FIRST NATION PUBLIC LIBRARIES
ABOUT FIRST NATIONS COMMUNITIES READ
First Nation Communities Read is an annual reading program launched in 2003 by the First Nations public library community in Ontario. First Nation Communities Read selected and other recommended titles:
- encourage family literacy, intergenerational storytelling, and intergenerational information sharing;
- are written and/or illustrated by, or otherwise involve the participation of a First Nation, Métis, or Inuit creator;
- contain First Nation, Métis, or Inuit content produced with the support of First Nation, Métis, or Inuit advisers/consultants or First Nation, Métis, or Inuit endorsement.
Through title selections, other recommendations, and creators’ tours, in First Nation communities and beyond, First Nation Communities Read:
- encourages family literacy, intergenerational storytelling, and intergenerational information sharing;
- increases awareness of the relevance and importance of First Nation, Métis, and Inuit writing, illustration, and publishing;
- promotes the publication, sharing, and understanding of First Nation, Métis, and Inuit voices and experiences;
- increases awareness and sales of the titles it honours.
Who’s involved in the program?
First Nation Communities Read relies on:
- annual funding from the Government of Canada;
- coordination support from Southern Ontario Library Service;
- responsiveness of publishers to the annual call for title nominations;
- a volunteer jury of First Nation librarians;
- in-kind support from organizations, including the Ontario Library Association, Goodminds.com, and Quill & Quire;
- the participation of public libraries and broader public.
What is the annual funding used for?
First Nation Communities Read funding supports:
- the purchase and distribution of copies of the selected title to First Nation public libraries in Ontario;
- the design, printing, and distribution, to all public libraries in Ontario, of a poster promoting the selected title and other worthy nominations;
- the printing of First Nation Communities Read book stickers;
- readings, book giveaways, and signings at conferences and events;
- a tour of the selected title’s creators to First Nation communities.
What responsibilities do jury members have?
The First Nation Communities Read jury:
- reads, assesses, and discusses the nominations;
- selects the annual First Nation Communities Read title;
- chooses other titles from among those nominated to also feature on the annual First Nation Communities Read poster;
- participates in the development of First Nation Communities Read program resources;
- promotes First Nation Communities Read program participation through communications to the Ontario public library community and conference programming;
- evaluates the program on an annual basis and make recommendations for ongoing program development.
When is the annual title selection announced?
Beginning in 2010, the selected title announcement takes place in May as a lead in to National Aboriginal History month in June. (Previously, the announcement occurred in February as a lead in to First Nations Public Library Week.)
Public libraries across Ontario launch readings and related programming in June and continue to celebrate the title selection throughout the year.
How do public libraries and the broader public participate?
The First Nations public library community in Ontario invites libraries, communities, and individuals across Canada to:
- review the First Nation Communities Read participation checklist (please hyperlink when you receive the checklist);
- undertake as many activities as possible;
- report on activities undertaken to assist with grant reporting;
- forward any media coverage encountered, also to assist with grant reporting.
Who do I contact for more information or to report on my participation?
Please e-mail Nancy Cooper, First Nation Communities Read coordinator and First Nations Consultant at Southern Ontario Library Service.
First Nation Communities Read acknowledges the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund for this project.