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.


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!


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!

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 #56: Read Books on the Road!

Reason #56 - Read Audiobooks on the Road


Have a road trip planned this summer? Why not fit some reading in on the way? You can pick from a wide selection of audiobooks at the library to play while you’re on the way to the cottage, or anywhere! This way there are no arguments about radio stations or what type of music to listen to. You may want to take a drive just to get some some time with your book! Audiobooks are also great if you have a long commute to work, or put one on while you’re cooking or cleaning. Audiobooks can help you fit in reading wherever you can!

Check out our selection of audiobooks for adults here, juvenile audiobooks here, and teen audiobooks here.

Reason #54: Documentaries Open Your Mind!

Reason #54 - Mind opening DocumentariesOpen your mind to our selection of documentaries. Be educated and entertained all at once! Documentaries can open your eyes to the many corners of the world and issues that don’t always reach you through the mainstream news. Here is a list of recommended documentaries curated by our in-house documentary expert!

Far out isn’t Far Enough


Forks Over Knives

Holes in my Shoes

Real Injun: on the Trail of the Hollywood Indian


Mister Rogers & Me

Searching for Sugar Man

Cutie and the Boxer

Waste Land

The Garden


May we present…

After years of planning, studying, interviewing and surveying, the plans for the Revitalized St. Thomas Public Library have been revealed and it is with pleasure that we are making them available for viewing and comments.  They are now on display on the Main Floor of the Library and are also available online.  Why not stop by and have a look? We even have a flyer that we’ve created so that you can take the plans home to study. Staff would be pleased to answer any questions that you might have.

In the meantime, I thought I’d take you on a verbal tour of the plans, highlighting areas on each floor as I go. Let’s begin on the bottom level. We announced earlier, this level will be the home of the Palmer Youth Library (formerly the Children’s and Teens’ Services Department). Let me describe some of its features:

  • It will have its own check in and check out desk for children’s and teens’ materials.
  • There will be a programming room called the “Ingram Activity Centre” for children’s and teens’ library programs as well as for other activities such a tutoring and small meetings.
  • A new area called the “Kids’ Spot” has been designated specifically for younger children and their accompanying adults. It will house the picture book and board book collections, the Early Literacy computers as well as a variety of games and activities that foster pre-literacy skills.
  • Children will be provided with spaces tucked within the book stacks for quiet and group study as well as comfortable chairs for reading and relaxing.
  • The “Teen Zone” will be expanded and adapted to the technologies so popular with this age group.
  • A small café will be located in the foyer of this floor for those wishing to enjoy a hot or cold drink and a snack alone or with others.  Don’t worry, hot drink machines will be provided on all three levels.
  • A computer lab will be available for individual or group training.
  • The large meeting room will receive a makeover to transform it into an appealing and efficient place to hold community events and gatherings.
  • Several new windows will be added to the lower level. With the windows that take up much of the south side of the lower level, and the large window on the west side, there will be lots of natural light coming into the Youth Department.
  • A barrier-free washroom will be added to this level.

Let’s climb the stairs to the Main Floor which will remain the Adult Services Department of the Library. It too will see some changes as follows:

  • The fiction and the non-fiction collections will switch places.
  • The foyer will be expanded to provide more enclosed space to welcome visitors and to announce community and library events.
  • A new “Rotary Lounge” will feel like a “living room” with  comfortable seating around a fireplace. Magazines and newspapers will be conveniently located for easy accessibility.
  • A variety of seating areas both for leisure and for study will be strategically placed throughout the department making efficient use of the windows for natural lighting and the nooks already present for coziness.
  • The Marketplace will be front and slightly to the right when you enter the front doors of the Library. Here we plan to showcase new and notable books, DVDs and CDs.   It will also be the area where holds will be available.
  • The skylights will both be operational and will be covered with an opaque material that will protect library materials while letting light through to make the best use of natural lighting.
  • A barrier-free washroom will be added to this level.

One more flight of enclosed stairs will take us to the upper level, which will be the quieter area of the Library. Here’s what you can expect on this level:

  • The area  for the Local History/Genealogy/Canadiana collections will be expanded with staff available  to assist.
  • Two enclosed study rooms will be located on this floor for those who require the most amount of quiet for their activities.  Other seating areas will be situated throughout.
  • A Board Room will be available  not only for library meetings but will also for rental to community groups.
  • The half walls will be closed off up to the ceiling to help with current noise and heating issues.
  • A barrier-free washroom will be added to this level.

A small addition at the back of the building will mean that accessible washrooms will be available on all three levels.

You may do a “double take” when you re-enter the doors of our Revitalized Library at the end of 2011. We hope that there will be more than a few gasps and squeals of delight. In the meantime, beginning in April, we will look forward to welcoming you to our temporary spaces at Elgin Mall!