Behind the Scenes at First Book Canada: Rebeca

Rebeca Delgado is the Programs Coordinator at First Book Canada.

Can you tell us a bit about what you do as Programs Coordinator?

As Programs Coordinator, there are 3 major things that I oversee.

1: For the First Book Canada Marketplace, I oversee the book purchases – making sure we have a variety of Canadian authored, high quality books – and make sure they are in the proper categories. I listen to what our members are asking for and try to incorporate those suggestions into our orders. Special orders are a unique element of this part of my job. I take special orders when organizations are looking to get very new or topic-specific books. I can coordinate a purchase directly from a publisher for them.

2: For our programs, I manage and oversee the book donations for Pop Up Book Distributions and National Book Banks, as well as securing locations for our distributions.

3: On top of purchasing the books for Reading Celebrations, I’m also responsible for coordinating the guest author to make sure they get to the right place at the right time with the materials they need.

Out of all these different parts of your jobwhich one gets you the most excited?

It’s a tie between the Reading Celebrations, when I can make it out to them, and Book Distributions.

Both of them require a lot of planning, where I am managing them for weeks or months. At these events, I can get to meet the members we work with, face to face.

When I do get the chance to go to our events, it’s a friendly reminder of “this is what we’re doing and this is why we’re doing it.”

With Reading Celebrations, especially, I love the chance to meet the author or illustrator involved. We’re so grateful of authors like Mike Boldt or Helaine Becker, who have become Author Champions after working with us and are consistently supporting our work. I’m always starstruck.

Is there an author you’d love to meet?

My dream is to plan an event and meet with Barbara Reid. She’s worked with First Book Canada before (before I worked here) and she’s celebrating the 25th anniversary of Gifts next year… so maybe!

What’s something that you’d love people to know about us?

We’re a very small team. Small but mighty: that’s the term I use to refer to us.

I think a lot of people think that we are a huge organization with different offices across the country, but in reality, we’re a small group in the suburbs of Mississauga. We try hard to do great things across the country. It all just comes down to us and our volunteers.

Any final comments you’d like to share?

We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without our members. All their support is important. When we return to a city, it’s because of overwhelming support from them. We remember faces. We remember names. There is a relationship there.

Oh, and come volunteer with us!