Tag Archives: programs

October is Library Month!

This month is Library month! Along with all the usual books and materials that you’ve come to love we’re also in the middle of a great programming cycle. Here are some programs  that we’re featuring this month.


Anishinaabe Creation Story
Branch/Location: Millennium Library
Date: Saturday, October 8, 2016
Time: 2:00PM – 3:30PM
Room: Buchwald Room
Learn teachings from the Anishinaabe creation story. Elders Daabaasanaqwat (Lowcloud) Peter Atkinson of the Turtle Clan and  Harry Bone share their insights and knowledge. Drop-ins welcome!

 Writers on the Road
Location: Parlour Coffee, 468 Main Street
Date: Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Time: 12:15PM – 1:30PM
Drop by to meet the Writers-in-Residence and make an appointment to have your writing critiqued, or borrow from our travelling Book Bike collection!

Concert: North Star Falling
Branch: Millennium Library
Date: Thursday, October 13, 2016
Time: 12:10PM – 12:50PM
Room: Carol Shields Auditorium
Part of our Thursday Skywalk Concert Series featuring singer-songwriter Jeffery Straker performing songs from his albums including Vagabond and North Star Falling. Drop in, all are welcome!

1919-2019: The Legacy of the Winnipeg General Strike 
Branch/Location: Millennium Library
Date: Monday, October 17, 2016
Time: 7:00PM – 8:00PM
Room: Carol Shields Auditorium
Registration Required: Please Call 204-986-6450
Hear some stories about the legacy of the strike from the perspective of descendants of strikers, and share your own stories. Learn about plans to commemorate the centennial of the Strike in 2019.

Haunted Winnipeg : Ghost Stories from the Heart of the Continent 
Branch/Location: Millennium Library
Date: Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Time: 7:00PM – 8:00PM
Room: Carol Shields Auditorium
Matthew Komus shares some of the City’s best-known ghost stories, as well as some lesser known tales. Hear about the people who may be haunting Winnipeg’s historic sites while learning about the buildings unique and creepy history.

If none of these great programs tickle your fancy this fall, check out our Program Calendar for everything we’ve got going on!


What’s Your Style?


– Ignacio Estrada

At this time of year it seems odd to think about teaching and learning. There’s no school, it’s prime vacation time, and people are looking at ways to kick back and disengage their brains.  But knowing and understanding your learning style, whether you’re an adult or a child, can help you to make the most of your holidays and leisure time, not to mention making learning easier and more fun.

Studies have shown that learners can be grouped into three broad categories: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. So, if you’re a visual learner like me, you enjoy reading, looking at charts, maps and diagrams, and other visual media like photographs and paintings. If you prefer audiobooks, music, podcasts and live theatre you’re probably an auditory learner. The kinesthetic learners among us are those who prefer to actively take part in whatever is going on – hands-on demonstrations, interactive displays, and computer programs. They’re likely the person who tries new ways of doing things to see what happens. Not sure which category best fits visual.pngyour style? Try this easy exercise: imagine that you’re going on a long plane ride and you want to learn more about your destination before you arrive. You can only bring one item to do your research. What do you choose: a book to read, a book to listen to, or an interactive computer program? Whatever item you choose is a good indicator of your learning style.

Connecting with your learning style can not only help you learn better, it can enhance the quality of your leisure time. Take me for example, a visual learner. For my upcoming holidays, my list of things to do contains activities like taking in the travelling exhibit Anne Frank: A History for Today at the Millennium library, and planning my next trip using travel guides I’ve downloaded from Overdrive.

If you’re a fan of all things audio then take a listen to the audio books on Hoopla, or try the Naxos Jazz and  Naxos Music Library on our databases. Or you can check out the Tales at Night: Library Happy Hour at the Good Will Social Club where library staff will read aloud hot and sultry stories for your listening pleasure.

rositaLike to learn by doing? Join a cookbook or knitting club at a branch and share in the joys, sorrows, triumphs and tragedies that accompany these activities. Need to update your resume? Come to the Preparing a Resume program and learn how to showcase your skills.  Want to learn how to do almost anything? Check out lyndaLibrary, where you can find more learning opportunities than you’ve ever dreamed of.

Visual, audio, or kinesthetic, we’re all learning all the time. But knowing how you learn most effectively can save you a lot of time, effort and frustration. So, knowing what you know now, how are you going to learn next?


Beyond Anne’s Diary

Diary Young GirlI have a vivid memory of being in my local library as a kid and picking up The Diary of a Young Girl (also known as The Diary of Anne Frank). My Mom said to me: “I’m not sure if you should read that. It’s very sad!” She thought it best to shield me from the heartbreak of Anne’s story for just a little bit longer. Fast-forward about 15 years and I was asked to be one of the tour guides for the travelling exhibit currently at Millennium Library – Anne Frank: A History for Today. At this point, I had seen the play multiple times and even visited the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, but I still hadn’t done the diary justice.

So, I just recently read the famed book and of course my Mom was right, it is a heartbreaking story! Most people know what happened to Anne, her family, and the six million other Jewish people the Nazis systematically murdered (not to mention the other groups Hitler persecuted based on ethnicity, ability, sexuality, etc.). It’s a devastating piece of history, but when reading the diary there are moments where you somehow forget how the story ends. Anne’s writing is eloquent and you can’t help but be sucked in by the unexpected humour, glimpses of teenage romance, and Anne’s perpetual charm.

As Anne’s diary is a cultural phenomenon, I was not entirely surprised to find a variety of other books about her life. The following titles take the diary in new directions and cross into different genres. No matter what your age, there is a version of Anne’s story for you. Each of these books can be found at the Winnipeg Public Library, but be sure to keep searching as this is just a fraction of our collection on Anne Frank, the Holocaust, and World War II.


Anne Frank MullerAnne Frank: The Biography

In this first biography of Anne Frank, Melissa Müller’s thorough research creates a compelling portrait of Anne’s life. Originally printed in 1998, this book contains interviews with family and friends, as well as previously unpublished letters and documents. A new edition of this biography was released in 2014, full of even more information that has since emerged. These documents, along with the Frank’s family tree and an epilogue by one of the family’s helpers, Miep Gies, shine light on this incredible girl.


Anne Frank House BioThe Anne Frank House Authorized Graphic Biography

This biography in graphic novel form is an illustrated account of Anne’s life. New York Times bestselling authors, Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón, seamlessly work Anne’s story into the history of World War II and the Holocaust. The book contains a concise chronology of events in the history of the Frank family – an extremely helpful tool for any reader.


Anne Frank Hudson-GoffAnne Frank

This graphic novel by Elizabeth Hudson-Goff focuses on both sides of the attic – life before going into hiding and a glimpse at what her final days in a concentration camp may have looked like. A quick read that can easily be finished in one sitting, illustrations bring a new dimension to this famous story of survival.


Anne Frank Poems AgosinDear Anne Frank: Poems

A poetry collection that is a tribute to Anne’s life. In most pieces, Marjorie Agosín holds a conversation with Anne, addressing her courage and curiosity. Poetry, and the dialogue Agosín creates, brings Anne’s narrative to life in a unique way.



Anne Frank PooleAnne Frank

A beautifully illustrated picture book that relays Anne’s story – from birth to death – to a younger audience. By explaining how the Franks end up in hiding, Josephine Poole provides an introduction to the Holocaust for children that is easy to understand. The story ends on a positive note, with Otto, Anne’s father, receiving her diary after the war. The diary ensures that the rest of the Frank family will live on after their senseless deaths.


Anne Frank WorldAnne Frank in the World, 1929-1945

This book is a history in pictures published by the Anne Frank House. While the focus is primarily on the Holocaust, the book is framed by Anne’s story. By continually returning to photos of the Franks, the reader is reminded that the victims of the Holocaust are not just a statistic but are real people.




Anne Frank Exhibit

The travelling exhibit has come all the way from the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam! It officially launched on Monday, July 11, at the Millennium Library, where it will run until September 3rd. We encourage everyone to spend some time looking at the beautifully crafted panels.

There are also a number of guided tours available, in English or French, that you can register for by calling 204-986-6489. Each tour will begin in the Carol Shields Auditorium (second floor) and will last up to 90 minutes. Those who want to book group tours for more than 10 people can register by calling 204-986-6458.

  • Stephanie

Our authors, our stories

On Saturday, May 7, Millennium Library hosted our first ever Local Author Fair, which featured 40 Winnipeg and Manitoba authors. In the morning we heard talks from three on their personal journeys through writing and publishing, which I thought I’d share with you (as well as a bonus one at the end).

mamieFirst to speak was Elizabeth Murray, author of Holding on to Mamie. It was gut-wrenching to hear her talk about the need she felt to write her memoir, in order to deal with how her mother’s dementia poisoned their relationship and turned mother against daughter. About her book:

“As her dementia advanced, Mamie wrote a multitude of notes that evidence the anger and paranoia that are often symptomatic of it. This memoir offers unique insight into this inner turmoil, as well as the fears and frustrations of her daughter and primary caregiver.”

ensNext was Melinda Friesen, author of the dystopian novel Enslavement (book one of the One Bright Future series). In addition to speaking about how she got into writing as a stay-at-home mom, Melinda told us about how and why she and her team started the new Winnipeg company Rebelight Publishing. About her book:

“‘One World. One Currency. One Bright Future.’ That’s the promise made by OneEarth Bank after a global economic collapse—but only for those who obey. When Rielle’s parents refuse to comply, government officials force her into a Community Service Contract—a legalized form of slavery—and sell her to a wealthy, abusive banker, who might nevertheless hold the key to Rielle’s freedom.”

dancing.jpgLast to speak was Daniel Perron, author of Dancing Gabe: One Step at a Time. He told us how he unexpectedly found himself writing a book about a local celebrity and the many things he’s had to learn in order to see it self-published. About his book: 

“He was diagnosed with autism at the age of three, institutionalized at six, and non-verbal until he was ten…. Then became one of the most recognized and adored figures in Winnipeg. This is the journey of Gabe Langlois, his mother, his family, his friends, and the many medical professionals, local media and sports figures who influenced his life.”

There were dozens of other books at our fair in the afternoon (for a short time you can still find them all listed here).

For a small taste, here’s one. Because, you know, chocolate.

Chocolatour: A Quest for the World’s Best Chocolate by Doreen choco.jpgPendgracs

A delicious chocolaty tour, introducing us to chocolatiers, chocolatemakers, cocoa growers and chocolate events around the world. My kind of tourism. 

Want to learn more about our local authors? Get in touch, or stay tuned for our next Local Author Fair in November.

Keep on reading!


“Secret” Things the Library Can Do for You (Part 1)


shh. secret - Young boy with his finger over his mouth


Ok, they aren’t really secrets, but there are some things we offer here at the library that may as well be. Often, my family and friends are surprised by something I refer to. Maybe it’s because these aren’t programs that are featured in our bi-monthly newsletter, but services that we always offer. Or maybe we have to work on tooting our own horn. So in the interest of tooting, here are some of things I wish more people knew they could get from us.  There are a ton of these, but I’m going to start by mentioning four, and save the rest for next time.


Personalized book recommendations

One thing I wish more people knew about is how much staff LOVE giving book recommendations. It’s not always a quick process, but we love searching out new books for you. Talk to your local library person and see what happens! Side note – we might consult our website or our NoveList service, which you can also access yourself with your library card. You can search for books by appealing terms like “character-driven,” and “suspenseful”.


We’re not quiet

ottomancomedy jpgI’m always amused when people assume the library is still a quiet place. I suppose it can be sometimes. But we also host groups socializing, friends meeting up, kids running around and climbing on our animal ottomans and lots of programming in our public areas, like Folk Fest (for adults and kids), Library Out Loud, Comedy Fest, storytelling and more.


A spot just for you

All of our 20 locations have comfy armchairs for lounging and tables to work at. We have desks with plugs nearby for laptops and other gadgets. Some areas of the library are busier and noisier and welcome groups. Other sections tend to be quieter. Staff can tell you which are which. Millennium, Louis Riel, Henderson, and Sir William Stephenson Libraries all have Tutorial rooms that are great for small groups, and a large dedicated quiet study room. Check here for more information about booking a room. And of course our much-photographed sunny terrace.


Bonus tip: You can now tour all of Millennium Library streetview-style! Check out all the little corners you may not have had a reason to visit in person yet:


Cheap used books (and free for non-profits!)

All branches have ongoing used book sales where you can pick up A BAG OF BOOKS for $5.60. That’s right. A BAG. Some of these are withdrawn from our collection, but many were donations. All money goes toward new books for the library. So you can load up and help the library at the same time. Also, non-profits can get books for free. It’s true.


My circle drawing skills need some work!


I can’t let you go without reminding you of our worst-kept secret – we are always planning a zillion programs for you. We’re trying lots of things in the spring that we’ve never done before!

More secrets to come! Or for a sneak peek, chat with your local branch and they’ll fill you in.


Keep on reading!

– Erica


Colour Me Happy

This month Westwood Library is on trend with the latest craze: adult colouring! That’s right, colouring books with intricate detailed designs, aimed at adults, are the hottest thing going right now. The idea is to disengage from the stressful adult world by revisiting childhood, and focusing on the simple joy of colouring instead of the many worries competing for your attention. Adherents say it’s a great tool for easing anxiety and dealing with pressure; women in France, where colouring books now outsell cookbooks, say the practice is more effective than antidepressants.

Colouring page with intricate designs.

Find out for yourself on Saturdays, November 14 and 21 at Westwood Library’s colouring for grown-ups drop-in. We’ll be providing pencil crayons and colouring sheets in a range of designs – including geometric patterns, animals, garden scenes, and more! – from 1-3pm. Stop by for as long or as little as you like, and see what it’s all about!

Meanwhile, if you’re interested in more serious mindfulness practices, or true art therapy (in which you develop skills and create your own original works), the library offers all kinds of great reads to help you get started.

Cover image of Fully Present: The Science, Art, and Practice of MindfulnessFully Present: The Science, Art, and Practice of Mindfulness introduces the concept of mindfulness – that is, “the art of paying attention with an open and curious mind to present-moment experiences” – along with scientific explanations of how the practice positively affects the body, and guidance for introducing mindfulness to your everyday life. For more information on mindfulness techniques and how to integrate them into your daily routine, try The Rough Guide to Mindfulness or The Mindfulness Workbook.

Cover image of Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life

If you’re interested in a more detailed exploration of mindfulness, check out the 
classic bestseller Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life. The 10th anniversary edition linked to here includes a new afterword by the author. Also of interest is Healing Emotions: Conversations with the Dalai Lama on Mindfulness, Emotions, and Health, which explores encounters between Buddhist traditions of believing the mind can heal the body, and Western medicine, which is uncovering evidence to support those beliefs.

Cover image of Uncovering happiness : overcoming depression with mindfulness and self-compassion.You can also explore mindfulness techniques as they relate to specific life situations. There are guide books for people who are managing shyness, anxiety, addiction, or depression. Some mindfulness techniques aim to help people with illnesses ranging from cancer to chronic pain. There are even mindfulness guides for parenting, quitting smoking, and working in public service. It just goes to show that mindfulness can be a part of anyone’s life.

Cover image of Art Heals: How Creativity Cures the Soul.
If you’re looking to go deeper than simple relaxation through colouring and mindfulness, try delving into the world of art therapy. In Art Heals: How Creativity Cures the Soul, expert Shaun McNiff explains how a variety of forms of creative expression – from painting to performing – allow individuals to share, interpret, and heal their emotions.

cover image of Art Journals & Creative Healing: Restoring the Spirit Through Self-Expression.To engage in art therapy yourself, check out The Art Therapy Sourcebook and Art Journals & Creative Healing: Restoring the Spirit Through Self-Expression for techniques and other advice on using art to overcome life’s challenges and experience personal growth. The Magic of Mess Painting: The Creativity Mobilization Technique and Brush Meditation: A Japanese Way to Mind & Body Harmony both examine specific forms of art therapy. Art therapy can even help us connect with other people in our lives, as described in Creative Therapy for Children With Autism, ADD, And Asperger’s: Using Artistic Creativity To Reach, Teach, and Touch Our Children.

So take a deep breath, relax … and express yourself!

— Lauren

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!


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.

Make Something New!

By now it should be common knowledge that everyone learns in different ways. Some people learn by reading, some people learn by watching; or if you’re like me, you learn by doing

Since the beginning of public libraries, they have always been a place of exploration, discovery, and learning. In keeping true to these core values and it keeping up with the fast pace of technology, we’ve introduced a variety of new ways for our patrons to explore, experiment, and in some cases, get a little messy!

Little Bits


Little Bits is a super cool introduction into the world of circuitry. Each bit has a colour, and each colour has a particular function. Connect a bunch of the magnetic bits together and see what happens! You can make an alarm, a bubble wand, and so much more.


Magformers are a great building block toy. Not quite lego, not quite kinect, but a whole lot of fun! We recently had a set sitting on a desk in the business office and come lunch hour there were always one of two people building away on some impossibly tall tower, or a polyhedron out of some giant Dungeons and Dragons game! Magformers might be marketed for kids, but they’re anything but.

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/60307041″>MaKey MaKey – An Invention Kit for Everyone</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user949394″>jay silver</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Next up is one of my favourites – The Makey Makey! Are you tired of your boring keyboard? Ever wanted to play Pac-Man with nothing but a bowl of fruit to steer your little yellow chomper? Well even if you haven’t, you can! The Makey-Makey makes anything into a keyboard or controller, you simply need a computer and an imagination.

Lego Mindstorm Robot

Probably our most complicated new piece of equipment is the Lego Mindstorm. The learning curve is a bit of a challenge for this awesome introduction into robotics and simple coding, but the payoffs are well worth the struggle. Watching your creation move, turn, and perform other tasks is a huge thrill!

All of these cool new additions and many more creative ideas are coming to the library for you to play with and explore over the coming months. Keep your eyes peeled for Maker programs coming to a branch near you!


And they’re off!

Story time Registration

If you’re reading this post the day it was posted, then you’re reading it on Friday, September 12. This also just happens to be “Fall Story Time Registration Day” at all the libraries. If the Kentucky Derby is known as the “most exciting 2 minutes in all of Sport”, then I think it’s fair to say that “Fall Storytime Registration Day” is the “most exciting 30 minutes in all of public librarianship”. At least it seems that way at our branch. Excited parents will often line up outside our library doors before we even open and make their way to our info desk in not quite a running gait but definitely more than a walking pace to make sure they are registered. Other parents wait at home with their fingers flexed waiting for the clock to flip from 9:59 am for them to press “send” on their smartphones. Our most popular programs seem to be Baby Rhyme Time, aimed for children anywhere from newborns to 2 years old, and Time for Twos, which is geared to children aged 2 to 3. For these programs, children and their caregivers sit in a semi-circle on comfy “floor chairs” that support their backs. The children usually sit in their caregiver’s laps, but sometimes a wander around the story-time room is more interesting for them. Each week, following a theme, the leader will sing songs, introduce rhymes and stories and maybe even incorporate puppets! (Disclaimer: not every session may have puppets. Let’s be reasonable here.) Our libraries also offer preschool story-times aimed at 3-5 year olds. Many libraries offer “family story times” that are open to caregivers and their children and aim to appeal to a wide age range.

The hope is that the caregivers will be given some ideas and inspiration to use at home with their children, and establish the roots of reading.

There are six early literacy skills that if learned early on will help create life-long readers.

  • Tell a Story! Learning to tell a story helps children develop thinking and comprehension skills.
  • Have Fun with Books! Children who enjoy books will want to learn to read.
  • Learn about Print! Being familiar with printed language helps children feel comfortable with books and understand that print is useful.
  • Learn about the Sounds of Speech! Being able to hear the small sounds in words helps children sound out printed words.
  • Learn your ABCs! Knowing the names and sounds of the letters helps children sound out printed words.
  • Learn your Words! Knowing many words helps children recognize printed words and understand what they read.

I say that “Fall Storytime Registration Day “is the most exciting 30 minutes in public librarianship” because the flurry usually dies down after the first half hour. But unlike the Kentucky Derby there are usually not as many fancy hats and we discourage the drinking of mint juleps before noon.


While some programs fill up immediately, there are other programs that still have space, depending on the program, the date/time and the location, so if you are interested in learning more about our fall story time offerings, please visit our website at http://www.winnipeg.ca/library or contact your local branch directly.