8th Annual Haunted Library in Review


On Friday, October 27 the Library held its 8th Annual Haunted Library Event! It was our biggest year yet with just over 420 people in attendance. We had a lot of fun putting on the event, and now that the last of the decorations have finally been put away in the closet until next year, we want to take a look back at the big night!

This year the event took place on both the Main Level and the Lower Level of the Library. Entry was through the Main Level doors of the Library where tickets were handed out and entertainment was provided while groups waited for their turn to tour the Haunted Lower Level. One of the main attractions was our Library House Band: Bruise Springscream and the Eek-Street Band!


Families could work on a Hallowe’en Scavenger Hunt on the Main Level, and there was also a Guess How Many Candies in a Jar contest and a Guess the Weight of the Pumpkin contest, run by these two charming Spice Girls:


The Library was also a stop on the Downtown Development Board’s Pumpkin Prowl this year, so Prowl participants were able to get their passports stamped at our event, even if they were just stopping in!

For those brave enough to ride the elevator down to the Haunted Pumpkin Kingdom on the Lower Level, a tour of delightful horrors was waiting.


The greeter!
These spooky characters were playing a theremin at the entrance to the Pumpkin Kingdom.
Dr. Jekyll’s Laboratory


If you made it past this last terrifying character, you made it to the end!


The hard work of Haunted Library is largely done by the Library’s Teen Advisory Board, or TAB. The characters are all TAB volunteers and all the props and the story line is put together by TAB! They put many hours of work into the event every year and it’s a great way for them to give back to the community. TAB members also earn community volunteering hours for all the work they do for us here, and they develop great skills in areas like event planning, group work, and interacting with the public! Here they are in their post-event group shot:


We had a great time this year, and we can’t wait to do it all again in 2018!

Reason #57: With Tech, Kids Can Explore & Discover!

Reason #57 - With tech kids can explore and discover


The library is a great place for kids to do some self-directed learning! Kids, especially those in the 9-12 age bracket, learn well by exploring on their own. With this in mind, we have programs and resources to allow kids to discover and keep those young minds nimble!


We have partnered with the St. Joseph’s High School Renaissance Robotics Team to bring you Lego Mindstorms Robots, where kids (ages 9-12) learn to build a robot and basic coding to move the robot around and assign it simple tasks. This two-session program has been wildly popular and our summer sessions are full, but we plan to continue in the fall.

Snap Circuits

Join us to explore snap circuits on Tuesday July 22nd, all day in the Ingram Room. Snap Circuits are a safe way for kids to explore electricity and make their own circuitry. The library has purchased a snap circuit kit for this program, so watch for more snap circuit programs in the future.

Stop Motion Animation

In August we are having a Stop Motion Animation workshop for ages 9 and up. We’ll let kids get creative and teach them how to use an iPad to create a stop motion animated film. Kids can create and use technology to bring their visions to life!

Reason #33: Sometimes We’re All Fun And Games

Reason #33 - We're all fun & games

It’s okay to come and hang out at the library. You don’t have to check anything out. You don’t have to be doing research, working on a project, reading or joining in a program. You can come and relax too! On the lower level in the Children’s and Teens’ Department, it’s a little like a rec room. We have lego and toys in Kids Spot for the young kids, and teens can often be found in the Ingram Room playing a board game. We have a stock of board games and chess sets in the Ingram Room that you can help yourself to anytime, and soon we’ll be breaking out brand new board games for the Teen Lounge. We also have chess boards stickered to some of the tables on the main level for adults. If you need a set of chess pieces, ask at the Adult Information Desk. Board games are a great way to unplug and have some old-fashioned, face-to-face competetive fun. Just remember, we aren’t responsible for friendships ruined by Monopoly- so keep it friendly!

You’re Invited to a Victorian Tea Party!

Reason #17 - Victorian Tea Party

Join us for a Victorian Tea to help us celebrate our 130th Anniversary! Feel free to dress fancy and enjoy tea and delightful snacks with us here at the library. We look forward to entertaining you!

Back to Nature- Where You Belong!

Soft grass under foot, your toes can grip and feel the earth. You are surrounded by the whisper of wind in the trees, the lull of lapping water, the songs of birds, the scurrying of small animals, and the symphony of the stream. The vista is beautiful and the air is fresh. Come the evening there is the aroma and crackle of a fire. The canopy of stars encourages dreaming and reflection. The aroma of the fire is joined by the sweet smell of s’mores, the toasted combination of graham crackers, pure chocolate, and melting marshmallows. At night, you nestle down into Mother Earth and sleep the sleep of the innocent. You will awaken refreshed and stronger tomorrow; urban decay, sirens, squealing tires, flashing lights, cement (the most unnatural material invented), overhead wires, exhaust fumes,

and the constant cacophony of noise are distant memories.

If you have recollections like this or would like to create memories like this, join us at: 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 10, 2014 in the Carnegie Room at the St. Thomas Public Library for a “Learn Camping Basics” presentation. This program is courtesy of Ontario Parks and you will learn about camping, see different types of camping equipment, and obtain advice from the experts. This is an all age event and great way to learn about an economical family experience. Please register at the Information Desks on the Main Floor.

Do come out and find out what our Ontario Parks have to offer. Come camping! It may lead you to fishing, canoeing, hiking, bird watching, and other great outdoor pastimes.tq_007420-camping_g

Celebrating Community Partners

Community Living Apr 2014 (15)    “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”- Winston Churchill

What is a community?  In simplest terms, a community is a group of people.  A community may share the same city or they may simply share common attitudes, interests, and goals. No matter how we define it, any community improves and grows when people connect with each other in positive ways; for example, through active partnerships that benefit everyone involved.

Such a partnership exists between Community Living Elgin and the St. Thomas Public Library. Launched in 2012, it has been a great success for both partners.  Every other Tuesday, two members of STPL staff (Darlene and Dana) host a fun program for clients of Community Living Elgin.  Participants enjoy presentations on topics chosen by members of the group, as well as stories read aloud and crafts.  Recent topics have included: Koalas, Monkeys, the Arctic, Dinosaurs and St. Patrick’s Day.  Story readings have sometimes turned into sing-a-longs, and crafts have included jointed paper monkeys, polar bears made from cotton balls and rainbows made from Froot Loops.

There are two Community Living groups who participate in this program – one group travels to the library and the other group we visit at the Community Living Elgin building on Talbot Street.  The program provides participants with an interesting break in their day, an opportunity to interact with peers, and the chance to learn something new.  Judging from the smiles, the laughs, the handshakes and the hugs, everyone seems to be enjoying themselves.  However, the benefit is not just one way – we gain a lot from this partnership as well.  It feels great to get a hug from someone who’s had a good time, to hear someone say “This is really fun!” or to watch someone carefully creating a beautiful rainbow from colourful cereal. The STPL mission is to educate, inform and enrich.   With this partnership, the education and enrichment go both ways.

Community Living Apr 2014 (10) Community Living Apr 2014 (7) Community Living Apr 2014 (13) Community Living Apr 2014 (14)  Community Living Apr 2014 (12)

Thursdays this spring are Oscar Nominated Film Nights!


Get excited. Starting on April 10th, the St. Thomas Public Library is showing 2014 Oscar nominated films on Thursday nights. Join us in the Carnegie Room, bring your own snacks and watch some great films! This is a free program, but space is limited.

Thursday April 10th, 6:00: 12 Years a Slave

Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael K. Williams, and Michael Fassbender, directed by Steve McQueen. Rated 14A.


Thursday April 24th, 6:00: American Hustle

Starring Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, and Jennifer Lawrence. Directed by David O. Russell. Rated 14A.


Thursday May 1st, 6:30: Gravity

Starring Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, and Ed Harris. Directed by Alfonso Cuaron. Rated PG.


Thursday May 15, 6:30: Philomena

Starring Judi Dench, Steve Coogan and Sophie Kennedy Clark. Directed by Stephen Frears. Rated PG.

Philomena Poster