Sunday, 15 October 2017

Sunday October 15, 2017 An Apple a Day

Everyone has heard the phrase, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, but have you ever thought about what it actually means? We really are what we eat as the components in foods are broken down to become the building blocks that form our bodies and provide energy to keep us going so if we aren’t eating the right foods in the property quantities our bodies start breaking down. Until recently, when someone said the word diet, most people would think of weight loss efforts but a new field of science is re-discovering and refining age-old wisdom about the connection between food and health.  The library is a great source of some of the latest books, e-books and audiobook materials available, whether it’s Dr. Oz or Ancient Chinese medicine that interests you, we are a great place to begin your research to better health.

Obviously, when talking about food the first thing that comes to mind is the digestive system but the rise in the incidents of allergies, sensitivities and intolerances suggests that something about the way we are currently eating is going wrong. While you should always see a doctor if you have any health concerns or are considering making any major changes to the way you eat, being an informed patient can help in decision making. The books listed are just a sample of some of the newest thinking, there are many more which examine a wide variety of other healthy eating options.

 The Clever Gut Diet: How to Revolutionize your Body from the Inside Out by Dr. Michael Mosley is based on the idea that the gut acts like a second brain in the body and looks at how it plays a crucial role in both maintaining your health and your weight. Mosley postulates that the gut which contains millions of neurons that effect your mood, your immune system and your body function has been damaged due to Western societies poor eating habits and the overuse of antibiotics that have killed off the good bacteria which has caused the epidemic of food intolerances. His book focuses on simple ways to ease the damage and distress in your body and restore proper bacterial balance.

Author Dale Pinnock who holds degrees in Human Nutrition and Herbal Medicine and bills himself as the Medicinal Chef is one of the UK’s top proponents of restorative nutrition. Two of his most recent books are Eat Your Way to Happiness: Lift your mood and tackle Anxiety and Depression by Changing the Way you Eat and Eat Your Way to a Healthy Gut: Tackle Digestive Complaints by Changing the Way you Eat, in 50 recipes.  Each book looks at the physiology and anatomy of the digestive system, explaining how the body uses and misuses the food we give it. The first book looks at way our affect and how to eat to improve and regulate thinking and moods. The second volume tackles ways to improve existing digestive problems and prevent other concerns with recipes that promote gut health.

Television favourite and bestselling author, Dr. Mehmet Oz, has recently released Food Can Fix It: The Superfood Switch to Fight Fat, Defy Aging, And Eat Your Way Healthy which features a simple eating plan designed to heal the body, improve your mood and regulate your weight. The research sited in Food Can Fix It is the same source material as the other books but it’s easy to read, friendly and step by step approach makes for an interesting read. The book has received a number of prestigious endorsements and has followed Oz’s other books onto the New York Times bestseller. 

Lori Kauzlarick

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Sunday October 8, 2017 Family History @ Your Library

If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about your family tree, then the Family History Forum is your chance to get some help from the experts. The Thunder Bay Public Library is holding its fourth annual Family History Forum at the Mary J.L. Black Branch Library on Saturday, October 14th from 11-4pm. This year’s theme is Ancestors at War: not just at family reunions.  Local genealogist Dave Nicholson will be the host for the day’s activities. This event is intended to bring together family history enthusiasts at all levels. It is an opportunity to learn about new or different information sources, share stories, and get to know the faces of the genealogical community in Thunder Bay.

The morning session will run from 11am-12pm with an introduction to genealogy basics (such as steps to get started and an overview of standard resources) delivered by the Ontario Genealogical Society – Thunder Bay Branch. This session will be particularly useful to anyone who is brand new to the genealogical process.

The afternoon session will begin at 1pm and include presentations from David Ratz (Lakehead University – Department of History) and Janet Roy (Ontario Genealogical Society). There will be a Q&A session to wrap up the afternoon as well as a variety of door prizes for those in attendance. Light refreshments will also be offered through the afternoon (sponsored by Rose N Crantz Roasting Co).

While commercials for ancestry websites can make it seem as simple as a couple of clicks to find your entire family tree, not all the answers can be found online. Basic family history research techniques include talking to relatives about the stories of their ancestors and working back from the present to the past, one generation a time. The Thunder Bay Public Library works closely with the Thunder Bay branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society as well as with local organizations and community groups with a vested interest in preserving and promoting access to local history and genealogical resources.

The Family History Forum is free of charge and takes place from 11-4pm on Saturday, October 14, 2017 at the Mary J.L. Black Branch Library. No registration is required. Connect with this event on Facebook to get updates leading up to the day. Contact Jesse Roberts at for more information or with questions.

Jesse Roberts

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Sunday October 1st, 2017 Community Hubs: Creating a New Blue Ocean

Public Libraries face unparalleled challenges in this time of rapid digital change. Their traditional user base is shrinking and their competitors are getting bigger and stronger. Their use is in long term decline and some people are starting to question their relevance and viability. Community Hubs are a new model of service delivery which give public libraries the potential to remove themselves from a bloody ‘red ocean’ of rivals fighting over peoples culture and leisure time. The rivals are big corporations like Amazon and Google who not only compete for people’s time, but also offer some of the services which public libraries have provided. It is possible, for example, to order almost every book in print and get it delivered to your door the following day by Amazon. Public libraries cannot compete with the collection size or delivery times of Amazon.

And Google searches have made traditional public library reference inquiries almost redundant. But public libraries still make sense in the digital age because their collections include many items that are not in print and available from Amazon; and Google does not provide the quality control of information that public libraries can provide. We can fact check fake news and point people in the direction of reliable information sources. Municipal authorities still invest in public libraries because they are a freely available community service with few financial or other barriers to access. At the same time there is growing pressure to get a better return on this investment by providing a wider range of services in partnership with other organizations. Public libraries have endured for over 150 years but they are no longer unique. All of the services that public libraries provide are also being offered by a widening range of bigger and better competitors. The red ocean is getting more and more bloody.

The private sector has vast resources at its disposal to produce ever more innovative products and public libraries cannot match this level of investment and innovation. Public libraries are starting to lose their Unique Selling Point but have an opportunity to regain this competitive advantage by transforming themselves into Community Hubs. This is classic Blue Ocean strategy: how to create uncontested market space and make the competition irrelevant (Kim & Mauborgne, 2005).
Community Hubs provide a central access point for a range of needed health and social services, along with cultural, recreational, and green spaces to nourish community life. Whether virtual or located in a physical building, whether located in a high-density urban neighbourhood or an isolated rural community, each Community Hub is as unique as the community it serves and is defined by local needs, services and resources. Community Hubs is not a new term or concept and has been around for some time in Canada and elsewhere.

What is new is the focus on the potential of public libraries to become Community Hubs. In Canada, for example, the Ontario Provincial Government has highlighted public libraries as an ideal location for developing Community Hubs. The physical infrastructure already exists in most communities and there is a natural alignment between the purpose, values and vision of public libraries and the Community Hub concept.  When people think of Community Hubs, they think of places where people come together to get services, meet one another and plan together. Community hubs are gathering places that help communities live, build and grow together. No Community Hub is like another, as each brings together a variety of different services, programs and/or social and cultural activities to reflect local community needs.

By becoming Community Hubs Thunder Bay Public Library can apply the Blue Ocean strategy of creating uncontested market space that is ripe for growth. We can retain existing patrons and attract new and different service users. When public libraries transform into Community Hubs they can become not only the biggest fish in the pond, but the only fish. This strategic shift – termed value innovation – will create powerful leaps in value both for the public library and its patrons, rendering rivals obsolete and unleashing new demand.

John Pateman

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Sunday September 24th, 2017 Sheila Burnford

Chief Librarian John Pateman signing letter of intent with Burnford daughters, from left: Perenelle, Jonquil and Juliette

Sheila Burnford is the author of the classic book The Incredible Journey. This was her first novel and she wrote it while living in Thunder Bay (Port Arthur). It became an international bestseller and has been translated into countless languages as well as becoming the script for another classic – the Disney film based on the book. While many local people know the Burnford family, for an author of Burnford’s stature there is not that much written about her. That is expected to change for the better as there are some interesting developments in the making to share her story.

The first documentary on Sheila Burnford had its premiere at the Vox Popular Media Arts Festival (formerly Bay Street Film Festival) last week. The three adult Burnford sisters, Jonquil, Perenelle and Juliette were in town for this big event and the largest-ever audience witnessed a fascinating story which included incredible vintage film footage from the world premiere of the film, family movies from Europe and Canada  and unique recreations of the story done with local actors (including animals).  The Burnford family was also here to meet with History Professor Ron Harpelle who has been accumulating, documenting and digitizing the Burnford photos, papers and other memorabilia, and the staff and board of the Thunder Bay Public Library. A letter of intent was signed by all parties to indicate that the Sheila Burnford collection of all these materials will be turned over to the public Library for the development of a Sheila Burnford collection. This treasure will be made accessible to local researchers as well as those anywhere in the world and will put Thunder Bay on the map as the Sheila Burnford city – a destination for all lovers of her works.

Of course, The Incredible Journey is her best-known work, but she also wrote other fascinating and very different short stories, novels and non-fiction such as Mr. Noah and the Second Flood which is a prescient environmental children’s book (in the same sense that The Little Prince is a children’s book but of equal interest to adults). Without Reserve relates the stories of her travels north with her friend and collaborator Susan Ross. Sheila piloted a bush plane and they spent years visiting and living with the northern Cree and Ojibway people. While Sheila wrote, Susan sketched and it makes for a very interesting and unique book. The publisher of the book called it “the true account of two not- exactly ordinary housewives.”

Visit your library to read more by Sheila Burnford or to re-watch the original film, and expect to hear more soon about this exciting venture to honour a local author and her artistic friend with a special collection and archive.

Note: If anyone missed seeing A Long Walk Home, there will be another free showing at the Waverley Library auditorium on October 21st at 2:00 p.m.

Angela Meady