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Groundwood launches diversity focused catalogue

Groundwood Books today announced the release of the Windows and Mirrors catalogue, which includes many of the publisher’s culturally diverse Canadian and international titles. In addition to the catalogue, Groundwood also launched the diversity.groundwoodbooks.com micro-site.

The catalogue was created in response to the growing We Need Diverse Books movement in the U.S. and Canada, says Groundwood publisher Sheila Barry.

“Our sense is that while people have rightly focused their attention on the large American houses and the homogeneity of their lists, we were in danger of losing sight of the very diverse lists that so many independent publishers have spent decades building,” says Barry. “So we wanted to create something beautiful to showcase these great books. And we hope it will be used by booksellers and librarians as a starting point for book sales, obviously, but also for conversations about how important it is to publish books by people who aren’t part of the white, middle-class mainstream – and the reason to publish these people is not because their books are preachy or earnest or good for us, but because their books are just so wonderful.”

The Association of Canadian Publishers is launching a similar initiative this spring, with funding from the Ontario Media Development Corporation. Titled We Have Diverse Books, ACP’s catalogue “is an initiative of the ACP children’s publisher committee, which was looking for a way to collectively respond to calls from librarians, teachers, and others for diverse books,” says ACP executive director Kate Edwards.

The program also includes a dedicated micro-site, diversity.49thShelf.com. “The website will be updated with new titles each season, and my hope is that the collection will grow over time and remain a useful resource,” says Edwards.