ASSOCIATES (2020, November, v. 27, no. 2)


News From Canada

Andrew Plait
Library Assistant II
Medicine Hat Public Library

Greetings, everyone. I hope this submission finds you, your family, friends and colleagues doing well and staying safe and healthy.

As is to be expected right now, most news related to libraries throughout Canada has to do with reopenings, closings and what modified services are being offered (largely online programs, reduced capacity in-person programs, curbside pickup, etc.) — quite similar to the last article. However, there were a handful of findings that stood out to me and hopefully contain information you not only find useful but interesting as well.

Here’s my top five (in no particular order):

1) Drag Queen Story Hour

The entire article is amazing… absolutely amazing. So amazing, in fact, here’s a link so you can drop what you’re doing and read it… right now.

Read it yet? You should, you really should… so here’s the link again.

2) Widespread elimination of late fees / library fines

As you’ll see, a number of provinces / larger municipalities are cutting fines altogether which makes me jealous, but I’m glad that it’s happening elsewhere. ;) While many are keeping lost item / damaged item fees, many are taking the opportunity to make this change amid the pandemic (which has been a great catalyst for encouraging people to modify/alter the way they do business).

3) Prince Edward Island library services

From deliveries to daycares, hydroponic gardens, free books, outdoor storywalks and the lending of light therapy lamps, PEI is hitting all the right points for me, and hopefully provides some form of inspiration to you regarding services in your area.

4) Ormstown town council angers residents over the future relocation of the public library without consulting locals

Ormstown is a small town in the Chateauguay Valley in Quebec with a population last recorded at being less than 3,600 residents. Still, the town council voted in favour of relocating the library without consulting the community, angering locals who publicly protested their decision. Apparently residents were prevented from attending a council meeting on Zoom to voice their displeasure.

Personally, I really like it when people organize themselves independently to do things like this (vs. Corporate- / Union-led protests) as it shows just how involved the community feels, so this instance really spoke to some of my core values, and hopefully it does to a number of you as well.

5) Kevin Cormier’s resignation as the head of New Brunswick’s public library service

This relates to one of the previous News in Canada submissions. Essentially, someone acting as the head of any provincial public library service should possess the minimum level of education required as per the position description. Mr. Cormier did not, and had done an incredible amount of damage at a previous post. It was prudent for the people to kick up such a fuss over his appointment to the position, and the right choice for him to resign from it.

– – – – –

Again, wishing you all the very best. We’re in for a long season, so please accept these well wishes and hope for continued health and safety for what they’re worth.

From Canada,
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


1) Dogs takeover Zoom: U of A library holds first virtual Dogs in the Library (October 2020?)
2) Mobile internet hot spots now being loaned out at Grande Prairie Public Library (August 4, 2020)
3) New book bike brings the library outdoors in High River (August 31, 2020)
4) Outdoor library services on Churchill Square set up for homeless (August 7, 2020)
5) Sylvan Lake Municipal Library goes fines-free (September 15, 2020)
6) Tsuut’ina artist shares pain of seeing home replaced by ring road with new Central Library installation (October 17, 2020)

British Columbia

1) Granisle Public Library’s tech haul to help community, especially seniors (October 21, 2020)
2) Houston Public Library to hold mask making workshop for Halloween (October 14, 2020)
3) How a B.C. library’s Drag Queen Story Hour turned into a nationwide fight for intellectual freedom (November 7, 2020)
4) Lit Column: Systemic Racism Exists in Libraries Too (November 2, 2020)
5) NIEFS Tech Lending Library helps people connect to services (October 20, 2020)
6) ON THE PAGE: Libraries become essential to community during pandemic (October 31, 2020)
7) Virtual treasure trove of stories at Okanagan libraries (October 23, 2020)


1) Libraries to open for browsing, other services ([Winnipeg, MB] September 18, 2020)
2) Portage Library Opening Up Bit by Bit (September 10, 2020)
3) Winnipeg Public Library pens name of newest writer-in-residence (September 22, 2020)

New Brunswick

1) Head of public library service resigns after controversy over qualifications (July 6, 2020)
2) Library late fines may be eliminated, says province’s acting executive director (August 25, 2020)
3) Saint John library responds to pandemic with facelift (October 10, 2020)

Newfoundland & Labrador

1) Bookworms anxious to browse, as some N.L. libraries plan September reopenings (August 13, 2020)
2) ON THE SHELVES: Newfoundland and Labrador books for unusual times (October 9, 2020)

Northwest Territories

1) Hay River library reopens with limitations (August 10, 2020)
a) Hay River public library project recommends science books (October 3, 2020)

Nova Scotia

1) Happy ending: Halifax Public Libraries eliminates overdue fines (August 5, 2020)
2) Sherbrooke Library offering appointments for in-person visits, beginning Aug. 19 (August 14, 2020)


1) New Ilitaqsiniq library off to popular start in Rankin Inlet (October 1, 2020)


1) ‘it’s all about choices’: Barrie Public Library revamps its offerings (November 6, 2020)
2) Library helping to reveal smiles during pandemic (October 12, 2020)
3) Long overdue: Why more Ontario libraries are going fine-free (October 30, 2020)

Prince Edward Island

1) New free book program has over 2,000 registrants in first day (October 2, 2020)
2) No more late fees to be charged at P.E.I. public libraries (October 2, 2020)
a) BETH CLINTON: No more late fees (October 16, 2020)
3) P.E.I. libraries delivering batches of books to daycares (August 31, 2020)
4) P.E.I. libraries demonstrate the fun of growing hydroponic gardens (October 1, 2020)
5) P.E.I. public libraries introduce outdoor children’s books (November 3, 2020)
6) P.E.I. libraries light up borrowers’ lives with 20 new light therapy lamps (October 13, 2020)


1) Large controversy surrounding library move in small Quebec town (October 7, 2020)
2) Pandemic prompts Quebec’s bookworms to turn to e-books (October 18, 2020)
a) Quebec libraries see boom in digital book lending during pandemic (October 17, 2020)


1) Lakeland Library branches still closed (August 10, 2020)
2) New downtown library to feature skylit atrium, public plaza and large theatre (September 8, 2020)
3) Regina, Saskatoon public libraries banishing late fees starting Jan. 1, 2021 (October 14, 2020)
4) Saskatoon libraries to reopen soon, will offer preselected bags of books (August 12, 2020)
a) Saskatoon libraries to reopen slowly, with restrictions (August 13, 2020)
5) Library Reopens Doors With Safety Measures In Place (August 4, 2020)
a) Weyburn Library offers COVID-adjusted programs (October 15, 2020)


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

1) Banning a book: Why the freedom to read can’t be taken for granted (September 27, 2020)
2) How grassroots efforts are creating more diverse libraries (October 14, 2020)
3) Library opposition is backwards thinking from Norris, other candidates (October 7, 2020)
4) Regina Public Library’s writer-in-residence hopes to inspire more people to pick up a pen during pandemic (September 12, 2020)
5) [UM] Contactless material pickup with library hold lockers (August 24, 2020)
a) [UM] Living library creates an interactive way to celebrate Indigenous alumni success (September 14, 2020)
b) [UM] Study space now available at Health Sciences Library (October 13, 2020)
6) U of A leads project to open access to digital learning across Alberta (August 10, 2020)Study space now available at Health Sciences Library
a) U of A library staff knitting the curve of COVID-19 cases across Canada (September 5, 2020)
b) Knitting the curve: U of A library staff making scarves to represent COVID-19 case numbers (September 22, 2020)
c) [U of A] Retired dentistry professor helps fund University of Alberta’s new health sciences library (November 6, 2020)
7) UBC Library meets ‘unsustainable’ financial situation as digital demand grows (November 3, 2020)
8) Winnipeg closing rec centres, pools, arenas, libraries under new coronavirus restrictions (October 30, 2020)