Selection Advisory Committee (SAC) Applications Now Open!

Ever wonder how we choose the books on our Reading List each year? 

A committee of children’s story lovers reads and recommends all of our titles for our year-round programming, including the 16th Annual Telling Tales Festival!

Who is the SAC?

The SAC invites educators, librarians, arts professionals, and children’s book-loving community members from the wider community into the programming selection process at Telling Tales, with the hope of selecting titles for the Reading List that represent a diversity of voices and perspectives and are representative of our regional community. The SAC will consist of nine (9) paid members working with Telling Tales staff and SAC Co-chairs from Hamilton Public Library and Burlington Public Library.

We are looking for readers who:

  • Are ages 16+
  • Live in Hamilton, Ontario
  • Can all attend four (4) Zoom meetings after 5pm on Thursday
    • February 15, 2024, 
    • March 21, 2024, 
    • March 28, 2024, and 
    • April 4, 2024
  • Can read ten (10) English children’s e-books in a month (mix of picture books, middle grade, and young adult)
  • Are comfortable pitching ten (10) books to a group of their peers
  • Are passionate about representing the diverse community of young readers in Hamilton. People working with disabilities (visible and/or invisible, physical and/or mental), those who are People of the Global Majority (Black, Indigenous, and people of colour), LGBTQQIP2SAA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Pansexual, Two-Spirit, Androgynous, Asexual), and members of other groups experiencing barriers to equal access, opportunities, and resources will be given priority

What does the SAC do?

The SAC will read 90+ submissions divided between members (10 books per committee member), and meet four (4) times for 2.5 hours each to review submissions from Canadian publishers of children’s books as well as book submissions directly from authors.

The SAC will choose a Short List of 50+ top notch Canadian children’s books that represent the diverse community of young people we serve with our annual programming.

The task of reviewing the submissions requires a significant time commitment. In 2024, we want to ensure that between the members of the committee someone has read every book on our Reading List, vetting it for quality and content. Telling Tales will therefore begin paying committee members for their contributions beginning in 2024 to ensure greater equity of opportunity for all members. 

Telling Tales Staff will then use this Short List as a resource for programming authors and illustrators where most appropriate through the 2024-2025 season. The authors and illustrators who say “yes” to our invitation to be programmed will form our 2024-2025 Reading List.

Time Commitment:

  • Approximately ten (10) hours of meetings on Zoom
  • Approximately ten (10) hours of reading assigned books and meeting preparation

Committee members will be paid $30/hr for their time and efforts.
Apply by January 16, 2024 at 11:59 PM.

Apply Here

Content Labels

Beginning with our 2023 titles, Telling Tales is committed to providing Content/Discussion Topic Labels on an ongoing basis.

Content/Discussion Topics

You have probably seen ratings on movies or video games. Maybe you’ve noticed a little list of content before the episode of a TV show you’re streaming. These content labels are a gentle “heads up” to prepare people for what they are about to see.

Books are only just beginning to highlight the content in them. 

Because content labels are not always put in books by authors and publishers, Telling Tales will provide these labels on our Reading List titles.

Why Label Content?

Labeling sensitive content helps people make informed choices. The decision to label content/discussion topics is with care for our community of readers in mind. 

We encourage parents, caregivers, and educators to research and/or read any of the materials before introducing them to children to be sure the themes and content in them are appropriate. This also allows parents, caregivers, and educators to be prepared to have conversations with child readers about the content they will encounter in a book.

Who Decides What to Label?

For the 2023 titles, Staff have crowd-sourced content labels from book review platforms like Storygraph and Goodreads, in addition to using our knowledge of the books via the Selection process. 

Starting in 2024 our Selection Committee will decide on Content/Discussion Topics. Our Selection Committee is a diverse group of volunteer students, teachers, educators, librarians, and community members who read and vote on the books that are featured in our programming.

As the book space changes we will see more books containing content/discussion topics listed. If the author or publisher provides content/discussion topics, Telling Tales will use those in addition to the expertise of our Selection Committee.

A Commitment to Ongoing Review

An important part of providing labels for content/discussion topics is listening to our community who uses the Reading List and doing continuous review. Telling Tales will continue to change and grow in order to provide our community with the best possible reading experiences.

We welcome feedback from our community. Email