About

Roundtable has also been invited over the years to be co-sponsor with the Education Library of the annual Authorfest.  This event is held to benefit pre-service teachers and encourage greater knowledge and awareness of local, BC and Canadian books for kids.  (http://www.library.ubc.ca/edlib/table/events/authorfest.htm).

Interest in information books presented at Roundtable events led to another kind of growth.  In the late 80’s the Vancouver Roundtable proposed the establishing of The Children’s Literature Roundtables of Canada Information Book Award for a book that arouses interest, stimulates curiosity, captures the imagination, and fosters concern for the world around us. We wanted to recognize excellence in Canadian publishing of non-fiction for children. The criteria include accuracy, clarity, imaginative approach, appropriateness of organization and format, and sensitivity to ethnocentric and gender biases. The first winner was given in 1987 to Looking at Insects, by David Suzuki and Barbara Hehner (Stoddart). Now, how was that for picking a work by a Canadian information writer of note?  The hardworking chairs of the award committee (April Gill served for many years and then passed the duties to Lois Brymer) coordinate the tallying of votes from across the country, and the award is presented at Serendipity. (http://www.library.ubc.ca/edlib/table/awards/information.htm)

As Roundtable grew and supporters grew, the organizing committee expanded.  Librarians from UBC’s Education Library, public librarians (from VPL and other libraries in the Lower Mainland), teachers and teacher-librarians from public and private schools, authors, and illustrators participated.  Other UBC participants became active in the 1980’s (Judi Saltman from SLAIS, Sue Ann Alderson from Creative Writing, and Jane Flick from English). Members came together to provide lively suggestions for speakers or events.  At various times regional representatives for the Canadian Children’s Book Centre have taken part (http://www.bookcentre.ca/ ).  At present, Roundtable’s  Jo-Anne Naslund (Education Librarian, UBC) is president of CCBC.

The committee mix has shifted over the years. Long-serving Roundtablers have retired, as for example, Wendy Sutton, one of the co-founders of Roundtable who worked on events for over 25 years. In recent years, graduate students from the MA in Children’s Literature Program (MACL) at UBC have thrown their energies into the mix.