New Horizons

Today is the day New Horizons will make its closest swing by Pluto, and the world is waiting for the photos and information. It’s going to be an amazing day!

NHHopkinsPoster_letterSize-page-001If you’ve been following NASA’s delve into the deepest parts of our Universe, it’s been a long time coming. Launched in 2006, New Horizons is the first spacecraft to reach Pluto and the Kuiper Belt…the farthest reaches of our Solar System. While it won’t land on Pluto, it is tasked with taking photos and uploading as much information to be transferred back to NASA as possible. We are finally going to see what this planet—and then non-planet—is all about.

Last week, only 10 days before the final pass, New Horizons had a bit of a technical issue which resulted in no information being sent to NASA for almost a 90 minute period. They were forced to shut down the main computer system in order to figure out the problem, but for a while, it was unclear if they’d be able to get it functioning in time to take photos or send back any information at all by the time today rolled around. Thankfully, the amazing brains at NASA managed to figure out the glitch and get New Horizons back on track.

You can read all about the mission, future missions, and what they hope to discover about Pluto at NASA’s New Horizons page right here.

For weeks, NASA has been answering fantastic questions posted by people on their Facebook page, on Twitter and through email. Questions like, “Why is it just passing by and not landing?” (Watch this quick video to find out! Hint: it has something to do with fuel.), and “How big or how small is Pluto?” (answer: it’s only about half the width of the United States).

We have lots of books about space in the library, as well as NASA, and specifically, Pluto. And if you’d like to have your own New Horizons Plutopalooza party to celebrate (maybe a fun event for the kids?), check out the information NASA has compiled on their website, complete with printable stickers, posters and more.

plutoHappy fly-by, New Horizons!  We can’t wait to see what you find!


Last summer, our adult readers had a lot of fun with our “Goodies for Grown Ups” adult summer reading tickets. After joining the program and reading books, they were given special scratch-off tickets to win prizes that were donated by several local businesses. It was a big hit!

scratchoffmap2So, when I came across this Scratch-Off World Map, it reminded me of our program. The “I Was Here” map is a unique item designed by the Art. Lebedev Studio Shop to help travelers keep track of places they’ve been. It begins as a large, grey world map, but once you visit a place, you scratch off the country and the colour is revealed underneath. How is that for incentive to get visiting the world?

This gives me ideas for our upcoming summer program…..

What Was There?

For our Frivolous Friday post, we’re visiting a fun site called “What Was There?”  It allows readers to upload their own photos of specific buildings that used to be in places that might now be built up, or changed in some way.  It’s fun, even if you don’t know any of the places.  The old photos layered over a Google map image is fascinating!

thereIf you have a few minutes this weekend, spend time either uploading your own photos, or looking through some of the ones that are already posted. It will help you see your world with new eyes! (Hint: try some of the countries other than the US.!)


We just got a fabulous new book at the library called IF…A MIND-BENDING NEW WAY OF LOOKING AT BIG IDEAS AND NUMBERS by David J. Smith.


It’s written by a Canadian author and educator, who really knows how to engage readers. This has wonderful unique ways of presenting ideas on size and numbers that any kid (or adult) can understand. It’ll surely open their minds to looking at the world around them in a different way.

For example, did you know that if the planets in the Solar System were shrunk to the size of balls, and Earth was the size of a baseball, Mercury would be about the size of a ping-pong ball, and Jupiter would be the size of one of those large exercise balls you balance on for core strength.  The sun would be MUCH bigger than that in comparison, about 10 times the diameter of that exercise ball! WOW!

Or….if all the water on Earth were represented by 100 glasses, then 97 of the glasses would be filled with salt water, and only three of the glasses would contain fresh water. BUT…only ONE of those glasses of fresh water would represent all the fresh water available to us.  The rest of the fresh water is locked up in glaciers, frozen in the atmosphere or deep underground.  Kind of puts things in perspective, doesn’t it?

The facts are accompanied by wonderful illustrations done by Steve Adams. Honestly, this is a book EVERY child should read. It should be required for school. If I had known a lot of this information when I was younger, maybe I’d have taken a greater interest in math and science.

Drop in to the library to borrow the book or place a hold. This is one read for everyone.

Find a Bookstore…

Even as a library, we support our local bookstore here in Carleton Place. There have been many times we’ve needed a book (or books), and Aisha at Read’s Book Shop has come through in a pinch! It’s wonderful to shop local, and this little bookstore offers up all of the usual fun—-book clubs, a dynamite coffee shop atmosphere, and even special storytimes during the summer months.


Now, the Retail Council of Canada has launched a website to help you find an independent bookstore in your area. allows you to pop in your address, and it will search for Canadian Independent shops only. How easy is that? Support your local retail shops.



London’s Literary Benches

London has just done something every major city in the world should do! They’ve installed 50 literary-themed benches across the city as part of an initiative by the National Literary Trust to encourage reading and celebrate London’s literary heritage. Isn’t this brilliant?

69636f25-acaa-4b3e-8ef2-c1158aa8ae42-460x301Book bench dedicated to The Wind in the Willows and painted by Mik Richardson. Photograph: Chris O’Donovan for the National Literacy Trust

The 50 benches are dedicated to books, authors and characters. Not every one is easy to figure out, but that’s part of the challenge, isn’t it? And the location of each bench is also a closely guarded secret. People are encouraged to look for them around the city and post their photos. And if you can come up with a great suggestion for bench #51, London is looking for input! Read more on the benches and see the artists work on them right here.

Don’t you think these would look great anywhere?

Selling Your House?

For our Frivolous Friday post, we’re going to talk about real estate. Okay, we’re not really going to discuss it at all, but rather, I’m going to share a site with you that should make you appreciate any real estate agent you hire in the future. Unless you hire one of these.

Terrible Real Estate Agent Photos is a compilation of the absolute worst (and funniest) photos taken in order to try to sell property. 

tumblr_n5f60vTPPx1rrqskho1_500Yes, they actually posted the photo upside down. After posting the photo sideways. Then, they gave up.

tumblr_n4e5dyKhwo1rrqskho1_500And this one was deemed acceptable to post. Wouldn’t you jump at the chance to purchase this house?

Take some time to look through the posts.  They’re hilarious, and you might want to follow them on Twitter so you never miss one again! Happy House Hunting!