hope to raise awareness of these languages and the cultures they represent internationally. You can see the full scope of their initiative here

 

Map: Chris Brackley/Can GeoIn Canada, 2011 census data shows that there are 60 active Indigenous languages, belonging to 12 root language families, spoken by 213,000 people across the nation. Canadian Geographic has put together a wonderful graphic mapping these languages, which can be viewed fully here (Image credit: Chris Brackley/Can Geo.)

 

To support this Year of Indigenous Languages, LSC has put together a list of recent and prominent Indigenous materials. This list of 101 items is a mix of Fiction and Non-Fiction, Adult and Juvenile, English and French. The items are all by Canadian Indigenous authors, again ensuring that people are telling their own stories. These items would form a powerful foundation to an Indigenous collection, and satisfies two of the UN’s five key action areas: “Increasing understanding, reconciliation and international cooperation”; and “Elaborating new knowledge to foster growth and development.”

 

LSC is committed to helping libraries decolonize and increase the representation in their collections. Indigenous languages are part of that commitment. We list Southern Cree, Inuktitut and Ojibway among the languages available through our World Languages program. We are constantly looking out for new materials from new and existing publishers, in Indigenous languages. As demand for this material grows, so will supply, and LSC will be there to help libraries build the best collections for their customers.

 

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

 

Yours, Fictionally

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