On Wednesday, March 20, 2013 we invite you to the library for a poetry reading by Claudia Coutu Radmore, author of

a minute or two/without remembering.’


Join us for an inspiring and evocative evening as Claudia transports us back in time to 1672 when her first French ancestor sailed to New France!

Walk in their shoes, listen to their stories, and experience history!

A minute or two/without remembering takes us from Claudia’s seventh great grandmother, Marguerite de Laplace, one of the ‘daughters’ of the king of France, sent to New France to marry a fur trader; to the Cottu family’s relation to Louis Riel; through the ten year Iroquois threat when the family moved into Montreal for safety; ending with the heartbreaking Seven Years’ War, and its aftermath.

I have come to discover that Claudia is a multi-facetted and multi-talented woman. Born and raised in Montreal, Claudia has spent her life as an educator, an artist, and not least of all, a very accomplished wordsmith.

In 1984 she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Queens University, Kingston.  She has taught elementary school, high school, and adult education in Quebec and Ontario, and trained pre-school teachers as a CUSO volunteer in Vanuatu 1985-1988.

Claudia paints portraits and landscapes in oils, and writes poetry.  She is well known for her Japanese-form poems, as well as for her lyric poetry.  Claudia has edited the Haiku Canada Anthology for several years, is the owner/editor of Bondi Press, and is the president of KaDo, Ottawa’s haiku group.

Author of Your Hands Discover Me (2010), a minute or two/without remembering (2010), and Accidentals (2011), Claudia also edited letters written to her by Leonard Budgell from Labrador, who was a fur trader for the Hudson’s Bay Company, writing the forward to his book “Arctic Twilight” which was published in 2008.  Now retired, Claudia has made Carleton Place her home since 2004. As these are just some of the highlights of Claudia’s career, please visit her website at for more info.

So, please join us Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 7-9 p.m. as we listen to the voices of Claudia’s ancestors.   It’s free – just call 613-257-2702 to reserve your spot!


Everything Old is New Again

Another wonderful display by the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum has transformed our library space once again. Jennifer dropped by and changed out the case with fascinating “new” objects you just need to stop and look at!  We always find these presentations to be so relevant and amazing…it’s hard to believe some of these objects sit in boxes, carefully preserved until Jennifer has a chance to use them again!


If you haven’t been to the library lately, stop by and take a few minutes to look in the big glass case. And bring the kids! There are plenty of wonderful items to look at a discuss. A great way to get in a little local history until the museum opens again!


A lot of people love to read biographies, real life tales about famous (and not-always-so-famous) people.  Who doesn’t enjoy an inside look at a life that maybe we’re not wealthy enough to live? We have an entire biography section, filled with books on movie stars, sports figures, political greats and royalty (amongst other things.)  Please feel free to ask us where to find these books when you drop into the library.

The newest rage in true stories is something called the memoir.  Lots of famous people have written memoirs about specific periods of their lives, and now, lots of “regular” people are writing memoirs about their lives. One of the most popular memoirs right now is Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, which you can finally see on the big screen starring Julia Roberts.

This tells Gilbert’s story of a relationship gone bad and her desire to find happiness again by going away for one year to Italy, Indonesia and India. It’s a fascinating tale of self-discovery and right now, we once again have a waiting list for it.  You can read more about Elizabeth Gilbert and her books right here.

Why are memoirs so fascinating, and just who should write one?  I think the appeal of writing a memoir is obviously becoming famous for just doing something that you’ve either always wanted to do, or never wanted to do.  But it’s not that easy.  The subject matter must be really unique, really appealing to a wide audience and that’s the difficult part.  If I wanted to write a memoir of my life as a librarian, I could probably come up with some interesting anecdotes and maybe my journey to working at the library would be interesting to some, but in general, it just doesn’t have much appeal (except maybe to other librarians).

But if I decided to , say, take a year off and travel across the world to visit libraries in a variety of countries, this might have more appeal as a memoir.  (Of course, it would be even better if along the way I searched for one particular book in each library, for example. The quirkier your adventure, the better).

If you’re thinking about writing a memoir, you might want to check out one of these resources online to get started: Writing MemoirsFreelance Writing – Memoirs, or the fascinating site that helps you document family histories in a memoir, Heritage Memoirs.  While most of us will never publish our own story and see it on the library shelves, the last option of heritage memoirs is a great idea.  You’ll end up with something professional looking and your family won’t lose important stories generations down the road. It might be worth your time!

Carleton Place Local History

Bridge Street, 1930

Carleton Place Bridge Street 1930

We have just launched a sister blog that will detail fascinating information on the history of Carleton Place.  Right now, you can still find a great deal of information in the page called Local History, just off to the right side of this blog, but we decided that because the page is getting quite large, we’d organize all of the info into a great new blog.

If you are interested in taking a look at the new blog, you can find it here at

Carleton Place Local History.

Where in the world is your name popular?

Have you ever wondered where your surname comes from?  Or maybe you already know.  But wouldn’t it be interesting to see exactly where people with your surname live?  World Names Profiler allows you to pop your surname into its search engine and it will map out where others with your surname live in the world.  Fun!

This is a fun site brought to my attention from the great Fire Wire blog (thanks once again!).

Genealogy and great reads!

Some of you may have noticed that we have a few new additions to our blog. I want to welcome Shirley and Lillian, two of my co-workers who will be regularly contributing their unique projects to our blog!

First, Shirley is now writing a few pages on our local history and her favourite genealogy websites. She has put together a list of sites that will help a budding genealogist right up to a very experienced researcher. (Check out her tips……she has some fabulous ideas to help make your search easier.) Please pop by her pages called “Genealogy” and “Local History”, located in the right hand column of this page.

And the newest addition to our library family, Lillian, will be adding her trademark wit and vast knowledge of books to a column called “So many books, so little time”, also on the left hand side of this page. In her first page, she gives readers an idea of the types of books she’ll be reviewing, and you get to know a little about her from this great introduction.

So…..keep watching for new and interesting columns and pages being added to our blog!