Diversity & Outreach Columns ALA's Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services


James Bartleman, Noted Canadian Diplomat and Author, To Speak on Youth, Literacy and Libraries

CHICAGO – The Honorable James K. Bartleman, former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and author of numerous books, including the recently published “As Long as the Rivers Flow,” will join the Committee on Rural, Native and Tribal Libraries of All Kinds for their program “Raisin’ Readers: Improving Literacy for Rural Children and Youth,” on Sunday, June 26 from 1:30 to 3:30 pm.

Rural, Native, and tribal libraries provide essential support to their communities through reading programs and initiatives for teens and their families. Bartleman, a diplomat, author, literacy advocate, and member of the Mnjikaning First Nation, will reflect on his extensive experiences, including initiating the Lieutenant Governor’s Book Program in 2004, which collected over 1.2 million books to stock school libraries in First Nations communities, launching a program pairing Native and non-Native schools in Ontario and Nunavut, and setting up literacy camps in five northern First Nations communities.

Mr. Bartleman will read from his young adult novel, “As Long as the Rivers Flow,” (Knopf Canada, 2011) a young adult novel that follows a girl from the Cat Lake First Nation in Northern Ontario who is stolen from her family and forced into a faraway residential school, where she is punished for speaking her native language.

Raisin’ Readers is open to all ALA Annual Conference attendees. For more information, please visit www.ala.org/annual.  The session is co-sponsored by the ALA Committee on Literacy.

The Committee on Rural, Native, and Tribal Libraries of All Kids reviews issues and challenges facing rural, native and tribal libraries of all kinds. Additionally, it collaborates with other ALA units addressing the needs of rural communities; and to serve as an advocate for and partner with libraries serving rural, tribal and native populations.

The Committee on Literacy develops and recommends the Association’s policies related to the promotion of literacy; the development of programs, educational opportunities, and other resources that assist librarians and libraries in promoting literacy. It also raises the awareness of literacy within the Association, works cooperatively with the Literacy Assembly, the Office for Literacy and Outreach Services and its Advisory Committee, and other ALA units, including the Washington Office, on efforts that have a literacy focus and maintains partnerships with national literacy organizations.

Special thanks to Alfred A. Knopf Canada and Random House, Inc., for their support of Mr. Bartleman’s participation in this program.

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