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/

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:

 

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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.

 

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:

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

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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!