The first three weeks of June are special at the Lake Cowichan branch of the Vancouver Island Regional Library.
In celebration of National Aboriginal History Month (June) and National Aboriginal Day (June 21) librarian Monica Finn has curated a display of some of the best titles by Indigenous authors and artists.
“I think we’ve got about 20 [items] out and another 25 held back waiting for a spot,” she said. “We’ve got CD’s by Tanya Tagaq, the throat singer, and I’ve got the newest Tribe Called Red CD and some really nice board books from Henry Vickers and Richard Van Camp.”
There’s something for every age and interest.
“Ten years ago it was really slim pickin’s,” Finn noted. Not anymore.
DVDs like Van Camp’s Lesser Blessed and Rhymes for Young Ghouls by Jeff Barnaby will be on offer as well.
“There’s a lot more than there used to be, which is neat,” she said.
Both The Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King and The Reason You Walk: A Memoir by Wab Kinew had long hold lists when they were first released a few years ago.
“I think people who’ve been meaning to read them might find this is a good time,” Finn said.
The display is right when you walk in the front door so it should get a lot of attention by patrons.
A $30 Country Grocer gift certificate is up for grabs by those wishing to participate in the prize draw by telling the librarian their favourite Indigenous author or artist.
“We’ll do the draw on the 22nd,” Finn said.
Elsewhere, at VIRL branches across the Island, an initiative called Read for Reconciliation is a summer reading list recognizing the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.
“As community hubs, libraries have an important role to play in both celebrating all that makes our country great, and in the healing and reconciliation that must occur so that we can all move forward under a common umbrella of understanding and unity,” said VIRL executive director, Rosemary Bonanno. “VIRL is committed to embracing and learning from our indigenous communities.”
VIRL is also running a social media campaign, with the hashtag #Read4Reconciliation, as part of the campaign.