Library Services Centre

Are you passionate about books and reading, and if so, are you interested in helping us shape our bestseller lists? If you are, we have an opportunity for you. We are seeking new members for the adult and juvenile bestseller committees currently working in a library setting who can apply their diverse perspectives to selecting new titles for our catalogues.

LSC’s Bestseller committees are made up of librarians along with the LSC selectors, and we meet 3x a year in over Zoom to discuss the forthcoming titles for the winter, spring/summer and fall publishing seasons.  We typically meet in October, January, and June, and the meetings last about 60-90 minutes with the discussed titles making up the committee picks section of our bestseller catalogues.

Bestsellers typically don’t need a lot of discussion. There are certain authors each season we all readily agree should be on a bestseller list, and in knowing this, we felt that our we could make better use of our members expertise and experience by giving them an opportunity to showcase some of their personal picks in the unique committee picks section of the bestseller lists rather than wasting time talking about Danielle Steel or James Patterson.

During the meeting, members have the opportunity to discuss their personal fiction and non-fiction picks with the other members, and to offer a brief explanation of what drew them to their picks. Whether it’s a buzzy debut, a hot-button topic, or just something that you personally want to read, the only criteria is that the title be suitable for the average Canadian library.

Now you might be wondering how you know what titles to pick, especially if you don’t personally meet with sales reps or do selection. Not to worry! We supply you with everything you need. Approximately one week prior to the meeting we provide you with a central login to Booknet Catalist where we will have posted our pre-selections for the bestseller lists in each category. We will also give you links to the current publisher catalogues on Catalist where you can review the titles and select your picks.

We suggest selecting up to 10 fiction and 10 non-fiction titles to discuss for the adult list, and up to 10 picture books, middle grade novels, and young adult novels for the juvenile, but being book lovers ourselves, we know that sometimes it’s hard to narrow it down. While we may not be able to discuss each title individually, we share our selections on Catalist and form the lists from there. One of the things that we most appreciate about the committee picks is the uniqueness of the selections, and a chance to highlight something we may otherwise have overlooked.

If all this sounds interesting but you’re worried about making a long-term commitment, be assured that we aren’t asking you to sign your life away. A term can last up to three years, but we also appreciate that you are volunteering your time and life/work gets in the way, and you can opt-out at any time. We also appreciate that you may not be able to make every meeting over the course of a term, so you don’t have to worry about losing your spot if you have to miss one or two.

We currently have two openings on the adult and one on the juvenile committees, and positions will be filled on a first come, first serve basis. If all of this sounds up your alley and you’re interested in joining or finding out more, please contact me at rseigel@lsc.on.ca.

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