folks from word on the street

Heather noticed that perhaps because of the rain there were less people, but the people who did come by our booth wanted to talk a little more. Here are some of them.

First, there was Robert Chaplin. I bought two copies of his independently published book Ten Counting Cat. I love picture books that look like they are kids books, but really aren’t. Here’ s a video of the same book.

One of my favourite publishers, Simply Read, was vending beside us. I got a copy of A Growling Place for only $10. A friend recently reviewed it, and we agreed that the art was beautiful, dark, Sendakian and not really a little kids book.

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Another children’s author came by and told us that her publisher told her she can’t use the words gold medal, Olympics and downhill skiing in her upcoming book. Apparently they’ve been trademarked by the 2010 folks. We agreed that this was completely absurd. Robert Chaplin encouraged her to publish independently and then disappeared into the rain.

We also met a retired school librarian who was frustrated that American schools have educational exemption and can show Hollywood movies in their classrooms, but Canadian schools have to pay a lisencing fee to show the same films in classrooms.

Lots of the CUPE 391 library workers, who organized a parallel event, Word on the Strike, also came by.

Word on the Street

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Yesterday 11 members of the Intellectual Freedom and Information Policy Committees braved the cold, wet, windy weather to entertain and educate at the Word on the Street literacy and book festival.

Everyone had their own unique way of drawing people in.A   Sylvia was like a carnival barker, or the guy who demonstrates super absorbent towels at the Richmond Night Market as she drew people in with “Spin the wheel!A   Answer a question!A   Win a candy!A   There are no wrong answers!” She was unstoppable.

We invited people to spin the wheel and answer a question on an information policy or intellectual freedom issue.A   Contestants got a candy if they got the question right or wrong.A   This year we revised the questions to have kid friendly options.A   My favourite kid questions were the ones Devon revised on pay equity, net neutrality and whistleblower protection. A   Check out the questions (.doc).

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I was surprised at how many people were out enjoying the festival despite the nasty Vancouver weather.A   I was also a bit surprised at how interested people (kids and adults) were to learn more about DRM.A   I also enjoyed catching up with other library folks, meeting authors and random people who had been active in IF and IP issues.A   More about them soon.

word on the street

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Look for our booth (with the Information Policy Committee) at Word on the Street. Spin the wheel, answer an information policy or intellectual freedom question and get some candy.

Get there early to buy a treasure hunt book bag for $18 at the information tent. We are one of the booths that is giving away something to folks with these bags.

Due to the library workers strike the booths will be moved onto the street, so you can come to the event and not worry about crossing the picket line. CUPE 391, the union representing Vancouver library workers, will also have a booth.

See you there!

ain`t on the globe and mail bestseller list

I first got involved with the intellectual freedom committee (IFC) by presenting on the Ain`t on the G&M panel at the BCLA conference.

Here`s the rationale behind presenting lesser known materials, often from small independent publishers (from the IFC page):

For the past three years, members of the BCLA Intellectual Freedom Committee and other librarians committed to building diverse collections in public libraries gave an introduction to the value of seeking quirky, less-mainstream and less-hyped materials for patrons. In this session, books, DVDs and videos are introduced at breakneck speed! None of the materials will ever appear on a bestseller list or as an Oprah pick, but we believe the public library has a much more important function than just providing commercially-driven materials.

Here are the lists from 2007, 2006 and 2005–does your library have many of these books?

hello…

While we are waiting to find out what Canadian server this blog will land on, I thought I’d get the ball rolling.

I hope this blog will be a way for us to:

  • communicate within The British Columbia Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Committee, with the Association as a whole (especially folks outside the Lower Mainland), and with other library folks
  • highlight the events that we participate in
  • archive and remember what we did (to make the official report writing easier)
  • think and write about ideas around intellectual freedom, censorship and library and information policy. I challenge us to explore familiar and unfamiliar territory in depth and to sometimes feel uncomfortable.

I’m not quite sure how to set up multiple authors for this blog, but I’ll figure it out. Please let me know if you would like to be added.