Determination and Resilience - theHumm July 2019
Determination and Resilience - theHumm July 2019
By Jill McCubbin
For the last few months, library news has focussed on the Ford government’s cuts to the Ontario Library Services Budget — and the dismantling of the inter-library loan (ILL) system. The “new normal” is a patched-together, ill-fitting process that downloads costs to libraries and municipalities, and decreases service delivery and options... but enough of that…
This column is about the resilience of libraries. Like the olde English sea shanty, sung by the Pirateers (or perhaps what they meant to sing): “You can’t hold a good library down.”
Early libraries were subscription (private) entities. Back in 1830 in Ontario, one of these was established by the York Mechanics’ Institute “for the mutual improvement of its members”. The first province-wide legislation in Canada to establish free public libraries was enacted in Ontario in 1882 (the Ontario Free Libraries Act). Ontario also led the way in the establishment of children’s libraries when one was opened in a school in St. Thomas in 1902.
Ontario, historically, is a champion for libraries — it’s in legislation and even in promotion materials. The Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Sport brochure Understanding Ontario’s Public Libraries Act mentions the following:
“A library outranks any one thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never failing spring in the desert.” (Andrew Carnegie)
A strong library system is a cornerstone of a strong community. It contributes to education, literacy and lifelong learning for Ontario residents.
Ontario’s Public Libraries Act is the key legislation supporting the provision of equal and universal access to information and library services.
The following was written by Kelly Jensen, a former teen and adult librarian, in her article Libraries Resist for the online magazine Book Riot: “Libraries are not, nor have they ever been, neutral spaces. They are political. Every decision made in a library, from books to be included in the collection, to displays created, to special populations to reach, is political… It’s impossible to be a neutral space with the goal of reaching a community. By inviting all in a community to be in a shared space, libraries embrace the idea of encouraging education, acceptance and tolerance… They create policies that ensure these very things happen in their spaces. No act in the library is too small to foster tolerance and acceptance.”
Many libraries embrace this non-neutrality. Synonyms for non-neutrality? Influence. Action. A couple examples of this sentiment include:
A display of refugee and immigrant stories to promote kindness and tolerance
An illustration of Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better, it’s not”
The Mississippi Mills Public Library display for National Indigenous History Month (above)
Resilience is necessary in libraries. “Being resilient” includes preparations for and rapid recovery from physical, social, and economic disruptions. Resilience engenders action and determination, and aligns with a library’s values of equity and access. Libraries uncover opportunities among the challenges. For all these reasons, they continue to defend and expand services. Libraries can also help the communities they serve adopt resilient practices. In Mississippi Mills, two municipal Councillors hold monthly “office hours” in the Almonte Branch Library’s small meeting room — an excellent example of a successful partnership.
By — Paul Joyce
It’s that time of year again, when the rattle of expensive metal is heard coming from car trunks and when spouses disappear for hours at a time, reappearing with sunburns, bug bites, and either smiles, scowls, or looks of quiet resignation.
Yes, it’s golf season.
For the final show of its 2018/19 series of plays, Studio Theatre Perth presents The Ladies’ Foursome, a Norm Foster comedy that will make you love the game, even if you, well, currently hate your game.
From folk-rock powerhouses to a third-generation country star, the 2019 Stewart Park Festival line-up is set to be an unforgettable one.
The Small Glories and Kelly Prescott are just some of the names performing at the 28th annual festival taking place in Perth from July 19–21. Festival goers will also get to see Connie Kaldor, Élage Diouf, Shakura S’Aida, Keith Glass and Andy Irvine on stage.
After months of crafting the line-up, Artistic Director James Keelaghan says he’s th......
A House of Good Taste - theHumm July 2019
By Sebastian Weetabix
Like many things related to food (or at least food in our part of the world), the term “restaurant” originated in France. It originally applied to the fare (it was “restorative”), but by the 17th century it had come to mean an establishment where one could eat a meal and pay for it. Eating “out” as a common practice for common folk has its roots in travel and the need for refreshment en route. Those who provided it were, rightly, termed restorers or restaurateurs. Their establishments came......
The Arresting Art of Fred Fowler - theHumm July 2019
By Sally Hansen
Art… and Soul
It’s invigorating to meet someone who challenges your subconscious prejudices. I was surprised to learn that Fred Fowler, outgoing President of the Rideau Lakes Artists’ Association, is a retired Toronto cop. There’s absolutely no reason an ex-cop can’t be a good artist, yet meeting him and seeing his eclectic art definitely expanded my awareness of the influence the mass media has on our preconceptions.
Acrylics, watercolours, oils, monotypes, photographs — Fowler wor......
Who doesn’t enjoy looking at other people’s homes and gardens? What better way to spend a summer day and get inspired!
On Saturday, July 27 from 10am to 5pm you’ll be able to tour seven of Almonte’s most interesting homes and three outstanding gardens. The tour is a fundraiser for the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum and the extension of Almonte’s popular Riverwalk.
In the 1890s Almonte was a thriving mill town. Its six textile mills employed most of the town’s residents, with the ......
By — Pippa Norman is graduating from ADHS this year and will be going on to pursue a Bachelor of Journalism at Carleton University next fall
Whoever coined the phrase “It takes a village to raise a child” must have done so after attending a rehearsal for one of Almonte & District High School Drama Club’s plays. The village being Almonte, and the child being the play.
If you were to attend one of the rehearsals yourself, you would feel as if madness had descended upon you. Student actors fervidly run lines; community volunteers sew seams, drill screws and climb ladders; and director Jennifer Sheffield barrels around the room......
This year’s Ottawa Valley Midsummer HerbFest is being held on Sunday, July 28 from 9am to 4pm — rain or shine. The location is the Waba Cottage Museum & Gardens in White Lake, just an ho......
Festival of Small Halls 2019 Celebrating Big Canadian Music in Beloved Small Places - theHumm July 2019
More halls — check. Big music — check. Magical moments and musical memories — you betcha.
The Ontario Festival of Small Halls plants inspired, decorated and mind-blowing artists into rural h......
By Susie Osler
There is a frantic energy to this time of year. The explosion of growth and green coupled with the energy and warmth of sunshine leads to a commensurate output of manic gardening energy that seem......
By — Angie Arendt is the Director of Big Stone House: a Center for Courageous Living in Almonte <bigstonehouse.ca>
It was the middle of August and the middle of the day. The sun was shining bright, the dog was attempting to cool down on the tile floor, and I was chopping watermelon in the kitchen when the doo......
An interactive theatre experience that celebrates the Great White North and pokes fun at Canadian stereotypes will hit the stage in the nation’s capital for the summer.
The Oh Canada Eh? Din......
From Under the Umbrella Tree to Sleeping Rough… Valley Puppeteers Return to Music and Beyond - theHumm July 2019
Last July, the opera Sleeping Rough premiered at Ottawa’s Music and Beyond festival to standing ovations and critical acclaim. Composed by jazz guitarist Roddy Ellias and with a libretto by poet/......
By — Jeff Mills
Every now and then there are five actual Wednesdays in July, and 2019 is one of those years. The friends of Augusta Street Park are gearing up for their wonderful little music festival “5 Wednesd......
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