Tag Archives: Megan @ WPL

Happy “I Love to Read” Month, Winnipeg!

What better time of year to celebrate the joy of reading? There’s nothing like coming in from the snow and cuddling up on the couch with a blanket and a good book while sensation returns to your fingers, toes, and nose! And, since you can begin building literacy skills right from birth, reading is a fabulous family activity!

There are many simple things you can do every day to encourage reading and literacy in your family, and the five early literacy practices listed below are a great way to encourage a life-long love of learning and literacy in young children:

Talk: Talking to children helps them learn about language and teaches them new words.

Sing: Along with being a fun way to bond, singing helps children hear syllables and words,   and also develops memory and listening skills.

Play: Imaginative play is a great way for kids to learn how the world works!

Write: Your child’s scribbles and drawings have meaning to them, and are the first step in your child to recognizing that letters and words have meaning.

Read: Children who enjoy being read to are more likely to enjoy reading on your own, so grab a couple of your favourites, and let your child pick a few books that catch their eye as well!

Regular trips to the library are another great way to help your child associate books and reading with fun! Our free Pre-School Programs are a wonderful way for you to bond with your child, and provide an excellent opportunity for them to socialize with their peers. The next upcoming registration date is Friday, March 11. For more information about these programs, please pick up a copy of the library newsletter, At The Library, available at all branches.

Of course, you can find many excellent books to read while you’re at the library. Not sure what kind of books you should be looking for? You can find tips for choosing picture books here, and staff at any of Winnipeg Public Library’s twenty branches would be happy to help you find some titles of interest! It’s also an excellent idea to let your children pick out some books that catch their eye. Don’t worry if they want to read the same book over and over again. The repetition will help them learn to associate the words you say with the letters written on the page, and you might be surprised at how quickly they are able to quote the story at you (those young minds are amazing things)!

We also have Pinterest boards, which we are continuously updating with new staff picks. Check out our boards for kids and parents and our boards for teens for book suggestions!

Winnipeg Public Library will also be launching a brand new children’s card and an “I Love my Library” booklist at our Take Your Child to the Library Day on Saturday, February 6, to help you get “I Love to Read” month started off with a bang! This will be a day of fun family performances and activities at all of our branches, so make sure to check out our newsletter for details, or head into your nearest branch to see what they have planned!


Take Your Child to the Library Day – February 6

February is ‘I Love to Read’ Month, and Winnipeg Public Library is ready to help you celebrate!

Early experiences with books and language lay the foundation for success in learning to read. There are lots of fun and easy ways you can help build reading readiness, such as talking, singing, reading, writing and playing with your child. All of these activities help to develop language and literacy skills, and positive interactions with reading and books can ensure that your child sees reading as a fun and enjoyable activity. Winnipeg Public Library has the perfect event to help you encourage your family’s love of literacy!

On Saturday, February 6, all of our twenty branches will be hosting Take Your Child to the Library Day! Join us for scheduled family music concerts with the Winnipeg Folk Festival and puppet shows presented by Castlemoon Theatre,  or stop by any time on the day to grab one of our new children’s library cards, make a library card holder and bookmark, and show off your new library card with fun props in our photo booth! Admission to concerts and puppet shows will be by free tickets distributed starting 30 minutes before show time. For details and a full listing of events, check out page 21 of At The Library, available in all branches, or ask staff at your nearest branch.


Children are never too young to have their own library card, which provides a world of discovery and learning.  Join Winnipeg Public Library for Take Your Child to the Library Day on Saturday, February 6, to celebrate the joy of literacy and foster a love of reading in your family!

Makerspace Programs!

Earlier this week, Louis-Philippe wrote about the development of a physical makerspace at Winnipeg Public Library and showcased some of the maker titles in our collection. But did you know that Winnipeg Public Library has been offering makerspace programs since 2013?


Our current roster of makerspace programs includes programs for school-aged children, tweens, teens, and adults. Makerspace programs are intended to provide opportunities for people of all ages to create, experiment and collaborate in a fun, self-directed, hands-on learning environment.

You can find makerspace programs being run at any of the twenty branches in the city. Here are just a few of the upcoming (and did I mention, free?) programs:

Arduino is a small controller or circuit that can be programmed to complete a variety of tasks. Adults can choose from an introductory, intermediate, an advanced Arduino program, so there’s plenty of opportunity to develop your programming skills!

Hidden Poetry involves blacking out most of the words on a page of a book, magazine or newspaper so that the remaining words become a poem. This program runs for Teens (gr. 7-12) and Adults, and is a great way to open your eyes to the poetry of life that’s all around us!


Cubelets Robotics are a great introduction to modular robotics. Magnetic robot blocks that snap together, you can use Cubelets build a robot (that’s right, a robot!) that responds to light, sound, temperature and movement.  This is one of our most popular Tween (ages 9-12) programs.

Paper Circuits: Light Up Cards allows Teens to create their own light-up greeting card using simple circuits, a battery, LEDs and conductive tape!

Our interactive Scratch Programming workshop introduces participants to the basics of the programming language Scratch. This day-long program is spent creating and collaborating on projects such as designing a video game or animated story.


At Making with Minecraft: Papercraft, Tween Minecraft fans work in teams to create a Minecraft world using snap cubes, then populate it with critters friendly and scary. Test your Minecraft knowledge with some trivia, and maybe learn a new crafting recipe or two.


Making with Magformers is another great program for the school-aged group! Using some of the world’s strongest magnets, Magformers snap together to create 3D creatures, cars, robots, rockets, or just about anything else you imagine!

Now, these are just some of the great makerspace programs that can be found at Winnipeg Public Library, and we’re always adding new programs to the lineup! The important thing to remember about makerspace programs is that it is all about learning. There’s no such thing as failure, just “success training”! No need to be an expert, just come and see what you can do. You might just be surprised!

Public Makerfaire – November 7, 1-4 pm at Millennium Library

If you’re curious to see some makerspace action in person, join us at our public makerfaire on Saturday, November 7th from 1-4 pm at Millennium Library. We’ll have stations set up throughout the library, and the public will have an opportunity to get some hands-on experience with some of our newest and most exciting program kits, such as Squishy Circuits (conductive dough creations), Makey Makey (turn anything, even fruit, into game controllers), and Little Bits (an intro to circuitry using snap-together pieces).

The best way to find out what programs are running at the branch nearest you is to check out our events calendar, peruse the latest edition of At The Library (hard copies available in-branch), or talk to staff at your local branch!


Old Book, New Trick

Last week on Readers’ Salon, Lori wrote about the enduring appeal of classic stories. As much as I love the classics in their original form, I am struck by the many ways in which they have been reimagined. In that sense, they are the superhero movies of their format, constantly being re-examined, re-imagined, updated and given improved gadgets or better capes. This allows audiences new and old to explore a new facet of a well-known story.



For example, Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland has undergone numerous updates and transformations, including Splintered, the YA series by A.G. Howard with a punk skater heroine, and the manga Alice in the Country of Hearts, which is based off of a computer game. The subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) tweaks to the characters, setting, and even genre of the story offer just enough spice to entice reluctant readers and pique their interest in this classic tale. Similarly, Gris Grimly’s interpretation of Mary Shelley’s classic horror novel Frankenstein involves taking bits of pared-down original text and completing it with Gothically-styled, rock-inspired illustrations. Even the works of Shakespeare have been subject to continual re-imaginings, such as William Shakespeare’s Star Wars.


FablesFairy Tale Feasts

Fairy tales are another excellent example of the timeless nature of some stories. Fractured or updated fairy tales can take many forms, such as Marissa Meyer’s teen series, The Lunar Chronicles, or Bill Willingham’s adult graphic novel series Fables, in which your standard fairy tale characters end up exiles in modern New York City. However, changing the location of the story isn’t the only way to change how you interact with a classic tale. Jane Yolen’s Fairy Tale Feasts cookbook series for young readers offers an excellent opportunity for fairy tale fanatics to experience their favourite tales in a tactile manner, and demonstrates how a good story spills off of the page and into our day-to-day lives.



Mythologies also tend to be perennial favourites, as evidenced by the popularity of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series (Greek), The Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris (Norse), and the Thunder Road trilogy by Chadwick Ginther, which features a cast of characters from Norse mythology and just happens to be set right here in Manitoba (it just so happens that book three, Too Far Gone, is set for release in September).

Do you have a favourite re-imagining of a classic book or story? Or is there a story that you think deserves to be redone? I’d love to hear about it!