Monthly Archives: April 2019

Fun with Fungi

Mushrooms are a funny thing, being at once loved, and feared. When they pop up in stories, they can be both life-saving and life-ending (or at least mind-altering, and I’ll leave it to you to decide if that is good or bad).

Whatever your thoughts on mushrooms, there is no doubt that fungi are currently enjoying some time in the spotlight, much to the delight of mycophiles everywhere.

From the cute to the dangerous to the useful, here are a few resources from the Winnipeg Public Library collection. Don’t worry, they won’t take up mush-room!

 

meganblog1Super Powders: adaptogenic herbs and mushrooms for energy, beauty, mood, and well-being

by Katrine Van Wyk

Natural remedies for various physical ailments are well known; now hitting the scene are supplements—made from berries, mushrooms, herbs, and other plants—that can help the body (and mind) adapt to stress. These “adaptogens” work towards restoring balance, enhancing focus and stamina, boosting energy, and improving mood. In Super Powders, health coach Katrine van Wyk takes 20 adaptogens and describes what they are and how to use them. She might recommend goji berries for mood, astragalus for immunity, reishi and moringa for anxiety relief.

This appealing book reveals everything you need to know about adaptogens and how to get started.

 

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Mushrooms of the Northwest : A simple guide to common mushrooms by Teresa Marrone

Hundreds of full-colour photographs with easy-to-understand text make this a perfect visual guide. Learn about more than 400 species of common wild mushrooms found in the Northwest states of Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. The species are organized by shape, then by colour, so you can identify them by their visual characteristics. Plus, with the Top Edibles and Top Toxics sections, you’ll begin to learn which wild mushrooms are edible. The information in the book, written by Teresa Marrone and Drew Parker, is accessible to beginners but useful for even experienced mushroom seekers.

 

meganblog3Mushroom cultivation : an illustrated guide to growing your own mushrooms at home by Tavis Lynch

Mushrooms are popping up everywhere! On restaurant menus, in grocery aisles, at local farmer’s markets, and not just the ubiquitous white buttons we’ve seen for years. What once were exotic are now almost commonplace—shiitake, chanterelle, cremini, enoki, the list grows longer every year.

Understanding how mushrooms grow is crucial to successfully cultivating them, and Mushroom Cultivation offers comprehensive instruction both on how mushrooms grow and how you can cultivate them yourself to enrich your soil, speed up your composting, and even suppress weeds.

 

meganblog4The Beauty  by Aliya Whiteley

Somewhere away from the cities and towns, a group of men and boys gather around the fire each night to listen to their stories in the Valley of the Rocks. For when the women are all gone, the rest of your life is all there is for everyone. The men are waiting to pass into the night.

The story shall be told to preserve the past. History has gone back to its oral roots and the power of words is strong. Meet Nate, the storyteller, and the new secrets he brings back from the woods. William rules the group with youth and strength, but how long can that last? And what about Uncle Ted, who spends so much time out in the woods?

Hear the tales. Watch a myth be formed. For what can man hope to achieve in a world without women? When the past is only grief how long should you hold on to it? What secrets can the forest offer to change it all?

Discover the Beauty.

 

meganblog5The Mushroom Fan Club by Elise Gravel

In this children’s book, Gravel takes us on a magical tour of the forest floor and examines a handful of her favorite alien specimens up close. While the beautiful coral mushroom looks like it belongs under the sea, the peculiar lactarius indigo may be better suited for outer space! From the fun-to-stomp puffballs to the prince of the stinkers—the stinkhorn mushroom—and the musically inclined chanterelles, Gravel shares her knowledge of this fascinating kingdom by bringing each species to life in full felt-tip marker glory.

 

meganblog6The Mushroom Hunters: On the trail of an underground America by Langdon Cook

Within the dark corners of America’s forests grow culinary treasures. Chefs pay top dollar to showcase these elusive and beguiling ingredients on their menus. Whether dressing up a filet mignon with smoky morels or shaving luxurious white truffles over pasta, the most elegant restaurants across the country now feature an abundance of wild mushrooms.

The mushroom hunters, by contrast, are a rough lot. They live in the wilderness and move with the seasons. Motivated by Gold Rush desires, they haul improbable quantities of fungi from the woods for cash. Langdon Cook embeds himself in this shadowy subculture, reporting from both rural fringes and big-city eateries with the flair of a novelist, uncovering along the way what might be the last gasp of frontier-style capitalism.

 

If these titles whet your appetite for more mushroom knowledge, consider taking a peek at the documentary Know Your Mushrooms on our streaming service Kanopy, or see what we have on the mushrooms of Canada!

Happy reading,

Megan

Across the World

When I was in university I had a professor who travelled to India regularly. He inspired me so much with his stories that as a young twenty-something I purchased the Lonely Planet guide, slung on my backpack, and boarded a plane for India. I am not a globe trotter, but of the places I have been able to visit, India definitely remains one of my favourites. The history and beauty, combined with the hospitality of the people I met on my travels, definitely left its mark. And I won’t even get started on the food, which was beyond incredible (thankfully living in Winnipeg we have access to some excellent Indian food!).

*I had a view of the Taj Mahal as good as the one above thanks to the directions in my handy Lonely Planet India guide.  Who knew my 2 star hotel/hostel would have an uninterrupted view from the window (besides the folks at Lonely Planet)?

A number of years after my trip I picked up A Fine Balance, by Canadian writer Rohinton Mistry. Because I enjoyed travelling through India so much, and also love historical fiction, this seemed like a really good fit. In all its thickness, A Fine Balance was still too short—I never wanted it to end. It quickly became one of my favourite books. Mistry catapults you into a fictional 1970s India, during a time of political turmoil, where you witness the lives of four ordinary characters become intertwined. Beautifully written, with vivid images, it is a heart wrenching novel. It is definitely a book to read with a handy supply of Kleenex. When I find an author I like I tend to ‘read through’ a number of their books, and this was no exception. Family Matters and Such a Long Journey, both set in Bombay, as well as Tales from Firozsha Baag, are also fantastic reads.

A few years later a friend and I were talking about books, specifically about ones set in India. She gave me a number of titles she enjoyed, and among them was What the Body Remembers, by Shauna Singh Baldwin. Set in the period of the brutal 1947 Partition, ‘Shauna Singh Baldwin’s debut novel is immaculately researched, bringing to life a troubled time in Indian history from a rarely seen perspective.’ I found this excellent book (In 2000, What the Body Remembers won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book in the Caribbean and Canada) introduced me to a time of history, albeit through its fictional story line, that I sadly knew very little about.

Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri’s stunning debut collection of short stories, unerringly charts the emotional journeys of characters seeking love beyond the barriers of nations and generations. In stories that travel from India to America and back again, Lahiri speaks with universal eloquence to everyone who has ever felt like a foreigner. I enjoyed these powerful and often sad stories, and went on to ready The Namesake, The Lowland, and then another collection of stories, Unaccustomed Earth, also by Lahiri.

 

A Suitable Boy, a novel by Vikram Seth, was published in 1993. Set in the early 1950s, in an India newly independent and struggling through a time of crisis, A Suitable Boy takes us into the richly imagined world of four large extended families and spins a compulsively readable tale of their lives and loves. A sweeping panoramic portrait of a complex, multiethnic society in flux, A Suitable Boy remains the story of ordinary people caught up in a web of love and ambition, humor and sadness, prejudice and reconciliation. At 1488 pages this was another thick read, and although I didn’t enjoy it as much as other books I had read set in that period, I still appreciated the breadth and complexity of the story.

The White Tiger is on my radar as a book to definitely read soon. It is the debut novel of author Arivand Adiga and won him the prestigious Man Booker Prize. The White Tiger follows a darkly comic Bangalore driver through the poverty and corruption of modern India’s caste society.

 

 

 

 

Enjoy!

~Kristie

 

Green it. Mean it.

Just in time for the week of Earth Day, Winnipeg Public Library is introducing a new series Green it.  Mean it.  The goal of the series is to offer practical advice you can use to make better choices for the environment.  How can I make my home more energy efficient? What renewable energy options, like solar, are available and how can I use them at home?  How to xeriscape your yard? We’ll also be talking about zero waste living and green friendly food choices.

To kick off the Green it.  Mean it. series, we’re running four programs in May and June.

 

Everything You Need to Know About Electric Vehicles

Learn what’s available, what’s coming, which one is right for you, and where and how to charge it up! Presented by Robert Elms of the Manitoba Electric Vehicle Association.

River Heights Public Library
Thursday, May 23 6:30–7:30pm
Call 204-986-4936 to register
Or register online

Henderson Public Library
Monday, June 17 6:30–7:30pm
Call 204-986-4314 to register
Or register online

 

Vermicomposting

Learn to compost indoors with vermicomposting. Use red wriggler worms to change household organic material into nutrient rich worm manure. Fertilize and enrich garden and potting soil while reducing the amount of waste you send to the landfill. Presented by Green Action Centre Winnipeg.

Munroe Library
Thursday, May 23 6:30–8pm
Call 204-986-3736 to register
Or register online

Osborne Library
Monday, June 10 6:30–8pm
Call 204-986-4775 to register
Or register online

 

Bees and Urban Beekeeping

Bees are critical for agriculture and a healthy ecosystem. Learn about bee biology and behaviour, what to plant to help the local bee population, and what to consider if wanting to get into beekeeping yourself. Presented by Beeproject Apiaries.

St. Vital Library
Tuesday, May 14 7–8pm
Call 204-986-5628 to register
Or register online

 

Low Waste Living

Could you live your life without producing any trash? That’s the goal of being a zero-waster! Discover more about this low-waste lifestyle from people who actually practice it. You will learn how to make less garbage and find out which resources are available to help. Presented by Zero Waste Manitoba.

St. James Library
Tuesday, June 4 6:30–8pm
Call 204-986-3424 to register
Or register online

You can also register in person at your nearest library!


Don’t forget to check out our upcoming info guide, Green Choices.  The guide will provide you with information from print and online resources to help you make environmentally sound choices.  You’ll find things like:

 

Climate of Hope by Michael Bloomberg and Carl Pope

 

 

Climate of Hope: how cities, citizens and businesses can save the planet

By Michael Bloomberg and Carl Pope

 

 

Climate Justice by Mary Robinson

 

 

 

Climate Justice: hope, resilience and the fight for a sustainable future.

By Mary Robinson

 

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power by Al Gore

 

 

An Inconvenient Sequel: truth to power: your action handbook to learn the science, find your voice and help solve the climate crisis.

By Al Gore

 

 

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Bikes vs Cars a documentary found on our Kanopy streaming service.

 

 

Look for the guide in June and keep your eyes open for more green stuff.

~ Drew

 

Foreign Films, Lives Like Ours

I’m going to let you in on the best kept secret in pop culture: there is a place that makes films and TV series reflective of our daily lives, but with none of the “punch up” of drama or the exaggeration of sitcoms. Next time you are looking for something new and different to watch, an Asian film or TV series is a great bet.

There are numerous areas of Asian films: Korean, Japanese live action and anime, Taiwanese, Hong Kong, Mainland China–all with rich and unique traditions and styles. They all share a tendency to make more films and television shows about daily life as it is than any other medium save literary novels.

It’s an intimidating field to try to navigate, and there are still many quality productions not in translation, but with streaming and home video, this avenue is more available than ever before. The library has a great selection in these areas and I hope here to provide some welcoming starting points or entertainment for just one night when you are looking for a break from your usual preferred watching!

moodforlove A frequent critic pick for best movies of the 21st century, In The Mood For Love offers a look at two individuals who live in the same apartment block, their spouses are having an affair and they are attracted enough to each other to consider having one themselves. This simmers at the back of their minds as they go to work and eat dinner, unsure of how they’d feel about themselves should they decide to do what they want, until finally a choice is made. A real slow burner, like a mystery that only comes together when you have the full puzzle.

 

yiyi Another one on a lot of critic’s best of the 21st century lists is Yi Yi. This film steeps itself in the minutiae of life: caring for sick relatives, trying to learn a new skill at school, but blossoms to an epic due to the number of character story-lines in the film. It’s breathtaking to learn about a whole family instead of just a few members. The beating heart is a middle class family of four, it’s a difficult year for them that begins with a wedding and ends with a funeral, and each of them deal with the events in a different way. This film is a rare beast, about daily life, but breathlessly exciting, almost like a thriller.

wayhome A Korean film, The Way Home is perhaps the smallest scale film on this list, dealing with only two characters for almost the entire story. A grandson stays with the grandmother he has never met for one summer. He has a real chip on his shoulder and while his grandma does her best to accommodate him, he isn’t sure he wants to make any effort to see past her being mute and living far away from any technology. If you are looking for a movie that will leave you grinning ear to ear, here it is.

 

likefather Japan provides us with Like Father, Like Son, an excellent introduction to acclaimed director Hirokazu Koreeda. An upper-class couple discover their young son was switched at birth with a working-class couple’s child. The father has a distant relationship with his son, so he’s determined to “switch” the children back to the birth families… permanently. This one is a real tear-jerker.

 

corner Anime helps round out our list with In This Corner of the World, a drama that depicts daily life during World War II for one woman who has recently entered into an arranged marriage and moved to a town right by Hiroshima. The film is full of researched details about life at this time and features a strong emphasis on the different bonds between people. Looking for an inspirational watch about staying true to yourself in the face of hardship? This is the one.

 

onceupon We also have some excellent books that can help you navigate these unique cinematic traditions beyond just the slice of life genre: Once Upon a Time in China, and Contemporary Japanese Film being the most aimed at those unfamiliar with Asian film and featuring the widest variety.

 

Happy viewing and a very happy everyday life to you!

-Cyrus

Spring fiction

Spring has sprung and the new fiction shelves are blooming with a heavy crop of new novels. Here are a few to get you started, or you can view the full list of New Titles for the last 3 months in our online catalogue.

In dog we trust
by Beth Kendrick
When Jocelyn Hilliard is named legal guardian for the late Mr. Allardyce’s pack of pedigreed Labrador retrievers, her world is flipped upside down. She’s spent her entire life toiling in the tourism industry and never expected to be living the pampered life in an ocean side mansion, complete with a generous stipend. But her new role isn’t without its challenges.

The bird king
by G. Willow Wilson
Fatima is a concubine in the royal court of Granada, the last emirate of Muslim Spain. Her dearest friend Hassan, the palace mapmaker, has a secret: he can draw maps of places he’s never seen and bend the shape of reality. When representatives of the newly formed Spanish monarchy arrive to negotiate the sultan’s surrender, Fatima befriends one of the women, not realizing that she will see Hassan’s gift as threatening sorcery. With their freedoms at stake, what will Fatima risk to save Hassan and escape the palace walls?

Queen Bee
by Dorothea Benton Frank
Beekeeper Holly McNee Kensen quietly lives in a world of her own on Sullivan’s Island. Her mother, The Queen Bee, is a demanding hypochondriac; to escape the drama, Holly’s sister Leslie married and moved away, wanting little to do with island life. Holly’s escape is to submerge herself in the lives of the two young boys next door and their widowed father. When Leslie returns to the island, their mother ups her game in an uproarious and theatrical downward spiral. A classic Lowcountry Tale–warm, wise, and hilarious.

Bunny
by Mona Awad
A darkly funny, seductively strange novel about a lonely graduate student drawn into a clique of rich girls who seem to move and speak as one. Samantha Heather Mackey couldn’t be more different from the other members of her master’s program at an elite university. A self-conscious scholarship student, she is repelled by the rest of her fiction writing cohort–a clique of unbearably twee rich girls who call each other “Bunny.” But everything changes when Samantha receives an invitation from the Bunnies and finds herself drawn as if by magic to their front door. As Samantha plunges deeper and deeper into Bunny world, the edges of reality begin to blur.

The snakes
by Sadie Jones
Driving through France, recently married Bea and Dan visit Bea’s brother at the hotel he runs in Burgundy. When her parents make a surprise visit, Dan can’t understand why Bea is so appalled, or why she’s never wanted him to meet them; Liv and Griff Adamson are charming and rich. Maybe Bea’s ashamed of him, or maybe she regrets the secrets she’s been keeping… Tragedy strikes suddenly, brutally, and in its aftermath even Bea with all her strength and goodness can’t escape.

The elephant of surprise
by Joe Lansdale
Hap and Leonard are an unlikely pair–Hap, a self-proclaimed white trash rebel, and Leonard, a tough-as-nails black gay Vietnam vet–but they’re the closest friend either of them has in the world. Amidst the worst flood East Texas has seen in years, they save a young woman from a mob hit, only to find themselves confronted by an adversary who challenges their friendship.

The paper wasp
by Lauren Acampora
Once a bright student on the cusp of a promising art career, Abby Graven now works as a supermarket cashier. Each day she’s taunted by the success of her former best friend Elise, a rising Hollywood starlet. When Abby encounters Elise again at their high school reunion, she’s surprised and touched that Elise still considers her a friend. Ever the supportive friend, Abby becomes enmeshed in Elise’s world, even as she guards her own dark secret and burning desire for greatness. As she edges closer to Elise and her own artistic ambitions, the dynamic shifts between the two friends–until Abby can see only one way to grasp the future that awaits her.

Danielle

Cuba on a shoestring

Snow. But it’s spring! Sigh.

I was lucky this year; I was able to visit Cuba for the first time. Wanting to escape this frozen city, I thought leaving in late March would be timely enough to come back to spring. Instead, I got back to fake spring…you know… when you get a warm day or two and then it snows? Fake spring. Or Winnipeg’s cruel idea of an April Fool’s Day Month joke.

To beat those winter blues (or in our case, spring blues) you need a getaway. A tropical, sun-filled, exotic getaway. If budget is an issue, then WPL has everything you need to visit Cuba as an armchair traveler. Here’s how to plan your adventure.

You know you are in Cuba when you see cars from the 50’s driving by. Locals do everything they can to keep them running since new cars are beyond the affordability of everyone except the government, the military and the diplomats. We hired a local company and were picked up in style in a 1950 Chevrolet Styleline. Herminio, our chauffeur (and also a welder, electrician, upholsterer, painter and mechanical engineer) explained to us that he and his Dad had replaced the motor with a diesel one, used Hyundai parts to keep it running and installed an air conditioner in the grill and a GPS on the dashboard. To get a visual of the Cuban surroundings, borrow Cars of the Fantastic 50’s.

A holiday is not a holiday without some Cuban Cocktails. Rum is the spirit of choice and there are two popular local varieties: Havana Club and the pricier Santiago de Cuba. They come in a variety of flavours and colors which range from clear to a rich chocolaty brown. Our tour guide Adita (and also a university professor of foreign languages) tells me that each one is used for different cocktails; the clear rum is best for mojitos, the buttery 3 year rum is used for piňa colatas and the caramel 5 year old rum is used for Cuba librés (essentially a rum and coke with a twist of lime). The 7 year old rum is best for sipping straight – it’s the good stuff!

But don’t drink on an empty stomach. Cuban food is simple but tasty and easily re-creatable here at home with some of our recipe books like The Cuban Table. Adita and Herminio brought us to the most wonderful local restaurant in Matanzas, the Bella Vista where we had a table for two on the edge of the bay. The main plates were a large portion of meat: we chose from lobster, shrimp, fish or chicken. Side dishes consisted of white rice or rice and beans. My favorite take-away was how Cubans serve their salad. A large plate of veggies arrived: shredded cabbage, carrots and lettuce, chopped onions, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, beans and pickled beets along with two bottles, one of oil and one of balsamic vinegar. So simple, yet delicious!

But what about the beach? Sure Varadero is gorgeous, blue skies and white sand, but a day at Grand Beach in midsummer is comparable. I know, it’s fake spring and the hot weather is a distant memory.

Until then, you can get the scenery of Cuba by immersing yourself in some photographic books like Havana History and Architecture of a Romantic City . Or install a Varadero screensaver to warm your heart and avoid looking out our own desolate windows as we wait for our glorious summer.

But perhaps you need more than photos. Dive into Cuban culture by reading fiction from some of the local authors. In the Cuban episode of Parts Unknown, Anthony Bourdain interviewed Leonardo Padura who is known for his mysteries set in Havana. You could also delve into the novels of José Latour who decided to write in English after being labeled an “enemy of the people” by the Cuban government. If you prefer something more classic, The Old Man and the Sea is a good choice as Hemmingway wrote it while he was living there.  Need something more political? You might enjoy a graphic novel about Castro or a biography about Che. Statues of Jose Marti are everywhere in Cuba since he is considered a national hero. We viewed one where he is biting a sword to depict his ability to cut with words; you might appreciate his Selected Works.

Or you could decide to host a Cuban party instead. Entertain your guests with some hot Cuban music! Grab some cd’s from WPL’s collection of Cuban musicians: Buena Vista Social Club, José Ferrer, Omara Portuondo, Ernesto Lecuona, Chachao or Manuel Mirabal Vazquez. Surround yourself with the beautiful Spanish language! In fact, learn some Spanish with our help; WPL has an info guide with dozens of resources. I downloaded the DuoLingo app and managed to learn common phrases, how to order in a restaurant, get around at the airport and ask simple questions (Dondé es el baňo?).

Your trip to Cuba on a shoestring would not be complete without a Cuban cigar. If you don’t smoke, you can enjoy a short documentary called With a Stroke of Chaveta on our Kanopy app. It takes you into the world of tabaqueros who cannot imagine working, rolling cigars, in the factory without someone reading to them. Those Cubans, so literate! They actually have one of the highest rates of literacy in the world.

So, we may skip from winter to summer this year, but we can enjoy the beauty, flavours, sounds and sights of Cuba with a simple trip to the library. No budget required.

-Colette

V-O-T-E! Who will the winners be?

That’s the question on everyone’s mind these days – who will be the winner in this year’s MYRCA vote? The competition is  always fierce, but it’s even more so since this year there will be not one but two winners. There are two categories for MYRCA readers, Sundogs for grades 4 – 6, and Northern Lights for grades 7 – 9. The voting began March 18 and will continue until midnight April 10.

Throughout the year, the MYRCA committee members devote countless hours reading wonderful books by talented Canadian authors. It’s a tough job but somebody’s got to do it.  The committee members meet once a month to talk about what they’ve read. Over time more and more lists are created, which are then distilled into the final list for the year.

From that point on, the students are the ones doing the reading and discussion, then it all  comes down to the penultimate moment when they fill in the ballot for their favourites. The hardest part by far is waiting for the announcement of the MYRCA winner for the year.

There’s still time to do some reading before the end of the voting period. Here are a few of the titles to choose from. For a full list, go to myrca.ca

Brave by Svetlana Chmakova

In Jenson’s  dreams, he has no problem being brave, but real life is harder. Things like finding a partner for a class project and Math are super scary. When Jenson joins the school newspaper things are still scary, but also surprising.

Restart by Gordon Korman

When Chase wakes up with amnesia his mind is filled with questions. Why does his Dad make him nervous? Why is his stepsister scared of him? The stuff in his room tells Chase he’s a middle school hero, but that’s not the whole story.

Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett

Kamzin jumps at the opportunity to map the tallest, deadliest mountain in the kingdom. But when her sister sets off on her own to climb the mountain, Kamzin has a choice to make; save her sister from certain death, or beat her up the mountain for the glory.

Short for Chameleon by Vicki Grant

Cam’s life is all about being someone he’s not. He and his dad are rent-a-relatives who act as friends and family members for paying customers. Pretending to be someone else was working for Cam, until he meets Albertina and Raylene,  and starts to discover who he really is.

V-O-T-E! Who will the winners be? You’ll just have to wait and see.

-Lori

1919: Not only the year of the Winnipeg General Strike

For many of us, clean water is so plentiful and readily available that we rarely, if ever, pause to consider what life would be like without it.

Marcus Samuelsson

April 6th 2019 marks the 100 year anniversary of clean water from Shoal Lake first flowing out of the taps in Winnipeg homes. The postcard below from the Rob McInnes Postcard Collection features the intake of the Shoal Lake Aqueduct near the Manitoba-Ontario border.

The aqueduct was built by the Greater Winnipeg Water District between 1914 and 1918 and still serves Winnipeg today. Using gravity, it moves water through approximately 135 kilometers of concrete conduit from Shoal Lake to the Deacon Reservoir just east of the city; a pressurized system then distributes water throughout Winnipeg. Just imagine how this would have changed the lives of Winnipeggers 100 years ago.

In the early days, water from the Red and Assiniboine Rivers was simply taken and carried in barrels by horse-drawn wagon. Then, from the early 1880s until 1898 The Winnipeg Water Works Company supplied and distributed water; its source was the Assiniboine River, just downstream from the Maryland Bridge.

After the City bought out the Water Works Company, water was supplied by an artesian well system from 1899 but it only provided a limited supply. Contaminated river water from the Assiniboine was still used for emergencies like fires. The problem was, after pumping river water into the mains, illness would follow. There was a typhoid fever epidemic in 1904 and clean water became a priority for Winnipeg’s growth.

Although the well system was expanded it simply couldn’t keep up with the city’s rapid expansion and the search for a source of clear, soft water began. Shoal Lake was chosen for its high quality water, despite its distance from Winnipeg and the cost of the project. Fortunately, because of Winnipeg’s boom around the time the aqueduct project began, it was built large to serve the future “Chicago of the North” which is how the system is still able to serve our city.

For a variety of Winnipeg postcards, many from the early 1900s, browse PastForward, our digital public history. Visit the Local History Room on the fourth floor to see some of the original documents relating to the construction of the aqueduct.

While Winnipeggers are fortunate to have clean water to drink, the building of the aqueduct has had some unfortunate consequences for members of another community. Shoal Lake 40 First Nation is located on a peninsula that was cut off from the mainland in order to divert the murkier waters of the Falcon River away from the aqueduct’s intake. Shoal Lake residents received a running water system in the 1990s but experienced a cryptosporidiosis outbreak shortly thereafter. Having no roads made it very difficult to organize the completion of a necessary water treatment plant.

18 years is a very long time to be under a boil-water advisory but steps are being taken to connect Shoal Lake 40 to the mainland. Two all-season bridges have been completed and construction of Freedom Road has reached the Trans-Canada Highway to allow community members to safely access goods and services. The community is now raising awareness of the need for clean water. Drinking bottled water should only be a short term solution and the Canadian Government has pledged to end long-term drinking water advisories on First Nations reserves by March 2021 (click the link to see the progress so far).

If you would like to learn more about Shoal Lake 40 First Nation and their history surrounding the Winnipeg Aqueduct, check out Adele Perry’s book Aqueduct: Colonialism, Resources, and the Histories We Remember.

~ Christy

It’s Time to Read : Poetry

Dear Readers, did you know that April is National Poetry Month?  To celebrate, Time to Read is exploring all of poetry. Too broad? Well, we’ll just explore as much of poetry as we can in an hour. But as usual, we want your help. We’d like for you to share your favorite poems with us—and of course tell us why they’re your favorite. You can let us know on our Time to Read Facebook group, our website wpl-podcast.winnipeg.ca, or by writing to us at wpl-podcast@winnipeg.ca.

And, if you need a good place start, or are just curious what the Time to Read team will be reading during National Poetry Month we’ve each selected one poem in one book by one poet that we’d like to spotlight. And, in the tradition of recent social media trends, I’m going to share one stanza from each of our poems with no explanation—that is until the podcast!

Erica’s choice:

“Verse For a Certain Dog” from Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker

Such glorious faith as fills your limpid eyes,
Dear little friend of mine, I never knew.
All-innocent are you, and yet all-wise.
(For Heaven’s sake, stop worrying that shoe!)
You look about, and all you see is fair;
This mighty globe was made for you alone.
Of all the thunderous ages, you’re the heir.
(Get off the pillow with that dirty bone!)

Trevor’s choice:

“Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening” from The Poetry of Robert Frost by Robert Frost


He gives his harness bells a shake  
To ask if there is some mistake.   
The only other sound’s the sweep   
Of easy wind and downy flake.

Kirsten’s choice:

“riverstory” from River Woman by Katherena Vermette

I wait
to hear the stories of the river
sit at the edge
scoop up the silence
my fingers tangle
in the long dark hair
there is always long dark hair
that is where our spirits linger
left behind to wander the waves

Alan’s choice:

“I’m Not All Knowing But…” from Come On In! New Poems by Charles Bukowski

the best poems
it seems to me
are written out of
an ultimate
need.
and once the poem is
written,
the only need
after that
is to write
another.

One last thing: if you weren’t able to make it to our live podcast event (or if you just want to re-live the memories) the recording of “But I don’t Wanna Grow Up! Favourite Childhood books” is available today!  I don’t want to spoil too much but, Elizabeth from The Paper Bag Princess won our first ever book battle.

~Alan and the rest of the Time to Read team

eMagazines: Just as glossy and help you save money, trees, and space

You might’ve heard that we offer eMagazines, but if that’s where your experience ended know that we can help you save money in the grocery aisle, save some trees, and help you step away for good from your guilt-inducing piles of magazine back issues. Because let’s be honest, getting rid of a National Geographic magazine is easier said than done!

The news: With your library card you can access three eMagazine services that offer a total (as of today) of 3,945 magazine titles. 

I. kid. you. not.

There are magazines for all interests: art, automotive, boating and aviation, business, current affairs, travel, design, entertainment and TV, LGBTQ, home and garden, history, science, news, photography, fitness, spirituality, music, and sports. 

To keep things simple, I’m going to point out key features of each service and highlight popular service-specific titles. But if you’re looking for a niche title, please give these services a search. There are a lot of gems!

I’ll also share links to step-by-step directions to help you connect with the service(s) on your computer or mobile device. If you prefer personalized help, please schedule a one-on-one appointment with us. We’re always happy to help you get these services set up.


  • Number of magazine titles: 3,700+
  • Languages: So many! Chinese, Arabic, French, German, English, Spanish, Russian and more.
  • Kids’ content? Yes!
  • Borrowing limit: Borrow as many as you like.
  • Borrowing period: Borrow for as long as you want.
  • Back issues available: Yes.

How about?

With more than 3,700 titles this is just a snapshot of the many great publications you can get with PressReader.

DIY set-up with PressReader:


  • Number of magazine titles: 212
  • Languages: Yes! Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish.
  • Kids’ content? Yes!
  • Borrowing limit: Borrow as many as you like.
  • Borrowing period: Borrow for as long as you want.
  • Back issues available: Yes.

How about?

There are so many more titles you can find with RBdigital like Family Handyman, Good Housekeeping, Men’s Health, The Economist, Popular Mechanics, and O Magazine. And a very helpful feature of RBdigital is that you you can set it up so that when a new issue comes out it’ll automatically borrow it for you!

DIY set-up with RBdigital:


  • Number of magazine titles: 11
  • Languages: Mostly English. Chatelaine comes in English and French.
  • Kids’ content? No.
  • Borrowing limit: Borrow as many as you like.
  • Borrowing period: Borrow monthly magazines for 7 days and weekly magazines for 2 days.
  • Back issues available: Yes.

DIY set-up with Flipster:

You can’t beat having a good magazine pile to access when passing time in a waiting room, but you don’t need to have them at home. Save space, money, and trees by borrowing the electronic version from us! Plus, for two of these services (PressReader and RBdigital) you can keep borrowed issues for as long as you like, so bookmark those favourite recipes, DIY projects, and exercise plans and revisit them again and again.

~ Reegan