If you are reading this site, you may already know that the Vancouver Children’s Literature Roundtable is an organization committed to getting people together for a variety of events to share good children’s books and to meet the creators of these books—writers, illustrators, editors, publishers. Who are the members of Roundtable? Anyone interested. Readers, of course: casual readers, students, professionals in the field—teachers, librarians, editors, booksellers, reviewers and critics. Writers, of course: creators of novels, picture-book texts, short stories, plays, poetry, graphic texts, or information books of all kinds. Illustrators, of course: artists creating picture books, text illustrations, graphic novel work, visual interpretations, or decorative elements for book design. We like to get together to enjoy the many ways of appreciating literature for children.
Getting Started: the Children’s Literature Community, UBC and the Lower Mainland
We wish we could tell you that the Vancouver Children’s Literature Roundtable was the first in Canada, but we can’t. We were the second, following the first one established in Edmonton in 1977 by a trio of enthusiasts. See more about this in Roundtable History. What’s the connection? One of these enthusiasts was Ron Jobe. Perhaps it was serendipity (one of our favourite words, as you’ll see if you explore the website) that Ron moved soon after to Vancouver in 1978 to teach at UBC in the Department of Language Education in the Faculty of Education. Ron shared the concept of a Roundtable with his new colleagues and Roundtable’s connection with UBC was off to a rousing beginning.
Ron, Wendy Sutton, Marion Ralston, and Roy Bentley were eager to launch a Vancouver Roundtable. They were not only enthusiastically supported by their department in the Faculty of Education, but also by Janice Douglas of the Vancouver Public Library , Ken Haycock of the Vancouver School Board, Dwain Weese of the Richmond School Board, and Blair Greenwood of the North Vancouver School Board. It was a good start connecting different constituent children’s reading communities.