25 Books for Pride 2017

STPL is celebrating Pride Week! Come in and browse our Rainbow List display, or check out this staff-curated list of  25 Books for Pride 2017! There’s something for everyone!

Adult Books

 Long Red Hair by Meags Fitzgerald

In this graphic memoir, Fitzgerald paints a childhood full of sleepovers, playing dress-up, amateur fortune-telling and renting scary movies. The book navigates a child’s struggle with mediocrity, a preteen’s budding bisexuality and a young woman’s return after rejection.

All I Love and Know by Judith Frank

Told with the storytelling power and emotional fidelity of Wally Lamb, this is a searing drama of a modern American family on the brink of dissolution, one that explores adoption, gay marriage, and love lost and found. Are there limits to honesty or commitment—or love?

 The Gods of Tango by Carolina de Robertis

February 1913: seventeen-year-old Leda, clutching a suitcase and her father’s cherished violin, leaves her small Italian village for a new home (and husband) halfway across the world in Argentina. Upon her arrival in Buenos Aires, Leda is shocked to find that her bridegroom has been killed. She develops a passion for playing her violin that her father sent oversea with her. She even convinces an elderly Italian immigrant to teach her to play. Leda knows, however, that she can never play in public as a woman, so she cuts off her hair, binds her breasts, and, as a young man, joins a troupe of musicians bent on bringing tango into the salons of high society.

Queer City: Gay London from Romans to the Present Day by Peter Ackroyd

In Queer City, Ackroyd looks at the metropolis in a whole new way – through the history and experiences of its gay population. He takes us to the heart of this hidden city, celebrating its diversity, thrills and energy on the one hand, but reminding us of its very real terrors, dangers and risks on the other. In a city of superlatives, it is perhaps this endless sexual fluidity and resilience that encapsulate the real triumph of London.

How to Survive a Plague: the Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS by David France

Suspenseful, devastating, and finally inspiring, this is the story of the men and women who watched their friends and lovers fall, ignored by public officials, religious leaders, and the nation at large.  Expansive yet richly detailed, How to Survive a Plague is an insider’s account of a pivotal moment in the history of civil rights.

A Two Spirit Journey: the Autobiography of a Lesbian Ojibwa-Cree Elder by Ma-Nee Chacaby

From her early, often harrowing memories of life and abuse, Chacaby’s story is one of enduring obstacles. After finding support, she achieved sobriety and then trained and worked as an alcoholism counselor, raised her children and fostered many others, learned to live with visual impairment and came out as a lesbian. In 2013, Chacaby led the first gay pride parade in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Surpassing Certainty: What My Twenties Taught Me by Janet Mock

Riveting, rousing, and utterly real, Surpassing Certainty is a portrait of a young woman searching for her purpose and place in the world—without a road map to guide her. Despite her disadvantages, fueled by her dreams and inimitable drive, Janet makes her way through New York City while holding her truth close. She builds a career in the highly competitive world of magazine publishing—within the unique context of being trans, a woman, and a person of color.

Tomboy Survival Guide by Ivan Coyote

Ivan Coyote is a celebrated storyteller and the author of ten previous books, including Gender Failure (with Rae Spoon) and One in Every Crowd, a collection for LGBT youth. Tomboy Survival Guide is a funny and moving memoir told in stories, about how they learned to embrace their tomboy past while carving out a space for those of us who don’t fit neatly into boxes, identities or labels.

Irrepressible: The Jazz Age Life of Henrietta Bingham by Emily Bingham

Raised like a princess in one of the most powerful families in the American South, Henrietta Bingham was offered the helm of a publishing empire. But her love affairs with women made her the subject of derision and caused a doctor to try to cure her queerness. For the biographer and historian Emily Bingham, the secret of who her great-aunt was, and just why her story was concealed for so long, led to Irrepressible: The Jazz Age Life of Henrietta Bingham.

“You’re in the Wrong Bathroom!” And 20 Other Myths and Misconceptions about Transgender and Gender Nonconforming People by Laura Erickson-Schroth and Laura A. Jacobs

This book unpacks the twenty-one most common myths about transgender people. Authors Laura Erickson-Schroth, MD, a psychiatrist, and Laura A. Jacobs, LCSW-R, a psychotherapist, address myths about trans identity (all trans people are trapped in the wrong body ), sex and relationships (most trans people do sex work and have HIV), health and safety (trans people are mentally ill and therapy can change them), and history and community (trans people and feminists don t get along).”

When Your Child is Gay: What You Need to Know by Wesley C. Davidson and Jonathan L. Tobkes

Emphasizing communication and unconditional love, Davidson and Tobkes help parents untangle their own feelings, identify and overcome barriers to acceptance, encourage strong self-esteem in their child, handle negative or hostile reactions to their child’s sexual identity, and more. Filled with case studies and interviews, along with useful action plans and conversation starters, this is a positive, progressive guide to raising healthy, well-adjusted adults.

The Gender Creative Child: Pathways for Nurturing and Supporting Children Who Live Outside Gender Boxes by Diane Ehrensaft

In her groundbreaking first book, Gender Born, Gender Made, Dr. Diane Ehrensaft coined the term gender creative to describe children whose unique gender expression or sense of identity is not defined by a checkbox on their birth certificate. Now, with The Gender Creative Child, she returns to guide parents and professionals through the rapidly changing cultural, medical, and legal landscape of gender and identity.

Journey to Same-Sex Parenthood by Eric Rosswood

Journey to Same-Sex Parenthood provides a unique combination of inspirational firsthand accounts combined with the critical information, tips and advice needed to help couples successfully navigate the complex road to parenthood. Each section includes a description of the specific family-building approach, followed by personal stories from same-sex couples and individuals who have chosen and gone through that particular journey.

Children and Teen Books

Girl Mans Up by M-E Girard

All Pen wants is to be the kind of girl she’s always been. So why does everyone have a problem with it? “This is a fresh title in the growing sea of LGBTQ YA literature. There is no sugarcoating in this very real portrayal of an aspect of teen life that many experience. Recommended for fans of YA urban fiction as well as those who prefer grittier LGBTQ lit.” — School Library Journal

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime.

Georgia Peaches and other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown

Joanna Gordon has been out and proud for years, but when her popular radio evangelist father remarries and decides to move all three of them from Atlanta to the more conservative Rome, Georgia, he asks Jo to do the impossible: to lie low for the rest of her senior year. And Jo reluctantly agrees. Joanna meets the perfect girl for her and must decide whether to break a promise that could change everything for her and her family or lose out on love.

When the Moon was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore

To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town. Atmospheric, dynamic, and packed with gorgeous prose, When the Moon was Ours is another winner from Anna-Marie McLemore.

Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy

Standing over six feet tall with unmistakable blue hair, Ramona is sure of three things: she likes girls, she’s fiercely devoted to her family, and she knows she’s destined for something bigger than the trailer she calls home in Eulogy, Mississippi. But juggling multiple jobs, her flaky mom, and her well-meaning but ineffectual dad forces her to be the adult of the family. Now, with her sister Hattie’s pregnancy, responsibility weighs more heavily than ever.

Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights by Ann Bausum

In 1969 being gay in the United States was a criminal offense. It meant living a closeted life or surviving on the fringes of society. People went to jail, lost jobs, and were disowned by their families for being gay. Most doctors considered homosexuality a mental illness. There were few safe havens. Ann Bausum’s riveting exploration of the Stonewall Riots and the national Gay Rights movement that followed is eye-opening, unflinching, and inspiring.

One Man Guy by Michael Barakiva

Alek Khederian should have guessed something was wrong when his parents took him to a restaurant. Everyone knows that Armenians never eat out.  Alek’s parents announce that he’ll be attending summer school in order to bring up his grades. Alek is sure this experience will be the perfect hellish end to his hellish freshmen year of high school. He never could’ve predicted that he’d meet someone like Ethan.

History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course. If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history.

The Other Boy by M.G. Hennessey

Twelve-year-old Shane Woods is just a regular boy. But Shane is keeping something private, and when a classmate threatens to reveal his secret, Shane’s whole world comes crashing down. It will take a lot of courage for Shane to ignore the hate and show the world that he’s still the same boy he was before. And in the end, those who stand beside him may surprise everyone, including Shane.

Lily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart

Lily Jo McGrother, born Timothy McGrother, is a girl. But being a girl is not so easy when you look like a boy. Especially when you’re in the eighth grade.  Dunkin Dorfman, birth name Norbert Dorfman, is dealing with bipolar disorder and has just moved from the New Jersey town he’s called home for the past thirteen years. One summer morning, Lily Jo McGrother meets Dunkin Dorfman, and their lives forever change.

My Mixed-Up Berry Blue Summer by Jennifer Gennari

Twelve-year-old June Farrell is sure of one thing—she’s great at making pies—and she plans to prove it by winning a blue ribbon in the Champlain Valley Fair pie competition. But a backlash against Vermont’s civil union law threatens her family’s security and their business. Even when faced with bullying, June won’t give up on winning the blue ribbon; more importantly, she won’t give up on her family.

Pride: Celebrating Diversity and Community by Robin Stevenson

Pride Day is a spectacular and colorful event. But there is a whole lot more to Pride than rainbow flags and amazing outfits. So what exactly are we celebrating on Pride Day? How did this event come to be? And what does Pride mean to the people who celebrate it?

Enjoy celebrating Pride Week! If you’d like a comprehensive list of all of our LBTQ+ materials, check out our Rainbow List online!

 

 

 

St. Thomas Public Library’s Community Engagement Survey

This year, St. Thomas Public Library is working on finishing up the new Strategic Plan, which will take effect January 2018. One of the steps in the strategic planning process is to gather feedback and information from your local community. We wanted to know who our library customers are, and what the library means to them as part of the greater St. Thomas community. To do this, we undertook a public survey, which ran for 5 weeks through March and April 2017.

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The survey gathered both quantitative and qualitative data, including questions about personal passions, the importance of the library in the community, barriers to using the Library, frequency of use, and a number of demographic questions.

 

Data was collected using a variety of methods.  The survey was available online for the entirety of the five weeks it was live. Additionally, we had a table set up on the main floor in the Library, and then moved it downstairs to the lower level,  to allow for personal engagement with library customers, and to have paper copies available. We wanted to make sure that we gathered feedback from a wide a variety of community members, so not only was the survey made available at the Library itself, but the online version was also shared via email to several community partners.

Once the data was gathered, we assembled a team to analyze it.  This team consisted of a mix of management and library staff. The group met twice to discuss data analysis methods and share their findings. Overall, we received 616 responses from the community.  While we are pleased with the response, it is important to recognize the limitations of our sample size.  The results of this survey should not be seen as an exhaustive sampling of our community.  Rather, it simply offers a glimpse of opinions and highlights the need for us to be continually mindful of the changing needs and interests of the entire community.

The following graphs provide an overview of the demographics and responses represented by those who responded to our survey:

Demographics:

GenderAge

Employment Status

Location (by postal code)Location by Postal Code

Why do you use the Library?Why do you use the libraryFrequency

What prevents you from using the Library?What prevents you

 

We also asked some open-ended questions about passions and interests in order to get to know our respondents a bit better.  The responses gave the picture of a group of people very keen on connecting with their community through people, places, and the outdoors.  This word cloud gives just a glimpse of some of the most common keywords included in the responses:

 

Library heart

Finally, we asked why the library is important to the community.  To this, the response was largely centered around the provision of free access to books, people, and space for research, education, and togetherness.

People Heart

Next Steps

Now that we have completed the survey, we are looking to our next steps in the strategic planning process. We recognize that the data we collected is not exhaustive, and does not fully represent our entire community. We will be taking into consideration the trends we observed and reported here, but will also be incorporating the 2016 census data, which was made available in May 2017.

 

Historypin

Have you discovered Historypin yet? Historypin is a website where people can upload their own pieces of local history! Many of us have old photos and stories that have been passed down through generations, and Historypin is a great place to share these memories with others! If you can access a scanner or have digital copies already, all you need to do is create an account and you can upload your photos to start a collection.

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There are a few collections for local history enthusiasts to explore. Check out the Elgin Archives collection, the University of Western Ontario’s collection, A Bod’s collection, and watch for St. Thomas Public Library’s collection too! The photo above, a postcard of Elgin County Courthouse from 1907, is from A Bod’s Collection. What can you add to Historypin? Here are a few more photos of places you may recognize!

 

Indigenous Book Club Month

Did you know that June is Indigenous Book Club Month? Perhaps you’re participating with your book club, but even if you’re not in a book club it’s a good time to check out some Indigenous authors! Here are some picks from our collection:

3D Printer Upgrade

St. Thomas Public Library has two brand new 3D Printers! Come in and check out our new Lulzbots. These models are an upgrade from our previous Cube models: You will find them easier to use, they can print using many different filament materials, and more colour options are available. You can even bring in your own filament and 3D print for free! (Prints normally cost 10 cents per gram).

What have people been up to on the new printers? Right now the trend is fidget spinners. Print a cap and a shell and then add your own weights for a custom spinner that no one else will have! You can find hundreds of designs like these ones on Thingiverse:

Also exciting: You can watch what people are printing live on our new Twitch channel! The channel switches between our two printers so you can watch a 3D print in progress. See if you can guess what each print will be!

To learn how to use our Lulzbots, join one of our 3D Printing Certification Sessions. Check our online calendar  for session dates. You can register online with your library card, or drop by the Adult Information Desk to sign up. If you can’t make a Certification Session, we now have the option of booking a One on One Session. Ask at the Adult Information Desk and we’ll find a time for a staff member to assist you!

Stay tuned for more changes to Creators’ Community. We’re currently working on a Creators’ Corner, a welcoming work space to accommodate new classes and allow better access to our resources!

Get to Know: Elgin Children’s Network (ECN)

ECNhero

Did you know?

The St. Thomas Public Library is a member of the Elgin Children’s Network (ECN).

What’s that, you ask?

ECN brings together a number of agencies and individuals from our local education, health and social services sectors.  Through the years, ECN has evolved to become an innovative and collaborative planning table.  As a group, we strive to put children and families at the centre of all discussions, decisions and actions.  The goal is to build communities where every child has the opportunity to be engaged, empowered, and to thrive.
Can you give me an example of something ECN has done?

Yes!  There are two examples, in fact. 

One: ECN was instrumental in the planning and development of the Northside Neighbourhood Hub.  The Hub is a public, accessible space where people can come together to Connect, Celebrate, Discover, Explore and Share. People can easily participate in a variety of free or low-cost activities, seek information about different services and supports in the community, sign up for a program offered right in their neighbourhood or simply drop-in to connect with a friend.  Check it out at 114 Confederation Drive or give them a call at 519-631-5182.  You can also find them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NorthsideHub

Two: ECN has also recently launched a website http://www.elginchildrensnetwork.ca/.  The site is designed to connect parents and caregivers with people, places and resources that can help them.  Check it out today!

Why is it important for the library to be involved with ECN?

Sitting at the ECN table gives us a unique insight into the programs and services available for children and families around Elgin County.  We can share this information with library customers.  We can also use it to make sure our programs and services complement, and don’t duplicate, what’s already available in our community.  It also provides us with opportunities to expand the reach of library services.  For example, stay tuned to hear more about our new holds pick up location at the Hub!

25 Amazing Books for Black History Month

Celebrate diverse stories, voices, and ideas with these Black History Month Book Picks!

 

ADULT FICTION

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
The Underground Railroad is a 2016 tells the story of Cora and Caesar, two slaves who make a bid for freedom from their Georgia plantations by following the Underground Railroad, which happens to be an actual underground subway.

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Things Fall Apart tells two overlapping, intertwining stories, both of which center around Okonkwo, a man of an Ibo village in Nigeria.

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South. Dana is drawn back repeatedly through time to the slave quarters, and each time the stay grows longer, more arduous, and more dangerous until it is uncertain whether or not Dana’s life will end, long before it has a chance to begin.

Out of Shadows by Jason Wallace
For Robert Jacklin – packed off without warning to boarding school in Zimbabwe – everything is terrifyingly new. Branded an outsider from the moment he opens his mouth and unable to decode the subtle power struggles of the classroom, he longs for the safety of his old life in England. And then he meets Ivan, who offers him not only friendship, but power. As Robert is drawn slowly into Ivan’s destructive web, he begins to question things he’d always held true and.

The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill
Abducted from Africa as a child and enslaved in South Carolina, Aminata Diallo thinks only of freedom―and of the knowledge she needs to get home. This captivating story of one woman’s remarkable experience spans six decades and three continents and brings to life a crucial chapter in world history.

Wash by Margaret Wrinkle
In this luminous debut, Margaret Wrinkle takes us on an unforgettable journey across continents and through time, from the burgeoning American South to West Africa and deep into the ancestral stories that reside in the soul.

Difficult Women by Roxane Gay
A collection of stories of rare force and beauty, of hardscrabble lives, passionate loves, and quirky and vexed human connection. The women in these stories live lives of privilege and of poverty, are in marriages both loving and haunted by past crimes or emotional blackmail.

The Mothers by Brit Bennett
The Mothers is a surprising story about young love, a big secret in a small community – and the things that ultimately haunt us most. It is the last season of high school life for Nadia Turner, a rebellious, grief-stricken, 17-year-old. Mourning her own mother’s recent suicide, she takes up with the local pastor’s son. They are young; it’s not serious. But the pregnancy that results from this teen romance – and the subsequent cover-up – will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth.

Swing Time by Zadie Smith
Two girls dream of being dancers–but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, about what constitutes a tribe, or makes a person truly free. It’s a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten, either.

God Help the Child by Toni Morrison
Spare and unsparing, God Help the Child—the first novel by Toni Morrison to be set in our current moment—weaves a tale about the way the sufferings of childhood can shape, and misshape, the life of the adult.

ADULT NONFICTION:

‘Membering by Austin Clarke
In ‘Membering, Clarke shares his own experiences growing up in Barbados and moving to Toronto to attend university in 1955 before becoming a journalist. With vivid realism he describes Harlem of the ’60s, meeting and interviewing Malcolm X, and writers Chinua Achebe and LeRoi Jones.

Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson
As the country grapples with racist division at a level not seen since the 1960s, one man’s voice soars above the rest with conviction and compassion. Michael Eric Dyson speaks out in Tears We Cannot Stop―a provocative and deeply personal call for change. Dyson argues that if we are to make real racial progress we must face difficult truths, including being honest about how black grievance has been ignored, dismissed, or discounted.

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
With humor and levity, Adichie offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century—one rooted in inclusion and awareness. She shines a light not only on blatant discrimination, but also the more insidious, institutional behaviors that marginalize women around the world, in order to help readers of all walks of life better understand the often masked realities of sexual politics.

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
The phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
From his passionate and deliberate breakdown of the concept of race itself to the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement, Coates powerfully sums up the terrible history of the subjugation of black people in the United States. A timely work, this title will resonate with all teens–those who have experienced racism as well as those who have followed the recent news coverage on violence against people of color.

Redefining Realness by Janet Mock
This powerful memoir follows Mock’s quest for identity, from an early, unwavering conviction about her gender to a turbulent adolescence in Honolulu that saw her transitioning during the tender years of high school, self-medicating with hormones at fifteen, and flying across the world alone for sex reassignment surgery at just eighteen. With unflinching honesty, Mock uses her own experience to impart vital insight about the unique challenges and vulnerabilities of trans youth and brave girls like herself.

Steal Away Home by Karolyn Smardz Frost
The story of a fifteen-year-old escaped slave named Cecelia Reynolds, who slips away to freedom in Canada while her Kentucky owners holiday at Niagara Falls. In this compelling work of narrative non-fiction, Governor General’s Award winner Karolyn Smardz Frost brings Cecelia’s story to life.

JUVENILE FICTION:

My Name is Phillis Wheatley: A Story of Slavery and Freedom by Afua Cooper
This is the remarkable story of Phillis Wheatley, who is born into an African family of griots, or storytellers, but captured by slave raiders and forced aboard a slave ship, where appalling conditions spell death for many of her companions.

Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt by Deborah Hopkinson
As a seamstress in the Big House, Clara dreams of a reunion with her Momma, who lives on another plantation–and even of running away to freedom. Then she overhears two slaves talking about the Underground Railroad. In a flash of inspiration, Clara sees how she can use the cloth in her scrap bag to make a map of the land–a freedom quilt–that no master will ever suspect.

Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport
This picture-book biography is an excellent and accessible introduction for young readers to learn about one of the world’s most influential leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King.

JUVENILE NON-FICTION:

Martin and Mahalia: His Words, Her Song by Andrea Davis Pinkney
On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and his strong voice and powerful message were joined and lifted in song by world-renowned gospel singer Mahalia Jackson. It was a moment that changed the course of history and is imprinted in minds forever. Told through Andrea Davis Pinkney’s poetic prose and Brian Pinkney’s evocative illustration, the stories of these two powerful voices and lives are told side-by-side.

Oh, Freedom! Kids Talk about the Civil Rights Movement with the People Who Made it Happen by Casey King
31 interviews that cover three main areas of the movement: life under segregation, the nonviolent movement, and the black power movement. Everyone is here — regular, ordinary people who dedicated themselves to the cause of freedom and the fight for equality, and even a few of the better known people whose names we hear and associate with Martin Luther King, or with the Freedom Rides, or with other familiar aspects of the movement.

TEEN FICTION:

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Angie Thomas’s searing debut about an ordinary girl in extraordinary circumstances addresses issues of racism and police violence with intelligence, heart, and unflinching honesty.

The Harlem Hellfighters by Max Brooks
In 1919, the 369th infantry regiment marched home triumphantly from World War I. They had spent more time in combat than any other American unit, never losing a foot of ground to the enemy, or a man to capture, and winning countless decorations. Though they returned as heroes, this African American unit faced tremendous discrimination, even from their own government.

Juba! by Walter Dean Myers
This engaging historical novel is based on the true story of the meteoric rise of an immensely talented young black dancer, William Henry Lane, who influenced today’s tap, jazz, and step dancing. With meticulous and intensive research, Walter Dean Myers has brought to life Juba’s story.