(Halifax) – The Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association (APMA) is submitting a proposal to the McNeil Government which would enable teachers to buy classroom books in local bookstores.
The proposal is in response to a recommendation in the Avis Glaze Report that the Department of Education and Early Childhood Education look at a new model for buying and distributing books to schools across the province.
As Jim Lorimer of Halifax’s Formac Publishing explains, “Dr. Glaze recommended teachers and principals have more freedom to use provincial funds coming to them from the province’s learning resources budget at the department’s Book Bureau to purchase needed classroom materials.
“She proposed that the education department continue its role in reviewing and approving books for school use, but was silent on how teachers and curriculum consultants would buy books in the future,” he says.
The Book Bureau has been operating as a wholesaler, purchasing books in bulk from publishers and reselling them to teachers and principals.
The APMA proposal includes an accredited bookstore program similar to one that has been in place in Quebec for 25 years. There, school and library purchases using public funds are channeled through retail bookstores. Quebec today has 250 independent bookstores located in cities and towns large and small throughout the province.
“With indie bookstores benefiting from school purchases of classroom materials, Nova Scotia’s bookstores could see a substantial increase in business – and we would see startups in towns that currently lack a bookstore,” says publisher John MacIntyre of MacIntyre Purcell, based in Lunenburg.
Nova Scotia publishers believe their innovative approach would give teachers better access to new, appealing books that they haven’t been easily able to buy up to now. It could also ensure that, for the first time, locally-written and published books that fit curriculum needs would make it into classrooms.
APMA says it has also sent its proposal to the Nova Scotia Teachers Union and plans to meet with them in the very near future.
For information: John McCracken (902) 220-8056 (m)