First Nations Public Library Week 2019

The week of September 29 – October 5, 2019 was First Nations Public Library Week, a time when we honour the work of First Nations Librarians for providing access to books and information in their communities, and when we also honour our First Nations friends and neighbours.

The Magnetawan Public Library marked the occasion by inviting Delores McKay, Executive Director of the Parry Sound Friendship Centre to lead a workshop making medicine pouches. She also brought her colleague, Matt Rutledge to assist. The event was very well attended and everyone had a wonderful time.

Delores opened the workshop with a prayer and explained the significance of medicine pouches. After roundtable introductions, participants dove into sewing their pouches. The evening was also peppered with stories, songs and drumming. It was truly lovely. Miigwech, Delores and Matt for sharing your knowledge and fellowship.

Poster for FNPLW Medicine Pouch Workshop


Tunes for Tech and Kids Carnival!!

We have an exciting Saturday planned this week!

Your tiny, local library is hosting two fun-filled events in one day to raise money to replace our very slow, very outdated library computers. Buy a FunPass to play all the games at the Kids Carnival and win awesome prizes. Make a donation to gain entry to a morning of music – Tunes for Tech. It all goes to a great cause and we certainly hope to see you there!

January Book Club :: The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows

The Book Club meets on the fourth Wednesday of the month and we’re always happy to have new members! This month, the selection is The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows, co-author of the The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a widely celebrated novel published in 2008.

The Truth According to Us takes place in the summer of 1938 in a small West Virginia town where everybody knows everybody else and their business. Into this small community comes Layla Beck, a spoiled senator’s daughter. Her father, angry at her for turning down a marriage proposal, has told her to get a job and she applies to the Federal Writers’ Project, a government fund for creating jobs for librarians, writers and historians. Her task is to write a history of the town for its sesquicentennial. She finds a place to stay, boarding with the Romeyn family: Felix, his sister Jottie and his daughters Willa and Bird. Decades ago, the Romeyn family was at the height of town society, but a series of scandals knocked them down a few pegs and many secrets are still buried.

The book stands at 3.8 out of 5 stars on Goodreads and was called “a sizzling story” by Washington Post reviewer Carol Memmot.

Drop into the library to request a copy, or get the ebook on Overdrive or Libby. We hope to see you in January!

Tea Time :: Paper Ornament Workshop

Paper snowflakes hang from the branches of a Christmas tree.

We had a wonderful turnout for our December Tea Time event making a lovely paper snowflake! This was one of those projects that look very complicated until you read the instructions, and you think, ‘Hey, that’s not so difficult.”

And then you dive in, measuring, cutting and measuring and cutting… Measuring and cutting. Measuring. Cutting. And, you’re like, ‘Oh.’ At this point, our workshop participants changed their plans from making a bunch of these beauties to just getting this one finished. 

Workshop participants sit around a table in the community centre working on paper ornaments.

Lorinda led the workshop, assisting participants with their Christmas creations. We used old books off the sale shelf for an antique look which also provided the bonus of being free and eco-friendly.

Feeling adventurous and crafty? 

Click here for the instructions!

Measuring and cutting all the strips of paper.
These snowflakes are loopy!
Patricia Lake showing off her work with some skepticism.
Sally Norman is pleased as punch with her creation.
Kerri Sohm is working hard on hers while her daughter looks on.
Elinor Raaflaub came back in the evening to finish up her snowflake.
Book cover for The Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman

Book Club Review :: The Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman

Book cover for The Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna GoodmanThe Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman is not an easy read; nor should it be, considering the subject matter. Quebec of the 1940s and 50s, staunchly Catholic, was no welcoming place for unwed mothers and their so-called “illegitimate” children. Commonly, girls who found themselves pregnant and unmarried were heartlessly forced to either give up their babies or be put out in the street by their families. This is the choice facing 15-year-old Maggie Hughes. The terror of losing her family makes her hand over her daughter Elodie to an orphanage, a decision that haunts her, especially when she learns that Quebec’s orphanages are being converted into mental institutions.

This historical fiction explores the plight of the “Duplessis Orphans”, a shameful chapter in Quebec history through the eyes of Maggie and her daughter Elodie. Orphanages were poorly funded by the federal government, whereas mental institutions received almost double the funding, and the government made the decision to convert and reclassify institutions to receive more money. Thousands of children were commodified; wrongfully labelled mentally deficient, their childhoods spent in asylums, suffering physical, emotional and sexual abuse.

Our book club was split in reviews of Goodman’s book, though unanimous in the heartbreak that came with this disturbing read and the sad reality of these children, now aged adults, forsaken by a callous government and church. Only one member awarded the novel a 5 out of 5 and another gave it a mere 2. Most would read other books by the same author.

To learn more about the author and her book, click here for an interview with the Montreal Gazette.

Get it on Overdrive.