Vancouver Public Library prepares plan to promote self-published local authors

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      Vancouver is taking a page from the Greater Victoria Public Library.

      Inspired by the successful emerging local authors’ collection across the strait, the Vancouver Public Library is putting together a program to collect and promote self-published works by writers in the city.

      The VPL has begun consultations with local authors regarding the initiative that will cover titles in print and eBook formats.

      The still to be named compilation will feature books that have content for all ages.

      “This program to promote self-published books from local authors in print and eBook formats and to add a platform for lending self-published eBooks will address a shortcoming that has been a concern for VPL staff and self-published authors for several years,” according to a staff report.

      The report about a future “local discovery” collection is included in the agenda Wednesday (October 26) of the library board.

      The document noted that that the Greater Victoria Public Library has done well in promoting writers in Vancouver Island through the emerging local authors’ collection launched in 2015.

      Seventy percent of the 174 books in the Victoria collection have been checked out at least 10 times, according to the VPL staff report.

      The report noted that the VPL is “routinely contacted” by local authors wishing to either donate or sell their books.

      “While VPL has included self-published local books in the print collection when the topic fit our collection mandate and the format was acceptable, the significant changes in the market and frequent queries from authors demonstrate that a more structured approach is needed,” the report stated.

      To qualify, an author should be a Vancouver resident, or the book is about the city.

      According to the staff report, “The local self-published author initiative will be a program to feature local works and provide opportunities for library exposure to members of the Vancouver writing community who would otherwise have difficulty reaching a broad audience.”