In an era where some people are questioning the continuing relevance of libraries as a whole, the Greater Victoria Public Library (GVPL)’s answer to that question is a resounding Yes! To that end they’re expanding their connections to the community at large in several interesting ways.* Well, in what is sure to be hallmarked as The Social Event of the Season in Victoria, on the evening of April 10 we were led beyond the silk rope and behind closed doors to an exclusive, invitation-only event!
This is the first annual iteration of this collection, featuring 173 books by 133 Victoria authors. All of the books will be displayed on a special cart in the lobby area of the Central Branch of the library for the coming year, and may be borrowed by anyone from any other branch through inter-library loans. E-books were not considered for this collection, but since the GVPL has an extensive e-book catalogue, these may be considered for next year. The criteria for consideration were that the book had to be published within the past five years, and the author needs to be either a resident of the greater Victoria area or had been a resident at the time the book was published.
It was hard to estimate which of us was more excited: Marcia as the author with a book in the collection, or Mike as proud supporter of her work. We had a wonderful time, and it was a great event! De’lish Catering served up a broad selection of drinks, fruits and tasty treats, and Derek from Four Frames Photo Booth had a modern digital version of an old-fashioned photo booth, complete with hats and props!
There was also a three-person band who provided some great jazz music, but unfortunately we didn’t get their names. If you can fill in that blank, please let us know in the comments below and we’ll be happy to add them in!
It was exciting for us to meet and greet other authors (and their guests), listen to their stories and learn more about their book(s)… all of which led to the great unveiling of the collection! Those in charge of the library explained their plans for the future and spoke about the impetus for this idea, and then the books were revealed. There was a (typically Canadian) polite crush of people around the stand as authors looked for their own works and everyone wanted to see what was available. The only proviso was that nobody was allowed to check out any books until the next day; this was an excellent idea, or it’s likely the library would have opened the next morning to an empty case. 🙂 Marcia and I returned on Tuesday and we’re each reading a book from the collection now.
To our fellow authors and all of those who will be lucky enough to share in these books, we offer our congratulations; to all of the people at the Greater Victoria Public Library, our profound thanks! To check out (pun intended) Marcia’s book, “A Year in the Life of a Bus-Traveling Poet” from the library, click here (hint: it’s also available for purchase through the links at the top right of this page, or click here if you’re on a mobile platform) To browse or search the rest of the collection, start here!
* To see more of the initiatives, updates and upgrades at Victoria’s Greater Public Library, check out their website at http://www.gvpl.ca