Books go Beta at select B.C. libraries 

Digital books are being touted as the next big thing in the publishing industry and now, it's looking like B.C. is getting in on the action with the launch last week of B.C. Books Online, a pilot project e-book collection.

In 2007, a group of library organizations and publishers began working on a project to deliver a digital collection of B.C.-published books throughout the province. The concept was inspired by the vision of the Libraries Without Walls strategic planning document initiated by Premier Gordon Campbell in 2004, supporting equitable access to all B.C. residents through Internet technologies and collaboration between libraries and the private sector. The resulting collection includes a broad range of non-fiction titles from B.C. publishers that are intended to engage readers and allow them to explore the history and culture of the province.

The program was launched at just 12 libraries throughout the province: Central Okanagan School District #23, College of New Caledonia, Nanaimo School District #68, North Island College, Prince George Public Library, Prince George School District #57, Richmond Public Library, Simon Fraser University, University of British Columbia, University of Northern B.C., Vancouver Island Regional Library and the Vancouver Public Library. But the plan is to eventually expand and offer a digital collection of B.C. published books to more libraries in the future.

The B.C. Books Online consortium is looking for funding that would allow them to deliver the collection to all libraries in British Columbia in 2012.

More information about the project can be found at:


The Summer of Funny returns

Think you've got what it takes to make people hoot and howl with laughter? Pick up that pen and paper and show Whistler what you've got by entering the second annual Summer of Funny humour-writing contest, sponsored by Pique Newsmagazine .

The inaugural competition in '09 yielded so many quality submissions that Pique staffers couldn't seem to agree on a clear winner. So it was decided to divide the $400 prize purse among the eight entries that stood out from the more than two-dozen pieces received. And since none of the writers complained, Pique has decided to give the contest another whirl this year. The rules are the same - all written submissions will be accepted, from anywhere in Canada, and can be in the form of stories (up to 2,000 words), poems, plays/scripts, or long-format jokes. We'd even accept cartoons.

The prize money will be the same, as will the review by Pique writers and staff. If there is a clear winner this year they may receive a larger share of the purse at our discretion, otherwise we may decide to simply run a wide selection of pieces this year and divvy up the prize money equally. Humour is subjective after all, and we'd like to give our readers a chance to decide.


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