SPLASH: Short Story Contest

It’s back again! The Uxbridge Public Library invites all Uxbridge Township students from JK to Grade 12 to use their imaginations and story-telling skills over the March Break!

Write a story beginning with the word SPLASH (no more than 2 double spaced pages) and you could win a prize! Winning entries will be published on our website and displayed in the library. All participants will receive a little prize, just for entering a story! (Thanks to Baked At Frankie’s!)

Entires must be dropped off (with an entry form) by 5:00pm on Monday, March 21, 2011. Winners will be announced on March 30, 2011. Details and entry forms can be found on our website or at the library.

Posted in @ the Library, What's happpening @ the Library | Comments Off on SPLASH: Short Story Contest

Meet Me @ the Library

By:  Shannon Fleming and Sean Wetselaar

Food for Thought

It is a widely-held (and absolutely true) belief that for a fairly small town, Uxbridge has a very well-stocked library.  With over 60 thousand items between the two branches, it’s an incredibly diverse collection.  However, the libraries in major centres and big cities are often given much more funding by the government, and thus have larger collections.  This makes sense, as they service so many more people.  However, our opinion of city libraries changed drastically when Sean dealt with a couple who came into the Children’s Department one day, several months ago.

They had a little boy, and wanted recommendations for a good series for him to read.  Sean made a couple of suggestions, but continuously hit dead ends in acquiring said books for them (another patron had them out, this one was an audio book, this one was just plain M.I.A. – it was seemingly unending).  He finally suggested ordering the books in from another library – often a time-consuming process.

By this point, most patrons would have been fed up and simply have called it a day.  But not these two.  They were friendly, understanding – the model of stereotypical small-town generosity.  However, one of them let slip that they were in fact new arrivals to Uxbridge, and that they’d been living in Toronto until recently.  They went on to compliment the service and comment on what a wonderful library we had.  They told Sean that our staff were helpful and understanding, and that they liked our little local library as much as, if not more than, the one in Toronto.

This was a shock to Sean, as what he had always considered would seem limited and tiny to anyone from Toronto had satisfied these city-dwellers totally.  Even better – they went out of their way to tell him what a great place it was.

It seemed that our homey, little, local library is a much bigger deal than we had always given it credit for.  It occurred to us that size doesn’t always matter, even when it comes to the size of a collection in a library.  And maybe what really determines a library’s worth is the people.  In other words, a library is what you make of it – it’s up to the patron and the staff to make one really stand out.

Just food for thought.

What’s Happening: The Children’s Department is pretty busy these days.  A collage contest is being held for children ages 12 and under to celebrate the library’s 123rd birthday.  The subject for the collages: “Why Do You Love the Library?”  Entries are due in by December 9.  Additionally, a “Harry Potter Potions” activity is being held on November 19 for kids in grade 3 to 7, with the cost being four dollars per participant.  For more information on what’s happening at the library, come pick up a newsletter at one of the circulation desks.

What’s New: In the Adult Department, we now have a sequel to Bram Stoker’s classic vampire novel: Dracula: The Un-Dead by Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt.  We also have in a plethora of new audio books, including Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton and Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë.

Posted in Meet me @ the Library | Comments Off on Meet Me @ the Library

Meet @ the Library

By:  Shannon Fleming and Sean Wetselaar

Twice a year the hallowed halls of the Uxbridge Public Library are graced by the presence of one of the library’s biggest events of the year.  Not only is the Friends of the Library Book Sale a great opportunity for the library to make some extra money, it’s a gathering of like-minded individuals that creates a feeling of unity within the town.  The most recent book sale took place this past weekend, from October 30 to November 2.

Saturday morning found line-ups of eager book hunters waiting outside both library entrances, as early as 9:15 a.m., and the customers continued to pile through the doors throughout the day.  At the time of writing this column, the exact amount of money made through the sale is not known; however, the sale itself is a great generator of income for the library.

But the book sale is not as simple to organise as it is to peruse.  We at the library begin to amass donations for the sale months in advance, and we are never short of items to sell. The boxes pile up in the staff room, and the Friends of the Library must sort through every single book, with the assistance of student volunteers.

Transforming the meeting room into a usable site for the book sale takes several days of preparation, and even the process of moving books down the hallway can be a daunting task.  But the library’s book sale is more than just a sale.  It’s an event that many members of the community look forward to throughout the year.  It brings the community together, and it contributes to arguably one of the most important institutions of the town:  the library.

What’s Happening: On the P.A. Day (November 19), the library will be hosting a Harry Potter-themed event for kids grades 3–7.  Also, a retirement party is going to be held at the library for long-time staff member Ruth Street on November 10 from 1 to 4 p.m.  For more information on what’s happening at the library, come pick up a newsletter at one of the circulation desks.

What’s New: Thanks to a generous contribution by the Friends of the Library, the library is now in possession of $2,000 worth of British classic DVDS, including Fawlty Towers, Hamish Macbeth, and the complete Sherlock Holmes series, starring Jeremy Brett.

Posted in Meet me @ the Library, What's happpening @ the Library | Comments Off on Meet @ the Library

Retirement Party for Ruth Street

You are cordially invited for refreshments on Wednesday, November 10 at the Uxbridge Public Library.  Drop by between 1:00 pm – 4:00pm to wish Ruth all the best in her retirement.

Posted in @ the Library, What's happpening @ the Library | Comments Off on Retirement Party for Ruth Street

Meet Me @ the Library

By:  Shannon Fleming and Sean Wetselaar

Looking forward to looking back

October is Library Month, and this year the annual event is themed “Your Library, Your World: Opening Doors to the Future”.  If you think about it, libraries really are the door to the future.  They represent the collective wealth of mankind’s knowledge in an age dominated by information.  Looking at the beliefs and stories of individuals is certainly a way to predict the future.  We’re also in a time where the evolution of information is affecting the way people think about libraries.  But they’re also a door to the past.  So, for this year’s theme, we’re going to do more than look to the future.  We’re going to give you a glimpse into the library’s past.

1851.  The Mechanic’s Institute was founded by Joseph Bates, amid a tiny hamlet just beginning to come into its own – Uxbridge.  Over the next 50 years, the Mechanic’s Institute would move to several iconic buildings across town, eventually landing in the clock tower it’s known for today.  The collection would grow from a mere 164 books to 5 000 books in 1880, and then exponentially to the 60 000 it houses today.  Over the years, the Uxbridge library was frequently named the best library for the size of its town, earning acclaim from all levels of the government.  In 1986, construction commenced on an addition which more than doubled the size of the building. It was completed the following year, leaving us more or less with the library that we know today.

It would be impossible to write a column about the future of libraries without discussing aspects of technology today – such as the prominent electronic readers (the Kindle and iPad come to mind).  Many people are (perhaps rightly) of the opinion that books are fast going the way of the dinosaurs.  But there’s something about the feel of a physical book, the smell of the pages, the act of leafing through it, that we feel will keep books where they are.  Technology may continue to improve, but as far as we’re concerned, libraries are here to stay.

What’s New: A Battle Won by Thomas Russell is available to be signed out in the Adult Department. In addition, The Bear, the final volume of R. A. Salvatore’s “Saga of the First King”, is in.

What’s Happening: The Teen Advisory Board had its first meeting last Thursday, with great success. As well, patrons should be aware that the library will be closed on Monday, October 11 for Thanksgiving. For more information on what’s happening at the library, come pick up a newsletter at one of the circulation desks.

Posted in Meet me @ the Library, What's happpening @ the Library | Comments Off on Meet Me @ the Library