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Database connects local libraries and schools with books published in-province

Posted on September 14, 2023 by Sunny South News

By Erika Mathieu
Sunny South News

The Book Publishers Association of Alberta has released its 2023-2024 Alberta Books for Schools catalogue, in addition to publishing updates to the digital database.

The catalogue is intended to be used as a resource for libraries, schools, booksellers, and educators to help them discover books published in Alberta. Although the subject matter varies by genre and author, many of the titles on the list are set in or feature Alberta landscapes. The annual print catalogue now contains nearly 100 titles, and the digital database contains over 150 titles.

Although it is a useful resource for bookworms looking to “read local”, staff at the Alberta Library have determined curriculum connections for all titles in both the digital database and the selected titles featured in the print catalogue, with accessibility/alternative formats, such as eBooks or audiobooks, noted in the catalogue’s description.

Executive Director of the Book Publishers Association of Alberta, Kieran Leblanc said in a recent release, “we look forward to adding to this accessible and diverse collection each year, as our publishers continue to publish titles that share Alberta’s unique cultural identity and heritage. It is our hope that this project will inspire increased investment in Alberta’s book publishing industry.”

Leblanc added that the Alberta Books for Schools program, “continues to showcase the critical role Alberta book publishers play in educating our children by providing quality, Alberta-published resources to our educators and librarians.”

A broad range of titles and genres are included in the digital database, which can be accessed at https://abbooksforschools.ca/books/.

Titles with connections to southern Alberta include:

• Graphic novel, “1st Legion of Utopia” by James Davidge is set in Calgary during the Great Depression and offers a look into the city’s familiar urban landscape, through the lens of historical fiction;

• An Anthology of Literary Cuisines: Beyond the Food Court. Published by Laborinto Press, this collection contains short essays by various Alberta-based writers, and explores how food intersects with society, values, and politics as well as our connection to each other;

• The 2021 Athabasca University Press’s non-fiction scholarly book, “Bucking Conservatism: Alternative Stories of Alberta, From the 1960s and 1970s, which was a winner of the Region Book of the Year for 2022 at the Alberta Publishing Awards; and

• Historical Fiction meets graphic novel “Frank”, published by Renegade Arts Entertainment in 2018. The murder mystery by Ben Rinkle takes place in southern Alberta’s Crowsnest Pass in the historical town of Frank, to name just a few.

The updated database includes Betsy Bastion’s “Blackfoot Ways of Knowing: The Worldview of the Asiksikaitsitapi,” published by the University of Calgary Press in 2004. This impressive anthology takes a deep dive into Blackfoot language, culture and traditional knowledge.

The print version of the catalogue is issued annually to schools, libraries, and booksellers across the province every fall.

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