You, Me, Us is the name of the IBBY Collection for Young People with Disabilities exhibit at the Toronto Reference Library.
This special exhibit gives visitors a look at some of the best of the best books in the Collection and runs from November 16, 2019, to January 26, 2020.
Under the direction of Leigh Turina, Lead Librarian of the Collection, the exhibit was co-curated by Wendy McPhee and Debora Pearson. They were assisted by a team of staff at both the Collection for Young People with Disabilities and the Toronto Reference Library.
Great care was given to include elements for visitors with special needs. For example, all of the descriptions of the art and books are in print and in Braille. There are spots in the gallery where visitors can sit and handle books from the collection. There are even three painstakingly created Braille mazes on the walls for visitors to try!
In all there are 21 books in the exhibit that represent the variety of books and countries in the collection: books whose themes include blindness, autism, wheelchair users, and Down’s Syndrome. There are other books that are handmade and tactile, or wordless and still others like Eric Carle’s classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
The official opening on Wednesday, November 28, was attended by special guest Liz Page, Executive Director of IBBY. Dozens of local authors, illustrators, publishers, librarians, educators, filmmakers, and IBBY Canada members enjoyed the attractive and informative display. The event was honoured by the presence of Deborah Ahenkorah from Ghana who is the recent recipient of the Global Pluralism Award. The room was filled with lively conversation as Leigh Turina encouraged guests to talk to someone they didn’t know.
Like the collection itself, the exhibit is a magical place where barriers break down and “them and us” becomes You, Me, Us.
You, Me, Us
Outstanding Books for and about Young People with Disabilities
Toronto Reference Library
789 Yonge St.
November 16, 2019 – January 26, 2020
— Theo Heras, 2nd Vice- President IBBY Canada