Get to Know Your MPL Team!

If it’s been a while since you’ve visited the Library, we’d like to help you get to know all of us!

Trish is our new CEO and Chief Librarian. She’s an experienced leader who’s worked with public libraries for 30 years. We’re excited to have a new CEO who’s so passionate about experiencing and contributing to everything Midland has to offer.

Our circulation coordinator, Amy, has been with MPL for 22 years! She makes sure everything runs smoothly when you make a visit to check items in and out, focuses on great customer service, and takes care of our circulation team, including Kim, Linda, Michelle, Sandy, and Sarah – all the happy faces you see at the main desk.

Angie and Nicole are our technical services experts – they get all the new materials ready to be checked out, take care of interlibrary loans, and keep our catalogue and account services running!

I’m your community engagement coordinator, Faith. I oversee our programs and outreach, and do lots of my own, including business services, Indigenous culture programs, volunteer tax clinics, and more.

Kelsi joined us as our children’s services coordinator this spring! She takes care of all of the kids and families who come into the children’s department, and offers great programs.

Jenn is our adult and teen services coordinator – you probably know her from a book club for tweens, teens, or adults, or our French conversation group with La Clé, or seniors’ programs.

Melanie is the newest member of our team! She just joined us as MakerPlace coordinator, and she’s excited to dive in with all the exciting technology in our Maker and Media labs, and to book your self-serve appointments in the space.

Beverley’s our program assistant, who’s doing our great virtual Ways to Wellness and Try This At Home programs!

You may also be interested in some of our exciting new lending programs and collections, including Express Reads for adult fiction, a new dyslexia-friendly collection in our children’s department, and our outdoor equipment loans, thanks to the Culture Alliance in the Heart of Georgian Bay!

Summer Fun @ MPL

Our summer reading programs run June 25-September 6, and we have lots of options for all ages. You can read, report and repeat, all online! Download the free Beanstack app or head to our programs page for a link to our summer reading challenges. It’s easy to set up one summer reading account and do a whole family’s reporting!

Kids and teens can record their reading online and do fun activities with their families to earn badges and win prizes, including a super reader lawn sign, free pizza from Papa’s Pizza Mama’s Chicken, or gift cards, including a $100 grand prize, from fun local businesses! For teens, there’s also a $100 Amazon gift card grand prize!

Adults don’t have to let kids have all the fun – if they log their reading on Beanstack, people who complete our adult summer reading challenge will get a cool MPL camping mug, and can put in their ballots for a grand prize draw that’s pretty ‘cool’!

MPL is also joining in on Simcoe Reads – 7 libraries, 7 books, 1 winner! Our competitors are Barrie, Essa, Innisfil, New Tecumseth, Ramara, and Bradford West Gwillimbury Public Libraries, but we know we’ll come out ahead! The champions and books will be announced July 2 – watch for updates and join in on book discussions and author visits to show you’re #mplproud.

You can find great free on-demand activities and details on our online programs for all ages under the Programs tab. We hope to connect with you for an exciting summer!

There’s More @ Your Library!

If you haven’t taken a look at our website in a while, you might find something new and exciting!

First, if you’re missing the reading recommendations MPL staff give in person, we can help! Whether you know exactly what you want, or if you want us to surprise you with some choices, you can fill out a short form at www.midlandlibrary.com/personal-reading-recommendations and we’ll get back to you with recommendations just for you! You can also call 705-526-4216 for staff help.

Along with all our traditional collections, we’ve started loaning some new and exciting things, including park passes, wifi hotspots, light therapy lamps, Maker @ Home and Adventure kits, and much more! Find all the details at www.midlandlibrary.com/cool-things-to-borrow.

You’re probably joining in on our online programs, but if you missed one, you can find lots of our recorded programs at www.midlandlibrary.com/free-online-activities, as well as curated resources from around the web and helpful tips for virtual learning. Our early literacy and family storytime recordings are there, as well as the videos and supply lists you need for some of our great DIY programs, author visits, and much more!

Our e-databases page can help with all your learning and research! Press Reader is new – access  more than 7,000 of the world’s top newspapers and magazines as soon as they’re available on shelves. There are no limits on downloads. Use Press Reader via their free app or on the web by selecting “Sign In,” choosing their “Library or Group Sign In” option, and selecting the Simcoe County Library Cooperative.

LinkedIn Learning is an amazing resource! With thousands of courses taught by industry professionals in everything from design, business, photography, to learning to play musical instruments, these videos, learning paths, and certifications can help you meet your personal and professional goals.

Those are just two highlights – we have online resources to help you work on your car, find teen health information, research your family tree, pass your driving test, and much more!

You can get to our e-book and e-database collections here.

Celebrate Black History Month at your Library!

Join us for a free online film screening and discussion on February 23 at 6:30pm. We’ll be watching True North: The Rise of Toronto Basketball. After the Toronto Raptors’ historic NBA championship and a record-setting number of Canadian draft picks, director Ryan Sidhoo follows 12-year-old Elijah Fisher, 15-year-old Keone Davis, and 18-year-old Cordell Veira as they navigate Toronto’s youth basketball scene in pursuit of their own NBA dreams. Email Faith at fshergold@midlandlibrary.com or call 705-526-4216 ext. 3305 to register and receive the online meeting information.

If you can’t make the film screening, you can place a hold on some amazing items in the Library’s collection.

Bryan Prince’s My Brother’s Keeper tells the story of African Canadians who fled slavery but then returned to the United States to enlist in the Union forces during the Civil War. Entire Black communities were profoundly changed by these decisions.

Earlier in Black Canadian history, on the night of April 10, 1734, Montréal burned. Marie-Joseph Angélique, a twenty-nine-year-old slave, was arrested, tried, and found guilty of arson. Afua Cooper’s The Hanging of Angélique : the Untold Story of Canadian Slavery and the Burning of Old Montréal is the result of 15 years of extensive research, uncovering the trial records that serve as a part of what may be the oldest slave narrative in North America, and complicating the idea that Canada was the haven at the end of the Underground Railroad.

You may want to pick up the memoir by Willie O’Ree, Willie: the Game-changing Story of the NHL’s First Black Player. In 1958 O’Ree was signed to the Boston Bruins but playing in the minors. When he played his first NHL game against the Montreal Canadiens and looked at the newspaper the next day, he discovered that he’d broken the league’s colour barrier.

These books, and many more memoirs, histories, and titles focused on anti-racism, are all available at your Library. Call us or use our online form to get personalized reading recommendations!

Top Picks of 2020!

People in Midland definitely kept reading in 2020, whether they came into the Library, used our curbside pickup service, or read e-books! These were the most frequently borrowed books and movies for adults, teens, and kids.

Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens, was the most borrowed item across all categories. This meditative and mysterious coming of age novel was a highlight of many people’s 2020 reading lists. Everyone loves mysteries and thrillers: Louise Penny, John Grisham, John Sandford, Linwood Barclay, Ruth Ware, and Janet Evanovich were also in our top 10.

For non-fiction, memoirs by Jesse Thistle and Michelle Obama were our most borrowed items. Many people took road trips closer to home, making Ron Brown’s Backroads of Ontario a hit.

Teen readers were split between the dystopian worlds of Eric Walters and Suzanne Collins, and the diverse realism of Angie Thomas’ On the Come Up, Ibi Aanu Zoboi’s Pride (a contemporary retelling of Pride and Prejudice), and Julie Murphy’s body positive Dumplin’.

Big Nate was the big hit for the younger crowd. Lincoln Peirce’s hilarious illustrated series took seven of the top 10 spots in novels for children. Kids were looking for hands on things to do – top non-fiction picks included How to Draw books by Angela Nguyen, Minecraft and LEGO books, and 20 Recipes Kids Should Know by Esme Washburn.

Many of our top 10 borrowed movies were blockbusters or award winners, including Judy, Joker, Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood, the Downton Abbey movie, and Avengers: Endgame. Toy Story 4, the live action Aladdin, and Maleficent, Mistress of Evil brought some family fare to the top picks. There were also some gritty movies that made a big impression with our patrons while being somewhat overlooked elsewhere: Edward Norton’s mystery of mid-century New York, Motherless Brooklyn; the action thriller with an amazing cast, 21 Bridges; and the suspenseful Ian McKellen / Helen Mirren tour de force, The Good Liar.

Call, manage your account online, or use the free Simcoe County Libraries app to place a hold on any of these items, and make a visit or use our curbside service to pick them up!

Fall Into Reading!

As the weather cools off, you may be looking for your next great read. We can help, and we have a special fall reading challenge for every age!

Every bookworm needs their brain food! In our Bookworms Fall Reading Challenge, kids ages 0-12 can track their reading via the free Beanstack app to earn badges and have more chances at great prizes! Each week until December 21 one reader will win a $10 gift certificate to Georgian Bay Books!

Teens and adults don’t miss out, either! Our 10 to Try Fall Reading Challenge is open to everyone ages 12 and up, and asks you to broaden your reading experience by reading a book in each of ten categories (a book by an Indigenous author, a book in translation, a book adapted for film). There are book suggestions listed in the challenge if you don’t have books in mind already. Track via the free Beanstack app – everyone who finishes the challenge by December 21 will win an MPL camping mug (while supplies last).

If you’re having trouble finding a new book, we have lots of ways to help. We have access to a great resource called NoveList. If you click on a favourite print title in our online catalogue, it will display a dropdown section called NoveList Content, which includes information on the series, readalike titles, and other authors you might enjoy. You can also go straight to NoveList for an in-depth search, from our eDatabases page.

Library staff are experts at providing recommendations if you come to the Library during our open hours. We also have an online personalized reading recommendations page – give us a little bit of information about what you like to read, and we’ll send along a few choices. You can find it here. We’re offering sneak peeks at new books in our collections with quick weekly videos for adults, teens, and children – find them on our Facebook and YouTube pages, thanks to the Government of Canada and the United Way of Simcoe Muskoka.

Celebrate With Us!

Midland Public Library is excited to celebrate Ontario Public Library Week, October 19-23, with special online events, projects to take home and enjoy with family, and our Food For Fines forgiveness program.

Between October 19-23, bring in a non-perishable food item to receive $1 in fine forgiveness (up to $10). Throughout the week, while supplies last, families can register for a free cookie decorating box for an MPL Bake Off (decorate your cookies as your favourite book & share photos with us!) and pick up Mo Willems Take & Make crafts and activities, to correspond with new videos from MPL.

On Monday October 19 at 2 pm, we’ll be hosting a free online screening and discussion of two short documentaries from the National Film Board: Ladies and Gentlemen, Leonard Cohen and Still Waters: The Poetry of P.K. Page. Call Faith at 705-526-4216 ext. 3305 or email fshergold@midlandlibrary.com to get the online meeting link.

On Tuesday October 20 at 7pm teens can watch the book-to-film adaptation of All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven on NetFlix and live tweet about it from home! Hosted by Adult & Teen Services Coordinator, Jenn. Tweet along: @Midland_Library

The Library is thrilled to host international bestselling historical fiction author, Jennifer Robson for a virtual author visit on Wednesday, October 21 at 7pm. Jennifer is author of six novels set during and after the two world wars, including her most recent Canadian bestseller The Gown, a novel of the Royal Wedding of Queen Elizabeth II. Jennifer will be doing a brief reading from The Gown, followed by an interview with MPL Adult & Teen Services Coordinator, Jennifer Paquette. Patrons can register to receive the online meeting information by emailing Jennifer Paquette at jpaquette@midlandlibrary.com. This presentation is made possible with financial assistance from the Canada Council for the Arts through the Writers’ Union of Canada.

On Thursday, October 22 at 6:30pm the Midland Makers are having a special virtual How-To in 10 event. Follow along with experienced Makers as they show us fun maker projects that you can do at home in 10 minutes or less. Also, stop in to MPL starting Monday Oct. 19 and grab your very own LED Throwies Take and Make Kit. Then tune in to the Maker meeting for a live LED Throwies tutorial! Email makerplace@midlandlibrary.com for the online meeting details.

MPL is proud to celebrate the work of public libraries and library staff across the province, and pleased to share these exciting events with our community. Thanks for loving your library!

Celebrate PRIDE!

June is Pride Month, when members of the LGBTQIA+ community around the world come together to celebrate the freedom to be themselves and to achieve equal opportunity for members of the community.

Making sure that voices from the LGBTQIA+ community are heard is a great way to celebrate Pride.

Usually, Pride is celebrated all month long with gatherings such as parades and festivals. As with many things, this year is different, so we’ve compiled a list of books in the MPL collection that will help you celebrate Pride at home!

Happy Pride!

Books for Young Readers

Board Books

Pride Colors by Robin Stevenson

Pride Colors is a celebration of the deep unconditional love of a caregiver to a child. The message of this colourful board book is that you are free to be whoever you want to be, and you will always be loved!

Mommy, Mama and Me by Leslea Newman and Carol Thompson

This book is about the loving bond between a same-sex couple and their child. In Mommy, Mama and Me a toddler spends the day with their two moms, showing that there is no limit to what a loving family can do together.

Picture Books

When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff and Kaylani Juanita

When Aidan was born everyone thought he was a girl. After realizing that he was a transgender boy, Aidan’s parents helped him change the parts of his life that didn’t fit anymore. Now he is going to be a brother and he wants to make sure everything is perfect! When Aidan Became a Brother is a perfect book that will resonate with transgender children, reassure a child becoming an older sibling, and celebrate the many transitions a family can experience.

A Plan for Pops by Heather Smith

Lou spends every Saturday with Grandad and Pops. But everything changes when Pops has a fall. Then comes the terrible news that Pops will need a wheel chair for always. Unable to cope with his new circumstances, he becomes withdrawn and shuts himself in his room. Hearing Grandad trying to cheer up Pops inspires Lou to come up with a plan! A Plan for Pops is a story about intergenerational relationships and community!

For Ages 9-12

The Stonewall Riots: Coming Out in the Street by Gayle Pitman

This book is about a series of spontaneous demonstrations by members of the LGBTQ+ community in reaction to a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969. The riots are attributed as the spark that ignited the LGBTQ+ movement. The Stonewall Riots helps readers understand the legacy of the LGBTQ+ movement.  

The Mighty Heart of Sunny Saint James by Ashley Herring Blake  

When Sunny St. James receives a new heart, she decides to set off on a “New Life Plan”: 1) do amazing things she could never do before; 2) find a new best friend; 3) kiss a boy for the first time. Her “New Life Plan” seems to be racing forward, but when she meets her new best friend Quinn, Sunny questions whether she really wants to kiss a boy at all.

Books for Teens

When You Get the Chance by Tom Ryan & Robin Stevenson  

When their grandfather dies unexpectedly, cousins Mark and Talia travel from opposite sides of the country to help clean out the family cottage in Ontario. However, they would much rather be celebrating Pride in Toronto than dealing with family drama. When a series of complications throws everything up in the air, Mark and Talia – with Mark’s little sister Paige in tow- hit the road. A contemporary road trip novel full of family secrets and friendships, perfect for fans of David Levithan and Becky Albertalli.

The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan

Seventeen-year-old Rukhsana Ali tries her hardest to live up to her conservative Muslim parents’ expectations. But, when she’s caught kissing her girlfriend, Rukhsana is uprooted to Bangladesh and thrown into a world of tradition and arranged marriages. Will she find the courage to choose her own path?  This novel is full of humor, heart, and high-stakes drama.

Books for Adults

Rebent Sinner by Ivan Coyote

In this collection of personal essays, Coyote takes a “look back over thirty queer years” as a trans, nonbinary writer and spoken word performer. Coyote shares their journey with readers, including experiencing such indignities as not having access to a gender neutral bathroom, and meeting their “queer” heroes, all with a message of resilience, inclusion and hope.

High School by Tegan & Sara

This is the revelatory and unique story of Sara and Tegan Quin, identical twins from Calgary, Alberta, before they became the celebrated musicians and global LGBTQ icons we know today. Told in alternating chapters from both Tegan’s point of view and Sara’s, the book is a raw account of their grappling with their identity and sexuality and their coming of age.

10 Books to Help Your Family Prepare for Kindergarten

Marley Lauro, Children’s Services Coordinator

We know starting school can be scary! Get prepared by checking out our upcoming Get Ready for Kindergarten video series, and by requesting some of these great books!

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

It’s the first day of school in the forest, but Chester Raccoon doesn’t want to go. He begs Mrs. Raccoon to let him stay home — school is just too scary! But Mrs. Raccoon comforts Chester and shares a special family secret with him: the kissing hand. With the love of his mom and the power of the kissing hand, Chester feels brave enough to face his first day of school. This sweet modern classic is the perfect antidote to your little one’s worries about missing home.

The Pigeon Has to Go to School! by Mo Willems

Why does the Pigeon have to go to school? He already knows everything! And what if he doesn’t like it? What if the teacher doesn’t like him? What if he learns too much? Will the Pigeon be convinced that going to school is a good idea?

The Night Before Kindergarten by Natasha Wing

It’s the first day of school! Join the kids as they prepare for kindergarten, packing school supplies, posing for pictures, and the hardest part of all—saying goodbye to Mom and Dad. But maybe it won’t be so hard once they discover just how much fun kindergarten really is!

The Teacher’s Pet by Anica Mrose Rissi

When their class tadpoles are big enough, Mr. Stricter tells his students they can keep just one. The class chooses Bruno, the smallest of the bunch. But Bruno doesn’t stay that way for long. Soon, he’s grown into a giant, classroom-wrecking creature: he eats desks, he farts for show-and-tell, and he sneezes slime all over everything! With Mr. Stricter blinded by love for the pet, the students must step up and take matters into their own heroic hands.

Monstrous Manners: Manners at School by Bridget Heos

A young monster with no manners goes to a new school and learns the manners she should use from another student. This book is perfect for teaching your child about manners and classroom schedules.

We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins

It’s the first day of school for Penelope Rex, and she can’t wait to meet her classmates. But it’s hard to make human friends when they’re so darn delicious! That is, until Penelope gets a taste of her own medicine and finds she may not be at the top of the food chain after all.

First Day of School by Mercer Mayer

Little Critter is a bit nervous about starting school today. There’s a lot to be done before he can even get on the bus—he has to pick out his clothes, find his backpack, pack the perfect lunch, and say good-bye to Mom. Join Little Critter as he gets ready for this exciting day. Lift the flaps and find out what surprises are in store for Little Critter on his first day of school!

Amanda Panda Quits Kindergarten by Candice Ransom

Amanda Panda has BIG ideas for her first day of school. But when things don’t go according to plan, and when a pesky girl in a pink bow decides to be her best friend, she walks out on kindergarten and joins her brother in second grade. It takes an unlikely partner to fix Amanda’s terrible day—and to teach her about friendship, tolerance, and how to cope with life’s ups and downs.

Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes

Wemberly worried about spilling her juice, about shrinking in the bathtub, even about snakes in the radiator. She worried morning, noon, and night. “Worry, worry, worry,” her family said. “Too much worry.” And Wemberly worried about one thing most of all: her first day of school. But when she meets a fellow worrywart in her class, Wemberly realizes that school is too much fun to waste time worrying!

Mae’s First Day of School by Kate Berube

As Mae’s first day of school approaches she decides she IS. NOT. GOING. School is scary! What if the other kids don’t like her? Or what if she’s the only one who doesn’t know how to write? Or what if she misses her mom? Mae’s anxiety only builds as she walks to school. But then she meets Rosie and Ms. Pearl. Will making new friends show her that they can conquer their fears together?

Powerful Books About Anti-Black Discrimination and Structural Racism

Jenn Paquette, Adult & Teen Services Coordinator

We recognize the importance of educating ourselves and of holding space for, listening to, and learning from people who have been targeted for oppression.

Check out some of our favourite books to spark conversation about anti-Black discrimination and structural racism for a variety of readers – available here at your library.

Books for Young Readers:

Dream Big, Little One by Vashti Harrison – This book may be small, but it’s packed with big dreams to inspire young readers. Harrison profiles eighteen trailblazing Black women from history who all took a stand against a world that didn’t accept them!

Hands Up! by Breanna J. McDaniel – This picture book reclaims a charged phrase as part of a Black girl’s everyday life–hands up for a hug, hands up in class, hands up for a high five–before culminating in a moment of resistance at a protest march.

My Hair is a Garden by Cozbi A. Cabrera – Mackenzie is teased at school for her unruly hair, until her wise and comforting neighbour Miss Tille teaches her that natural Black hair is beautiful.

Books for Ages 9-12:

Blended by Sharon M. Draper – Eleven year-old Isabella struggles to feel whole; she’s constantly switching between her divorced parents’ houses. With a Black father and white mother, Isabella also feels like she’s constantly shifting identities. Will she ever feel whole if she’s only seen as half of this and half of that? It seems like nothing can bring Isabella’s family together – until Isabella and her brother Darren are stopped by police. A cell phone is mistaken for a gun and shots are fired.

It’s Trevor Noah : Born a Crime : Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah – The host of The Daily Show, Trevor Noah, tells the story of growing up half Black, half white in South Africa under and after apartheid in this young readers’ adaptation of his bestselling adult memoir.

Hidden Figures : The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly – This book celebrates the pivotal contributions of NASA’s African-American women mathematicians to the American space program, including how Jim Crow laws segregated them despite their successes.

Books for Teens:  

Dear Martin by Nic Stone – Justyce McAllister is at the top of his class at his predominantly white prep school, but he’s becoming increasingly aware of the microaggressions of his classmates. When Justyce and his classmate attract the attention of an off-duty cop, and shots are fired, Justyce finds himself at the centre of a racial profiling case.

Black Enough : Stories of Being Young & Black in America edited by Ibi Aanu Zoboi – Zoboi edits this anthology of stories by some of our favourite authors for teens, including Jason Reynolds, Renee Watson, and more. The variety in their work lets us know there are innumerable ways to be “Black enough”.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – Sixteen-year-old Starr finds herself in two worlds: the poor (mostly Black) neighbourhood where she lives with her family and the fancy (mostly white) prep school she attends. The balance between her two worlds shatters when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend at the hands of a police officer. Starr is the only one who can speak the truth about what happened that night, but what she has to say (or doesn’t say) has serious consequences.

Books for Adults:

The Skin We’re In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power by Desmond Cole – Cole writes with intimate knowledge of the systematic inequality in our country, and more specifically in law enforcement. Cole tackles Canada’s “smugness and naïve assumptions of a post-racial nation” by chronicling a single year, 2017, in the struggle against racism in this country.

So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo– Not sure where to start? Oluo offers readers a user’s guide to starting and navigating conversations about race. She addresses issues like privilege, police brutality, micro-aggressions and the Black Lives Matter movement head-on and with a rare ability to be straightforward and funny at the same time.

 No Ashes in the Fire : Coming of Age Black & Free in America by Darnell Moore – a deeply personal memoir from journalist and activist Darnell Moore about growing up subjected to racism and homophobia in Camden, N.J., in the 1980s and ’90s. While Moore shows the brutality that many young, queer Black people face, his book offers hope for building a world where “those who survive on society’s edges can thrive”.

You’ll find more great reads on these lists:

Ibram X. Kendi: An Antiracist Reading List

10 Recent Books on Racism in Canada and the US

NPR: This List…is a Start, Not a Panacea