Rosie DiManno on learning about libraries

Hello, I’m Rosie DiManno, I just dropped off my new daughter, Annalise, at nursery. Welcome to the team. You’ll enjoy it. (Have you ever watched Wolfenstein 3D? It’s short!)

As you know, today I was on the Toronto District School Board’s Public Education Advisory Committee. I am volunteering on this committee, and I am proud to be a member of the community who supports and listens to our children.

The biggest question I was asked today was why we are receiving seven books today, but not any book that had been under consideration in September. Your decision not to share libraries of collected books across the city was confusing and unfortunate, to say the least.

I can imagine how a parent feels reading in a public place that the school board of Toronto is only able to share books in a well-organized way.

Another parent told me about a letter she received from her local school, announcing that the book they were going to use to introduce her daughter to Indian stereotypes was at a high risk of becoming lost in the collection. The parent was forced to go home and find the book.

To answer your question, I’m sure it was a difficult time for you. And for me, as a community volunteer on this committee, I empathize with you. I did not attend your school board meeting on September 19. I am not the board’s representative. But I have a public board-provided library on my bookshelf – as well as other books shared by the board. I am not sending my kids to school for recess – and I am proud to volunteer in my community and keep the line between the curriculum and educational community easy to understand.

You have said that the criteria used to select the books this week focuses on “equality, transparency, equity, and inclusion.” I wholeheartedly agree. That is why I continue to put these books out to our communities on our website.

Please keep reading.

The following seven books were selected for sharing by our committee. See our full recommendations here: www.upistan.ca/school-library/book-selection/

“The Blue Crate” by Jimmie Robinson

“Life Bites Back” by Adrienne Wood

“Bean” by Jayidi McCall

“The Raven of South Africa” by Jim Leaver

“Chronicles of the Pasha Monster” by Kate Atkinson

“Blackstone Kane” by John Gray

“Powerhole” by Rachel Armstrong

“Saving the Owl” by Marie Owens

– Rosie DiManno

This is Rosie DiManno at Surrey’s Woodlands International School. Visit Woodlands for more interesting ways to get involved in Surrey.

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