Canada’s History

canadashistory kayakhistoryLet’s talk about Canada today, because we all know who we’ll be discussing everywhere today. Canada is celebrating it’s 150th birthday this year, so we’re interested in finding out more about our country’s interesting past. And what better way to do it than read about it in a glossy magazine?

This month, “Canada’s History” magazine has an interesting read about 100 years of our nation’s favourite game, hockey! You can also find a fascinating article about the Gold Rush, and some newly discovered journals that will shed some light on the struggles fortune-seekers endured. And how about a first peek at the Canada 150 official tulip! It’s beautiful. You can read all of these stories, as well as back issues, just by visiting our website!

And not to leave out the kids, ‘Kayak’ is looking at our funny past–and present! A whole issue devoted to comedians, comedy specials, and more, with fantastically fun illustrations!

With your library card, you now have access to Flipster, a fabulous magazine service where you can read magazines online, or download them to your tablet or phone to read later. Just drop by the library website, click on the Flipster logo, and start reading!


Today is the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the historic invasion on Normandy’s beaches  June 6, 1944.  At the library, we have a fascinating display of articles from that time period, as well as a number of books on the subject.  We even have a poem by our very own Joe McNeill which tells a heart-felt story about his father and the D- Day invasion.



Best of all, you can pop over to our sister blog, Carleton Place Local History, to read a fascinating commemorative article about this moment and history, and see more of the photos. If you don’t visit this blog on a regular basis, you might want to take a few minutes to really look through past posts. This is your best spot to find out more about the history of Carleton Place and the people who have lived here. History is fascinating!

Solve a Mystery from History!

Our young library patrons LOVE the “ology” books….Dragonology, Egyptology, Monsterology etc.   Each book comes with items like envelopes stuffed with secret treasure, magnifying glasses to look at encrypted papers, pieces of topic-related memorabilia to really give kids a hands-on exploration of each subject.  At first, we thought these books might be a lost cause…losing any of the items in the books would make for disappointed readers, but for the most part, our youngest readers seem to treat these books like they are actual treasure and care for them with the utmost respect.


So when I heard about this new book from Brad Meltzer,  straight from the History Channel’s show History Decoded, I got excited! It’s called HISTORY DECODED: THE 10 GREATEST CONSPIRACIES OF ALL TIME.  It’s got all of the great conspiracies…from who shot JFK to the question about what’s inside Fort Knox. But the best part is that each chapter includes a custom-designed envelope, made to look like something from the time period or case, and inside are facsimiles of relevant evidence.  how about reviewing the will of John Wilkes Booth, or taking a close look at JFK’s death certificate. Each envelope is meant to provide the reader with hands-on items to help them understand the cases better. Doesn’t this sound like fun?


Whether or not this is a new trend, we’ll have to wait and see.

This Day

Nikon says it best:  “Each day is a milestone in human history.” Their website let’s you travel through time to remember some of those past milestones (we probably didn’t even know they were important yet).

Nikon : This Day



If you have a few minutes, this is a wonderful site that makes it feel like it’s transporting you back through the ages, day by day. Enjoy it, and learn something along the way!

Day at the Museum

Each summer, we plan a fabulous visit to the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum here in Carleton Place.  If you’ve never been, you’re missing out. For those who think local museums are stodgy old places filled with relics that you’re not really interested in, nothing could be further from the truth about this museum.  It’s a living, breathing, always-changing venue brought to life under the hard work of Jennifer Irwin and her staff. They never cease to amaze me with the interesting objects, photos and history they pull from a mass of boxes upstairs and place into the main part of the museum so that the public can enjoy their relevance. Great care is taken to preserve our history and you’d be wise to take an afternoon during the regular season to pop in and see what they have on display. With funding scarce when it comes to historical venues such as this, they might not be around forever.

Lucky for us, there is always a changing display on view at the library. The “museum people” drop in every so often wearing white gloves and carefully placing each object in the locked display cabinet. After, we often huddle around it to see just what gorgeous creation they’ve come up with, usually based on the current season. It’s a special part of our library and we think we’re very lucky to be able to have something like this available to our patrons.

For the entire month of November, Jennifer has graciously put together a wonderful collection of photographs in a series she calls “Carleton Place Then and Now” and we have them on display. There are amazing transformation photos showing buildings in our town as they once were, and as they are today. Believe me, there are some huge changes.  Drop by to see them up close and take a few minutes to compare the present and the past. 

A BIG thanks to Jennifer for the eye-catching display this month!

What’s Going to Happen?

As Library and Archives Canada continues to make cuts to their programs and even worse, continues to sell off their collections to private collectors (many which are outside Canada), libraries such as ours are getting worried. Seriously worried. What this means to our patrons hasn’t yet hit home, we’re afraid.

Essentially, while Library and Archives begins to make all of their documents digital, the hard copies won’t be available for access until the digital copies go online. That means, if you want to look at an archived newspaper, for example, until everything has been digitized (which could take years), you’ll have to go to Ottawa and view it at the Archives. We won’t be able to order it in to our library for you.  This is the same for anyone, country-wide, who wants to view a document.  So, if you live in Manitoba and are working on your family history, say, you’ll need to “pop over” to Ottawa to view that document you need to finally figure out where your Great-Aunt Martha settled in Eastern Ontario back in the day. This is a simplistic explanation, but you get the idea.

Now, Lisa Fitzgibbons,  Executive Director of the Documentary Organization of Canada, shares her thoughts on the matter. She believes we need a sustainable way to keep funding going to Library and Archives Canada in order to preserve our nation’s historical data and make it available to every Canadian Citizen, whether they live in a major city or a small town. Go, Lisa!