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October 19, 2007

Library, Book and Museum News


Canadian Library Month 

October is Canadian Library Month and October 15-21 is Ontario Library Week.  For those who love libraries and books it's time to celebrate.  The following are a few notes of interest. 

I have used the library at Nipissing University/Canadore College regularly over the years and have occasionally joined at $50 a year (prorated as the year passes).  I was pleased (and the first in line) to be a part of an initiative where Nipissing/Canadore will give a free library card to members of a lot of libraries in the Community Voices area (Bonfield, Callander, East Ferris, Mattawa, Nipissing First Nations, North Bay, Powassan & District, Temagami, West Nipissing).  Check with your library for details and check out the vast resources of Nipissing/Canadore. 

Your Local Libraries 

If you are not taking advantage of your local library check it out - it's free and has lots to offer for all ages and interests.  For example my local library in Powassan has an array of services as outlined in their bi-monthly Newsletter Ampersand named after that icon & that means and.  Beside a list of recommended books they list the availability of computers, adult computer classes, a summer cybercamp for kids, a bookclub, a teen book club and a Raising Readers program for 2-6 year olds. 

The Friends of the Library have a soup and sandwich lunch on Thursday October 18 from 11:00 to 1:30.  There is also a silent auction.  The luncheon takes place in the Downstairs Gallery which features a beautiful hooking display through October. 

The Newsletter recommends an "addictive" web site Arts and Letters Daily at www.aldaily.com

Speaking of Books 

The following are some current and pending books that may be of interest.  For several years Lynn Johnston has had signings of her new books at Gulliver's and elsewhere and I have purchased many as Christmas gifts.  This year she has two new ones - Teaching is a Learning Experience and Seniors Discount.  The books are available at Gulliver's now and Lynn will be doing a signing on Saturday November 10 from 1-3pm.  After 28 years Lynn is going into semi-retirement so there may not be more books in the future. 

My book on Kiosk in Algonquin Park is at the printers and copies will be available for Christmas.  It covers the history of the Kiosk Area from its early days to the present with an emphasis on the Staniforth Lumber Company era from 1936 to 1973 and its subsequent demise. 

Astrid Taim who wrote the excellent book Almaguin A Highland History has a new book available in November.  It is called Almaguin Chronicles - Memories of the Past.  It will be available at Gulliver's Books and other outlets. 

A book on the life of Dr. Fermin Monestime and his family in Mattawa is in development.  This is a remarkable story of a black doctor who fled Haiti's chaos, came to Mattawa, and became Canada's first black mayor among many other achievements.  Dr. Monestime died 30 years ago this month and I will do a story on him later this month.  Anyone with stories, photos, etc. can contact me at the address at the end of this column. 

Museum News 

Most local museums are closed but those that are open are busy as usual.  Discovery North Bay in the restored CPR station has regular hours Tuesday - Saturday with displays and their museum shop with many history related items for sale.  This Saturday they will be hosing the Voyageur Heritage Network group that represents museums throughout the north.  There will be a workshop "Eating on the Rails" on a new railroad museum at MacTier.  Contact the Museum for further information at 705-476-2323 or email education @heritagenorthbay.com. 

The Sturgeon River House Museum which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and has an all year program including lots of winter activity on the trails of their large site.  For details log on to www.sturgeonriverhouse.com. 

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