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Space Talk at the Library

Local astronomer Frank Hitchens is coming back to the library this month with a presentation in honour of the 50th Anniversary of the moon landing.

Join us on Saturday, July 20th, at 3pm….the exact time and date of the first moon landing…for an amazing talk about the mission, its astronauts, and more.

This event is free, and open to the general public, with no registration needed. Light refreshments will be served, so plan on a fun and interesting afternoon about space flight!

Teens at the library

We have so many fun programs for teens at our library. This summer, we’re continuing with the Teen Summer Reading calendar, which includes lots of fun items, including books to win, challenges, and the ever popular Book Buck Bingo card. Readers will try to read according to the squares, earn book bucks for reading, and spend them at the end of the summer on fun items like gift cards, books, and more.

We’re starting to take applications for the Teen Art Show in October, so drop in to pick one up if you have a teen who loves to create. There are no limits to what they can contribute—last year we had illustrations, paintings, crafts, and even a stop-motion animated story!  It was amazing.  Applications are due by August 31st to be considered.

We’re also going to be putting out applications for our library Teen Advisory Group. This is a great way for teens to earn volunteer hours for school, while having fun and doing great things for the library. Past groups have organized events, represented us in local festivals, and held fund-raising bake sales. Meetings are every month from September to June, and only require participants to take part for 1.5 hours a month. Extra events can earn more hours, but it’s not a requirement. It’s a great way to support the library!

Our Teen Book Club will be starting up again in the fall–although with a somewhat different format. Due to the Interlibrary Loan restrictions, we’ll be reading with themes this year–a popular activity we tried last year. Themes will be announced in August, and teens who want to attend only need to read a book by a certain author, or within a certain genre, and be prepared to talk to the group about it briefly. It’s a super casual meeting once a month, and includes tons of snacks, and laughter. Only ages 12 and up can join, so watch for our announcement later this summer when registration opens up!

And we’ll have some special excitement opening up later this fall in the teen area. Stay tuned for more!

Tax Protest Sells Books

Germany recently imposed a steep 19% “luxury” tax on tampons, and people were outraged. But in protest, founders of the Female Company (an organic sanitary hygiene supplier), decided they could help. They created “The Tampon Book”, a book that opens up to a hollow center and is filled with 15 tampons. The deal? Books are only taxed at 7% in Germany–a significant savings–so the book flew off the shelves.

The first-print run of this book sold out in a day, and the second print-run went in a week. Publishers are currently working on producing the book in other languages, which currently is only available in English.

Not only does the book contain the sanitary products, it also includes stories on the history of menstruation, and vivid illustrations by prominent female artists.  You can read more about this book, and the reasons behind its production here.

3 Things You Need to Know about the “New” Interlibrary Loan System

We’re all adjusting to life with the “new” interlibrary loan system. You might have heard, after a 50% budget cut earlier this year, the ILL program in Ontario was paused so that libraries could get organized, and decide whether we could continue the service within our own budgets. Unfortunately, most libraries were already well into their budget year, and this made for some deep talks with library boards and municipalities. Once the Southern Ontario Library System (SOLS) and Ontario Library System North (OLS-North) tightened their belts even further, they came up with some funding to help us all out. But it’s probably not what you think, and it certainly won’t be the Interlibrary Loan service we were all used to.

So what has changed, and how does the system work now? Here are a few bits of info to help you understand what we’re doing….and what other libraries are trying to do as well.

You can order books once again through Interlibrary Loan. But…

  • Books are now being sent through the mail instead of being delivered by courier.
  • Canada Post has continued our preferred “library rate” for shipping, but we can only ship one book per bag, which means it’s going to cost quite a bit to ship books overall.
  • It’s possible that it will take longer to ship books, and receive books, although we haven’t quite determined that yet. So, keep that in mind if you order a book.
  • Not all libraries are going to be able to ship books in an unlimited format as we used to do. Although SOLS has promised to reimburse libraries for the costs, they only have limited funds, which will be divided up among libraries at the end of the year. We might see good funding, or we might end up having to take on the majority of the cost…no one really knows yet.
  • Not all libraries have been able to work out extra funding, either from their current budgets, or through extra funds from their municipalities. That means, not all libraries will be able to afford to participate.

What does that mean for you?

  • We’ll be able to order books, but they might take longer in the system, as not every library is responding just yet to the service.
  • Book clubs might be restricted to only a few copies of a book, which could be passed around to members to read prior to meetings. That might mean shorter lend times, but it will be up to your library to decide.
  • Not all book clubs will be able to continue in the same way. Some might have to resort to theme months, or author months.
  • We might not be able to get all of the books we once could. An obscure book still in a small library collection might not be loaned now because that library cannot participate in the ILL system due to costs.

We know you’d like to help….

  • Many patrons have offered to pay a fee for their Interlibrary loan, but according to the Library Act, libraries are not allowed to charge fees for borrowing books.
  • Your letters, phone calls, peaceful read-ins, and petition signatures were a HUGE help! You showed the province just how important library services are to patrons, and to the health of libraries in general. While it may not have reversed the cutbacks, we sure felt your support.
  • When ordering books through ILL now, please be patient, and know that we’re doing all we can to support this service and get your materials in a timely manner. No need to call us or drop in repeatedly to check on your item….we’ll contact you as soon as we get your ILL at our library!

Have you been affected by the cuts to Interlibrary Loan service? Let us know what you think!

Wizards Unite!

Late last month, the creators of Pokemon Go released a new augmented reality game for Harry Potter fans called “Harry Potter : Wizards Unite”. With the combination of Google mapping and augmented reality, players will see Harry Potter characters “appear” in the real world around them as they play the role of a new recruit in the Statute of Secrecy Task Force to help solve a mystery.

It has now launched in the US and Canada to lots of great reviews. Pokemon Go was such a hit when it released in 2016 because it allowed people to walk around their communities, meet other people playing the game, and enjoy the outdoors. WB Games is hoping this game will become just a popular. Our summer students downloaded it recently and have been playing ever since. They’re hoping more Harry Potter fans will get on board and join in the fun. What a great summer activity!