The Wigham Family Collection: The Best In Children's Literature
For further assistance in using any of the resources in the Lab, please ask at the Curriculum Lab Information Services Desk
What is the collection?
This collection represents the most outstanding works in children's literature, both fiction and non-fiction, published each year. It was intitiated in 1982 by the Wigham family.
Who are the Wighams?
Darol and Evelyn Wigham are highly regarded for their philanthropic work in support of education. Their daughter Patricia graduated from the University of Lethbridge Faculty of Education in 1981 with a Bachelor of Education. As a gesture of their appreciation for the quality of education she received here, the Wighams established a fund for developing a collection of the finest children's literature, to be made available to students at the University of Lethbridge.
The Curriculum Laboratory is proud to provide a home for this outstanding collection.
How many books are in the Wigham Family Collection?
There are presently 8000 titles in this collection.
How do I know a particular book is part of the Wigham collection?
The Wigham sticker in the front of a book is your assurance that it has been given a stamp of quality and is considered to be among the best in children's literature.
How do I find a book from the Wigham collection in the Curriculum Laboratory?
These titles can be easily searched in the Library catalogue:
The titles you find using this approach are guaranteed to "well reviewed."
- by typing "Wigham" into the library catalogue as a keyword search
- Using the Modify Search button to limit to location UofL Curriculum Lab
- Sort by date
- You can also add any keyword you would like to this search, to focus on a particular author or subject.
How do you choose the books each year?
The titles are selected from reviews found in these sources:
- Resource Link Magazine's "The Year's Best" Canadian Titles and "Awards" lists
- School Library Journal Magazine's Annual "Best Books" list
- American Library Association's "Award Winners"
- Library and Archives Canada's "Read Up On It" Canadian Award Winning English and French Titles
- National Science Teacher Association's "Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students"
- Booklist Magazine's "Best Books" lists
- Rocky Mountain Book Award's "Shortlist"
What is new to the collection?
This year, we selected $5000 worth of titles. Besides the standard titles we purchase each year, as outlined above, we will be developing the following specialized collections of well-reviewed titles over the next few years:
How helpful is this collection to Education faculty and students?
Rather than paraphrase, we’re happy to let you read what Faculty of Education professors and instructors have to say about the benefits of the Wigham Family Collection.
“To be able to send our student teachers to the Curriculum Laboratory knowing that the best books are available right here helps the best of theory and practice to happen together for the good of all our students. Of course the professors like to read them too, to feel better about the world! It keeps our own literary knowledge current so it is also a site of research for us." (Dr. Leah Fowler)
"The Wigham Collection has greatly enhanced our ability to put exemplary literature in the hands of student teachers, which in turn, means that children are also the beneficiaries of these wonderful books." (Dr. Robin Bright)
In keeping with the spirit of this fine collection – which is dedicated to the magic of literature and the power of the imagination – we have created an area in honour of the Wigham family in the Curriculum Laboratory. This reading area is equipped with comfortable chairs, book displays and a superb view of the river coulees.
Prepared July 2005. Revised March 2013.