The fifth version or series of the library began publishing around 2000. The titles sold in $7.95 to $14.95 range depending on the time the book was issued and the number of pages it included.
The philosophy changed at M&S over the years since the NCL’s first publication back in 1958. Where under Sinclair Ross’ editorship, the library balanced the contemporary authors with ones from the beginnings of Canada’s creation, and included titles that were popular with titles that where more significant for historical reasons, after the departure of Ross, the library gravitated more toward sales and the perceived popularity of new additions. By Series Four this new philosophy was in full maturation. Titles that were unpopular were dropped. With so many titles that were traditionally re-issued going the way of the Dodo, maintaining the numbering system seemed both antiquated and possibly confusing for new readers/collectors of the library. So it was abandoned. From Series Four on, books would stand on their own merit, new titles were issued with no numbering and sales would be the major factor on whether books included in the library would continue to be published.
The design was an improvement over Series Four. The designers didn’t limit themselves with two or three base colours. Series Five had a wide variety of base colours, ranging from a bland grey to a eye-widening lime. Artwork continued to be used. The same logo from Series Four was used except it ran down rather than sideways on the spine.
The Front Cover
The front cover is dominated by a painting and its coloured border. It occupies about 75% of the cover. A colour is chosen for the border, and the 25% remaining is a lighter version of that colour. Within the border of the painting, at the lower center is printed the title (in the same lighter colour of the bottom 25%). In the lower 25%, printed in a larger font and in white is the author’s name. Below the name, printed in black is the identification of the afterward author.
The Back Cover
The back cover is cut up into four sections with the bottom right quadrant covering most of the area. Its background colour is a light yellow and contains the book synopsis at the top and contains the identity of the painting (on the front cover), the ISBN, the book price, bar codes and M&s’ logo, catch-phrase and website address below.
The top right quadrant shows a small cut of piece of the front cover painting. The bottom left quadrant is of the same color as the front upper painting background and contains the NCL logo. The top right quadrant is black and “New Canadian Library” is printed in the lower area in capitals and in white.
The spine is all black except at the top where it is colored the same as the painting border on the front cover. Inside is the NCL logo followed below by an inverted triangle. Below the triangle is the author’s name and book title in capital letters in white.