Summer Podcast Roundup

Whether you’re travelling this summer or lounging around at home, podcasts are a great way to learn and be entertained while you soak up the sun! Getting into the world of podcasts can be daunting: there are thousands of podcasts out there on thousands of topics! If you don’t know where to start, we can help. We offer an Introduction to Podcasts to workshop where staff walk you through how to find and listen to podcasts you’ll enjoy. We also compiled a diverse list of staff favourites, categorized by topic, to help you explore podcasts on your own! Read on for the list and get ready to dive into some great listening.

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Interview Podcasts

Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend – The funny talk show host has hilarious conversations with good friends.

The Dork Forest – Comedian interviews people about what they are most ‘dorky’ about.

Finding Mastery with Michael Gervais – Deep chats with people from all walks of life about leadership.

On Being – Interviews with guests from all different backgrounds that always begin with the same question: was there a spiritual component to your upbringing?

WTF with Marc Maron – In one of the most celebrated interview podcasts out there, comedian Marc Maron interviews a diverse range of people about their lives.

Current Events and Culture

The Cracked Podcast – Discussion on a wide range of topics from current issues to pop culture, sometimes one-on-one or with a panel submitting their take on a topic (often funny).

More Perfect – This podcast examines the decisions of the US Supreme Court from a variety of angles.

Under the Influence – Fun CBC show that looks at the culture and practice of ads and marketing.

Movies/TV/Acting

Friendly Fire – A critical and historical look at war movies, with bad jokes!

Unspooled – Excellent reviews of the American Film Institute’s “Top 100” films.

You Must Remember This – In-depth, well-researched serials on individuals and incidents from old Hollywood.

History

BBC History Extra – A wide range of topics, often interviews with writers and researchers.

The Dollop – Two comedians explore the bizarre people and moments of (mostly) American history.

Hardcore History – Very deep dives into a topic (each series is many hours in length).

Historically Black – A limited 8 episode podcast that was released to coincide with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Histories of the Unexpected – Two energetic professors look at topics from different angles.

History Hit – Short interviews with authors and producers on a wide range of topics.

In Our Time – BBC panel show with professors, various topics.

Science

All In The Mind – Explores the connections between our behaviours and our brains.

Freakonomics Radio – Explores the fascinating hidden side of everything.

Infinite Monkey Cage – From the BBC, serious science topics with a light-hearted slant.

Radiolab – Hosts Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich interview many people and are not afraid to tackle themes from the mundane to the bizarre to the hilarious.

Science Vs – Fact-checking current topics in science.

Stuff You Should Know – One of the most popular podcasts in the world, hosts Josh Clark and Charles W. “Chuck” Bryant dissect a topic each episode and explain ‘how it works’.

Comedy & Trivia

Because News – Gavin Crawford quizzes funny Canadians about current events.

Comedy Bang Bang – Improv interviews and games.

No Such Thing As a Fish – The researchers from the British quiz show QI share their favourite facts.

Taggert and Torrens – Jeremy Taggart and Johnathan Torrens have long conversations, often funny, that touch on Canadian nostalgia.

The Debaters – Comedians debate different issues and the winner is chosen by the live audience and the hilarious host, Steve Patterson.

True Crime

Generation Why – Two men take an objective look at mostly murders (older episodes feature many mysteries as well).

In the Dark – In-depth exploration of cases that have tied up the justice system for many years.

My Favorite Murder – Two women talk about all things murder.

Small Town Dicks – Yeardley Smith (voice of Lisa Simpson!) hosts detectives who talk about small town crimes.

Fictional Podcasts

Girl In Space – An audio diary of a girl in space.

Lore – Explores the folklore behind superstitions and the truth behind urban legends.

Welcome to Night Vale – News, weather, and town events are relayed in a radio broadcast format from the spooky town of Night Vale, where supernatural events occur regularly.

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Disclaimer: Although some podcasts will let you know with an E symbol that the broadcast contains explicit content, some may not let you know that the conversation or themes are not appropriate for all audiences. Keep in mind that podcasts are not regulated in the same way as cable television. Please note: we are not responsible for the content of the podcasts mentioned or recommended here. Please use your own discretion to determine which podcasts are right for you.

 

New! Children’s and Teens’ Recommended Reads Newsletters

New at STPL: Recommended Reads Newsletters for children and teens! Kids, teens, and parents are often looking for new reading material, so why not subscribe and get recommendations sent to you each month?

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Since March, staff have been creating monthly newsletters highlighting recommended reads for children and teens in 6 themes: Teen Reads, Fiction for Kids, Graphic Novels for Kids, Nonfiction for Kids, Staff Picks for Kids and Picture Books!

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Each newsletter features recommended reads with descriptions, and clicking on a book’s cover photo will take you to our catalogue where you can put the book on hold, just have your library card and PIN number ready! Newsletters will also be available on our website here. Make it easy to find that great next book:  sign up to have one or more newsletters delivered straight to your inbox each month!

Monthly Newsletters for Readers!

Browsing our collection of books can be fun. But sometimes it’s nice to be given a short list of books that come recommended! What if that list were to arrive in your inbox monthly?

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We want to make it easy for you to quickly add books to your “to read” list, so we’ve created monthly newsletters for adults in 6 themes: Staff Picks, Thrillers, Mysteries, Cookbooks, Historical Fiction and Nonfiction.

 

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Each newsletter contains 5 recommended reads per month. Simply clicking on a book’s cover photo within the newsletter takes you right to our online catalogue where you can put the book on hold! All you need is your library card number and PIN code. If you don’t know your PIN code, come on in and we’ll reset it for you. Take a shortcut to some good reads! Sign up here for up to 6 Monthly Newsletters or check out current and back issues of newsletters on our website here! Happy Reading!

P.S. You can also subscribe to our What’s Happening newsletter and get a monthly heads-up on upcoming events and workshops at the library!

STPL does the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2019!

Do you do a reading challenge every year, or set a reading goal? If so, we hope you’ll follow along with library staff Jess as she does Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge 2019! We welcome Jess to the blog to explain why she chose this challenge.

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Every year I participate in the Goodreads Challenge (check out our Introduction to Goodreads Workshop here!) to help keep me motivated. This year I wanted something to help guide my reading. I am participating in Book Riot’s Read Harder 2019 Challenge. There is a list of 24 categories and people can choose whatever book they like to check off a category. There’s no guide on the length of books or even that books have to be specifically for adults. Remember, it’s okay to read YA! Download and print out the list here.

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When I first saw the list, I was really impressed by the range and diversity of options. I have never read manga, and it has been years since I read a novel in letters. I know that some of these categories will be a bit of a stretch for me so hopefully I can read outside my comfort zone! I have really enjoyed the books I’ve read so far. Look out for my reviews by following along with me on St. Thomas Public Library’s Instagram as I work through the challenge, and hopefully you will be inspired to challenge yourself as well!

Feel free to post about what you’re reading, and don’t forget to tag @stthomaspubliclibrary and use the #ReadHarder hashtag on your posts so we can see how you’re doing!

 

 

Reading Rewind: What St. Thomas Read in 2018!

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It’s almost the end of the year, so we’re taking a look back at what YOU read, watched, and listened to in 2018, based on highest circulation numbers! Take a look at some of the most popular titles this year:

ST. THOMAS READS: TOP 10

 

  1. The 17th Suspect by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
  2. The Fallen by David Baldacci
  3. The Midnight Line by Lee Child
  4. Twisted Prey by John Sandford
  5. Shelter in Place by Nora Roberts
  6. Look for Me by Lisa Gardner
  7. After Anna  by Lisa Scottoline
  8. Princess by James Patterson and Rees Jones
  9. The President is Missing by Bill Clinton and James Patterson
  10. Texas Ranger by James Patterson and Andrew Bourelle

 

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St. Thomas, you know what you like! The top of our Adult Fiction list is full of thrillers and mysteries, with a few heartfelt reads mixed in.

  1. The Wanted by Robert Crais
  2. The Cafe by the Sea by Jenny Colgan
  3. The Midnight Line by Lee Child
  4. Murder Games by James Patterson
  5. The Distance Home by Orly Konig

 

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Your favourite non-fiction topics this year were true crime, cooking, and books about life!

  1. All-American Murder: The Rise and Fall of Aaron Hernandez, the Superstar Whose Life Ended on Murderers’ Row by James Patterson & Alex Abramovich with Mike Harvkey
  2. Quick & Easy Ketogenic Cooking : Time-saving Paleo Recipes and Meal Plans to Improve your Health and Help You Lose Weight by Maria Emmerich
  3. 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson
  4. Murder City: The Untold Story of Canada’s Serial Killer Capital, 1959-1984 by Michael Arntfield
  5. The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying by Nina Riggs

 

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Your favourite graphic novels this year focused on a range of subjects, from a memoir about being a refugee from war-torn Vietnam (The Best We Could Do), to the Stranger Things-esque Paper Girls!

  1. The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir by Thi Bui
  2. Something New: Tales from a Makeshift Bride by Lucy Knisley
  3. Paper Girls. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan
  4. Going Into Town: A Love Letter to New York by Roz Chast
  5. Saga by Brian K. Vaughan

 

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Our book vending kiosk at the Elgin Centre housed some of the most buzz-worthy books of the year! Check out your favourites below:

  1. Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh
  2. The Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman
  3. An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena
  4. The Rooster Bar by John Grisham
  5. The Room on Rue Amelie by Kristin Harmel
  6. Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
  7. Sister of Mine by Laurie Petrou
  8. The Wife by Meg Wolitzer
  9. Less by Andrew Sean Greer
  10. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

 

ST. THOMAS WATCHES: TOP 10

 

It’s no secret that St. Thomas LOVES movies! This year, three Oscar-winning or nominated movies made the Top 10 list! Action and adventure flicks dominated our most-checked out movies of 2018.

  1. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri 
  2. The Shape of Water 
  3. Justice League 
  4. Murder on the Orient Express 
  5. The Post 
  6. Unlocked
  7. Acts of Vengeance 
  8. Singularity 
  9. The Dark Tower
  10. The Foreigner 

Honorable Mentions: Brawl in a Cell Block, The Lost City of Z, Blade Runner 2049, Baby Driver, 24 Hours to Live, Ladybird, Thor: Ragnarok, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, and Black Panther

 

TEENS READ: TOP 5

We saw some fan favourites in our top 5 young adult novels this year! The book that inspired Netflix’s film of the year, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, took the top spot! Lois Lowry’s classic, The Giver, as well as some great thrillers fill out the list, with John Green’s highly anticipated novel, Turtles All The Way Down, ending the list off strong.

  1. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
  2. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  3. Confessions: The Paris Mysteries by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
  4. The Safest Lies by Megan Miranda
  5. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

 

KIDS READ: PICTURE BOOKS TOP 5

Your top 5 favourite picture books of the year proved that some stories really are timeless! Robert Munsch took 4 out of 5 spots on our list, with romping, stomping kid-favourite How Do Dinosaurs Say I’m Mad? taking the other spot!

  1. Pyjama Day by Robert Munsch
  2. Thomas’ Snowsuit by Robert Munsch
  3. How Do Dinosaurs Say I’m Mad? by Jane Yolen
  4. Murmel, Murmel, Murmel by Robert Munsch
  5. Playhouse by Robert Munsch

 

KIDS WATCH: TOP 10

  1. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  2. The Boss Baby
  3. Paddington
  4. The Emoji Movie
  5. The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature
  6. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  7. Zootopia
  8. Trolls
  9. Ferdinand
  10. Inside Out

 

KIDS LEARN: STEAM AND LITERACY KITS

 

This year’s most popular literacy kits were all about wildlife! Under the Sea, Rumble in the Jungle, and Dinosaurs were the most checked-out kits, with STEAM Kits about Construction and The Human Body following closely behind!


 

We hope you enjoyed this year-end wrap up! Let us know on our social media what you’ve read or watched on this list, or what you read and watched instead!

Introducing cloudLibrary!

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St. Thomas Public Library is excited to offer a brand new way to download eBooks and eAudiobooks to your smartphone, tablet, or eReader!

You’ve been able to borrow eBooks and eAudiobooks through Overdrive and the Libby App for several years already, but now there is a second place to look for those books you can’t wait to read or listen to – cloudLibrary!

CloudLibrary works a lot like Overdrive – you can find popular eBooks and eAudiobooks by visiting the cloudLibrary website, or by downloading the App for iOS, or the App for Android .

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Once you are on the cloudLibrary website, or have downloaded the App, you can browse our collection of eBooks and eAudiobooks, place holds, and borrow items!

All you need is a library card!

How do our two eBook and eAudiobook services compare?

cloudLibrary Overdrive & Libby App
Borrow items for 3 weeks Borrow items for 2 weeks
Place holds on up to 25 items at a time Place holds on up to 10 items at a time
Check out 10 items at a time Check out 10 items at a time

Here’s a testimonial from one of our staff members who has started using cloudLibrary:

“This is a new app that allows us to provide popular titles, many without holds. You heard me, very few holds! The platform is really similar to Libby with many features. You can tag books to read later, browse by category, and check out curated lists. You can also tag books that haven’t even been published yet! That’s right, cloudLibrary knows what you will be wanting to read in the new year!”

-Jess, Library Assistant

Have questions? Please reach out via email at info@stthomaspubliclibrary.ca

Looking for help using the cloudLibrary App or website? Visit our website: https://stthomaspubliclibrary.ca/ebooks-and-eaudiobooks/

Library Board 101: Applications Now Open!

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The municipal election is over, and we look forward to working with the new council to strengthen our community! Council Committee applications are now open, and that includes our very own Library Board! The St. Thomas Public Library is governed by the St. Thomas Public Library Board, which provides oversight and guidance to the Library. We welcome you to consider applying for a place on our Library Board and make a difference in your community. Read on to learn more about the Library Board!

WHAT DOES THE LIBRARY BOARD DO?

A Library Board is created under a provincial law – called the Public Libraries Act – and the Act says that the library board’s role is:

  • to act as a spokesperson in support of the library
  • to develop a budget and monitor expenses
  • to hire, supervise, and evaluate a CEO
  • to develop the policies required for the operation of the library

The Board is a governance board, so they make sure the budget is approved, monitor expenditures, and review and approve policies. The Board is not involved in the day to day operations of the library, except to set the overall budget and policies.

HOW OFTEN DOES THE BOARD MEET?

As a whole, the Board meets 10 times a year, every month except July and August. In addition there are committees of the Board – a Finance Committee, a Personnel Committee, and a Public Relations and Fundraising Committee and they may meet 3 or 4 times per year.

WHO SITS ON THE BOARD?

The Board has nine members – two City Councillors, up to three members recommended by the School Boards, and four volunteer members from the community. All members are appointed by City Council.

HOW DO I GET ON THE BOARD?

All the members are appointed to the Board after a municipal election (usually October). In November, the City places an ad in the newspaper, asking for applications for all its local and community Boards including the hospital, the police board, or the library board. Vacancies may also arise following a resignation of a board member. All Board members have to live in the City of St. Thomas, be Canadian citizens, and be over 18.

HOW MUCH ARE BOARD MEMBERS PAID?

Board members are volunteers, and the only payment they receive is reimbursement of expenses on Board-related business. For example, a board member may attend an out-of-town library meeting, library conference, or workshop with expenses paid by the library.

HOW DOES THE BOARD KNOW IT’S DOING A GOOD JOB?

Every four or five years, during a strategic planning process, we meet with the public to make sure that the Board sets a plan for the library that meets community needs. The development of this plan is one of the most important functions of the Board. Our annual report to the community measures our success in terms of numbers and community impact.

WHAT MAKES A GOOD LIBRARY BOARD MEMBER?

A passion for libraries! Board members typically represent all segments of the community, such as seniors, parents, business entrepreneurs, and educators. Other skills and characteristics include:

  • Open-minded
  • Works well with others
  • Listener
  • Time to commit
  • Personally involved in the community
  • Able to talk to community members
  • Knows community issues
  • Passion for libraries and their role in the community
  • Understands library customers and their needs
  • Has creative ideas for making the library better

Sound interesting? If you want to become a Library Board member, start by getting to know your library! Visit us and learn about what we do! We would love to chat with you.

For more information or to download the application form, visit our website: https://stthomaspubliclibrary.ca/library-board/