NaNoWriMo and the Library

crest-bda7b7a6e1b57bb9fb8ce9772b8faafbOnce again, we’re finishing up a NaNoWriMo program at the library in a few days. We have a great group of writers who have participated in many of our National Novel Writing Month programs, and this session was filled with a fantastic group as usual.

What have we been working on this month?

  • We have 11 participants who are either writing a new novel, working on a previous book, or plotting a new book for 2016.
  • Since we began this program, we’ve had 10 novels completed, from thrillers, to fantasy, to romantic comedies.
  • We are busy prepping for a fun creativity workshop in the new year that will help our writers—and anyone else who feels stifled in their creative zone—to work through the block and start creating again.
  • Due to popular demand, our Carleton Place Public Library writers are working on plans to start a writing blog to tell our community about what we do, and allow new members to check us out before coming to one of our meetings.
  • And our future plans include a community writing project that we hope will allow other library patrons to see exactly what we’re working on at the library!

If you’re interested in joining our writing group, you can send us a quick email to find out more (, drop by the library for more information on NaNoWriMo and how we participate at the library, or watch for one of our upcoming sessions in the new year, listed in our Winter Newsletter.

On a fun note, our writers finishing up books this month are going to be heading into the last four hours of the event with a fun write-in at the library…until midnight! We’ll have word sprints, prizes, and probably lots of coffee to keep us all going.

This is a great group of people at all experience levels and writing many different things. If you need some support to help you follow through with your writing plans, this might be the group for you. If you’re looking for some detailed criticism, we can also probably help you with that, too, although we’re not a critique group per se. Regardless, we’d love to have you at one of our meetings if you’re able to attend.

See you writing at the library!


The Stories are Over.

storytime1We’re finishing up a lot of our fall programs this week and next, including storytime. This is such a favourite of our patrons, and I know it will be tricky getting the little ones out of the schedule, but we hope everyone will continue to visit the library during December to take out books and DVDs.

Our new Winter program schedule will go out in a week or so at the front desk. We’re busy planning a variety of amazing things for our patrons for 2016, so keep watching here and on our Facebook page for all of the details.

Our next storytime session will start on January 13th, and registration will begin on December 15th. Please call early to register for the space you would like, either at 9:30am, or 10:15am. We always have a fun morning!

See you in 2016!

Visit the Museum!

Museum pass

It seems that people are still just hearing about this great program that we’re thrilled to offer to our patrons—museum passes!  And they aren’t just for kids. All you need is a library card.

We have museum passes for all of the Ottawa museums, and the pass covers FIVE (5) general admissions. Some of the passes allow up to three adults, but most are for two adults, and up to three children. The passes do not cover admission for special events, but go to see a regular exhibit, and we’ve got you covered.

The passes go out for a total of four days turnaround. After that, if the pass is late, there is a fine of $1 per day.  Only one pass per family, please.

If you’re thinking of things to do with the kids over the holidays, don’t forget these great passes. They’ll save you some money to spend on something special!

How to Tell a Story

8631214f-e8d3-40db-937d-c846b748b766Recently, at one of our NaNoWriMo group meetings, we talked about how to put together a story, and the art of the first line. While I spend a great deal of time with my young writers talking about elements of a story, and working specifically on first lines, I’ve never really done this with the adults.

But I came across this fabulous new book called, HOW TO TELL A STORY, by Daniel Nayeri, which is part book, part game…and now I want to use it everywhere! This book is used as a resource to allow children to learn how to construct a story using 20 interactive colour-coded blocks to help them along. Used in big groups or small, it’s a great way to get children of all ages to think about how stories work, and why they won’t work. I’m pretty sure our adults would have fun with this as an exercise as well.

You can see more about this interesting new teachable here:

Doesn’t this sound fun? I can’t wait to see what everyone writes!

Do You Have a Plan?

PLANI have written this blog since 2007. It’s a wonderful way for us to share information about our library, but also to connect our readers with fun or informative posts about all things bookish. (And not so bookish….we’ve had a lot of posts about Star Wars, apparently!)

I also have a personal blog, and write for another group blog, so you could say that blogging takes up a lot of my time. (Although I must admit, the last post in my personal blog was from—er, early October.)

Recently, we’ve had discussions with our adult writing group at the library about starting a blog, and what types of information we’d like to get out there to the public about writing at the Carleton Place Public Library. It’s in the beginning stages, really, without much of a plan yet, but I know that having a direction, and getting everyone on board with the same goals is going to make things a lot easier in the long run. Which made me very happy to see this informative post on By Regina regarding having a blog business plan.

A lot of the Regina’s plan involves making money, which is not the intention of our blog at all, but most of the advice is really, really good. And if you’re considering ways to make your personal blog even better, you could do a lot of good by trying to implement a few of the ideas.

My favourites?

  • Having a blog style guide to help you keep the look of your blog consistent and polished.
  • Tracking your monthly stats/analytics to see where you are generating traffic, and where things need to be improved. Stats can really tell you a lot about your content, and how you might manage slow spots.
  • Social promotion. We don’t do enough of this at the library, but promoting blog posts on other social media sites in a timely way, will bring in different readers.
  • Have a posting schedule.

There are plenty of great ideas here, but you can take what you like and mix and match. Also, if you followed a previous post about intentional ignorance, this might be too exhausting to work through. Even if you take one thing from this, it will improve your blogging greatly. Then….file it away and forget about it until you need it again.

What is French Storytime all about?

We’ve had a bit of a slow start to our French Storytime, or “Une Heure de Conte en francais” at the library on Friday mornings this fall. Since we’re gearing up for the last few before we take a break, I’d like to talk about what we do at these sessions. They’re a lot of fun, and I think many people would enjoy them!

French Storytime posterfall2015WHO IS THIS FOR?

French storytime is aimed at children with some French language skills, but there is no need to be fluent. We read stories mostly in French (although there is plenty of English to keep everyone up to speed), and sing songs, or watch French videos.


We begin with lots of great stories, and try to base the sessions on the median age of the group. If the children appear to have more French language skills, we’ll switch it up and do a lot of fun reading. And if they’re still learning, then the sessions change. We also end each morning with a fun colouring sheet and possibly even a stamp, and a visit with some puppet friends.


We hold all our storytime sessions in the Barbara Walsh room, just off the Kids Corner. You can come in the back door, or drop in the usual way through the front entrance. During the colder months, we’ll have lots of space to store coats and boots, but come a little bit early to get settled. No registration is required, so drop in around 10:30am on Fridays to participate.

As with our other storytime sessions, we’ll be taking a little break during December, and starting up again in the new year. Follow us on Facebook for a current schedule. And if a storytime day falls on a day when buses are cancelled, we won’t hold the storytime session.


Join us each Friday at 10:30am for about a half hour session. You can stay as long as you wish, as the library is open all day on Fridays, but plan to come a few minutes early so that we can get started. Our last session is Friday, November 27th.

Help us to keep wonderful programs like this going through the year. Plan on attending and enjoy what the library has to offer!