By Eric Pottie
On June 1 in Saint John, NB, the winners of the Hackmatack Book Awards will be announced. Leading up to it, authors will be travelling to schools across Atlantic Canada and sharing their stories with children. This week, I want to write about Hackmatack, its mission, why it’s important, and what you can do to get involved.
Summed up briefly, each year Hackmatack creates a short list of Canadian titles for children in four categories: fiction and non-fiction in French and English for kids ages nine through 12. The kids then vote for their favourites. While the organization creates the list, it’s the readers who decide what they like the best.
Hackmatack’s mission is to promote children’s literacy across Atlantic Canada, promote reader programs for children, to foster an appreciation for English and French writing, to work with public libraries to make titles more accessible, and to create more recognition of Canadian authors.
The authors also get in on the action. On the days leading up to the awards, the authors travel to different parts of Atlantic Canada and do readings or presentations at schools. This is always a lot of fun, and it lets kids ask their questions and get answers straight from the source.
Hackmatack events are often done in schools but also at public libraries. South Shore Public Libraries had one in Bridgewater this year, and I am planning to offer one this coming year in Liverpool. So look for another article in the future when the new nominees get announced.
On May 24 at 6 p.m., we have our monthly trivia night. Bring a team of up to five or come alone - teams are very accepting of new people. And if you want to be like one team who came, feel free to bring a snack. As a special sneak peak for readers, this month will feature a category on national flags, so study up and see you at the library.
The Thomas H. Raddall library is open Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursdays 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Fridays 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Sundays 12-4 p.m. and closed Mondays.
The Alean Freeman Library is open Wednesdays 5-8 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
For more information about the library, you can find us on Facebook at South Shore Public Libraries, follow us on Twitter @ssplibraries or check our website at www.southshorepubliclibraries.ca. You can contact the Thomas H. Raddall branch by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at