Learn about Gardening at the Library

Home gardens play an important role in the growing “eat local” movement.  Now that spring is here, the library will be offering a three-part series, Home Grown : Vegetable Gardening for Beginners, which provides participants with the tools to grow their own vegetables, whether in gardens or on balconies.  The cost is $10 for the series and registration is required.

For more advanced gardening techniques, the library will also be offering a series of workshops, The Seasonal Gardener : Advanced Gardening Techniques, at a cost of $5 per workshop.  Registration is required.

For information on the times and dates the above are being offered, consult our Programs and Events brochure Spring/Summer 2013.


Special Earth Day Events at our Library

There are some exciting free programs occurring at our library for Earth Day 2013.

On Sunday, April 21 at 11:00 a.m., Montreal-based author Taras Grescoe will discuss his book Straphanger : saving our cities and ourselves from the automobile.

Also on Sunday, April 21, from noon until 5 p.m., come to the library for an Eco Fair and learn all about the great eco-minded businesses and organizations in your area.

Celebrate Earth Day with the family at a screening of The Lorax on Sunday, April 21 at 2 p.m.  This is a free event, but registration is required.

For more information, consult our Programs and Events brochure Spring/Summer 2013.


Go with the flow : DVDs on Water

On the theme of water, with World Water Day coming up on March 22, you might like to check out the following two DVDs in our library’s collection.

Blue Gold: World Water WarsBlue gold : world water wars is based on the book Blue Gold: The Fight to Stop the Corporate Theft of the World’s Water by Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke.  Narrated by Malcolm McDowell, this film gives a chilling portrait of a future world where wars are fought over water, as they are today over oil.

Flow: how did a handful of corporations steal our water?
Investigates the growing privatization of the world’s dwindling fresh water supply from the perspective of politics, economics, pollution and environmental issues, human rights, public health, and the effects of corporate greed and apathetic governments. Features interviews with scientists and activists, who discuss the water crisis at both the global and human scale. Also gives viewers a look at the people and institutions providing practical solutions to the water crisis and those developing new technologies to address the problem.

World Water Day, March 22

Every year on March 22, World Water Day is observed as a means of focusing world attention on the importance of freshwater and its sustainable development. The first World Water Day was designated by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993 and each year since then highlights a specific aspect of freshwater.  2013 will be the International Year of Water Cooperation, promoting water cooperation world wide.  Water is a precious resource which is threatened by rapid urbanization, pollution and climate change.  It is also a resource which is in ever-increasing demand by the world’s over 7 billion people, so it is essential that it be wisely and equitably managed.

To learn more about World Water Day 2013, click here.

Click for more infoOne of our library’s new books on water conservation is Last call at the oasis: the global water crisis and where do we go from here, edited by Karl Weber.  Based on the documentary film by Academy Award-winning director Jessica Yu,  the companion book explains the current conflicts over water supplies around the world and describes the work that reformers, policy-makers, scientists, engineers and business leaders are doing to craft solutions.  It is a fascinating read.

Lead and our health

Lead is extremely toxic and poses a very dangerous health risk to people. It can lead to brain damage and learning difficulties.  Children are especially vulnerable to this toxin.  During the Industrial Revolution the use of lead was prevalent and also during the 1920s when lead was added to gasoline. There is an excellent article in the Jan./Feb. 2013 issue of Mother Jones linking violent crime, lower IQs and lead throughout the 20th century.

In Canada unleaded gasoline was introduced in 1975 and leaded gasoline was finally phased out by 1990.   Because lead concentrations in our air have declined since the 1970s, the blood lead levels of Canadians have also seen a steady decline by about 70%.  However, lead exposure is still something we should be aware of, since, for example, it can be found in soil and in older homes due to leaded paint.  See the Health Canada website for information on how to minimize your risks when renovating older homes.  And to find out more about how you can limit your exposure to this dangerous substance, click here.