Heather Reisman, owner of Indigo Books, has challenged the premiers of every province to return to the previous funding formula of 3 new books per student bought each year. At present, school library funding across Canada buys 1/3 of a book per student annually. Reisman will provide books at cost. Since 2004, her charitable foundation has given $4.5 million to 30 schools. Ms. Reisman hopes her company can make a difference in literacy levels by giving kids access to good books.
Answering Reisman’s challenge, Dalton McGuinty announced yesterday that Ontario will give $80 million for new books and $40 million to hire librarians for school libraries. For an elementary school, this means about 430 new books per year. “nothing, by the way, is a stronger foundation for good workers in an innovation-based economy – than good books,” McGuinty said. (Globe and Mail, Sept. 20, 2007, A1.)