Monday, 24 October 2016

Coming soon! The Twelve Days of Cookies!

Ok! We know that Thanksgiving just happened, Halloween is near, and that special day of remembrance is quickly approaching. At Annapolis Valley Regional Library we observe all of those special days, but we are also preparing for the fifth year of The Twelve Days of Cookies to start off the yuletide season. That's right folks, time to start looking for great cookie recipes to share.
This annual event is entering its fifth year as a way to spread good cheer, let folks know about our great cookbook collection, and to show off your cooking skills. We won the 2014 APLA Library Advocacy Award for this project, and the cookie posts are some of our most viewed blogs each year.  
By popular request, this year we are including our magazine collection as a recipe source as well. So dust off your baking hat and start perusing those recipes in print, eBooks or online. Beginning December 5, here on our blog, we will post a new cookie recipe each weekday (not on the weekend) and the branch location where you can sample cookies baked by our very own staff (if you get there in time).
We'll also have our contest again. You bake cookies with a recipe from a library-owned source and you could win a 'Cookie Gift Bag'!
It is going to be sweet, SO STAY TUNED!

Monday, 17 October 2016

Chilton Library online - where smart patrons click for service information

Whether you are an amateur do-it-yourselfer, a service professional, or an aspiring automotive service engineer, Chilton Online provides reliable car repair information. Access 24/7 from your library, home, or on the go, all you need is you library card. A valuable resource, this database is the perfect alternative to those hefty manuals. If you are studying car repair, there are prep questions for the certification test. Nearly every make and model is covered, using an easy to understand menu that guides you to the information needed. Even if you are not doing the work yourself, the database is helpful in providing the correct terminology to help you do a better job of explaining the problem to your mechanic.
Know ahead of time how long the job should take. Take a test drive through this database and discover how easy and informative it is. Just search your make and model and go from there.
Listed below are some of the highlights of Chilton Online.
  • Look up recalls and service bulletins
  • Find estimated labour time
  • Prepare for ASE mechanic certification with test prep quizzes (13 in total)
  • 'Listen To' option is now available for specifics such as wiring diagrams
  • Graphics that can be enlarged on screen to suit your needs
Login and see for yourself!

Monday, 10 October 2016

Classical Music Collection

We have received a wonderful gift from the family of Herb Lewis of close to 2,300 classical music CDs.  We will process this collection for public use over the next twelve to eighteen months.  Keep looking for it in our catalogue. 
Charlotte Janes,
Systems and Collections Access Coordinator

Holly Carr's wonderful tribute to Herb Lewis.
Painting on silk - 2001.
Herb was born in Montreal in 1929, and was the grandson of immigrants who had arrived from Eastern Europe in the early 1900s. His father, whose education was curtailed due to the Depression, was an insurance salesman, his mother a bookkeeper.  Despite their modest circumstances, both parents were ardent collectors, and Herb grew up amid objets d’art, paintings, fine china and antique furniture that often appeared one week and disappeared the next.  Their surroundings had a profound effect on all the Lewis children – Herb’s younger brother Stanley (a sculptor of note) and his sister Sheila shared his life-long interest in the art world.
Herb called himself a child of the ghetto, and lived in Montreal’s Plateau area as well as in Outremont once the family’s economic situation had improved.  He quickly demonstrated his intellectual gifts, speaking early, and at the age of two, simultaneously making 400-piece jigsaw puzzles, often upside down.  Herb was fascinated by the sciences while still a preschooler, and spoke of his father’s calm understanding when an explosion caused by an experiment gone wrong resulted in a minor fire.  He was sent to elementary school a year early despite his dyslexia and timidity, but had slightly more academic and social success at Montreal’s famed Baron Byng High School.  His classmates included future writers, artists, politicians and scholars, among them Mordecai Richler.
Herb was keenly interested in world history, and to his parents’ dismay, was intrigued by a number of radical campus political organizations. He read voraciously, and remembered everything.  He began to buy books, ultimately acquiring 8,000 volumes.  He entered McGill University at fifteen, but found little interest in his prescribed studies. He dropped out for almost two years, and thanks to two uncles who were musicians with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, was given license to attend rehearsals at will.  His passion for music grew by leaps and bounds as he had the opportunity to familiarize himself with repertory, guest soloists’ and acclaimed conductors.  He returned to McGill with heighted maturity, ostensibly pursuing a path in comparative literature but spending much of his time auditing classes in architecture and medicine.  The sudden death of his supervising professor led him to philosophy and classical languages, of which he became a serious scholar. His master’s thesis on Ortega y Gasset earned him a cum laude degree in 1954.
Herb married Ingrid Weissler when he was twenty-one, and delighted in the arrival of his children Monika and Adrian.  He undertook further graduate work in philosophy at John Hopkins University but came home to explore a career in social work which he felt offered a more appropriate route to support his family. It was an unhappy decision that he reversed promptly with a return to academia.  In a characteristic burst of energy and enthusiasm, he completed course work along with a massive thesis on Aristotle within a nine-month period, attaining a Ph.D. from Université de Montréal with magna cum laude honours.
Herb and his family moved to Acadia University in Wolfville in 1959, where he headed the Philosophy Department for twenty-nine years.  He held the W.G. Clark chair until his retirement for medical reasons in 1994.  In 1972, he married Sara Lee Levitan and became the loving stepfather of Ira, Margo and the late Gina.
Herb’s years at Acadia were marked by his innovative approach to teaching, his rapport with students both in and outside the classroom, and his willingness to share his extraordinary knowledge of music, art, literature, science, philosophy, history, anthropology – and Asian cuisine - with friends, family and colleagues.  His wisdom, a legacy for all who knew him and studied with him, will continue to resonate on several contents, and the recordings and books he lovingly amassed are bringing pleasure to new devotees of all ages. Herb’s extensive collection of music notes and journals is now housed in the Special Collections library of Dalhousie University, and this past summer his diverse library of 700 art books found a new home at the Ross Creek Centre for the Arts in Canning, NS.  The Lewis family is particularly rewarded that the Annapolis Valley Regional Library has accepted their gift of Herb’s extensive library of CDs, and warmly thank the Library staff for their collaboration and efforts.
Sara Lee Lewis, C.M.
Wolfville, N. S.



Monday, 3 October 2016

Carry Your Library Card on Your Phone

Do you sometimes forget to bring your library card with you when you visit one of our branches, but always have your phone?  Or, do you just have too many cards in your wallet?  Well, we have a solution for you.  Put your library card on your phone.
Download either one of these free apps, Key Ring or CardStar to your Android or iOS smart phone.  Add a new card, you won’t find us in the list of vendors so just add it as other and name it what makes sense to you.  During the process of adding the card, you will be prompted to scan the card.  The app won’t take the image of the barcode on the library card unless it is just what it requires, so the distance and resolution need to be just right before it moves on to the next step.
You may find these apps useful for adding other types of cards, you should check with the store or location where you use them to be sure they can read them from a phone.  We’ve just recently installed the equipment to make this possible in your local library.

Charlotte Janes,
Systems and Collections Access Coordinator

Monday, 26 September 2016

Sharing Stories ... discover your community

Seniors Week - October 1 - 7, 2016
During the celebration of Canadian Library Month in October, Seniors Week is an opportunity for public libraries to focus on programming, services, books and materials for seniors provided by the nine public library regions in Nova Scotia. Throughout the year, library staff continue to welcome and serve older adults coming to the library.
Seniors Week is a provincial initiative to incorporate library promotion and engagement of seniors within our communities. Public libraries are encouraged to engage with our seniors and work together to provide for their needs. National Seniors Day will be celebrated on October 1, 2016. Provincially, Seniors Week will be celebrated from October 1 - October 7, 2016.
This year the theme is 'Sharing Stories ... discover your community'. Library branch staff have been creative in programming ideas this year. look for a presentation on Charles MacDonald and his Faerie Cottages, Positive Approaches for Dementia, Conversations About Death and Dying, Rug Hooking, Card Making, Celebrating the Harvest Season, a talk on the book 'Valley Child: A Memoir' or come to an Old-fashioned Kitchen Party. For a complete list of all programs go to the event page on our website: Registration may be required for some of the programs.
Browse our online catalogue for some interesting reading material and check out the creative displays of items chosen by staff at each of our branches. This may also be a good time to celebrate our senior library workers!
Submitted by Wendy Kearnes,
Bookmobile & Offsite Services Manager
Member of Service to Older Adults Working Group

Monday, 19 September 2016

Tip: how to keep track of what you have read

Patrons often ask if we have a list of what they have read. Our answer is no, we only have a list of what you currently have checked out.

Did you know that you can make lists of books and store them in your Annapolis Valley Regional Library account?
To do this you first log into My Account. Then click on the home button for Your Account in the top right corner. On the left hand side you will see a block called Your Lists. Under Your Favorites, you have the option to create a list. This could be a list of cook books, crafting books, novels, DVDs, books you have read or would like to read, whatever you like.
For example, I made a list of  suggestions from the Book Lovers Calendar. It was great to know that of the 29 titles I added to my list, only 3 were not available in our system. They were, however, available from other Libraries in Nova Scotia.
To do this for yourself: search for a title, when you find it press "add to favourites", then choose the list. Once these lists are created, they can be modified. You can add your own notes to the title, saying for example when you read it and what you thought of it or you can delete it from the list once you have read it. There is also a place to tag books with your favourite tag words. There are lots of different ways you can tailor this to suit your individual needs and preferences. You can also choose public or private setting when you create your list, thereby having the ability to share.
I hope you take time to try this and have some fun with it!
If you would like to take a look at my list, here is the link.
Happy Reading everyone!
Lynn Manning
Kentville Branch

Monday, 12 September 2016

Librarian on vacation

What does a librarian do on vacation? Well, this one visits libraries. Before you think I am a total nerd, that's not ALL I do. But on a recent trip to New England, I found myself in Boston. One stop on the trip included the amazing Boston Public Library. I really wanted to see the newly refurbished Children's area.  We are in the process of four (yes, four!) library projects, and so I wanted to get inspiration from the fabulous jewel of a library.

I entered through the front, and was led into an open courtyard. This was a PUBLIC library, not a mansion or a museum. Anyone can come in here. Anyone who wants can experience this lovely space. It was built as a "palace for the people". What a gift to Boston. Yes, I was amazed. But I had to head upstairs to the Children's area.

I was suitably impressed. The small shelf, with a space for kids to crawl under, was being used exactly for that. I saw a young boy happily crawling under several times. You know that child is going to have happy memories of this library.  See that lion on top of the shelf? It has changing LED lights inside. I saw another child standing next to the lion, naming the colours as they changed. How's that for early learning?

The colours in this library are so bright! You'd never know you were in an building from 1895. It feels fresh, modern, and has the child in mind in every way. There's a huge chair for story-sharing, and I saw a grandmother and her two grandkids doing just that-- sitting together reading. There's comfy seating everywhere, and even some that kids can move around and use where they want. The whole place was abuzz with kids and their adults, enjoying books and play, and fun!

There's an interactive wall, with built-in playscapes and this cool light feature. Adults like the play area as much as the kids do, and here's proof.

After soaking in the features of this room, I headed over to the Teen space. Since Margaret Atwood is helping us raise funds for the Kentville teen area, I thought I should get some ideas. The first thing I noticed was the room full of teens hanging out. They were playing games, sitting at a table working on a project, reading, and just hanging out. All libraries need this kind of space, where teens are welcome and know it.
Look at that retro READ sign. And the shelves are really nice, with a city-scape feel, appropriate in a downtown library. I was really impressed with this seating area, with decoration made from old card catalog boxes. Beyond you can see some of the adult fiction area, with the vibrant red colour scheme.

I didn't even see the rest of the library, as I was due to make an appearance at a graveyard. But that's another story for another day. Let's just say I was impressed, and I can't wait for our libraries to impress you. If you want to help make all our library dreams come true, just visit our "Support our New Library Projects" page!

--Angela J. Reynolds, Community Engagement Coordinator