Recognizing York’s talented authors

Book lovers are invited to the inaugural celebration of York University’s authors on Wednesday, Nov. 8, from 4 to 8pm, in the atrium on the second floor of the Scott Library. The event, dubbed a Celebration of York Authors, will serve to officially launch a new initiative by York’s Libraries and the York University Bookstores, titled YORKwrites.

 Above: Brent Roe, associate University librarian (left) with Michael Legris,
 marketing & special events coordinator, York University Bookstores, with some
 of the books authored by York faculty

Created to bring profile and recognition to York’s many faculty authors, YORKwrites pays tribute to their many accomplishments. The Celebration of York Authors includes a reception and a display of published works, and will see the official launch of a new YORKwrites Web site which offers a list of recent faculty publications as submitted by the authors themselves.

Brent Roe, associate University librarian, Information Services, and Michael Legris, marketing & special events coordinator, York University Bookstores, are leading the YORKwrites initiative. The pair originally discussed the concept over a year ago. Then, while they were assembling a display of York books and other media for the recent Congress 2006 which took place on York’s Keele campus last May, both say they were struck by the need to recognize the many authors who are faculty members at York University.

They decided to create a list of books, DVDs and recordings made by York faculty. “We sent out a call for recent titles and were delightfully surprised to receive notice of over 400 books, productions on DVD and musical recordings, all authored or edited by our faculty within the last five years,” said Roe.

Left: Roe and Legris set up the display of York faculty authors in the York University Bookstore

A number of titles, Roe discovered, were not held in the University Libraries or sold in the bookstore, simply because they had not come to the attention of either area. That crystallized the need for YORKwrites in the minds of Roe and Legris. They set to work creating a venue which they hope will become an online showcase of significant York faculty publications and a well-used resource for bookstore orders, library acquisitions and members of the community.

Both Roe and Legris stress that York “authorship” and “writing” will be construed very broadly to include scholarly, scientific, professional and creative publication in any format: print, canvas, stage, tape, optical disk – to include virtually all forms within York’s broad creative spectrum. The print realm alone includes not only monographs, but edited collections, significant research reports and articles and professional manuals – the many and varied forms of publication worth recognizing and celebrating.

The pair are confident that the Nov. 8 Celebration of York Authors reception will be a moment of pride for the York community for the considerable achievements of its faculty. “We want it to be an enjoyable couple of hours – a chance to pause, raise a glass and chat with each other,” said Legris. Copies of many recent York books will be available for perusing or purchasing and many others will be on display.

Legris and Roe note that the YORKwrites initiative has met with favour across the University and has been a bit of a “grass roots” phenomenon encouraged by many individuals and offices at York. Beyond encouragement, the upcoming York Authors reception has been has been generously supported by the Libraries, Bookstores, Lorna R. Marsden, the Offices of the VP Academic and the VP Research & Innovation, the Marketing & Communications Division, Printing Services, and the Instructional Technology Centre.

In addition to Roe and Legris, the planning team included: Laurence Boucher and Clay Browne of Account Direction in York’s Marketing & Communications Division; Steve Glassman, Printing Services; Marlin Gold, Faculty of Arts; Maureen Murphy, Development Services, CNS; Bernadine Perreria, York University Foundation; Rosalyn Reid, Office of Research Services; Angus Anderson, Office of the President; Karen Hall, Tina Perera and Deena Yanofsky, of the University Libraries.