Sunday, 24 April 2016

Sunday April 24, 2016 Movies

April showers bring May flowers. When you’re looking for something to do on a rainy day, sometimes the only option is to curl up on the couch and watch movies. But if you have exhausted your movie collection, head down to your Thunder Bay Public Library and browse our movie collection. With your library card, you can borrow DVD movies such as new releases, foreign films, anime, documentaries, music concerts, how-to videos, and much more. The children’s department also carries a large selection of children DVDs. You will find a list of new and upcoming DVDs on our website as well as in the Library newsletter. Here’s a sneak peak of some of the new movies the library will be receiving. In the adult collection, new titles include:

Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens: one of the most anticipated movies of 2015, the newest installment of the Star Wars saga takes place 30 years after the defeat of the Galactic Empire. In this action packed movie, you’ll see new and old characters come together to protect the whereabouts of Luke Skywalker from the evil First Order.

The Revenant: Inspired by true events, actor Leonardo Dicaprio (who won an Oscar for his role) plays Hugh Glass who struggles to stay alive after being viciously attacked by a bear, robbed and left for dead by his companions.

The Forest: If you’re a fan of horror films, then you may enjoy this movie. The Forest is about Sara who goes searching for her sister who has disappeared in what is called Japan’s Suicide Forest. Once in the forest, Sara and her companions are terrorized by the souls of the dead.

Brooklyn: Eilis Lacey leaves her home country to start a new life in Brooklyn. But when she returns home, she finds herself caught between her new life in America and her past life in Ireland.   

In the children’s collection, you will find new movies such as:

The Good Dinosaur: Arlo, a young dinosaur, becomes separated from his family. As he tries to find his way back, Arlo makes friends with a Neanderthal boy named Spot who helps him get back to his family.

Jem and the Holograms: Do you remember the 1980’s TV show Jem? This movie is loosely based on the TV series. Jerrica’s life begins to change when she forms a band and takes on the secret identity known as Jem.

Norm of the North: Norm is a talking polar bear who heads to New York City to stop a real estate corporation from destroying his Arctic home.

If any of these titles interest you, a hold can be placed on DVDs exactly the same way you place holds on books. Log in to your library card from our website to place holds and view your account. Another option is to stream or download movies onto your computer or electronic device from the library’s virtual collection using your library card number and PIN. Hoopla has movies, as well as eBooks, eAudiobooks, music, and comics, that you can borrow. You’ll find adult movies such as Pan’s Labryinth, The English Patient, The Hurt Locker, No Country for Old Men, and Atonement, and children’s movies such as Disney classics, The Land Before Time, Agent Fox and Eggy. Up to six items can be borrowed per month. Plus there are no wait times or late fines either. Go to for more information on how to get set up.  

Lindsey Long

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Sunday April 17th, 2016 Little Free Libraries

The Little Free Library movement began in Wisconsin in 2009 with a small group of people who were inspired by other initiatives and efforts such as Andrew Carnegie’s support of thousands of free public libraries across North America and the world (including one here in Thunder Bay) through the late 1800s and early 1900s and the many informal “take a book, leave a book” collections in coffee shops and public spaces. By the summer of 2010, the mission of the little boxes of books was becoming clear. The original Library models were built with recycled materials. Each Library was unique, but all shared the theme of exchanging good books and bringing people together.

It didn’t take long for this idea to spread and there are now multiple Little Free Libraries to be found across Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario. Most have been constructed and maintained by individuals or neighbourhoods. They promote both literacy and communication among local residents. By partnering with students and teachers in local schools, these small structures also provide valuable learning experience in skilled trades and artistry. Designs often emulate bird house structures, post boxes, and residential homes. In addition to the books, which often cover a wide range of subjects and interests, patrons of the little libraries will often leave behind notes or comments related to a book they read from the “collection”.

Do you want to have a Little Free Library in your yard, at your place of business or in front of your non-profit agency? Now is your chance to win one of four unique Little Free Libraries, which were constructed and artistically painted by senior students at Westgate High School. The best part of this raffle is that it’s absolutely free! The little libraries have been on display at the four locations of the Thunder Bay Public Library since January (this month they are on display at Brodie). Simply visit the branch and put your free ballot into one or more of the structures for a chance to win. The draw for each Little Free Library will be held on May 1 at Brodie. Winners will be notified by phone.

The Friends of the Library Used Bookstore will provide books at no cost to winners of the Little Free Libraries on an on-going basis (a certificate will be provided). There are still a couple of weeks left to enter your ballot(s) and to view these practical and purposeful works of art at the Thunder Bay Public Library before they get spread out across our community and put into action.

Jesse Roberts

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Sunday April 10th, 2016 Gardening Inspiration at your Library

As winter slowly drifts into spring, I find my thoughts drifting more and more from the confines of my warm home to that small patch of land that surrounds it. As the snow melts and the debris hidden under it becomes exposed, the urge to begin the yard cleanup becomes stronger.  While I am not a natural gardener and sport a thumb more black than green, the act of playing in the dirt and attempting to nurture the natural world is wonderfully satisfying.  Gardeners come in a wide variety of flavours; from those who garden to put food on the table, to those whose passion is growing the perfect rose. The gardens they create can range from a few pots on a windowsill, through to a wild meadow designed to attract bees and butterflies, to large formal gardens as beautiful as the finest works of art.

Every year the library purchases the latest in gardening books, from DIY guides on pruning and composting, to tomes on plant selection and care, as well as the newest ideas in design and landscaping. Our children’s department has materials on teaching even the youngest of children the joys of beginning to grow and care for plants. Working in a garden is a great way to spend family time; there are tasks suited for everyone from the youngest of child, to the most sullen of teenager. Studies have shown that gardening helps us keep our mental and emotional acuity and anyone who has done a long stretch of gardening can attest that is makes for a great workout.

Scanning the shelves, I grabbed a variety of some of the newest titles available in the gardening section, as an introduction to what the library offers, so browse our shelves or through the catalogue and start planning your perfect garden.

The New Canadian Garden by Mark Cullen
Cullen and his family are a part of a Canadian gardening institution, providing know-how, equipment, plants or seeds throughout the country. This new guide looks at the changes of how Canadians garden, from urban spaces to community gardens while keeping in mind the best of environmental practices and that support the needs of the birds, bees, and butterflies with whom we share our gardens.

Showcasing the wide variety of perennials available throughout each zone of this country, Roth’s book bursts with colour. Emphasizing the importance of developing a garden over a number of years using perennials, the book is full of practical tips on topics like dividing, pest control, and multi-season blooming.

No so very long ago, most ailments were cured through medicinal preparations harvested from garden pharmacies, sometimes known as physic gardens.  Millard shows the reader how to grow, harvest and prepare plants in order to receive their maximum health benefits.

Besides being a great gardening book on types of plants that attract hummingbirds, Tekulsky’s work gives the reader a glimpse into the life and lifestyle of the hummingbird.  Concentrating on providing optimal conditions for the beautiful endangered species, the book demonstrates the delicate relationships in nature that are frequently disrupted by man.

Using step by step illustrations, this book is a great reminder of how fun growing things can be. From growing a new avocado from an old pit on your windowsill to building a terrarium in a jar or growing a basket of strawberries, the book is full of fun ideas for kids of all ages to tackle no matter the season.

You can also check out the Thunder Bay District Master Gardeners website for local gardening tips and information on upcoming events.

Lori Kauzlarick

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Sunday April 3, 2016 World War One Thunder Bay Centennial Project

TBPL is leading a WW1 Centennial Project with a wide range of cultural partners. Our aim is to remember the impact that the Great War had on the people of the Lakehead between 1914-1918. Thunder Bay and its hinterland recorded one of the highest recruitment rates in Ontario, if not Canada as a whole. People from all kinds of backgrounds rushed to join the local regiments. Many lied about their age.

Old Enough To Fight: Canada’s Boy Soldiers in the First World War by Dan Black and John Boileau tells their stories. Between 15,000 and 20,000 underage youths, some as young as ten, signed up to fight in Canada’s armed forces in WW1. They served in the  trenches alongside their elders and fought in all the major battles: Ypres, the Somme, Vimy Ridge, and Passchendaele. Many were injured or suffered psychological wounds. Many died. This book uses research, photographs, paintings and maps to narrate their lives.

Thunder Bay’s local regiment, the fighting 52nd, was an infantry unit, but many local men also fought in the artillery. Thunder in the Skies: A Canadian Gunner inthe Great War by Derek Grout describes what it was like to be a field gunner. He draws on the unpublished letters and diary of field gunner Lieutenant Bert Sargent and his fellow soldiers to take the reader from enlistment in late 1914, through training camp, to the Western Front, the Hundred Days Offensive, and home again with peace.  Posted just behind the front lines, Sargent and field gunners like him spent gruelling months supporting the infantry in the trenches. Theirs was a very different war, as dangerous or more at times as the one on the front lines. As an ordinary Canadian writing letters home to ordinary people, Sargent gives a wrenching, insightful account of a tight-knit band of soldiers swept up in some of the most important battles of the war that shaped the 20th century and forged Canada as a nation.

Personal testimony is often the richest form of history. And We Go In: a memoir of the Great War by Will Bird tells of his life working on a farm in Saskatchewan in the autumn of 1915 when the ghost of his brother, Stephen, killed by German mines in France, appeared before him in uniform. Rattled, Bird rushed home to Nova Scotia and enlisted in the army to take his dead brother’s place. His memoir is a remarkable and harrowing account of his two years in the trenches from October 1916 until the Armistice.

It has been hailed by many veterans as the most authentic account of the war experience, uncompromising in its portrayal of the horror and savagery, while also honoring the bravery, camaraderie and unexpected spirituality that flourished among the enlisted men. This nuanced response to the trauma of war is suffused with an interest in the spiritual and the paranormal not found in other war literature.

All wars create amazing deeds of bravery, self-sacrifice and extreme devotion to duty. For Valour: Canadians and the Victoria Cross in the Great War byGerald Gliddon details every Canadian VC recipient in WW1. These ordinary men carried out acts of extraordinary bravery under fire. They include our very own Captain Christopher O'Kelly of the 52nd Regiment who was awarded the VC ‘for most conspicuous bravery in an action in which he led his company with extraordinary skill and determination.’  Capt. O'Kelly advanced his command over 1,000 yards under heavy fire without any artillery barrage, took the enemy positions on the crest of the hill by storm, and then personally organized and led a series of attacks capturing six enemy positions with 100 prisoners and 10 machine guns. We are planning an exhibition at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery in 1917 featuring Captain O’Kelly’s Victoria Cross and war paintings by local artist Mary Riter Hamilton.

John Pateman