Monday, 29 February 2016

February 29, 2016 we leap ahead!!

February 29, 2016 is Leap Day. This extra day added to the Gregorian Calendar make the year 366 days long instead of the usual 365, making that year a Leap Year.

It takes the earth approximately 365.242199 days (a tropical year) to circle once around the Sun. To keep our calendar in alignment with the sun, a day is added every four years in years that are divisible by four, thus giving us February 29. If we didn’t add a day we would lose almost six hours a year on our calendar and that would add up to 24 days in 100 years. FYI!! There is also the lesser known Leap Second.

Ever since Julius Ceasar introduced Leap Day over 2000 years ago, February 29 has become a day of traditions and superstitions. According to an old Irish legend, on Leap Day, also known as Bachelor's Day, women are allowed to propose to men. In some places a man was expected to pay a penalty of a gown or money. If you were from the upper crust of European society, he had to buy her 12 pairs of gloves if he refused her proposal. In some countries it is considered unlucky to be born or to marry on February 29.

There was even a plot afoot at one time to add February 30 to the calendar. But that plan fell through. It didn't have a leg to stand on!

If you were born on February 29 you are called a Leapling. And yes you still get to celebrate a birthday every year whether it is February 28, 29 or March 1. Your preference. Sorry you don't get to be 10 while your friends turn 40. However, many countries have laws defining which date a person born on February 29 comes of age in legal terms.

So HAPPY LEAP YEAR! And to all the Leaplings out there.  Dinah Shore, Usher, Henri Richard, Dennis Farina, Antonio Sabato Jr., Tony Robbins, Jimmy Dorsey, and YOU.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!   See you in 2020!!!


Monday, 22 February 2016

Updates coming to OverDrive!!

There are some updates coming soon to OverDrive Read, OverDrive Listen, and the OverDrive app.
OverDrive Read & OverDrive Listen

Updated Menu icon with new icons (like Overview and Search) next to it for quick and easy access from the reader.

  • Added a new, highly visible bookmark icon to the top-right corner of the screen in OverDrive Read for mobile devices. For OverDrive Listen, the bookmark icon has moved to the top-right corner of the player as well.
  • Added a History tab to the menus that will list the places you’ve visited in a book by searching, scrolling, selecting a chapter, or opening a link.
  • Renamed the "Assistive" font to "OpenDyslexic."
  • Updated the look of the seek bars.

  • Added icons to menu.

OverDrive app
The new version coming soon, v3.5, will be speedier and address many issues users have experienced, like the app crashing during download, losing your position in an audiobook, or issues with syncing. The app will natively support larger phone screen sizes (formerly iOS would scale the app to fit) and Apple’s Dynamic Type, a technology that allows visually impaired users to increase the size of the text throughout the app–not just in the eBook reader.

In addition, we’ve made visual upgrades throughout the app, including the Home menu, bookshelf, eBook reader, audiobook player, video player, and Settings menu.

OverDrive Help will be updated to support these releases. Keep an eye out for these updates coming soon.

Charlotte Janes,

Systems and Collections Access Coordinator



Monday, 15 February 2016

Community Conversation: My Week on Welfare

On Thursday, February 18, at 6:30 PM, the Windsor Regional Library presents the 45-minute documentary film “My Week on Welfare” and a discussion afterward with producer Jessica Brown and writer/director Jackie Torrens.  Free-will donations to Harvest House Community Outreach of Windsor will be accepted. 

In “My Week on Welfare” award-winning documentarian, and former teenage welfare mother, Jackie Torrens explores stereotypes about welfare recipients by going back on welfare for a week. She finds out what the day-to-day reality of life is really like for people on income assistance in Nova Scotia in 2015. During her week-long stay, she discovers unexpected insights and encounters the complex issues facing those on the system. Produced by Peep Media, the team behind Edge of East (2015 Screen Nova Scotia nominee for Best Documentary). 

“My Week on Welfare” explores stereotypes about welfare recipients, and is truly an eye-opening experience. Branch manager Cathy Lothian wants to get a community conversation started about this issue. She admits that her knowledge of this topic was really quite minimal until she saw the documentary.  By screening the film and hosting a discussion, she hopes to get the broader community talking and thinking about this issue. 

Jackie Torrens and Jessica Brown
February seems like the perfect month to host this, as here at Annapolis Valley Regional Library, this February is “Food for Fines” month.  We already have people thinking about donating food.  Branch manager Cathy Lothian wanted to host this screening after a patron had told her about how transformative the film was. The fact that producer Jessica Brown and writer/director Jackie Torrens have agreed to come to our library for this discussion shows that they really care about this issue. It is a chance for the Windsor and area community to have some real conversation about food security and social issues.
A storm date for February 23 has been set for this event.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Book Giving Day

Many people think of February 14 as Valentine’s Day. Here at the library, we like to think of it as International Book Giving Day. Here’s the intent of the organization that got us hooked on this idea:  International Book Giving Day is a 100% volunteer initiative aimed at increasing children’s access to and enthusiasm for books.
  • Most children in developing countries do not own books.
  • In the United Kingdom, one-third of children do not own books.
  • In the United States, two-thirds of children living in poverty do not own books.
International Book Giving Day’s focus is on encouraging people worldwide to give a book to a child on February 14th. We invite individuals to 1) gift a book to a friend or family member, 2) leave a book in a waiting room for children to read or, 3) donate a gently used book to a local library, hospital or shelter or to an organization that distributes used books to children in need internationally. To find out more you can visit their website at

Here at the Annapolis Valley Regional Library, we celebrate in our own special way—by dropping off wrapped book gifts in our communities, for you to find and keep (or find and share). And we don’t stop with children’s books—we like to give books to all ages.  Since February 14 is on a Sunday this year, we will be dropping books in our communities the week before. And this year, our Book Patrol will be out in communities on Thursday, February 11 giving books away. Watch for us! 

Where do we get the books we give away? Adopt a Library gives us free books for kids, and we also get lots of donations that make great gifts for our book-loving fans.  We’ll give you some hints on where to find the books on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, so follow us! 

Happy Book Giving Day to you all! May you be inspired to give a book this February 14.     --Angela J. Reynolds, Community Engagement Coordinator

Monday, 1 February 2016

February is African Heritage Month

In 1926 Negro History week was established. An idea conceived by African-American Carter G. Woodson, to set aside a time devoted to African -Americans and African-American history. He chose a week in February because that month contained the birthdates of two people credited with bringing and end to American slavery:  black abolitionist,  Frederick Douglass and American President, Abraham Lincoln. Over time the celebration expanded and became known as Black History Month.

In 1950, Toronto railroad porters were the first to celebrate the idea in Canada. the porters had learned of this celebration in their travels in the United States. It was not until the Ontario Black History Society (OBHS) petitioned the city of Toronto  to have February proclaimed Black History Month by 1979, that the celebration started to trickle to other communities. The OBHS then  successfully lobbied the federal government to have February declared as Black History Month and  in 1995, after a motion by politician Jean Augustine, representing the riding of Etobicoke—Lakeshore in Ontario, Canada's House of Commons officially recognized February as Black History Month. In 2008, a motion by Nova Scotia Senator Donald Oliver to have the Senate officially recognize Black History Month, was unanimously approved. In December 2014 the United Nations declared the next ten years to be the Decade for People of African Descent with the theme: Justice, recognition and development.

  The 2016 theme for African Heritage Month  in Canada is  The Black Battalion: Legacy of Commitment - They Fought to Fight, to honour the 100th anniversary of the No. 2 Construction Battalion.  The members of the Black Battalion had to fight to fight. Raised in 1916 in Nova Scotia, they were trailblazers in their struggle to break the colour barrier and  fight for freedom in the Great War. Because of their unwavering desire they paved the way for African Nova Scotians  to serve in the armed forces in the First World War, the Second World War, the Korean War, the Afghan War and peacekeeping in the Sinai, Cyprus, the Congo and many other conflict zones.

The No. 2 Construction battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force,
 was the first and only Black battalion on Canadian military history.
To celebrate Black History Month, Annapolis Valley Regional Library has compiled this booklist.