Monday, 20 April 2015

National Canadian Film Day

This year, the Annapolis Valley Regional Library is participating in National Canadian Film Day on April 29th.   What is that, you say? Well, the organizers at REEL CANADA say this:

“April 29 is National Canadian FilmDay, a day to throw off the shackles of fear and insecurity, stand together with Canadians from coast to coast and pat ourselves on the back for something other than various ice-related sports and sports-related doughnut shops. (Not that we don’t love ice-related sports and doughnuts). It’s a light-hearted intervention for our national consciousness, a wake-up call to anyone who has not yet been exposed to the great cinematic stories we tell one another in this cold, vast country.  It’s a way to get over ourselves and have some FUN!”

Thanks to REEL Canada, our library has public performance rights to show these three Canadian films on April 29th.  Plan to join us at one of the following locations.

Rosa M. Harvey Middleton & Area Library – screening Dr. Cabbie at 6:30 pm

Windsor Regional Library – screening The Grand Seduction at 6:00 pm

Wolfville Memorial Library – screening The Disappeared  at 7:00 pm

Check at your local branch library or in the online catalogue for great Canadian film titles you can watch at home.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Used books, new money

A few times a year we hold used Book Sales. We get many donations from our patrons, and some of those books we actually add to the system; but many of them we already own enough copies of, and so we sell them at our Book Sales. Our donation policy can be found here, in case you would like to donate some of your books. We have to be slightly picky when it comes to donations, because if we can’t use or sell them,  we have to pay to recycle or cart them off to the garbage.  And when books are mouldy or dirty, they can actually infect other books, so they really do belong in the dumpster when they are in that condition. We also sell some of our discarded books: those that we no longer need in our collection. When the 15 copies of the latest best-seller are no longer hot, we often put those in our Book Sale. 
How do we deal with all these books? We have a great volunteer, Gerry MacDonald, who comes in weekly to sort, price, and work with the books. Gerry helps out at the sales, too. We couldn’t do it without him! 

Our Book Sales have amazing low prices. We want you to have these books. We know that having books in your home can be one of the indicators of how well children will do in school. Our children’s book prices range from .25 cents to $1. That makes it easy to bring home a stack of books for the kids to paw through. Our adult books are reasonably priced as well. Paperbacks are .25 cents each, and hard-cover books are between $1-$2. Trade paperbacks (those nice, big ones) are $2 each. We often have sets of books that we sell for $5. For those of you who ALWAYS need a book on hand, this is the place. 

We have lots of fiction, but we also have non-fiction. Cookbooks and gardening books always sell out quickly, and our Canadiana section is very popular. For the second year in a row, we are offering a Friday evening “early bird” Advance Sale. Pay $2 at the door, and get in early – get your hands on the choice books! The Advance Sale is Friday, April 17, from 6-8 PM. And don’t worry if you can’t make it Friday night—we have loads of books and we might even put more out for Saturday morning.  From 9 AM  to 12 noon there will be plenty to choose from, and you don’t have to pay to get in.

Our Book Sales generate income for the region, and we hold our Spring Book Sale to help fund our annual Summer Reading Club for kids & teens. We also have an annual sale during Ciderfest, and several other smaller sales  throughout the year. Many of our branches also hold small book sales, so keep an eye out.  See you at 26 Bay Road this weekend !

Monday, 6 April 2015

They are like Magnets

Bright, shiny covers. Tall ones sitting beside short ones. Stout beside skinny.  Spines with a variety of fonts and colours and textures that beg you to touch and feel.  With outside edges that are soft, clinging together, that untouched feeling of pages as yet unturned and unappreciated.   

I work at a library and I’m talking about a shelf of new books. Not exciting for everyone out there, of course, but for those who appreciate the written word (probably you), they are like magnets.  From where I sit at my desk, I have the unique privilege of watching and listening to co-workers as they ready those books for their journey to the first library patron. As the books are outfitted with covers and labels, they are held, fondled, browsed, commented on, shared, notes taken.  

Our workspace is an open concept, so I can hear the Acquisitions Department first since they are the ones to unpack the new arrivals. While the shipments are weekly occurrences and some arrive without fanfare, there are often unique and special books that appeal, for whatever reason, to one or more individuals on staff. Just like our patrons, we are gardeners, travelers, cooks, parents, grandparents, lovers of best-sellers. Who could possibly remain unmoved by the hype and arrival of each new Harry Potter title?  And we all know when someone cracks open books like The Very Quiet Cricket ( Spoiler Alert: silent until the day he meets a very quiet girl cricket).

As the books move along their way through the hands of other staff, the reactions are generally the same, yet specifically different . This is not always a selfish act, as family members and friends are kept in mind as the books are considered.  It’s fun to watch as someone discovers a gem that seems perfectly matched to a co-worker’s tastes, and, like a parent on Christmas morning, presents it to him/her with anticipation of validating their find.   

 As the processing continues, the books sit briefly on the ‘new book shelves’, then the ‘new book cart’, being seen by different people in other work areas.   (I enjoy this privilege, and am amused, as I watch staff attempt to pass by, but are unable to resist the urge to look and browse.)  Eventually we feel the satisfaction of a book being placed in a box on its way to the borrower fortunate enough to be first in the waiting list.

But my thoughts don’t stop here.  What will its first loan be like, I wonder?   Will it go to a hammock on a summer’s day?  A rug by a warm fire?  Will it be shared with a cup of tea, or a forbidden cigarette, or both? Will it rest on a night table, in a knapsack, or with a dust bunny? Perhaps it will travel on a joyful family vacation, or to a hospital room filled with pain and sadness. Might it be read in secret, or shared with a best friend?  Will it help, heal, comfort, soothe?  Will it bring goose bumps and make hairs stand on end?  Will it emote happiness, guilt, hope, elation?  Will its contents be disappointing, or life-altering?     

 Whatever the experience, may we all appreciate the wonder of books, both new and old.

Wendy Trimper, Head of Branch Services

Monday, 30 March 2015

Placing holds using our online catalogue

Maybe you are a new computer user, or perhaps you have never placed your own holds using our on-line catalogue. These basic instructions will help you. Our new catalogue is very user friendly and fun to use. To begin go to our website Remember to make sure you are using an updated browser. Find our more HERE.

Once there, find the empty search box in the upper right hand side. Using your mouse, click on the Catalogue button to highlight it so that you will only be searching our catalogue. Now type a topic in the search box and click on Search.  I have chosen the topic gardening for this exercise. 

Next you will get your search results. For this subject there are 871 titles. You will notice on the right side of this page a box with related topic searches that will be like a shortcut to the information you are looking for.  Or you can have fun scrolling down and through the results to see what we have available. I have chosen flower gardening in the shortcut list.

Now the search has been narrowed to flower gardening and this next page will show you only those results.  Enjoy scrolling through these results. If you see a title that you would like more information on, just click on the blue title. This will take you to a page on this specific title with more information including a look inside. If this isn’t a book you wish to read, click on the Go Back arrow in the burgundy line near the top of this page. 

Keep scrolling through the results until you find an item you would like to borrow. When you do, click on Place Hold.

 On the next screen you will need to enter your Annapolis Valley Regional Library Card number and your PIN number. If you don’t know your PIN please call our office at 902-665-2995 for help. Then you will be asked for a pickup location from the drop down menu. Click on the branch you would like this item sent to for you to pick up. No matter where you are in the Valley, we can send the item to your local branch. Now click on Place Hold. Congratulations! You did it.

Repeat this process for each item that you would like to borrow. A word of wisdom though, this can be addictive and you may find all of your holds arriving at the same time.  Look for another blog at a later date on managing your holds and your account. Make sure that you log out of your account once you have finished placing holds. Simply click on the words Log Out in the upper right hand corner of the screen that will appear to confirm your last placed hold.

Now wasn’t that easy? The item you have placed a hold on will be sent to the branch you chose when it becomes available. Sometimes there is a list of other people waiting for the same book and so you will also need to wait your turn. But at least your name is now on that list.

Welcome to the world of browsing our online catalogue! Look for our new online catalogue within the next few months. The look will be different however; the procedure will be the same.

Submitted by Wendy Kearnes, Outreach Services Manager

Monday, 23 March 2015

Purple Day

What do you really know about Epilepsy? Many of us have a picture in our mind of someone having an uncontrollable “fit”.   While seizures are a symptom the type and frequency are varied.  This is a neurological disorder which presents itself in many forms.  It is unfortunate that the mere word Epilepsy still carries such a stigma that it causes many sufferers to hide their condition when just a little education would work wonders in understanding what having Epilepsy really means.

On March 26th, 2015 people around the world will be wearing purple to raise awareness of Epilepsy.  Fund raising events, testimonials, rallys and other events will be held.  It all began with Nova Scotian Cassidy Megan who created the idea of Purple Day in 2008 when she was 8 years old. Motivated by her own struggles with epilepsy her goal was to get people talking about epilepsy in an effort to dispel myths and inform those with seizures that they are not alone.  The Epilepsy Association came on board the next year and now it is world wide.  Check out her Purple Day blog.

Right now there are 300,000 Canadians living with Epilepsy.   Find out the basic facts, for  example it is not a disease and it is not contagious (two very common myths). Check out the informational downloads available through the Epilepsy Canada site.  Familiarize yourself with the simple First Aid rules pictured and don’t forget to wear purple on March 26th !!

Some famous people with Epilepsy:
Actor Danny Glover
Singer-songwriter Neil Young
Adam Horovitz of the music group Beastie Boys
Mike Skinner from band The Streets

--Patricia Milner, Head of Reference Services