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

Monday, 5 September 2016

Community wide collaboration to help a species at risk - the Wood Turtle

About the Wood Turtle
The wood turtle (Glyptemys insculpta) is a medium-sized, semi aquatic turtle, ranging in size from 16 to 25 cm in length. The carapace is gray-brown in colour with a sculptured woody appearance, caused by pyramidial circular rings or growth lines. The plastron is yellow with a pattern of black or dark coloured blotches and has no hinge. The skin on the head and upper body of the wood turtle is often brown, while the skin on the throat, tail and undersides of the legs is often yellow, orange or red in colour. They are a long-lived species, reaching sexual maturity between the ages of 11 to 22. In the wild, wood turtles have an average lifespan of 30 years, compared to 50 years in captivity.
Wood turtles in Nova Scotia face a variety of natural and anthropogenic threats. Anthropogenic threats include accidental mortality as a result of vehicles or agriculture equipment, habitat loss and degradation, such as residential and commercial development, forestry practices, water management, and changes in ecological dynamics or natural process, such as subsidized predation (Environment Canada, 2015). In the Annapolis River watershed, which includes extensive road networks and a relatively large amount of land in agricultural production, accidental mortality as a result of collisions with vehicles or farming equipment are significant threats to wood turtles.
Species at risk status
In Canada, the wood turtle is currently listed as threatened under the Federal species at Risk Act (SARA). The wood turtle was first added to the SARA Registry in 1996 as a species of special concern, and re-examined and listed as threatened in Schedule 1 of SARA 2010.
Environment Canada (2015) has determined the recovery of the wood turtle in Canada to be both technically and biologically feasible. In 2015 a draft Recovery Strategy for the Wood Turtle in Canada was released. Once a final Recovery Strategy has been approved, Wood Turtle Action Plans will be posted to the Species at Risk Public Registry. These Action Plans are due for submission by 2020 and will guide conservation actions.
In Nova Scotia, the wood turtle was first listed under the Nova Scotia Endangered species act as vulnerable in 2000. After re-examination these designations are largely imparted because of the wood turtle's sensitivity to human activities and land use practices.
Wood  Turtle Monitoring and Stewardship in the Annapolis River Watershed
Since 2012 CARP has been implementing a wood turtle research and stewardship project. The overall goal of the Wood Turtle Monitoring and Stewardship project is to ensure the long-term persistence of the Wood Turtle  and its habitat in the Annapolis River watershed.
Collaborating with private land owners and managers
Stewardship plans are a key component of CARP’s wood turtle program. Turtles don’t know the difference between private land, Crown land, protected areas, or any of the other types of land management that humans use. If we want to see this species recover and thrive, we need to work collaboratively with private land owners and managers to ensure that their habitat is conserved.
Stewardship plans are based on a property specific assessment; during the assessment areas of habitat, as well as potential threats to habitat or wood turtles are identified. Stewardship plans provide recommendations to address any threats identified, and for maintaining or enhancing habitat.  Land use objectives are considered in the planning process, so that recommendations are as feasible as possible. Once a land owner/manager has reviewed the plan and provided any final feedback, a voluntary Stewardship Agreement is signed. These agreements allow CARP to demonstrate public engagement in the species at risk recovery process.
Lawrencetown Community Meeting
On Tuesday September 13 the Lawrencetown Library has kindly agreed to host a Community Wood Turtle Stewardship Meeting in Lawrencetown, from 7:00 – 8:00 PM at the Dr. Frank W Morse Library, 489 Main St., Lawrencetown. This meeting is an opportunity to learn about CARP’s stewardship program.
The Village of Lawrencetown has several areas of confirmed wood turtle habitat. There are several turtles known to nest, forage for food, and over-winter in this community.
Lawrencetown was Canada’s first community to become certified through Canadian Wildlife Federation’s Backyard Habitat program. We think there is great potential to build on this designation, to ensure that wood turtles are consider in how we use our landscape.
By targeting an entire community, CARP hopes to maximize the impact of our stewardship program. Having neighbouring properties all contributing to habitat stewardship will help to ensure landscape level habitat connectivity.
About the Clean Annapolis River Project
CARP is an environmental non-governmental organization with a mission to enhance the ecological health of the Annapolis River watershed through science, leadership and community engagement. We have an office in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. To contact the office: (902)-532-7533,








Monday, 29 August 2016

Take a hike! The beauty of Nova Scotia awaits!

I think we live in one of the best places in the world for hiking.  Ocean vistas, waterfalls, mountains, rivers and valleys.  Whether on a railway bed, local urban path or at one of the many provincial or national parks, the choices are endless.  Best of all you don’t need to be an experienced hiker to enjoy all that nature has provided.  Hikes are frequently rated these days so you always have a choice, from easy to challenging.   Hiking is a perfect activity to connect adults and children providing a unique opportunity to explore and discover together. 
Take Taylor Head for example, a gorgeous provincial park and one that I have wanted to visit for quite a few years now.  This park and it’s trails are regarded by hiking author Michael Haynes as one of his favourites.  I finally had the chance to explore this area.  There are several trails to choose from and clearly colour coded with ratings.  It was nice to know how long the hike would take so that you could plan out how much of it you wanted to do and they all end at the beach which was great!  Definitely worth the effort to get there.
Hiking is something that does not take a lot of equipment or financial investment.  Some sensible walking shoes, water and snacks in a backpack and you are good to go.   Even if you have never walked before it is something that you can easily work into.  Start off with 10 or 15 minute walks and go from there.  Something as simple as a walk in the park to begin.  Take your time on a hike, stop frequently as many hikes have marked spots to take in the view. You never know what or who you may see.
Your local recreation department can be a good place to start for maps of local trails. Check out Hike Nova Scotia  and Nova Scotia Trails  for inspiration and information.  These groups are always ready to encourage Nova Scotians to get out and discover our province.  It’s good for the mind and the body and so easy - just put one foot in front of the other.
The library has several books that can start you on the path of becoming a hiker. Check out these titles.  Have fun!

Patricia Milner
Manager, Special Collection Access Services
Annapolis Valley Regional Library

Monday, 22 August 2016

Our THREADS artist

This year's Summer Reading Club comes to a close this week. We had a busy summer full of programs, story times and special events. Ravel, our THREADS mascot has travelled all over Nova Scotia (and beyond), and ballots for prizes have been flooding in. 
Before we draw names and hand out the big prizes, we wanted to send out a big thank you to Lauren Soloy, the local artist/illustrator behind our THREADS mascots and other SRC related art.  She was nice enough to take the time to answer a few of our questions and talk about her creative process and how much reading and books mean to her.

1. What was your process for the THREADS SRC art? What was your inspiration?

The fist thing I did was brainstorm different ideas.  I sketched up a few of them and brought them to a meeting with AVRL staff.  They liked the drawing I had done of a little girl surrounded by imaginary characters, but we decided to use one of the imaginary creatures - a blobby guy - as the central character, instead. 
I sketched that up and it was approved.  From there, I started experimenting with colours and materials until I got it just how I liked it :)

2. What are some of your favourite kid's books growing up and now?

When I was a kid, I was a huge fan of Enid Blyton’s stories - especially the Wishing Chair series.  I don’t remember having many picture books around the house, but I do remember the books that our school librarian read to us - things like Tikki Tikki Tembo, and The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash.  Nowadays I feel like Picture Books have really come into their own as an art form, and I have almost too many favourites to name!  Oliver Jeffers, Jon Klassen, and Christian Robinson are some of the favourites around our house, though.

3. What are you working on now?

I always have many things on the go!  Right now I am writing and illustrating a graphic novel of Emily Carr’s life, based on her books - which are excellent reading, if you’ve never ready any of them!  I’m also working on developing a picture book portfolio, with the hopes of one day becoming a published author/illustrator!

4. What are you reading?

I’m currently reading “Emily Carr as I Knew Her,” by Carol Pearson.  I only have a few pages left of that one, though, so next in line is a middle grade novel called, “Beyond the Laughing Sky” written by Michelle Cuevas with pictures by Julie Morstad.  

5. Where can we see more of your work? What else are you up to?

I’m hoping to have a web-site up in the next couple of months, but in the meantime, you can find me on Instagram at LaurenSoloy!  I post lots of work on there - mostly pictures of gnomes, at the moment!
When I’m not drawing pictures, I am a photographer (, a Mom, a knitter, a gardener, and a beekeeper!

Monday, 15 August 2016

Once upon a library...

This is an exciting year for the Bridgetown and Area Friends of the Library.  Not only are they celebrating the tenth year of their highly successful Silent Auction Fundraiser, they are now investing in an expansion of the Bridgetown and Area Library facility.

Grand opening of Bridgetown Library
The Friends of the Library was formed in 2002, its first mission being the relocation of the Library from the basement of Town Hall to its present location in the Revere Building on Queen Street.  The town granted permission for the library to occupy more than half of the Queen Street building and, thanks to many generous donations from local residents and businesses, and a wonderful bequest from Joyce Devenney, the overhaul of the derelict building began.  Bridgetown’s beautiful new library opened its doors in 2011.  It has been a vibrant and crucial community hub ever since. 

Volunteers put finishing touches on auction items
In the spring of 2015, with the commercial part of the Revere Building becoming available, the Friends conceived the idea of expanding the library into the vacant space.  Wholeheartedly endorsed by the Annapolis Valley Regional Library, the idea was approved verbally by Annapolis County in late fall 2015, and the plans were approved formally in July 2016.  All that remains is for the renovations to begin.

Plans are to open up the space to make a meeting room, and to move the children's area into the current meeting room. Any structural work requires money and, while proceeds from years of Silent Auctions will provide the funds for the initial renovations, the Friends of the Library also have a mandate to provide ongoing financial support for enhanced library programs, as well as various community causes.  To that end they need your support.

The Friends hope to make this year’s 10th anniversary Silent Auction, taking place as part of the Bridgetown Ciderfest festivities, a stellar occasion.  You can help make that happen: donate items to the Silent Auction.  From now until September 8, drop off quality new or nearly new items,  handcrafted items & art, gift certificates, and services to the Firefly Makery, 29 Queen Street, Bridgetown, Tues-Sat. 10 am to 4 pm.

Attend and Bid at the Silent Auction:  Bidding takes place Friday, September 9, from 2 pm to 8 pm and Saturday, September 10, from 10 am to 4 pm. Auction items will be posted on our Facebook page.

A financial donation can be made and will be gratefully received, at any time.  Donate ONLINE, or cheques can be made to Annapolis Valley Regional Library. You can print this form and mail it to:  Bridgetown and Area Library, 38 Queen St., PO Box 39, Bridgetown  NS  B0S 1C0.  A tax receipt will be issued for donations over $10.  For further information, contact Connie Jodrey at the Library or by calling 902-665-2758.  See you at the Auction!

This is a guest post from the Bridgetown and Area Friends of the Library.