ASSOCIATES (2020, March, v. 26, no. 3)


News From Canada

Andrew Plait
Library Assistant II
Medicine Hat Public Library

Greetings, everyone! It’s budget season here in Alberta and foremost among all things on our minds as of late has been the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Regardless of/if individuals have been directly impacted by it or have found themselves quarantined within their cruise ship lodgings, it seems that every time someone around us coughs or sneezes our mind automatically leaps to the worst possible conclusion.

So, speaking locally, we unveiled a community play space at our library, and it’s a thing of wonder at the moment. As the largest library in the area, doors open to the public from 10 – 9 most days, the play space opening at 11 a.m. While it’s well used at present, staff are reporting issues of parents not parenting and outlandish amounts of gleeful adulations from participating children (so much so that some parents have had to resort to hoisting them overhead just to depart for home). *smiles*

Nationally, Michelle Obama’s Becoming has been extremely popular in Canada. It’s somewhat safe to say that, despite a number of wide-ranging values country-wide, the popularity of the former First Lady has continued to maintain itself long after the end of Barack’s second term. This has, as expected, resulted in numerous circulations of her book.

A public library in Smithers, British Columbia (Western Canada) has been resorting to storing various supplies in crawl spaces underneath the building (Proponents, Dec. 31/20). It’s quite a contrast to see these pictures and mentally compare them with the abundance of space at Central Library in Calgary, Alberta. Smithers Public Library is currently proposing a new building that will combine library services with an art gallery. Wishing both groups the very best of luck.

Winnipeg continues to face many social issues and funding controversies. A large number of students have taken to writing letters (in the age of electronic communication, no less) advocating on behalf of maintaining funding for library branches / services during a time of fiscal restraint re: public services spending. This, oddly enough, seems to be a complete contrast to Winnipeg’s Millennium Library where a disused coffee shop in the lobby may be repurposed to provide a space for crisis workers to operate out of. As some readers may recollect, Millennium Library has experienced a number of negative behavioural issues and has instituted heightened security measures.

Last three: materials by Indigenous authors are increasing in demand and circulation across the nation, the latest executive director of the New Brunswick Public Library Service (the E.D. for 64 libraries across the province) appears to have absolutely no library education or experience whatsoever, and it turns out that Halifax, Nova Scotia, constructed their Memorial Library atop a gravesite… a 20,000 – person gravesite. Yep… that happened.

Ladies, gentlemen, friends… thank you all for your attention. Wishing you health and happiness in the days to come.


Andrew Plait
Library Assistant II, Medicine Hat Public Library
He / Him / His & They / Them in Solidarity

Canadian Public Libraries

Note: Attempts were made to find library-related news for each province and territory. The headings remain for future reference regardless of whether or not news was found for the current submission. AP


*Community play space opening Feb. 1 (Jan. 6/20)*
Edmonton library board member forced to resign following tweets (Feb. 12/20)
Library kicks off ‘Snacks in the Stacks’ program in time for Physical Literacy Month (Jan. 16/20)
*Library opens community play space (Feb. 3/20)*

British Columbia

Indigenous authors celebrated as readership skyrockets across Canada (Feb. 16/20)
Nelson Public Library celebrates 100 years with special events (Dec. 19/20)
North Delta library hosting teen art contest (Jan. 10/20)
Proponents of Library-Gallery project hoping to write new chapter in Smithers cultural scene (Dec. 31/20)
Traffic into Penticton Public Library slows, attributed to safety concerns (Dec. 6/20)


Coffee shop at Millennium Library could be converted into space where crisis workers help those in need (Jan. 16/20)
More than just books: Young students write to Winnipeg city council pleading for local library to stay open (Feb. 19/20)

New Brunswick

Qualifications of new head of public library service questioned (Feb. 24/20)

Newfoundland & Labrador

Northwest Territories

Nova Scotia

Halifax council looks at changes to capital budget, including money for library reno (Jan. 7/20)
Past comes back to complicate future of Halifax’s Memorial Library (Jan. 3/20)



Female authors, Canadian titles dominate Toronto Public Library’s top 10 books of 2019 (Dec. 9/20)
‘More than just a building with books’: Vision for $192M library unveiled (Jan. 23/20)
They’re the ‘beating hearts’ of the city’s neighbourhoods. So why are Toronto’s public libraries still chronically underfunded? (Jan. 18/20)


Prince Edward Island

Black History Month 2020 events in P.E.I. (Feb. 5/20)
P.E.I. libraries make 3D printing accessible to Islanders (Jan. 6/20)
Radon gas detector kit wait list growing at P.E.I. libraries (Dec. 20/20)


Exhibit at Regina library explores how truck drivers cope with trauma (Jan. 19/20)
Families Welcome At Biggar Library (Feb. 18/20)
I Read Canadian Day Coming To Moose Jaw Public Library (Feb. 14/20)
Regina Public Library to host podcast club (Jan. 10/20)


Other Canadian Library-Related News, Columns and Articles of Interest

47 works of Canadian fiction to watch for in spring 2020 (Feb. 5/20)
Books before borders: Letter from a library on the US-Canada boundary (Jan. 27/20)
Library and Archives Canada funds projects to help preserve Indigenous culture and language recordings (Jan. 6/20)
Library workers ratify new contract, union hopes it brings stability (Jan. 7/20)
Polish woman charged with sneaking into US through Derby Line library (Jan. 29/20)
This was the most-borrowed library book in some of Canada’s biggest cities (Jan. 20/20)