(CORRECTION /November 25, 2015: Initially this post's headline stated incorrectly that more than 85,000 books were showcased. We apologize for the error.)
BC Books Online, a comprehensive database featuring more than 8,500 books and ebooks from BC publishers, launches today. The innovative project, spearheaded by the Association of Book Publishers of British Columbia (ABPBC), enables librarians, booksellers, educators and the public alike to easily browse books from the province’s publishers, for the first time through one central website.
“BC’s publishing industry is thriving,” explained Margaret Reynolds, executive director of the ABPBC. “But never before has our province been able to readily explore the diverse range of new and backlist titles produced by our local talents. We’re delighted that BC Books Online will help readers to discover books on an ongoing basis, and further connect publishers with libraries and others across BC.”
Using technology from 49th Shelf – a website designed to enable discovery of Canadian books – BC Books Online includes titles from 24 publishers. Users can discover a book about a particular subject, theme or place by searching the database using more than 50 preexisting categories, or browse through one of the 14 reading lists specially curated by a BC librarian. These lists provide a new method of exploring many titles for librarians, arranged by categories –such as specific regional interest – that aren’t traditionally reflected in the industry’s more common BISAC listings.
An evolving project since 2007 as an initiative to highlight BC ebooks, BC Books Online was enhanced by input from organizations such as the BC Library Association, the BC Libraries Cooperative, the Vancouver Public Library, the Educational Resource Acquisition Consortium, the Irving K Barber Learning Centre, and the BC Electronic Library Network.
Members from these organizations met to discuss what a database of BC-published books should include, and how it may be used by a range of stakeholders. The result is the largest and most comprehensive collection of books published in all formats from a specific region of Canada.
“BC publishers were at the forefront of the ebook revolution but, until now, discoverability has always been a challenge for both publishers and their readers alike,” said Reynolds. “BC Books Online, now expanded to include print as well as ebooks, will allow people to easily find a huge range of locally published books, including newly published titles.
“49th Shelf provides the flexibility to highlight BC books in all genres for a wide range of users, including the reading public. The ABPBC will be working with our library colleagues to maximize exposure for our books and to serve our industry colleagues as well as our many readers in BC and across the country.”
The project was funded and supported by The Canada Council for the Arts, Canadian Heritage through the Canada Book Fund, Creative BC and The Vancouver Foundation.
BC Books Online can be found at bcbooks.49thshelf.com.
The Association of Book Publishers of BC (ABPBC) is a provincial association of book publishing companies. Founded in 1974 by five book publishers, the ABPBC believes that a healthy BC-owned and controlled book publishing industry is essential to the educational, social, cultural and economic life of the province.
49thShelf.com is one of the largest national book sites in the world. It lists more than 80,000 Canadian-authored books, all complemented by a robust editorial program and reader services.
The site is produced by the Association of Canadian Publishers.