Monday, 8 February 2016

Book Giving Day

Many people think of February 14 as Valentine’s Day. Here at the library, we like to think of it as International Book Giving Day. Here’s the intent of the organization that got us hooked on this idea:  International Book Giving Day is a 100% volunteer initiative aimed at increasing children’s access to and enthusiasm for books.
  • Most children in developing countries do not own books.
  • In the United Kingdom, one-third of children do not own books.
  • In the United States, two-thirds of children living in poverty do not own books.
International Book Giving Day’s focus is on encouraging people worldwide to give a book to a child on February 14th. We invite individuals to 1) gift a book to a friend or family member, 2) leave a book in a waiting room for children to read or, 3) donate a gently used book to a local library, hospital or shelter or to an organization that distributes used books to children in need internationally. To find out more you can visit their website at

Here at the Annapolis Valley Regional Library, we celebrate in our own special way—by dropping off wrapped book gifts in our communities, for you to find and keep (or find and share). And we don’t stop with children’s books—we like to give books to all ages.  Since February 14 is on a Sunday this year, we will be dropping books in our communities the week before. And this year, our Book Patrol will be out in communities on Thursday, February 11 giving books away. Watch for us! 

Where do we get the books we give away? Adopt a Library gives us free books for kids, and we also get lots of donations that make great gifts for our book-loving fans.  We’ll give you some hints on where to find the books on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, so follow us! 

Happy Book Giving Day to you all! May you be inspired to give a book this February 14.     --Angela J. Reynolds, Community Engagement Coordinator

Monday, 1 February 2016

February is African Heritage Month

In 1926 Negro History week was established. An idea conceived by African-American Carter G. Woodson, to set aside a time devoted to African -Americans and African-American history. He chose a week in February because that month contained the birthdates of two people credited with bringing and end to American slavery:  black abolitionist,  Frederick Douglass and American President, Abraham Lincoln. Over time the celebration expanded and became known as Black History Month.

In 1950, Toronto railroad porters were the first to celebrate the idea in Canada. the porters had learned of this celebration in their travels in the United States. It was not until the Ontario Black History Society (OBHS) petitioned the city of Toronto  to have February proclaimed Black History Month by 1979, that the celebration started to trickle to other communities. The OBHS then  successfully lobbied the federal government to have February declared as Black History Month and  in 1995, after a motion by politician Jean Augustine, representing the riding of Etobicoke—Lakeshore in Ontario, Canada's House of Commons officially recognized February as Black History Month. In 2008, a motion by Nova Scotia Senator Donald Oliver to have the Senate officially recognize Black History Month, was unanimously approved. In December 2014 the United Nations declared the next ten years to be the Decade for People of African Descent with the theme: Justice, recognition and development.

  The 2016 theme for African Heritage Month  in Canada is  The Black Battalion: Legacy of Commitment - They Fought to Fight, to honour the 100th anniversary of the No. 2 Construction Battalion.  The members of the Black Battalion had to fight to fight. Raised in 1916 in Nova Scotia, they were trailblazers in their struggle to break the colour barrier and  fight for freedom in the Great War. Because of their unwavering desire they paved the way for African Nova Scotians  to serve in the armed forces in the First World War, the Second World War, the Korean War, the Afghan War and peacekeeping in the Sinai, Cyprus, the Congo and many other conflict zones.

The No. 2 Construction battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force,
 was the first and only Black battalion on Canadian military history.
To celebrate Black History Month, Annapolis Valley Regional Library has compiled this booklist.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Help make a difference through Food for Fines!!

The FEED NOVA SCOTIA website tells us that 19,722 people received food from a food bank in Nova Scotia in March 2015 – 31% were children.  One-quarter of those households receive the majority of their income from a disability or old-age pension.

During the month of February 2016, you can combine a visit to the library with a good deed for those who use food banks in your area.    

The Annapolis Valley Regional Library is once again offering a Food for Fines initiative from February 1-29.  Just give us a non-perishable item for the local food bank and we’ll forgive up to $3.00 in fines.  And the really good news is that there is no limit on the number of fines which can be forgiven!   Do you owe $8.50?  Three food items will take care of that.  Please note that Food For Fines applies to fines only, not other fees like lost books or printing costs. 

 (Please check expiry dates on items since we don’t want to pass unsafe goods on to the food bank.)     

 Wondering what types of items food banks especially need?

 - canned fruit and veggies, soups and stews
- peanut butter
- pasta
- canned sandwich meats
- healthy school snacks (like fruit cups)
- laundry and dish detergents, soap

 So, if you have library fines to pay off, or even if you don’t, stop by the library with a food bank item or two during February.  Through Food for Fines you can help make a difference for hungry families in your area.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Berwick Library Relocates to Pharmacy Location

Starting January 22nd, you can do your errands at Wilson’s Pharmasave in Berwick – and include a stop at the library without leaving the building!  

The Annapolis Valley Regional Library is pleased that our Berwick branch is to become a temporary part of the Pharmasave family while the Town Hall building is being demolished and a new building constructed.   On January 22nd, look for us on the south wall past Canada Post and Gekko Tech.   We’ll be welcoming current library users and inviting new ones to come and see what we have to offer.    Getting a library card and using our services is FREE and one of the best deals you’ll find anywhere!

With your library card, you can:
-         borrow  books , dvds, audiobooks, and magazines for FREE
-         download ebooks and audiobooks using our OverDrive subscription service for FREE
-         use our Zinio service to read magazines online for FREE
-         access for homework help, resume prep,  and career resources for FREE
-         visit databases such as or Chilton’s auto repair manuals for FREE
-         access services for persons with print disabilities for FREE

  In this new location, we’ll provide our usual variety of materials, and public computers with Internet access including Wi-Fi.   We will continue with programs for all ages such as Talk Sing Read storytime, GirlPower, Coffee & Conversation and one-on-one technology tutorials (all for FREE!).  Please note that the Library will not be open January 19-21 while we relocate. 

Barbara and Shelly invite you to come and visit the Berwick Library at Wilson’s Pharmasave, 213 Commercial St. on January 22nd or anytime thereafter.   Our usual open hours will apply.  Visit for more information.

Monday, 11 January 2016

The Buzz! Youth Media Awards

Last year around this time, I was in a hotel room in Chicago, with 14 other intrepid librarians, making a pretty big decision. Being on the Caldecott Committee was a career dream for me, and it stood up to those dreams What an amazing experience - we were literally locked in a hotel room for several days, discussing the art in a big stack of picture books.  If you want to read more about that, head over to the ALSC blog. One of the most exciting things the committees get to do is call the winners. If you want to get an inside peek at that, watch THIS video on YouTube. UPDATE! Find this year's winners here!

So why am I writing about this again? Because today, January 11, 2016, the latest round of awards will be announced. At 9 AM our time, you can watch the announcements as they are made, live from Boston, RIGHT HERE! Now, this may not seem incredibly exciting to you, but believe me, it is incredibly exciting to many people. The conference center in Boston will be packed with thousands of librarians waiting to hear about the books that are chosen as the cream of the crop. And thousands more will be watching online. I know I will be.

Many people Tweet the awards. The hashtag #alayma is a great one to follow, and this Monday, the airwaves will be lit up with the titles of books for youth. Follow along! I'll be doing some of my own Tweeting at @annavalley .

I'm excited to find out the winners (can you tell?) . Watch along with me and see how many people love books!  -- Angela J Reynolds, Community Engagement Coordinator

Monday, 4 January 2016

A new library for Kentville

On Sunday, January 10, from 2-4 PM, we invite you to come to the current Kentville library to tell us what your hopes are for the new Kentville library. It has been a few years since the Friends of the Kentville Public Library dissolved—but before that, they had some great ideas and were working towards a new location for the Kentville library.

Since the bridge near the library will be reconstructed, the library MUST move. There are two locations being considered by the Town of Kentville and the Municipality of the County of Kings. Either location will mean a larger space for the Kentville branch, which is good news! 

Next Sunday, we want to hear your thoughts. What do you want the new library to feel like? What does your library mean to you?  How will you use the new library? Would you like to help fundraise for the new library? We are inviting all who love their library and who want to help make it awesome to stop by on January 10. We will host a “World Cafe” style event – we will have several tables, each with a different subject. Staff will facilitate the tables—we will ask you to provide input at each table. You can come for the whole 2 hours, or if you just want to drop in, you can do that as well. We want to hear from you! And if you can't make it on Sunday, you can COMMENT ONLINE. 

Tuesday, 22 December 2015


Today’s cookies are thanks to Bernadette Burns, a patron of the Kingston Branch.  An old fashion crispy, chewy treat.  My man Jerry Seinfeld is all over these.”  This recipe can be found in The Can’t Cook Book: 100 + Recipes for the Absolutely Terrified! by Jessica Seinfeld.

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ baking soda
¼ tsp. kosher salt
¾ cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tbs. Maple syrup
1 ¼ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
½ cup golden raisins

    At least one hour beforehand, take the butter out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature.
    Heat the oven (with two oven racks toward the middle) to 350 degrees F.  Line 2 rimmed sheet pans with parchment paper.
    In a medium bowl, measure and whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.

          In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugar and beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed (or by hand with a wooden spoon) until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the sides with a silicone spatula as necessary. Stop the mixer; add the egg and the maple syrup then beat in.  Scrape down the sides.  With the mixer on low speed, use a large spoon to gradually add the flour mixture and mix until just incorporated.  Stir in the oats and raisins.

         Drop the dough in 1 tablespoon-size mounds 2 inches apart onto the prepared pans.  Bake, rotating the pans 180 degrees halfway through, until light golden brown, 12-15 minutes.  Let cool on the pan 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack
   Once cool, store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.