The More Canada Report

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This report documents the decline in awareness and reading of Canadian-authored books in English Canada over the past 15 years, and offers an analysis of the causes of the decline. The report focuses on key channels of distribution and awareness: independent bookstores, public libraries, school classrooms and libraries, university classrooms, libraries and bookstores, and CBC Radio and CBC Digital. It presents 68 recommendations for action to address this issue involving all components of book publishing and distribution, as well as federal, provincial and municipal governments.

 

 

The report is based on the discussions of 29 book professionals who came together in a volunteer think tank in late 2017-18, and on research on book readers and book buying in Canada. It was written by the think tank steering committee: Philip Cercone of McGill-Queens University Press, James Lorimer of Lorimer and Formac Publishing, and Jeff Miller of Irwin Law.

 

Table of Contents

Foreword
About the volunteer think tank and this report

Executive Summary
Overview: book publishing and book reading in English Canada
Our analysis: key themes 

  1. Digital infrastructure that fails to meet Canadian needs
  2. An absence of Canadian book-friendly cultural policies and measures
  3. Lack of appropriate structures and practices for Canadian books

Our proposals: key sectors 

Recognize and strengthen independent bookstores as key cultural players and champions of Canadian writing and books 
Introduce a wealth of new quality Canadian books to school classrooms and libraries 
Harness the power of public libraries to raise awareness and readership of
Canadian books 
Universities 
Collaboration with CBC Radio and CBC Digital to achieve mutual goals 
Develop a new generation of digital infrastructure 
Adapting a successful cultural policy: the benefits of accredited bookstores 
The need for action 

 

Introduction

Canadian-Authored books in Canada: a brief history 

Independent Bookstores
Book retailing in Canada 

The contemporary independent bookstore in English Canada 

Product range 
Community building 
Digital infrastructure made in Canada 
Bookstores and awareness 
Independent bookstores as a community cultural resource 
A public policy strategy for independent bookstores 
Enhancing the discovery of Canadian books in independent bookstores 
50 new independent bookstores in 5 years 
Public libraries and independent bookstores 
Real estate and cultural spaces 
Accredited bookstores 
The Quebec accreditation model 
In conclusion: independent bookstores as champions of Canadian authors and books 

 

School Classrooms and Libraries

Introduction
Books@School
Distribution and supply chains to schools 

Book fairs 
Takeaway displays 

Innovations and interventions for Canadian books
The consequences of lack of awareness and access to Canadian books
Value and deliver
Tree awards
School book fairs
School library software and digital infrastructure
Classroom resources in print and digital
In conclusion 

 

Public Libraries

The multiple roles of public libraries
Public library goals
Leisure reading and public libraries
Awareness of books and public libraries
Collection policies and practices

Profile building 
Outsourced book selection 
Coordinating the appearance of new titles 
Wider title range, fewer copies 
Holds 

Public library materials purchasing
Public libraries’ digital infrastructure
Book selection tools and procedures 

Catalogues and supporting information 
Sales rep recommendations 
Professional book reviews 

Canadian books in the selection process 

Profile building 
Outsourced selection 
Coordinating the appearance of new titles 
Catalogues and selection tool information 
Sales rep recommendations 
Professional book reviews 
Wider title range, fewer copies 
Holds

The impact of public library policies and practices on awareness and reading of

Canadian books 
E-book reading 

Canadian-authored books: an opportunity for public libraries 

 

University Libraries, Bookstores, and Courses

A universe of 2 to 3 million individuals
University libraries 

Roles, goals, and modern acquisition methods 
A changed environment in libraries 
University libraries’ expenditures on overall and Canadian content 
Canadian university libraries spending power 
Canadian e-book collections in Canadian university libraries 
Extending the e-book initiative nationally 
Broadening access to university press titles 
A made-in-Canada distribution model for university press titles 
University library catalogue software 
Recommendations 

University bookstores 

Trade books in campus bookstores 
A new mandate for university bookstores 
Digital infrastructure 
University bookstore management and reporting structures 
Community college bookstores 

University course content: texts and coursepacks 

In conclusion 124

 

CBC radio and CBC digital

Introduction
CBC Radio and CBC Digital as important awareness channels 

Audience demographics 
CBC Digital 
Proven success 
Quality content opportunities 
Mission 

CBC programming decision-making
CBC Radio – local and regional
CBC News
CBC Books
CBC podcasts
Building collaborative relationships to enhance awareness of Canadian books 

Effective working relationships between publishers and CBC 
Content matched to CBC priorities and needs 
A reliable supply of high-quality content 

New media for book promotion
Regional presence for CBC Books
Tracking the presence of Canadian books on CBC Radio
Programming initiatives
CBC Books 

Aggregating published reviews of Canadian books 
Distributing publisher-generated awareness content 

In conclusion: CBC’s role in Canadian book awareness 

 

Conclusion

Addressing the decline in awareness and reading
The uncertain future of independent and multinational Canadian publishing
Rebuilding the infrastructure for Canadian writing and Canadian books 

 

Summary of Recommendations and calls to action

Independent Bookstores
School classrooms and libraries
Public libraries
University libraries, bookstores, and courses
CBC Radio and CBC Digital
Conclusion 

 

Think Tank Participants: Biographies 

Sources for Charts 

Think Tank Resources: bibliography 

Notes