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!

Stan Lee’s First Adult Novel!

He might be gone, but Stan Lee’s comic book legacy lives on. A TRICK OF LIGHT, written by Stan Lee and Kat Rosenfield, is set to hit shelves later this year, with an audiobook version being released early at the end of this month!

This is the first adult novel by Lee that follows two teenagers–one who is born with super powers, and another who develops them later—as they team up to save the world. Sounds about right.

The fun thing about the Audible book is that Stan Lee recorded a little opening for it, explaining his series and the ideas behind it. What a treat for listeners and fans!

A TRICK OF LIGHT will be available September 17, 2019.


It’s nice to see that kids follow their favourite authors just like adults. Lately, we’ve been getting lots of questions about Raina Telgemeier’s GUTS, which doesn’t officially come out until September. GUTS is another one of Telgemeier’s true, heartfelt stories about growing up. Her other books SMILE, DRAMA, and SISTERS circulate widely in our library, and we’re sure this one will, too.

If you’d like to get your name on the list early, drop by to place a hold, or use your library card and PIN online to do it yourself!

The List

Do you have a teen who might be looking for something interesting to read? The Toronto Public Library runs a great service for teens called “The List”. They interview teen readers in their branches about great new books they’ve read, and why they thought they were fantastic.

Drop by their page to hear more, and get a new reading list for summer!

We Picked the Winners

In late April, our young readers who participated in Forest of Reading™ at the library, voted on their favourite books and joined us for a celebration party. Our choices were:

Blue Spruce® — TRICKY by Kari Rust

Silver Birch Express® — TANK & FIZZ: THE CASE OF FIREBANE’S FOLLY by Liam O’Donnell

Silver Birch Fiction® — FALCON WILD by Terry Lynn Johnson

Red Maple® — THE ASSASSIN’S CURSE by Kevin Sands

We sent all of our votes (even the ones that weren’t the local winners) to Toronto, and the final winners were recently announced. They were:

Blue Spruce® — BARNABY NEVER FORGETS by Pierre Collet-Derby

Silver Birch Express® — MEET VIOLA DESMOND by Elizabeth MacLeod

Silver Birch Fiction® — CHASE: GET READY TO RUN by Linwood Barclay


Red Maple® —  A WORLD BELOW by Wesley King

Congratulations to all of the winners!