Donations bring books by BIPOC authors to library

Nat Wollenberg of 555 Brewing Company recently reached out to us with some great news. They have decided to donate proceeds from the sale of pizza pockets to the purchase of new books by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) authors to the library. The timing for this generous offer was perfect for a couple of reasons.

First, we have started to work on our five-year collection plan. Every five years or so we write a big picture collection plan, which provides an opportunity for us to look at the library’s collection and identify areas that need extra attention. For example, past plans have called for us to add more book club sets, or to transition from VHS tapes to purchasing new DVDs. We look at the trends we have noticed in requests for purchase that we have received, as well as changes in the community. For example, when we learned that French immersion was starting at Queen Elizabeth school we added more French language children’s books. Knowing that I wanted to include diversifying our collection in the plan, I have recently completed a course on conducting a diversity audit – looking at a library’s collection closely and evaluating whether we have a sufficiently diverse collection including areas of race, gender, socioeconomic status, and more. My classmates were from libraries across Canada and the United States, big and small – all working to diversify our collections.

The second reason the timing was so perfect is because while our buildings are closed we have been weeding our collection. This includes removing items that are worn, damaged, or outdated. Every library needs to do this regularly to keep their collections in good condition.

Typically most of the books that we purchase each year come from purchase requests from library patrons. This year we have also spent more of our book budget than usual on ebooks because for a period of time that was all we could access.

If you’re interested in helping refill our shelves please know we can’t accept book donations at this time. However, you can still help contribute to a fresh library collection. Consider donating your points at Books and Company, or a gift certificate, cash or cheque to cover the cost of a book. You can also go to 555 Brewing and purchase a pizza pocket!

We recently had a generous offer from the Ameliasburgh book club who offered to purchase a book club set on the condition that they got to read it first! We are happy to work with any book club who would like to make a similar donation or to borrow book club sets or request multiple copies through interlibrary loan.

If you have any comments or ideas about the library’s collection, please contact me by email ([email protected]) or call your local branch.

We are always interested in hearing your thoughts because the library’s collection is for the community.

-Liz Zylstra