Tag Archives: Monique @ WPL

Think Big Thoughts

Up here on the fourth floor of the Millennium Library we’re having fun finding books about philosophy – including the philosophy of…just about anything!  Come join us to see what we have on show or let your mind wander through some of the titles below.

The Story of Philosophy
by Bryan Magee

“The Story of Philosophy, Revised and Updated gives you the information you need to think about life’s greatest questions, opening up the world of philosophical ideas in a way that can be easily understood by students and by anyone fascinated by the ways we form our social, political, and ethical ideas.”

What Philosophy Can Do
by Gary Gutting

“How can we have meaningful debates with political opponents? How can we distinguish reliable science from over-hyped media reports? How can we talk sensibly about God? In What Philosophy Can Do, Gary Gutting takes a philosopher’s scalpel to modern life’s biggest questions and the most powerful forces in our society–politics, science, religion, education, and capitalism–to show how we can improve our discussions of contentious contemporary issues.”

Tsawalk: A  Nuu-chah-nulth Worldview
by Richard Atleo

“In Tsawalk, hereditary chief Umeek develops a theory of “Tsawalk,” meaning “one,” that views the nature of existence as an integrated and orderly whole, and thereby recognizes the intrinsic relationship between the physical and spiritual. Umeek demonstrates how Tsawalk provides a viable theoretical alternative that both complements and expands the view of reality presented by Western science. Tsawalk, he argues, allows both Western and indigenous views to be combined in order to advance our understanding of the universe.”

A Philosophy of Walking
by Frédéric Gros

“In A Philosophy of Walking , leading thinker Frédéric Gros charts the many different ways we get from A to B – the pilgrimage, the promenade, the protest march, the nature ramble – and reveals what they say about us.”

The Cartoon Introduction to Philosophy
by Michael Patton and Kevin Cannon

“In The Cartoon Introduction to Philosophy, Michael F. Patton and Kevin Cannon introduce us to the grand tradition of examined living. With the wisecracking Heraclitus as our guide, we travel down the winding river of philosophy, meeting influential thinkers from nearly three millennia of Western thought and witnessing great debates over everything from ethics to the concept of the self to the nature of reality.”

-Monique

 

Advertisements

So What’s New?

Well, we’ve got a list for that. Savvy library users know that finding the Library’s latest purchases is just a click away.  Head on over to the main page of our catalogue and visit the “New Titles” page where you will find our purchases from the previous 3 months – all ages and physical formats.  Scrolling through these lists is great fun and helps give an idea of the wide range of materials collected by the Library.

For example, in June 450 titles were added to our non-fiction collection for adults.  Here’s a sampling. Enjoy!

Beyond Trans : Does Gender Matter?
by Heath Fogg Davis

City on Edge: A Rebellious Century of Vancouver Protests, Riots, and Strikes
by Kate Bird


Billionaire at the Barricades: The Populist Revolution from Reagan to Trump
by Laura  Ingraham

Killer: My Life in Hockey
by Doug Gilmour

Lou Reed : A Life
by Anthony DeCurtis

Powerful Readers: Thinking Strategies to Guide Literacy Instruction in Secondary Classrooms
by Kyla Hadden and Adrienne Gear

Prairie Rising: Indigenous Youth, Decolonization, and the Politics of Intervention
by Jaskiran K. Dhillon

-Monique

Letting Go

Summer is finally on its way! As I write this the trees outside are greening up and we’ve finally gotten around to packing away the last of the winter wear.  This time of year is also when many of us start thinking about how we can tidy up and lighten up our living spaces.  We got a bit of a start recently at our house as we swept a winter’s worth of dust out of the gazebo and I at least began to think about finally going through the couple hundred old CDs that still take up space in our living room.

The spring and summer months are also a great time to start on projects, whether those be around the house, in the yard or even tuning up a car. For great websites, information and book suggestions for all those topics and more, check out our DIY Home, Garden & Auto Repair Info Guide.

Need some inspiration to kickstart your decluttering? We’ve got you covered there too.

The Art of Discarding: How to Get Rid of Clutter and Find Joy by Nagisa Tatsumi

 

 

Never Too Busy to Cure Clutter: Simplify Your Life One Minute at a Time by Erin Rooney Doland

 

 

Pretty and Organized: Clutter-free with 30 Easy-to-Make Decorative Storage Ideas for Every Room in Your Home by Jane Hughes

 

 

Clutterfree with Kids: Change Your Thinking, Discover New Habits, Free Your Home by Joshua Becker

 

 

And, of course, titles from the most recent Queen of Decluttering – Marie Kondo: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy.

Need even more inspiration?  Find dozens more titles here.

Monique

An Information Guide About Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

 

Missing

Vigil for Tina Fontaine. Winnipeg. August, 2014. Photo credit with changes (Flickr), Steve, Creative Commons License.

On August 3rd the federal government announced an independent Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.  The establishment of such an inquiry was one of the 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.  The current timeline for the Inquiry calls for it’s work to be completed by the end of 2018.

Winnipeg Public Library has created an information guide to help the public learn about the work of the Inquiry as well as the topic of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.  You can find this guide by visiting www.winnipeg.ca/library, opening the “Our Collections” menu and clicking on “Subject Guides”.

Guides

The Inquiry will eventually have it’s own offices, contact information, and website. To learn about the Inquiry, the public should visit this site. Please note the existence of a national toll-free crisis line for anyone needing support after reading the information found within this site.

The “About the Independent Inquiry” section of the site is especially useful.  It provides information about what the Inquiry will and will not (or can and cannot) do, in addition to other practical information such as timelines and budget.

Five Commissioners will conduct the Inquiry.  These include:

  • Chief Commissioner, the Honourable Marion Buller, Provincial Court Judge, British Columbia Mistawasis First Nation, Saskatchewan
  • Commissioner Michèle Audette, Former President of Femmes Autochtones du Québec (Québec Native Women’s Association), Mani Utenam
  • Québec Commissioner Qajaq Robinson, Associate, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP Iqaluit, Nunavut
  • Commissioner Marilyn Poitras, Assistant Professor Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
  • Commissioner Brian Eyolfson, Acting Deputy Director, Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, Legal Services Couchiching First Nation, Ontario

****

Perhaps the most anticipated part of the Inquiry’s announcement was its Terms of Reference.  Some groups, such as the Native Women’s Association of Canada, have expressed concerns related to family supports, investigation of cold cases, jurisdictional issues connected to the provinces/territories and the Inquiry, and the need to work with the justice system to implement changes.  Amnesty International has echoed some of these concerns. Others were concerned about representation. Pauktuutit, the national Inuit women’s organization, expressed disappointment that the Inquiry does not have an Inuk Commissioner (Commissioner Qajaq Robinson is not Inuk).

****

There have been a number of studies – by both organizations and academic researchers – about missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls over the last number of years.  We have brought these together in our information guide here.  The most recent study, conducted by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, concluded that 1181 Indigenous women and girls have gone missing or were murdered between 1980 and 2012.  Some people expect the number is much higher.

Our information guide also has a section of Manitoba-specific information which will be added to as the Inquiry’s work progresses.  Currently you can find a fact sheet (2010) with statistics about missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in our province,  a map of a number of cases, as well as cold case information for some victims.

We have also included a link to a toolkit for families created by family members of missing and murdered women and girls, in partnership with local organization Ka Ni Kanichihk.  The kit provides practical information – including document templates – to assist families whose loved ones have gone missing.

Winnipeg Public Library will update our information guide as the work of the Inquiry progresses, including adding suggested book titles about violence against Indigenous women and girls and Indigenous women’s rights and resilience. We invite everyone to share the guide as a resource for learning about the Inquiry and the important issues it will examine.

As always, we also welcome your questions. You can ask them in person at any of our locations, by calling 204-986-6450, or submitting them online using our Ask Us! service.

-Monique

 

 

 

#IndigenousReads: Celebrating Indigenous writers in June – and all year round

thebreakRecently, federal Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, Carolyn Bennett, marked June as Indigenous Book Club Month (hashtag #IndigenousReads). The Minister’s goal is to get folks reading and talking about books (novels, plays, short stories, graphic novels, poetry!) written by First Nations, Métis, or Inuit peoples. We think this is a great idea of course and we know many Winnipeggers have already found their way to wonderful books written by Indigenous authors.

For example four of the nine On the Same Page titles have been #IndigenousReads.  In 2009, the first On the Same Page title was the Beatrice Mosionier classic April Raintree.  In 2013, Manitobans voted for Manitowapow: Aboriginal Writings from the Land of Water – an incredible anthology of Indigenous writing all rooted in the land that makes up our province.  Katherena Vermette’s Governor General Award-winning book of poetry, North End Love Songs, was the public’s pick in 2015.  This year Manitobans chose to honour and celebrate The Evolution of Alice by David Robertson.  All of these books are, or are set to become, must-reads for Manitobans for years to come.IndigenousWriters

There’s lots that new – and even more to look forward to – by Indigenous writers from across the country.  I eagerly anticipate âpihtawikosisân (Chelsea Vowel’s) forthcoming Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nations, Métis & Inuit Issues in Canada. Her blog is packed with commentary, analysis, and explanations of current and historical issues related to Indigenous peoples.

thepemmicaneaters.jpg

 

Katherena Vermette’s novel, The Break,  is coming out in September and is already getting a lot of well-deserved attention. On my poetry-to-read list is Marilyn Dumont’s recent title The Pemmican EatersI was so happy to learn that David Alexander Robertson has added to his terrific graphic novel series of biographies – Tales from Big Spirit – with The Chief: Mistahimaskwa.

 

therighttobecoldFinally, from the North – a place most of us will only ever get to read about – is Inuit activist Sheila Watt-Cloutier’s non-fiction title The Right to Be Cold (what an excellent book title!).

These choices barely scratch the surface of the range of books written by Indigenous writers; I didn’t even get to children’s books! These titles – and many, many more – are available for Winnipeggers to read, enjoy, and learn from this month and all year round.  We look forward to seeing you and helping you make your own #IndigenousReads pick!

-Monique

 

  

 

 

The Next Big Thing

 

Up here on the fourth floor of the Millennium Library we’ve been highlighting books about inventions and inventors, tinkering and making. Here are a few picks that have been moving off our shelves:

Black Inventors: Crafting Over 200 Years of Success by Keith Holmes

This book about African American inventors highlights history that is often overlooked. For more on Black inventors check out these profiles from Biography. We also loved finding this write-up about Elijah McCoy as part of his nomination to the Canadian Railway Hall of Fame: “The noted African Canadian inventor, Elijah McCoy was issued more than 57 patents for his inventions during his lifetime. His best known invention was a cup that fed lubricating oil to machine bearings through a small bore tube. Machinists and engineers who wanted genuine McCoy lubricators might have used the expression “the real McCoy.”

Milestones of Space: Eleven Iconic Objects from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Lunar modules, astronaut Neil Armstrong’s space suit, and the Hubble telescope. Milestones of Space provides gorgeous photographs and meticulous explanations of the inventions that have made space exploration possible.

The Eureka Method: How to Think Like an Inventor by John Hershey

Written by a PhD in Electrical Engineering (with 134 patents to his name!), the Eureka Method will show you how to scan the world around you and think systemically to spark big ideas.

Patently Female: From AZT to TV Dinners, Stories of Women Inventors and Their Breakthrough Ideas by Ethlie Ann Vare

From the hang glider to Jell-O, tract housing to windshield wipers, learn about the women behind these inventions and many more.

 

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance

Especially because of the recent announcement of a lower (if not low) cost Tesla, Elon Musk has been in the news a ton lately.  This bio discusses how his success is an example of the intersection of visionary thinking, inventing talent, and business acumen.

A History of Invention From Stone Axes to Silicon Chips by Dr. Trevor I. Williams

From the humble axe-head to the ubiquitous indispensable silicon chip, here’s a fun and informative history of “things”.

Makers: All Kinds of People Making Amazing Things in Their Backyard, Basement, and Garage by Bob Parks

From the publishers who brought us Make magazine this title featuring real-life – and definitely home-grown – inventions is sure to speak to your inner-tinkerer.

Rube Goldberg: Inventions by Maynard Frank Wolfe

The shortest path from A to B may be a straight line but what’s the fun in that? Here’s a wonderfully, whimsical title full of schematics for hair-cutters, Easter egg-dyers, a better golf tee and more, devised by the one and only Rube Goldberg.

 

-Monique W.

Early Childhood Literacy – Not Just for Kids

It’s been a busy I Love To Read Month here at Winnipeg Public Library.  A highlight was the steady stream of children and their families who helped us celebrate Take Your Child to the Library Day on February 6th. On that one day we issued over 500 of our newly-designed children’s library cards, nearly 900 of you took in one of the many concerts or puppet shows we had on offer, in addition to the hundreds smiling faces that participated at activity stations (hello photo booths!) we had set up at all 20 library branches.  Thank you for joining us – we had a blast!

Then on February 9th the Millennium Library officially opened a very special travelling exhibit of wordless picture books presented by IBBY ItaliaSilent Books: Final Destination LampedusaThe exhibit runs in the Children’s and Teen area from February 9 to March 12.  And of course, throughout the month we’ve continued to offer our suite of quality early and family literacy programming.  To find out about upcoming programs visit your local branch’s page or check out our programming calendar for dates across the library system.

When we talk to the community about the importance of developing early literacy skills we often share picture books that we think are just great, but parents and caregivers we’ve got titles for you too. The books below are a snapshot from our collection of materials to help adults support children’s growth as curious, confident and motivated readers.

whatWhat Children Need to Learn to Read: The complete parent’s guide to ensuring literacy, a love of reading, and school readiness

 

 

whenWhat To Read When: The books and stories to read with your child and all the best times to read them

 

 

bornBorn Reading: Bringing up bookworms in a digital age – from picture books to ebooks and everything in between

 

 

sharedShared Storybook Reading: Building young children’s language & emergent literacy skills

 

 

raisingRaising Kids Who Read: What parents and teachers can do

 

 

 

For even more suggestions, or for help searching for the latest early literacy research on our EBSCO database, visit or phone your local branch or submit a question to our Ask Us! service. For more information about early childhood literacy, see our Early Literacy guide.

Monique

Titles Winnipeggers Love – Favourite Books from the Library’s Aboriginal Resources Collection

Titles in Winnipeg Public Library’s Aboriginal Resources Collection have been very popular the last number of years.  With a growing number of authentic and ground-breaking books being published, it’s a wonderful time to be working in libraries and sharing these great reads with the public.

View The Reason You Walk in our catalogue.On track to be the most popular title in 2016 has got to be Wab Kinew’s The Reason You Walk.  There are about 200 requests right now, but with 50 copies the list should go quickly.  (Don’t forget we have it available as an eBook too).
How many of the most-borrowed titles below have you read or, better yet, shared with those you know?

These are just a tiny number of the Library’s Aboriginal Resources Collection.  We now have just over 2000 titles for adults and nearly 2000 different children’s titles too.  To find out how to search for these books visit our Aboriginal Services guide.View The Inconvenient Indian in our catalogue.

I don’t know about resolutions, but with the recent release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’ s Final Report, the announcement of a forthcoming national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, new course requirements and treaty education initiatives at our universities, the opening of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, in addition to inspiring ongoing cView Unsettling the settler within in our catalogue.ommunity initiatives (Got Bannock?, Drag the Red, Bear Clan Patrol, Meet Me at the Bell Tower), 2016 seems like the perfect year for picking up one (or more!) of these books.  For even more recommendations, drop in to your local branch.

 

 

The Inconvenient Indian : A Curious Account of Native People in North America
by Thomas King

Unsettling the Settler Within : Indian residential schools, Truth Telling, and Reconciliation in Canada by Paulette Regan

 

Manitowapow: Aboriginal Writers From the Land of Water
edited by Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair and Warren Cariou

Wícihitowin : Aboriginal Social Work in Canada  Aboriginal Social Work in Canada
by Gord Bruyere (Amawaajibitang), Michael Anthony Hart (Kaskitémahikan) and Raven Sinclair (Ótiskewápíwskew) 

North End Love Songs
by Katherena Vermette

Breathing Life into the Stone Fort Treaty: An Anishinabe Understanding of Treaty One
by Aimée Craft

They Came For The Children:  Canada, Aboriginal Peoples and Residential Schools
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

All The Way: My Life On Ice by Jordin Tootoo
by Jordin Tootoo

Ojibway Heritage by Basil Johnston
by Basil Johston

Monique W.

No history without story

For in oral history, people are sources and sources are people.”                                                             – Dan David Prize

Stories. Listened to, read, told, recorded. Saved. Shared. The stories of individuals and communities, even our own or that of our families, are some of the most powerful ways we interact with events and people gone by. Coming up in early October we are thrilled to co-host what we know will be a thought-generating evening, inspired by the power of listening to the past. World renowned oral historian Alessandro Portelli is being brought to Winnipeg by our program partner, the Oral History Centre (housed at the University of Winnipeg). Audience members will have the opportunity to consider the value of oral histories – of listening to the full arcs of real-life stories – in today’s world of information bits and bytes. The program is free and open to all; see the end of this post for details.

Oxford Dictionaries defines oral history as “the collection and study of historical information using sound recordings of interviews with people having personal knowledge of past events.” This basic definition, while technically accurate, doesn’t emphasize the heart of oral history and its practice – that is, people.

Historian Paul Thompson gets to that heart (from the Oral History Centre site): “Oral History…is a history built around people. It thrusts life into history itself and widens its scope. It allows heroes not just from the leaders, but also from the unknown majority of the people. It encourages teachers and students to become fellow-workers. It brings history into, and out of, the community. It helps the less privileged […] towards dignity and self-confidence. It makes for contact – and hence understanding – between social classes, and between generations. […] In short it makes for fuller human beings.”

readerPowerful stuff, oral histories are – listened to or read. Winnipeg Public Library has a wide-ranging and growing collection of oral histories to learn from and enjoy. You can find a starter list of titles here. To find out how you might go about collecting an oral history – recording and sharing stories yourself – visit the Oral History Centre’s site. The Centre is a real Winnipeg gem. It offers in-person workshops, the use of equipment and software, assistance with archiving and more.  Those with a strong interest in the practice of oral history will definitely want to check out The Canadian Oral History Reader ; 2 of the book’s editors – Alexander Freund and Nolan Reilly – are Co-Directors of the Oral History Centre.

About Alessandro Portelli

orderAlessandro Portelli is Professor Emeritus, University of Rome La Sapienza and recent lecturer at Princeton University. A 2015 Dan David Prize Laureate, he is considered the world’s leading practitioner of oral history. More information about Professor Portelli can be found here and here. He also maintains a blog with occasional posts in English. Among his celebrated works are The Order Has Been Carried Out, about the 1944 Nazi massacre of over 350 Jewish and non-Jewish civilians in a suburb of Rome; and They Say In Harlan County which documents histories from Appalachian coal mining country. From Goodreads: “They Say in Harlan County is not a book about coal miners so much as a dialogue in which more than 150 Harlan County women and men tell the story of their region, from pioneer times through the dramatic strikes of the 1930s and ’70s, up to the present. Alessandro Portelli draws on 25 years of original interviews to take readers into the mines and inside the lives of those who work, suffer, and often die in them–from black lung, falling rock, suffocation, or simply from work that can be literally backbreaking. The book is structured as a vivid montage of all these voices–stoic, outraged, grief-stricken, defiant–skillfully interwoven with documents from archives, newspapers, literary works, and the author’s own participating and critical voice.” harlan

Professor Portelli will join us Monday, October 5 from 7 – 8:30 p.m. in the Carol Shields Auditorium on the second floor of the Millennium Library. Please register in-person at any Library branch or by phone 204-986-6450 (drop-ins welcome, space permitting).

We look forward to welcoming many of you to share in a great evening.

Monique W.

Documents to Change Hearts & Minds: Reading the Findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

On June 2 the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC/Commission) held its final public gathering to release its findings after 6 years travelling the country to collect stories and testimony related to Indian Residential Schools (IRS).  The work of the Commission had been mandated as part of the Indian and Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (Settlement Agreement).

The full text of the Commission’s final report will be available at a later date but the four documents it has released are an extraordinary read:  an Executive Summary; a Principles document; a document with first-hand accounts called Survivors Speak; and Calls to Action containing the 94 recommendations of the Commission.

All four documents are written in a style accessible to many readers.  These are not “academic” documents and they are definitely not filled with legalese.  I have read all four and as I sat down to write this I knew what my suggestion would be as to which one people should read first.  In the spirit of “change hearts, then minds,” I encourage you to read first – and share widely – Survivors Speak.  To me, this is the heart-changing document of the TRC.

Most people in Canada were not in attendance when IRS survivors and others spoke to the Commission (in the end, some 7,000 witnesses gave testimony). This document provides a representative glimpse into what was shared over the past 6 years.  It is filled with long-form quotations from survivors about their experiences.  The document begins with a section where survivors shared what their life was like before they were taken from their communities. Then, among a wide range of experiences covered, there are sections about the days and moments children were taken, sections about specific forms of abuse, sections about daily routines and food, and sections where some survivors share positive moments they remember.

The document reads very quickly because of the immediacy of the survivors’ voices but, as expected, it is a very difficult document to read.  In all seriousness, I recommend people plan to read it in a time and place that will give them space afterwards to take in what they have just learned.

The Executive Summary is a very useful document particularly for people who were not familiar with the TRC and who have not yet learned about the history and legacy of residential schools. If after reading both of these documents people have the question: “How do we move forward?” the Principles document gives the TRC’s proposed answer in ten short and powerful ideas.

The Commission made 94 recommendations which it named its Calls to Action. The recommendations are very engaging and do a lot to teach about the wide-reaching legacy of the schools.  There are recommendations for the public and post-secondary education systems, others for the child welfare system and even ones about public broadcasting and a suggested change to the country’s citizenship oath – to mention just a few.

Most adults living in Canada today received little or no information about residential schools as part of their schooling.  This is one reason why Chair of the TRC, Justice Murray Sinclair, has placed such an emphasis on education being necessary for reconciliation.  In providing the country with clear and powerful documents the TRC has made a significant contribution towards mending that education gap.  We have been given the materials and the stories – it is now up to the Canadian public to engage with what has been shared.

****

Winnipeg Public Library ordered multiple copies of the TRC’s documents as soon as the findings were released.  They will be made available when we receive them.  We encourage people to make use of the many resources found on the TRC website.  For example, here is a map and list of residential schools from across the country identified in the Settlement Agreement. There were fourteen in Manitoba, including one in Winnipeg.  The Commission’s website also contains the biographies of all three Commissioners: the Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair, Dr. Marie Wilson and Chief Wilton Littlechild.

To continue your learning about this topic here is a list of titles about residential schools, for adults, teens and children, available in our collection.

Monique W.