Library month a time to spread the word

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SYDNEY — Library month in October will be a busy one at the Cape Breton Regional Library, which goes all out with special activities and programs to reach out to the community.

Library employee Rosalie Gillis is looking forward to a visit by Alissa York author of "Fauna," for the One Book Nova Scotia program.

The regional library is also on a membership drive called Discover Yourself at the Library, showcasing the many activities, programs and resources that are at your fingertips with a library card.

Library employees Rosalie Gillis and Tara MacNeil talked earlier this week about some of the particularly exciting library month events that are planned.

"We have many, many programs happening throughout the year but in October, we do lots of special things," said Gillis, the co-ordinator of community support for the regional library.

Nova Scotians are being encouraged to read the same book — "Fauna," written by Alissa York — and to share their thoughts on the story in the second annual One Book Nova Scotia program. Libraries across the province — including the Cape Breton Regional Library — are taking part, and York will be here on Oct. 10 for a reading.

"It's really fun, the idea of everyone coming together and talking about it," said Gillis

Young people ages 10 to 18 can get in on a Trash 2 Treasure Contest (which started Friday and runs until Nov. 2) making art or a useable thing out of something that may have otherwise been discarded, with the entries to be put on display at library branches and judged for prizes.

Focusing on topics like eating well after the age of 50 and an introduction to reflexology, a new series of seniors cafés that has started at the Glace Bay branch looks like it will be very popular, said Gillis.

"We have been doing it here in Sydney for years but in Glace Bay this is the very first series for them and it's just so fun to see something new happening."

Celtic Colours International Festival is also a busy time at the regional library.

For the membership drive, Gillis and MacNeil wanted to stress that a card for the Cape Breton Regional Library can open a world of possibilities.

The active membership of the regional library is just over 25,000 people.

Sometimes, people may have an antiquated idea about libraries but that wouldn't last long if they pay a visit to one of the branches, said MacNeil, the regional library's program co-ordinator.

"(When) you come in you realize it's vibrant and busy and moving all the time," she said.

"It's important to come, look at it and feel it out for yourself to realize we do offer research, ebooks, recreational reading, a program on ancestry.ca."

MacNeil noted programs like ancestry.ca, an online service for genealogy research, wouldn't be free except at the library.

"There is just so much."

"People should come to their public library just to have a look around," said Gillis. "It's a wonderful place, all their libraries are very vibrant, and there are so many resources to people that are all free to them.

 "We provide information on many levels…we have thousands of ebooks, and online resources you need your library card for (where) you never have to leave your home to use the library."

Lapsed library users may not realize how helpful its website is where books, DVDs and the like can be requested and put on hold, she said.

"If you don't see it on the shelf, it doesn't mean we don't have it."

Finding DVDs is getting harder these days, Gillis noted.

"We have an amazing collection of DVDs, from television series to the latest movies."

Library programs and activities appeal to all ages, from Babies & Books and Wee Ones Drop Ins, to after-school programs like a Girl Power Library Club and Lego clubs, ebook open houses, author readings, talks and lectures on timely topics, writers circles and book clubs to knitting circles and seniors cafés.

Library staff want to be helpful when it comes to navigating through the books, references and many other resources, and in the many programs they offer, said MacNeil.

"They are wonderful here," said Gillis. "They truly want to help people… .When we do surveys (asking) 'What do you value most about the library?' almost across the board they always say 'Staff.'"

 

Library activities for October — some highlights

SYDNEY — Here's a list of some of the activities planned by the Cape Breton Regional Library for the month of October, which is library month.

Children and youth

Lego programs

• Reserve library, Friday, Oct 4, 2:30-4 p.m. Call the branch to sign up.

• Dominion library, Friday, Oct 11, 3-4:30 p.m. Call branch to sign up.

• Lego drop-in at New Waterford library, Saturdays starting Oct 12., 10:30 a.m. - noon. Registration is not required.

Origami fun

• Sydney Mines library, Saturdays in October at 2 p.m. For young people ages six and up. Pre-registration is required.

Puppet show

• McConnell library, Sydney, Saturday Oct 26, at 2:30 p.m.

Everyone is welcome.

Trash 2 Treasure Contest (for ages 10-18)

• Submissions will be accepted at all library branches. From Sept. 27- Nov. 2.  The challenge is to create a functional item or a piece of artwork that would otherwise be discarded. Prizes will be awarded. This contest is for young people between the ages of eight and 18. Entry forms are available at www.cbrl.ca.

Tween Scene (ages 9-12)

• Ingonish library, Saturday Oct. 12, 1-2 p.m. This activity includes snacks, games and a chance to hang  out with friends.

Wee Ones Drop-ins

This activity is for young ones up to the age of five and their parents or caregivers.

• Dominion library, Fridays from Oct. 4 to Nov. 8, 10:30-11:45 a.m

• Glace Bay library Tuesdays, 10-11 a.m.

• Ingonish library, Fridays from Oct. 4 to Nov. 8, 9:30-11 a.m.

• New Waterford library, Fridays starting Oct. 18, 10:30 -11:30 a.m.

Libraries will also offer regular programs like Babies & Books, Toddler Time, Pre-school Story Time and Saturday Story Time.

Adults and seniors

Seniors cafés

• McConnell library, Sydney, Wednesdays, Oct. 2. and Oct. 9, 1 p.m. The topics will be telling your story, writing memoirs and more.

•  McConnell library, Sydney, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 1 p.m. The topic will be Cape Breton ghost stories with historian and storyteller Jim St. Clair.

• Glace Bay library, Friday, Oct. 4, 2 p.m. The topic will be an introduction to reflexology with Elizabeth McIntosh.

• Glace Bay library, Friday, Oct. 11, 2 p.m. The topic will be about having a healthy brain lifestyle with Patsy Leblanc.

Senior Cafés are a weekly activity  at the Glace Bay library on Fridays at 2 p.m. with registration required by calling 849-8657, and at the McConnell library in Sydney on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. The presentations are aimed at people at the age of 55 and over.

In My Community —Storytelling

• The regional library and the Beaton Institute are presenting In My Community — Storytelling as a fun way to build stories within communities. They are inviting people to join friends and neighbours at the Grand Mira Community Hall on Oct.  2, starting at 7 p.m. for this storytelling event. The event is free and everyone is welcome to come and to hare stories. The storytelling event will also be held at the Middle River community hall on Oct. 9, starting at 7 p.m. and at the Gabarus community hall on Oct. 23, starting at 7 p.m.

Death Midwifery

• Baddeck library, Thursday Oct. 3,  6:30 p.m. Cassandra Yonders serves individuals and families holistically throughout the dying process. She will share from her experiences.

One Book Nova Scotia: Author Reading

• McConnell library, Sydney, Thursday, Oct. 10, 7 p.m. Readers are invited to read the book "Fauna" by Alyssa York and to share in this provincewide reading event. Readers are also invited to meet the author.

Growing up in Panama

• Baddeck library, Thursday, Oct. 10, 6:30 p.m. David Fairchild, the son of Alexander Graham Bell Fairchild, has retired to Cape Breton. He was born and raised in Panama, where his father worked as a research entomologist. He will talk about a boy’s view of life in a small Latin American country.  

Celtic Colours Conversation Series (in association with the Celtic Colours International Festival)

• McConnell library, Sydney, from 12:15-1:15 p.m. for the following topics on the following days: Tuesday, Oct. 15, Finland fiddle traditions, Wednesday, Oct. 16,  the Snowflake Trio, Thursday, Oct. 17, Raz de Maree,

and Friday, Oct. 1, festival artists-in-residence Kimberley Fraser and Harald Haugaard.

Celtic Consciousness: Our Mythic Past in the Present Moment

• Baddeck library, Thursday, Oct. 17, 6:30 p.m. Celtic myths are not just stories and legends. Join mythic scholar and monk Robert O’Hearn for a discussion on finding our ancestral past in the present.

The Senate

• McConnell library, Sydney, Tuesday, Oct. 22, 7 p.m. Most Canadians have been outraged by the current Senate scandals. Should the Senate be abolished? Join David Johnson, CBU political scientist, to explore why the Senate exists, and why it works (and doesn’t work).

Big Hill pottery

• Baddeck library, Thursday, Oct. 24, 6:30 p.m. Experienced potter Lynda Wright will talk about her craft and share insights from the perspective of an artisan.

Book launch

• McConnell library, Sydney, Thursday, Oct. 24, 6:30 p.m. Third Person Press will launch its latest anthology of speculative fiction "Grey Area: 13 Ghost Stories."

National Film Board film night

• McConnell library, Sydney, Tuesday, Oct . 7 p.m. NFB documentary screening of  "Stories We Tell" by Oscar-nominated writer and director Sarah Polley.

Organizations: Cape Breton Regional Library, Girl Power Library Club, Wee Ones National Film Board Beaton Institute Grand Mira Community Hall Colours Conversation Series Third Person Press

Geographic location: Sydney Mines, Glace Bay, York New Waterford Cape Breton Panama Middle River Gabarus Finland

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