Monday, 5 October 2015

Congratulations to Hantsport

Congratulations go out to the community of Hantsport, Susan Oickle-Shano and all the Friends of the Hantsport Public Library.
Dedication, perseverance, hard work, or in others words, plain old community spirit were the catch phrases of the day  September 23, 2015. After being a tenant for more than 50 years in the Hantsport School,  the Isabel and Roy Jodrey Memorial Library officially opened its doors.  
The weather couldn’t have been better as approximately 130 guests gathered  in front of the former Hantsport Legion at 10 Main Street. A smudging ceremony, greetings and congratulations from  invited dignitaries preceded the official unveilings and ribbon cutting  by Roy Bishop and other family members of Isabel and Roy Jodrey.  
Guests were greeted by branch manager, Liz Gibson as they enjoyed refreshments, and  live music as they toured the newly renovated facility.
“We are so pleased to present this new facility to the community,” said Ann-Marie Mathieu, the new CEO of Annapolis Valley Regional Library. “Hantsport should be proud of this library that so many people worked to create.
Stop by and see the newest addition to the community.

If you would like to see more pictures go to this album on our Facebook page.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

The Murdoch C. Smith Memorial Library in Port Williams is being renovated!

Over the course of 6 weeks, starting October 5th, contractors will begin the process of remodeling the interior of the library in Port Williams. The current entrance area will be altered to become more welcoming, in addition to being wheelchair accessible. The children’s and youth sections will undergo changes and renovations. The staff check-out desk will be relocated, and the entire library will see colour updates and furniture replacements. 

Established in 1958 as a branch library within the Annapolis Valley Regional Library system, this important community facility was made possible via monies from the estate of Dr. Murdoch C. Smith. The effective management of the funds over these many years by the Murdoch C. Smith Memorial Library Board has ensured continued financial support of the facility. Their support, in partnership with the Village of Port Williams, will make the new library enhancements possible.

Library services will continue!  During the renovation process, a temporary (albeit smaller) library site will be set up within the same building on the same floor. The items in this collection will appear as “PW Lite” in the web catalogue. We’ll offer the usual open hours and services, and the outdoor book return will remain accessible. On Fridays, we’ll even have the bookmobile on site from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., so please come and visit us! 
We anticipate the library being closed for one day  – Friday, October 2 – as we pack up, relocate to the temporary space, and get ready for the contractors. See you on Saturday, October 3rd in our new temporary location! 

Monday, 28 September 2015

Time to think about cookies

That's right folks, time to start looking for a good cookie recipe, because The Twelve Days of Cookies returns! Started four years ago as a way to spread good cheer, let folks know about our great cookbook collection, and to show off our baking prowess, this annual event has become something to look forward to here on our blog! We even won the 2014 APLA Library Advocacy Award for this project.

So, start perusing our cookbook collection for a great cookie recipe. Here on the blog, from December 7 - 22, we will post a new cookie recipe each day (weekdays only) and the branch location where you could sample the staff-baked cookies (if you get there in time!). We'll also have our contest again: You bake cookies with a recipe found in a library-owned cookbook, and you could win a gift card! We are adding a social media component to the contest this year, so stay tuned.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Read the same book. Share the same story.

One Book Nova Scotia has returned! The book? Just Beneath My Skin by Darren Greer.  The book has been described as “gritty and unrelenting”, and having read it, I cannot disagree.  Yet in the midst of that unrelenting grit, there are moments of beauty, laughter, and raw emotion, which make it a very discussable book.

What’s it about, you ask? Poverty, family, alcohol abuse, and the power of friendship come to mind. Here’s how the publisher summarizes the story:
In the small town of North River, every day that goes by bleeds into the next. Poverty begets hopelessness, hopelessness breeds violence, violence causes despair. The only way to change fate, a minister tells his son, is to leave. The minister's son, Jake MacNeil, chooses to ignore his father's advice. Only when he realizes what has become of his life - working a grueling dead-end job, living with a drunk, friends with a murderer - does he decide to make something of himself. But nothing comes without a cost: in choosing freedom, Jake abandons his own son, Nathan, to the care of the boy's abusive mother. Years later, a reformed Jake comes back for Nathan, to finally set things right. But in North River, everything comes around again; and when a dangerous figure from the past becomes hell-bent on dragging the new Jake "back down where he belongs", three generations of MacNeil men must come together to pay the full price of hope.
Visit the 1BNS website for events, discussion questions, and more.  Follow along on Twitter @1bookNS, use the hashtag #1BNS to chat with others about the books. There’s even a contest this year - show us where you are reading the book with the hashtag #reading1BNS, and you could win dinner with the author!

Get your copy now, and start reading. If you are part of a Book Club (or want to start one), we have a Book Club in A Bag for this title.  On October 29, at 7 PM, we are co-hosting Darren Greer at Acadia University. He will be at the Vaughan Memorial Library’s Quiet Reading Room to read from his book & talk with folks who’ve read it. You can even purchase a copy that night from our friends at Box of Delights, who will be at the event.

We can’t wait to hear what you have to say about the book. Tell us on Twitter or Facebook; tell us in the comments. Read the same book. Share the same story. Join Nova Scotia’s biggest Book Club!

--Angela Reynolds, Community Engagement Coordinator

Monday, 14 September 2015

The Evolution of Network Knitting

In 2011 we started a knitting group here at the library which was called Knitting for Causes.  My original idea was to get yarn donations and several patterns (for prayer shawls, dish cloths for resale, hats for sailors and chemo patients, and comfort bears for children) in the hopes people would knit for causes.

As it turned out, people were very interested in knitting, but they wanted to do their own projects with their own yarn.  Hence, we changed the name to Network Knitting.  We meet from September to May, excluding December.  Every year the women wanted to meet over the summer months.  So finally, this year I approached Shannex, Orchard Court, in Kentville and made arrangements to meet there for June, July, and August, same day, and same time as Network Knitting.  

They liked it so much, they asked if we could continue on until Christmas.  So we are now meeting there on the second Tuesday of the month, 1-3 pm, and at the Library on the last Tuesday of the month from noon to 1:45 pm.  

We met this past week, September 8th with a total of 17 women, 7 from the library group, and 10 from Shannex, (5 of which were knitting, and 5 there for the social).   Interested? Join us for our next group on Tuesday, September 29, 12 noon at the Kentville Library! 

Lynn Manning
September 10, 2015

Monday, 7 September 2015

Ukuleles at the Library

 Ahh. The ukulele. The little instrument seems to speak to everyone. What does it say to you? Unsure? Maybe you just don’t speak ukulele. Well, neither do I really, but I'm starting to learn. If you have even a passing interest in music, maybe you would like to learn too.

The Annapolis Valley Regional Library has just added a few ukulele songbooks to the library catalogue. They have hundreds of easy to play songs in an easy to follow format to get you started. Now you just need a uke. More about that below. 

    Even you’ve never played an instrument, the uke is a great place to start your musical journey.  

Here’s why:

1. They are small. They are physically less challenging to play than, say, a, full-sized guitar, and they take up less space than other common beginner instruments (I’m looking at you, piano).

2. They (can be) affordable. You can get a fun beginner uke that is better than a toy for around $40.00. I splurged and got a Kala concert ukulele that I’m very happy with for around 140.00. My advice to anyone starting out is to figure out your uke budget, and then add $15.00 to buy a clip-on tuner too. If you play the ukulele, you will have to tune it. A lot. This can suck the fun out of playing especially when you are in a group of other uke enthusiasts and everyone is trying to tune at the same time. On the other end of the spectrum, you could spend over $5000.00 on a Martin uke at Long & McQuade. If you can afford to go that route, just make sure your uke budget is $5015.00.

3. Great intro to theory and skills that transfer easily to other instruments. Rhythm, chords, scales, intervals, dynamics, fun. All the important stuff.

4. Fun: We picked up a few brightly coloured ukes to take to programs and events this summer. They were magnets for both kids and adults. They make people smile. We strummed. We sang (or tried to). We talked too. Sometimes about music, maybe about the Summer Reading Club. One little girl wrote and performed a song about Scaredy Squirrel on the spot. Never had a lesson in her life.

6. Relatively quiet: I’m sure the 16 year old me would have found a way to make my poor ukulele sound like a combine tractor running over a bicycle, but at least it would have sounded like it was happening at a distance.

7. Community: There is just so much sharing. There are endless online tutorials on how to play popular songs on the uke. Meet-ups, clubs, workshops and festivals are also sprouting up all over the place. Groups like the Halifax Ukulele Gang are very inspiring and helpful. They have songbooks and resource lists and clearly do what they do for the love of it. Liverpool is hosting the 6th International Ukulele Chilidh this October 22nd-25th. People are getting together, learning, socializing, and sharing their enthusiasm for a common interest.

The Annapolis Valley Regional Library is forming our very own ukulele club. The Bridgetown Ukulele Group (B.U.G. for short) is starting up in (you guessed it), Bridgetown on Monday, September 14th. We’ll meet at 7:00pm at the Bridgetown & Area Library. You just need to bring your enthusiasm and your willingness to have a good time. This will be our first meeting, so we'll talk about the basics, learn some basic chords and strums and go from there. You can bring your own uke or try out one of ours. It will be a free program for anyone aged 16 and up.

Registration appreciated!
For more info, email us at

--Jai Soloy, Community Engagement Assistant 

Monday, 31 August 2015

Tiny libraries sprouting up

There’s a movement afoot that I’ve been quite interested to watch. It started as Little Free Library . The idea? Build a tiny library and put it in your yard, neighborhood, park, etc. Fill it with books, and invite people to take them, add to the library, and enjoy. This movement has really caught on!  You know how sometimes you hear about something, and then suddenly you see it everywhere? That’s what happened to me.  This summer when I was in San Francisco, I saw my first actual Little Free Library – built into an old phone box. Then another, at my friend’s house –her kids love to check it each day to see if books have been taken or added. . And another,  just as I was on a walk. This one had a solar light for evening borrowing. They seemed to pop up all over the place.

When I got back to Nova Scotia, I got an email from Laura Churchill-Duke (of Valley Family Fun fame)  . She wanted to create a Little Library in Kentville and asked if I knew about them and if I had any suggestions. A few weeks later, there’s the Wee Free Library at Miner’s Marsh in Kentville.  Read about why and how she wanted to create the little library in this article fromKings County News.  And she’s working on creating one for Port Williams, so stay tuned! Read more from her blog HERE.

Since then, I’ve heard about others. There’s one in Clarence – I found it at Noah’s Place Farm  
 when out for a drive. A friend had told me that this one existed. I’ve heard there’s one at Ayelsford Lake, but I haven’t seen that one yet.

Have you seen a Little Library in your area? Have you taken a book, or left a book at one? Are you thinking of making one in your community?  Leave us comments and let us know!

--Angela Reynolds, Community Engagement Coordinator