Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Tablet etiquette: Is it OK to watch adult material on screens in public?

We in the public library world have been grappling with this on our public Internet stations.  My Board has approved a no filtering policy many years ago which has not really caused many issues.  Usually we rely on patrons to let us know if something on a screen is beyond public tolerance.
In a public space with a privately owned device, should the same tolerance apply?
Published on Thursday December 06, 2012

Tanis Miller

JASON FRANSON/THE CANADIAN PRESS Tanis Miller poses for a photo as she watches a movie on her iPad at a coffee shop in Edmonton, Nov. 26, 2012.
Nick Patch
The Canadian Press

There was nothing comfortable about Tanis Miller’s recent flight home to Edmonton, crammed as she was into a middle seat in economy, grappling for arm rests with a “strange” adolescent and window-gazing middle-aged man while a restless child a row behind kicked away at her seat like a pint-sized Pele.
Then, somehow, the inflight entertainment system threatened to take the discomfort up a notch.
See, Miller had selected Black Swan, Darren Aronofsky’s surreal 2010 drama about hypercompetitive ballet dancers, as her coach-coping viewing strategy.
Miller expected an escapist joy with an Oscar-winning pedigree. She perhaps didn’t expect the highly suggestive love scene between stars Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis that was soon flickering inches from her eyes — and, as it turns out, the eyes of her two prying, underage flight neighbours.
She knew it wasn’t necessarily appropriate content for the kids next to and behind her. She also didn’t really care.
“Oh, that awkward moment where everyone is staring at you because the sex scene is on,” Miller said with a boisterous laugh during a recent telephone interview.
“I didn’t know what to do. So I just kept watching it. That’s what I did.”
In fact, the public preponderance of iPads, tablets, laptops and smartphones has led us to a relatively uncharted realm of etiquette — is it socially acceptable to watch R-rated, adult-oriented material on a screen in public, particularly when children are around?
Or, with more people than ever indulging in HBO-on-the-go in crowded coffee shops, commuter trains and airport lounges, is the onus on those with delicate sensibilities to keep their eyes off others’ screens?
Jackie Gamble, a flight attendant with a Canadian airline, says it’s not uncommon to see passengers indulging in some risque material while soaring through the sky.
“You see people watching things and you’re like: ‘Whoa,’” she said, noting however that she’d never seen anyone watching “full-out porn.”
“If someone brings it to my attention for example, or if I see something that I deem to be really over-the-top, then I would say something.”
A WestJet representative similarly said passengers complaining about adult content on others’ screens is “not an issue.”
“Our guests understand there are a variety of age groups that travel on our airline and choose content they feel is suitable,” wrote Jennifer Sanford in an email.
But most people have faced this issue before, either experiencing screen shame themselves or spying another’s screen that features content raunchy enough to raise eyebrows (or ire, as the case may be).
And it seems even parents of young children are flummoxed by this particular question of tabletiquette.
Miller, a mother of three who maintains an award-winning blog about her adventures in parenting at theredneckmommy.com, says it’s simply no one else’s business what she watches, so long as she’s wearing earphones.
“I really don’t think it is my responsibility to filter what other people’s children are seeing,” she said.
“It’s hard enough getting through life, being a parent or not being a parent, that you have to worry about small eyes.”
Mother of two Julie Harrison — whose Coffee With Julie blog is published at julieharrison.ca — is similarly tolerant of other people’s viewing habits, assuming the content isn’t extreme.
“If it’s on your laptop/iPad and you’re listening to headphones ... well, too bad, so sad, for the children’s innocence,” she wrote in an email.
“Personally, if it was me, I would be too self-conscious and wouldn’t even consider watching adult material when children are around. But I can’t hold someone else to the same standard.”
But other parents disagree, arguing that it’s simply common sense not to watch potentially graphic material in a public space.
“I hate to put the onus on everybody to look out for my kids or to meet my standards, but (some) things are so explicit,” said Newfoundland-raised mother-of-three Kyran Pittman, whose memoir Planting Dandelions: Field Notes from a Semi-Domesticated Life was released in 2011.
“I don’t want to be a prude or anything about this kind of thing, but the (new-found) accessibility — with that comes some more responsibility to think about who’s in your line of sight for that image.”
Pittman, whose family lives in Arkansas, tries to keep her sons away from particularly graphic material. She and her husband wait until the boys have drifted off to sleep before indulging in the aggressively adult fantasy Game of Thrones, but she notes that “media landmines” lurk everywhere.
Sometimes, her husband drifts off while watching South Park on his iPad, and Pittman will stroll through her household hallways and overhear the not-quite-dulcet tones of the show’s foul-mouthed elementary schoolers.
“I’m just appalled that any of our kids could walk through and hear what Cartman is ranting about — and they don’t get irony,” she said.
Arizona-based mother Sheri Wallace remembers a recent flight with her 12-year-old daughter, whose seatmates — older teenage boys — were watching R-rated movies on their inflight screens. Wallace noticed that her daughter was absorbing the material too.
She didn’t say anything at the time, but she thinks it’s up to the viewer to be mindful of whether their inappropriate material has found an unintentional audience. And she says a big problem is that most people aren’t aware just how visible their ever-brighter, ever-clearer screens really are.
“You become accustomed to the idea that people can’t see your screen,” said Wallace, editor of roadtripsforfamilies.com. “Five years ago, screens were crappy, and so you couldn’t see from the first class seat sitting next to you. But now, you can see all types of information.
“I mean I see a lot of people who are sexting back and forth with their girlfriends — your phone even, is really readable.”
And, some parents say, these devices are especially captivating to children.
Toronto dad Jason Graham has sons aged six and 10 who are drawn to bright, colourful screens “like flies to sugar”
“There’s no doubt in my mind that if there was ... a tablet or a laptop with a larger screen that was near my kids in a crowded area, their eyes would be drawn to it,” said Graham, the only father blogger on urbanmoms.ca.
And if those curious kids ever did find their wandering attention drawn to a scene of graphic bloodshed or sex, Graham says he would be tempted to speak up.
“If there was glaringly questionable content happening and my kid was standing there hovering over (it), I might be inclined to tap that person on the shoulder and say, ‘Maybe this is not a good time to be watching that.’”
Indeed, if you try watching Game of Thrones — with its artful arcs of spurting blood and long passages of proudly gratuitous “sexposition” — around a parent and his or her young children, it’s likely you’ll see that breathing fire isn’t a skill exclusive to dragons.
But some would argue that eavesdropping on someone else’s entertainment is a lapse of manners more severe than watching an adult show on a personal gadget.
“It is so socially unacceptable to look at somebody’s screen when they’re writing ... and I think it extends to media of any sort on the screen as well,” said Miller.
“We’re in a new digital age — teach your kid some digital manners ... Teach your kids how not to be peeping toms.”
So, which is worse — prying eyes or steaming up the sky?
Daniel Post Senning, great-great-grandson of Emily Post and co-author of the latest edition of Emily Post’s Etiquette, is probably as close to an expert on the subject as there is, having just finished the manuscript for a book entitled Manners in a Digital World: Living Well Online.
First, he agrees that he would “give someone the benefit of not reading over their shoulder.” But he notes that sometimes we are captive audiences for the particular entertainment whims of those around us.
“You’re in a line at the grocery store or you’re sitting on a plane next to someone or you’re in an elevator ... it’s not always possible for other people to avert their attention,” he said.
“It’s not necessarily their responsibility to do so.”
Post Senning actually encountered this issue personally on a recent flight, when he queued up 2008’s R-rated The Mysteries of Pittsburgh on Netflix. Shoulder to shoulder with other passengers in economy, he soon realized there was a “love scene coming fast.”
He turned it off immediately. While he wasn’t sure whether any children were nearby, he didn’t want to risk it.
“One of the fundamental principles or tenets of all good etiquette is consideration of the people around you, having an awareness of how your actions are affecting the people that you’re with,” he said.
For protective parents, meanwhile, Post Senning has advice on navigating an awkward confrontation with someone viewing salty content in public.
“We often say you don’t have standing to correct someone else’s behaviour,” he said. “But (it’s different) if you can approach them in the spirit of, ‘You might not know this’ — I call it the ‘broccoli in the teeth rule.’ You approach someone in the spirit of saving them some embarrassment.”
As screens multiply in the public eye, clearer notions of etiquette will likely emerge — Post Senning, for instance, points out the popularity of the “NSFW” disclaimer, meant to discourage web surfers from splashing something inappropriate across screens at the office.
Technology could also offer solutions. 3M already offers a “privacy screen protector” for the iPad, a clear adhesive that promises to limit the view of any would-be gawkers approaching a screen from a side angle.
For now, anyway, most people ruminating on both sides of this contentious issue agree on one thing — there’s some content no one should watch in public. Ever.
“If you’re watching porn in public, that’s a problem,” laughed Miller. “And that’s not the problem of the person staring at your screen over your shoulder.
“You shouldn’t be allowed outside the house.”


Monday, 21 January 2013

Library prank sends Armstrong books to fiction section

Bonus posting!  Great joke!

SYDNEY (Reuters) - A prank note in an Australian library declaring that disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong's books would be moved to the fiction section has gone viral on the Internet, with one commentator declaring: "Hell hath no fury like a librarian".
"All Non-Fiction Lance Armstrong Books, including 'Lance Armstrong - Images of a Champion', 'The Lance Armstrong Performance Program and 'Lance Armstrong: World's Greatest Champion,' will soon be moved to the fiction section," read the sign posted at Sydney's Manly Library on Saturday.
A photograph of the sign posted on the Internet quickly sparked heated debate over whether Armstrong's fight against cancer and motivation of people outweighed his drug cheating in a sport rife with doping.
"As a cyclist the guy's work was inspiring, his foundation do amazing work and his story was great. ... You feel embarrassed for recommending his book to people, you stare at the books on the shelf questioning if the lessons and the inspiration is honest and real," said one commentator.
Manly Library said the printed notice, which was placed in a plastic stand on a bookshelf in the library, was a prank and that an internal review was underway.
"Libraries can't arbitrarily reclassify categories of books, because that depends on the ISBN number that is issued by the National Library," a spokesman at Manly Council, which runs the library, said on Monday.


Canada’s crime novelists: making a killing

This posting is sort of a follow-up to the last one on the Murdoch Mysteries.  This is a great article on the thriving mystery writing business in Canada.
I am in the middle now of reading Stray Bullets by Robert Rotenberg which as been optioned for a movie.  A Louise Penny book has been made into a television movie and Linwood Barclay and David Rotenberg also have options on their books. 
It is great to see that Canadian mystery writing is being recognized, not only in Canada, but around the world.  It is also good for those of us who are interested in viewers' advisory that we have more great movies and television shows to recommend!
Published on Friday January 18, 2013
Toronto Star

 By Greg Quill Entertainment Reporter
We make so much of serious literary fiction in this country, offering lavish prizes at the end of each year for novels that add gravitas and definition to Canada’s presence in world literature, that it’s something of a surprise to learn that we’ve also managed to accumulate a disproportionately large number of writers who are proving themselves world champions in the competitive populist genre of crime and mystery fiction.
“It’s worth noting there are as many as 20 writers of crime and mystery novels in Canada who support themselves entirely on revenue from their writing,” says Toronto-based entertainment super-agent Michael Levine. His recent decision to represent crime writers — including brothers David and Robert Rotenberg, whose work has been optioned for movies and TV in the U.S. — “is a profound change in direction for me,” he adds.
A closet fan of mystery literature and high-profile agent for many of CanLit’s giants, Levine concedes “crime is where the market’s going, and it’s growing very quickly. That’s good for Canadian crime writers.”
The crime and mystery readings at the annual International Festival of Authors at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre are by far the prestigious literary festival’s most popular and well attended component, “always sold out in advance,” Levine points out.
Publishing insiders and crime novelists themselves are at a loss to explain the sudden appeal in the last decade of Canadian crime stories, whodunits and thrillers in a market that was earlier dominated by British, American, and more recently, Scandinavian novelists.
David Rotenberg, who says he gets through his massive agenda, balancing theatrical productions, running the Professional Actor’s Lab, and writing novels, seven of them mysteries, by “sleeping less,” believes Canadians have had time to avoid mistakes other crime and mystery writers have made.
“The Brits and Scandinavians are less interested in social context than we are,” he says. “The whodunit aspect interests me less than the social and historical forces at work in a mystery story. Hamlet would be just another whodunit if you stripped it of context, and it would have nothing important to say.”
The Stieg Larsson effect, which has all but emptied the pool of formerly regionally successful crime writers in Sweden, Denmark and Norway, seems to have created a tolerance, if not an appetite, in Britain and the U.S. for more unusual procedurals, more remote locales and more enigmatic principal characters, some suggest. Others claim Canadian crime writers have simply figured out the rather arcane rules of the mystery game and have finally learned to adapt to the demands of the international crime literature marketplace.
There are lots of reasons Canadian authors seem to have emerged as a force in the mystery book world, and little consensus, but there’s no denying it’s a formidable gathering whose names are familiar in parts of the world where many CanLit icons are barely known: Linwood Barclay, Louise Penny, Giles Blunt, Peter Robinson, Andrew Pyper, Maureen Jennings, Alan Bradley, William Deverell, David Rotenberg, Robert Rotenberg, D.J. (Dorothy) McIntosh, Tim Wynne-Jones, Gail Bowen, Joy Fielding, Mike Knowles, Howard Shrier, James W. Nichol, C.B. Forrest, among others.
“It’s a long list now, and the world is paying attention because this is writing of the highest standard,” says Penny, a prolific novelist, a consistent best seller and something of a heroine among Canadian crime writers for having set her popular series — featuring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec — in the Eastern Townships, where she lives.
When Penny abandoned her 18-year career as a host and journalist on CBC Radio in order to write full time, she says, “It was excruciatingly difficult to find an agent or a publisher in Canada or elsewhere interested in a procedural with a Canadian setting.” Less than a decade later, with eight novels — all critical successes and best sellers — under her belt, “it’s almost a given that a well written mystery set in Canada with a strong central character, a page-turning plot and series potential” will find a home, she adds.
While Penny has resisted — until recently — offers to transfer her Gamache mysteries to TV or the big screen (the series is now in development for CBC under the auspices of Toronto’s PDM Entertainment, which gave her executive producer status and guarantees the integrity of her creation), TV and movie adaptations do add to a novelist’s cachet, and to the profile of the locales in which they’re set.
“But I wouldn’t bank too much on the value of the Canadian setting,” says Barclay, who was born in the U.S. but grew up in Canada. He’s considering embarking on a main character crime series after several stand-alone best sellers that have translated into more than 30 languages.
“It’s the writer’s sensibilities that make a book Canadian, if that’s what you’re looking for.
“Outside Canada people don’t care if a novel is Canadian or not, unless they’re looking for villains who are more polite than usual,” he chuckles.
Canadian crime writers, as well as the reputation of Canadian crime literature in general, seem to have benefited greatly from the added bonus TV and movies offer, a life beyond the printed page.
More than one writer interviewed for this story credit the startling international success in the past six years of the Victorian-era, set-in-Toronto TV series based on Toronto-based British expat Maureen Jennings’ The Murdoch Mysteries with having turned attention our way.
“The TV show built slowly, but it has been extremely important to the success of the books,” says Jennings, who has just published Beware This Boy, the second volume in her The Season of Darkness Trilogy, a series of Foyle’s War-type procedurals set in the British Midlands circa 1940.
“Sales have increased exponentially since the TV series found an audience (in the U.S., Britain and Europe).”
Jennings also co-created the hit Global-TV series The Bomb Girls, about a group of Canadian women working in a munitions factory during World War II.
Almost every writer with a successful crime series on the go, or a best-selling novel, has a TV or movie deal in the works. Barclay’s recent stand-alone thriller Trust Your Eyes has been optioned for a Hollywood movie, as well as two previous best sellers, No Time for Goodbye and Fear the Worst. So has Toronto writer Andrew Pyper’s soon-to-be published The Demonologist, under the auspices of Oscar-winning producer/director Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future, Forrest Gump).
Toronto-based Brit expat Robinson’s Yorkshire policiers have been adapted for British TV as DCI Banks, which enjoys international ratings success.
Actor/theatre director/teacher David Rotenberg’s epic historical novel Shanghai and his The Junction Chronicles thrillers — The Placebo Effect and A Murder of Crows, the latter due out in March — have been optioned for U.S. movie treatments. His criminal lawyer brother Robert’s third crime novel, Stray Bullets, is in development by Canadian production company, Shaftesbury Films.
And Toronto crime novelist Giles Blunt is adapting his own hit John Cardinal mysteries, set around North Bay, Ont., where the author grew up, for a CTV series.
“Movies and TV can be a huge factor in the promotion and sales of novels — the money’s not big, and for someone like (best-selling American thriller novelist) James Patterson, it’s small change,” says Blunt, who admits he enjoys writing scripts so much that it may become his new vocation.
“But I suspect there’s a beneficial cross-over effect, especially inside the book trade.”
Robinson, whose Inspector Banks had worked his way deep into crime lit culture before Stephen Tompkinson was cast in the TV adaptation, hasn’t noticed much of a sales boost since the show started airing.
“But I think that’s because everyone who might be interested already had the books,” he said. “It helped in other ways. I got to hang out on the set and take part in the process, which I enjoyed immensely. I was impressed that all this activity was going on because I wrote a few books. I look at the TV show as a free advert.”
The book trade is far more sanguine about the prospects of TV and movie tie-ins. Mysteries sell, they always have, but since the three-part Girl with the Dragon Tattoo juggernaut a couple of years ago, the genre has kicked up the crime books business, says Sarah MacLachlan, publisher at Toronto-based House of Anansi Press, which started its own mystery imprint, Spiderline, in Larsson’s wake.
“We see better manuscripts coming in, and all the books we’ve taken on are doing very well. We’ve been selling the rights to our direct signings all over the world, and we’re particularly interested in stories that can be optioned for movies or TV.”
Publishers of crime novels are on the lookout for good story lines “and a strong lead character with the potential to grow through a series, someone readers can engage with or commit themselves to.
“The object is to get a series up and running with a devoted readership, and writers who are committed to produce a book every 9 or 12 months,” MacLachlan added.
“They should be prepared to do all that’s necessary for outreach, via social media, the Internet and conventional promotion.”
Toronto novelist, screenwriter and former Star movie critic Ron Base knows exactly what MacLachlan is talking about. He has been working on those principles for a couple of years now, writing and marketing his series of Florida-based Sanibel Sunset Detective crime novels. What sets Base apart is that he’s doing it all himself, including the publishing part.
Like so many musicians and songwriters who’ve learned in the past decade to use inexpensive digital tools and the Internet to record, sell and promote their work, Base decided to learn the ins and outs of self-publishing after his brother, an accountant who lives on Sanibel Island off Florida’s coast, suggested he write a series of locally set crime yarns to sell to island visitors during the summer — about 500,000 captive vacationers looking for the perfect beach read.
Three books into the set — the latest, Another Sanibel Sunset Detective, will be launched Jan. 28 at the P.J. O'Brien Irish Pub downtown — Base is almost living off his earnings as a writer-publisher and says he’s “blissfully unencumbered by middle men.”
He has become a local celebrity around Sanibel, and enjoys the company of his fans. He’s also something of an expert on what makes a good crime novel, and how to sell his wares via his web site, Facebook, networking and self-booked signings at pubs and bookstores in Toronto and Florida. He’s assisted by a small coterie of professional editor friends and eager readers willing to promote his work.
“Give people a reason to turn the next page and a lead character they can identify with, someone who’s flawed, like we all are, but who’s essentially a good person and likeable,” Base says, echoing almost to a word what a dozen other writers interviewed for this story had to say about the secrets of crafting a good modern mystery novel.
Adds Robert Rotenberg, who confesses his career as a criminal lawyer informs all the stories he writes: “Keep the chapters short and a good supply of unexpected plot twists. Then tie all the pieces together at the last moment.
“Unlike real life, a good crime novel has to have resolution — not necessarily happy, but one that answers all the questions you’ve thrown out there, and re-establishes some sense of moral order.”

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Murdoch Mysteries: CBC police drama gets thumbs up from real Toronto police officer

My Mom loved Murdoch Mysteries.  Everytime she saw it, she would say how handsome Yannick Bisson is.  I had a great laugh on New Year's Eve when the Air Farce had Bisson as a guest and lampooned his 'handsome' status.  Mom would have laughed too.
I was interested in this article to see how much research the writers must do to get the 'forsenics' right.
Published on Monday January 07, 2013
Karissa Donkin, Toronto Star


Karissa Donkin
Staff Reporter
Toronto police Staff Sgt. John Spanton can usually feel his blood pressure rising when he tunes into modern police dramas.
Spanton, an “old-time copper” who has nearly 30 years of policing under his belt, says the portrayal of police work in most cop shows is “totally inaccurate.” Everything from the way the officers act to the accuracy of their gunfire makes him cringe.
“The whole shooting thing, guys jumping from cars, it doesn’t happen that way,” he said.
But there is one police drama that has captured his heart for its accurate portrayal of policing in Toronto.
About four years ago, Spanton started watching MurdochMysteries, following the detective work of William Murdoch (played by Yannick Bisson) in Victorian-era Toronto, and he hasn’t looked back since. Murdoch Mysteries premieres its sixth season Monday at 9 p.m. on CBC.
Like Inspector Murdoch, Spanton works in 51 Division, policing neighbourhoods such as Cabbagetown and Regent Park. Spanton is in charge of the community response unit, officers who work with residents to deal with everything from noise complaints to reports of gang activity.
“Apparently, 100 years ago, there was a drug problem in Regent Park. In Cabbagetown (and) Regent Park, I’d suggest there still is.”
He’s impressed by the amount of research that goes into producing an episode of Murdoch Mysteries. The drama revolves around Murdoch’s ability to use what was then “new” technology to solve puzzling crimes.
“He understood the importance of securing a crime scene and looking at what it offers. They didn’t have DNA — DNA didn’t come in until the ’90s — but they could do a blood spatter analysis. They could do blood typing, which is the forerunner of DNA, on a way simpler scale,” Spanton said.
“They’ve done their homework, because they’re pretty good. They don’t go beyond what was there for the time.”
One episode in particular stands out in his mind, “a show where a young copper was murdered.”
He saw officers cope with the young man’s death much the way they would today. He was also impressed by the investigative techniques used to solve the crime.
“There was a weapon involved and there was blood spatter (analysis) involved. We use that today,” Spanton said.
“As soon as you find a crime scene, you secure it. And you don’t just secure a room, you secure an area. You can see that in the show. He’s recognized the importance of doing that.”
Peter Mitchell, an executive producer of Murdoch Mysteries, said the show’s writers mostly use books to find out what resources were available to officers in 1900. When they need them, they also consult experts on subjects like ballistics and forensics.
Before writers begin penning scripts for a new season, they spend a month reviewing what happened in the world that year to try to pull storylines from history.
If something could have potentially happened, or if a detective could have possibly known about and used a certain type of technology in that era, Mitchell said they’ll write it into the show.
“We try and be accurate without it becoming a documentary,” Mitchell said.
The sixth season of Murdoch Mysteries will see the detective trying to find personal happiness with Dr. Julia Ogden (played by Hélène Joy), who has just started a new job as a psychiatrist.
Spanton eagerly awaits Monday’s premiere, and not just to see what kind of crime Murdoch will solve next.
“I hope the coroner and Murdoch get back together. They made a good team.”

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary marked with Royal Mail stamp series

Published on Wednesday January 02, 2013

AP A Royal Mail postage stamp with an image of the present Dr. Who, Matt Smith.

The Associated Press
LONDON—Dr. Who — who usually uses a police box for travel — will be zooming through time and space on the edge of letters in 2013.
Britain’s Royal Mail is marking the 50th anniversary of the science fiction show Doctor Who with a series of stamps featuring each of the 11 actors who have played the title role. Those featured include the present doctor, Matt Smith, as well as past Time Lords such as David Tennant and Christopher Eccleston.
The series will also include a miniature sheet that brings together Second Class stamps featuring four of the doctor’s iconic foes — a Dalek, an Ood, a Weeping Angel and a Cyberman.
The stamps honouring the cult British television program will be available starting at the end of March.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Downton Abbey Season 3 Starts Sunday January 6

For all of you who have been anxiously waiting for Season 3 of Downton Abbey to start in North America, it will be aired on PBS at 9:00 p.m. starting on Sunday January 6.  Lady Mary's mother, played by Shirley MacLaine, will be joining the cast.

One of the major characters will be leaving at the end of Season 3.  I don't want to spoil it for you by saying who!

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Positive Public Libraries

As we move into a new year, I am thinking about the role of public libraries in our communities. 

I work in a two branch library system in a beautiful agricultural area in Ontario.  The contract to build a new library/arena/community centre complex to replace my 1851 building was awarded in the middle of December .  The whole community is looking forward to having a new facility right in the heart of Beamsville which will revitalize the ecomonic and social fabric of the area.

Work to finalize the design starts in January.  Library staff are looking forward to better serve our community with new programs and services when the complex opens mid 2014. 

I hope that all of you in the public library community has many good things to look forward to in 2013.