Ain’t on the Globe and Mail Bestseller List @ BCLA

Thanks Heather De Forest and Janis McKenzie for convening this session. Thanks also to Heather for this writeup of this session that has become a BCLA conference favourite!

The Ain’t on the Globe and Mail Bestseller List session runs as a non-stop series of lightning-fast book (and other format) reviews, presented by a panel of volunteers. Sponsored by the Intellectual Freedom Committee, the session’s aim is to promote enthusiasm for diversity in library collections and to encourage one another to walk the talk in facilitating access to a wide range of intellectual and creative output.

This was the fourth consecutive edition of Ain’t on the G+M and new reviewers joined veterans on the panel. Presenters were: Randy Gatley, Shirin Eshghi, Chris Kevlahan, Faith Jones, Colleen Alstad, David Conn, Tara Stephens, Valerie Patrick, Wendy Jang, and co-convenors Janis Mckenzie and Heather De Forest. Collectively, we reviewed 44 items in just over an hour.

I always enjoy this session as a chance to meet up with colleagues from other kinds of libraries and gain exposure to items that would otherwise escape my notice. The kinds of materials reviewed are on controversial topics, are from small or independent publishers, or are otherwise obscure and underrepresented in the mainstream . Among the items this year are graphic novels; murder ballads and other recordings; analyses of class strife, the prison system and modern communities; DVDs about sustainability issues; and books by and about local characters.

There’s so much more! Please check out the list that’s posted on the Intellectual Freedom Committee’s portion of the BCLA website at http://www.bcla.bc.ca/IFC/page/2008%20list.aspx. A big thank you to Shirley Lew, who not only wrangled the list of items into web form but also masterfully presided over the session itself with the 90 second countdown clock.

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