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6. Lists of Jobbers, Vendors and Distributors of Other Language Materials in Canada

Most libraries that buy books in languages other than English and French report that they have to go to vendors located outside Canada to acquire the books and other materials they require. Generally, Canadian vendors are used for smaller volume purchases and by libraries that make occasional purchases. The following provides a list of such jobbers and distributors in Canada, including a brief description and contact information.

6.1 Jobbers and Distributors

The Bibliocentre
The Bibliocentre provides a broad range of library services, including centralized purchasing, cataloguing and licensing. Although originally established to serve Ontario's community colleges, the Bibliocentre has extended its services to all types of libraries. Services include:

  • acquisitions/purchases of new materials;
  • cataloguing according to AACR2 international library standards; and
  • cataloguing to LC standards of foreign language material, including many Indian and Chinese languages, Russian, German, Spanish and Swedish.

Coutts Library Services Canada
Coutts Library Services is a major international supplier of books to academic, medical, professional and reference libraries with offices in Europe, the US and Canada. Coutts also offers customized approval plans using profile criteria such as subject, readership level and country of origin.

Duncan Systems Specialists Inc (DSS)
According to their Web site, DSS "offers a wide range of bibliographic services and products for all types of libraries worldwide." These services involve cataloguing, including foreign language materials, processing and database services.

Library Services Centre (LSC)
The Library Services Centre (LSC) is a central purchasing and processing centre for Canadian libraries. It provides services to over 200 libraries across Canada. Many libraries in Ontario rely on LSC as a source for acquiring and cataloguing materials in other languages. LSC has supplied material in Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, Farsi, German, Gujarat, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Mandarin, Panjabi, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Urdu and Vietnamese.

LSC provides Automatic Release Plans (ARP) services to public libraries, including multicultural materials.

LSC began very limited ARP for multilingual material in 1998 as pilot projects and continues to offer the service to current LSC clients. ARP Plans are customized but typically share the following:

  • LSC and the Library agree on a budget and selection criteria/profile.
  • LSC works with the multilingual vendors, giving them the specific criteria of the selection profiles.
  • The vendors will submit the materials (to LSC) based on the library's profile.
  • LSC will return to the vendor any material that does not concur with the library's profile.
  • LSC will catalogue and process the material for the libraries if it is part of the agreement.
  • LSC informs the library of material to be delivered.
  • The library has the right to decline titles when the title is presented or when material is delivered.

National Book Service

OCLC Canada
OCLC provides a service known as OCLC Language Sets which is intended to assist libraries in building multilingual collections. OCLC Language Sets provides a package aimed at providing a library with everything required to start, maintain or expand a non-English language collection of books and videos. OCLC's language-expert librarians choose recently released materials that appeal to a wide range of patron interests. The Language Set includes full MARC cataloging and optional physical processing so that when a library receives the materials, they are ready to be circulated.

According to the OCLC Web site, language specialists:

  • select and acquire current popular materials in your choice of 12 languages for adults or children;
  • catalogue in full MARC with LC subject headings and Dewey or LC call numbers. All records include at least one romanized vernacular or Bilindex subject heading;
  • physically process your items, if requested;
  • set your holdings in WorldCat; and
  • ship your new materials to you at no cost.

OCLC creates new language sets every other month for a total of six sets per language each year. Language sets are available in Bengali, Chinese, Gujarati, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Panjabi, Russian, Spanish, Tamil and Urdu. Each set includes a mix of fiction and non-fiction titles for adults or children. Language sets can be ordered online through the OCLC Web site. Posters and bookmarks are available to assist with promoting the service.

S&B Books Ltd.
Based on a budget and genre profile established with the client library, S&B selects books for their clients with the help of their suppliers for adult fiction and non fiction, children's fiction and non fiction, picture books, board books and young adult books in French, Spanish, Italian, German, Chinese, Vietnamese, Hebrew, Portuguese, Russian, Dutch, Croatian, Urdu, Panjabi, Gujarat, Hindi, Farsi, Polish, Arabic and Cambodian. S&B selects and provides MARC records with shelf-ready material.

Southern Ontario Multilingual Pool
The Southern Ontario Multilingual Pool (SOMP) is a group of libraries working together to enhance multilingual service in their communities. The pool is governed and managed by the members who establish policy and procedures, determine membership fee and make decisions about the acquisition of materials. Southern Ontario Library Service (SOLS) provides administrative support to the pool, including accounting, purchasing, processing, and membership renewal services. In addition, SOLS maintains a database of the collection, prepares the rotation schedule and transports the material via the SOLS courier service to member libraries. The collection comprises material in both print and video. The pool owns 3600 books in 15 different languages and 3300 videos in 17 languages. SOMP has developed a substantial list of vendors of materials in other languages (See Appendix C).

By providing a cooperative model, which enables the sharing of resources, SOMP has enabled many public libraries in Ontario to supply new and varied multicultural materials.

6.2 Vendors

Extensive list of multilingual vendors are produced and maintained by several library systems. Two good examples are included in the appendices. See Appendix C for the list developed by the Southern Ontario Multilingual Language Pool (SOMP), and see Appendix D for the list developed by the Vancouver Public Library.

There is a growing number of online vendors for books and other materials in many languages. A few examples of online bookstores and vendors of materials in non-English languages follow.
They are organized in the following manner;
6.2.1 Providers of Materials in One Language, and
6.2.2 Providers of Materials in Multiple Languages

6.2.1 Providers Of Materials in One Language
Online bookstores are being established in many countries. For example:
The Polish Library in Montréal reports that they buy many of their Polish books from and online Polish bookstore located in Warsaw.

BESAHY: Books from Ukraine & More
Besahy provides books, video and audiotapes, and CDs from Ukraine via the Internet. More than 1 000 titles are currently available. An electronic copy of their catalogue and relevant information on ordering, shipment, and payment are available from Two versions, in Cyrillic and in Latin font, are available.

Some other vendors of single language materials that are used by libraries in Canada, and which are not included in either the SOMP list or the Vancouver Public Library list provided in the appendices, are listed here.

Artus Polish Bookstore
1638 Bloor Street West
Toronto, ON  M6P 4A8 CANADA

Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta
University of Alberta
CIUS Press
450 Athabasca Hall
University of Alberta
Edmonton, AB  T6G 2E8
Telephone: 780-492-2972
Fax: 780-492-4967

German Book Haus
2056 Blossom Drive
Ottawa ON  K1H 6G8
Telephone: 613-730-0555
Fax: 613-730-0734
Contact: Irmtraut Lyon for German Books

Scansom Publishers
10 Shendale Drive
Toronto ON  M9W 2B3
Telephone: 416-749-2761
Contact: Mohammed Hassan for Somali Books

6.2.2 Providers of Materials in Multiple Languages
Although lists very few non-English language books, Amazon now has bookstores in the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Japan that do offer many non-English language books. Thus, Amazon provides a full service in several different languages.
This is a major online Arabic bookstore with materials in English and in Arabic languages. The site can be searched using the following browsers: Arabic Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator with Sindbad plug-in.

Schoenhof's Foreign Books
Schoenhof's Foreign Books offers a large selection of foreign-language material including language-learning material for over 700 languages and dialects, as well as fiction, non-fiction, and children's books in 50 languages.

Some other vendors of multiple language materials that are used by libraries in Canada, and which are not included in either the SOMP list or the Vancouver Public Library list provided in the appendices, are listed here.

Somali Resource and Heritage Center
1719 Bank Street, Suite 301C
Ottawa ON K1V 7Z4
Telephone: 613-733-1463
Fax: 613-733-3956
Contact: Mohamed Hussein Hadi for Somali Books

Spectrum A
747-C Richmond Road
Ottawa ON  K3H 0G6
Telephone: 613-729-8853
Fax: 613-726-8860
Contact: Marina Lerner for Russian Books

University of Alberta
Edmonton, AB T6G 2E8
Telephone: 780-492-2972
Fax: 780-492-4967

Chinatown store
115 East Pender Street,
Vancouver BC  V6A 1T6
Telephone: 604-688-2831
Fax: 604-688-2863
General Manager: Jenny Chu (cell phone: 604-728-6138)
They also have stores in Richmond and Burnaby.

Middle East Bookstore
877 Décarie Boulevard
St-Laurent QC  H4L 3M2
Telephone: 514-744-4886
Fax: 514-744-1237
Contact: Hassan Isidean for Arabic Books

Sino United Publishing (Toronto) Ltd.
3280 Midland Avenue, Unit 28
Scarborough ON  M1V 4W9
Telephone: 416-293-2696
Fax: 416-293-9716
Contact: Tony Li, Assistant Manager
Chinese books from Hong Kong and Taiwan

Sino United Publishing (Vancouver) Ltd.
78-80 East Pender Street
Vancouver BC  V6A 1T1
Telephone: 604-688-3785
Fax: 604-688-0798
Manager: Mr. Huang Jianye
They also have stores in Burnaby, Calgary and Toronto.

Ukrainian Book Store
P.O. Box 1640
10215 - 97 Street
Edmonton AB  T5J 2N9
Toll Free: 1-866-422-4255
Telephone: 780-422-4255
Fax: 780-425-1439
Carries a wide array of books, magazines, newspapers and journals from Canada, the United States, Ukraine and other European countries.

6.3 Sources of Information on Vendors and Publishers

The BookWire Index - Non-English Booksellers

This site offers an extensive list of online non-English language booksellers.

Ethnic Media and Markets, Canadian Advertising Rates and Data (CARD)
Ethnic Media and Markets, which is distributed through Canadian Advertising Rates and Data (CARD), provides a good overview of the magazines and papers published in Canada in a variety of languages. It provides current data on advertising rates, circulation and key contacts, an alphabetical index of media listed by print publication, radio and television stations along with essential data for advertising professionals.

Multi-Cultural Books and Videos: The Marketplace for World Languages
Multi-Cultural Books & Videos, Inc claims to offer a one-stop shopping source for an extensive range of in a host of languages, including Spanish, French, German, Italian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Arabic, Polish, Portuguese, Tagalog, Greek, Thai, Russian, Ukrainian, Hungarian, Somali, Persian, Cambodian, Hmong and Lao. They also provide books and videos from India in Hindi, Panjabi, Bengali, Urdu, Gujarati, Tamil and Malayalam.

Library and Archives Canada, Canadian Multilingual Newspapers Currently Received
Library and Archives Canada's list of the multilingual newspapers is used by libraries across Canada to identify the newspapers that are published in Canada. (See Appendix E)

Toronto Public Library, Canadian Newspapers by Language
TPL provides an extensive list of Canadian newspapers in languages other than English and French in their newspapers holdings list.

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