School Library Section Report

by Shannon Babcock
The School Library section of the ABQLA is gathering steam! After participation in the Maurice Sendak storytelling event at the Jewish Public Library (in association with the Youth and Public Library sections) the school section foresees three upcoming school-related events.

Numerous issues have arisen in the world of school libraries regarding digital books and the use of e-readers (see the article on the “distraction” of reading online by Sandra Bebbington). While we can’t claim to have all the answers, we can bring together people to share their experiences, recommendations, pitfalls, and success stories. The ABQLA School Section will host a panel discussion of ebooks in schools and elsewhere April 19 at Centennial Academy. Please join us for what promises to be a practical and informative discussion. All are welcome. If you are interested in being part of the panel, please contact Shannon Wallace ( or Shannon Babcock (

We know that in order to foster the development of lifelong readers, a variety of choice is an important factor. For secondary students, it can be easy to focus on the latest fiction or young adult literature, while many students (especially boys) may prefer non-fiction or information-based texts when reading for pleasure.  When developing high school collections it is important to include a variety of genres for independent reading, not only curricular texts. Hence the ABQLA School Library Section would like to host a “Non-fiction for fun” booktalk, tentatively scheduled for Wednesday May 2. All are welcome.

Piggybacking with the Non-fiction Booktalk, and in accompaniment to the annual ABQLA conference, we invite all school library members to a section meeting, providing an opportunity to meet  and share with fellow school library personnel. Date and location will be the same as the Booktalk, Wednesday May 2.

Other events:

The MELS School Library Symposium March 20 (Elementary) and March 21 (Secondary) will be held for the fourth year in a row at la Grande Bibliothèque. This year’s theme is “Revitalising school libraries--looking to the future.” Presentations include: new literacies by Joanne DeGroot of the University of Alberta; a teacher-library collaboration case study; developments in resources for French as a Second Language; and contributions from school librarians as well as the Action Plan on Reading In School.

Canadian Children’s Book Week is in May this year, and our visiting author is Governor General Award-winner Caroline Pignat. She will be appearing at Westmount Public Library May 9 at 7 pm. This event is in association with the Youth Section of the ABQLA as well as the Montreal Children’s Literature Roundtable.

Please do not hesitate to contact Shannon W. or Shannon B. with suggestions or questions!