By Meredith Bratland
Library patrons in Central Alberta will soon be able to borrow from a selection of 64 books written or published close to home. Parkland Regional Library, the Writers’ Guild of Alberta, and The Book Publishers Association of Alberta have been working together since last fall to create a new display called Read Alberta Books. The display begins touring the Parkland Regional Library system this spring, and staff are excited for this chance to showcase Alberta books in their local libraries.
“It’s been a wonderful collaboration among our three organizations,” said Ron Sheppard, Parkland’s Director. “Our partners have provided us with an exceptional kit of books that highlights the talents we have here in our province.”
The collection represents the best of the best in children’s, teen, and adult literature, with each book a nominated or winning title from the 2012 and 2013 Alberta book awards seasons. Any one of Parkland’s 50 public libraries can sign up to host the travelling display. Patrons can borrow as many books as they want, and when the books are returned to their library they will join the display, courtesy of Parkland’s delivery van.
“While Alberta boasts tremendous writing talent and a vibrant publishing industry, the reading public has had no easy way to identify locally-produced material,” said Carol Holmes, Executive Director of the Writers’ Guild. “This project goes a long way to raise awareness and interest in our homegrown authors and publishers.”
“We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Writers Guild of Alberta and the Parkland Library staff to showcase the wonderful literary work that is being done in Alberta,” added Kieran Leblanc, Executive Director of the Book Publishers Association of Alberta. “This is a great opportunity for everyone.”
The travelling display is a pilot project that will be evaluated throughout its 2014 tour of Central Alberta. If interest among library patrons remains high, the project partners hope to provide new collections annually and to expand the travelling displays to include regional library systems in other parts of the province.