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We Remember and Work to Reconcile

Each year, September 30 marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The day honours survivors of residential schools and the children who never returned home, as well as their families and communities.

The library has many resources for people working to learn more about this part of our nation’s history and its ongoing effects. Consider borrowing Canada’s Residential Schools: the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, to understand all of the Commission’s findings and their 94 Calls to Action.

Read novels by authors like Richard Wagamese, Michelle Good, or James Bartleman, or the reporting and first-hand accounts by Tanya Talaga, Basil Johnston, Fred Sasakamoose, or Augie Merasty.  You’ll also find many books for young readers, including: Christy Jordan-Fenton’s Fatty Legs, When I Was Eight, or Not My Girl; David A. Robertson’s When We Were Alone; Jenny K. Dupuis’ I Am Not A Number; or Melanie Florence’s Stolen Words.

Phyllis Webstad’s story was the inspiration for Orange Shirt Day, the grassroots commemoration that became the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Webstad shares the story of her first day of residential schooling at six years old, when the new orange shirt her grandmother bought her was taken and never returned. Young readers can find Phyllis’ story in several picture books and two books she’s written for teens.

Join MPL and Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons for screenings of the film Indian Horse, as part of their on-site programming on Saturday, September 30. Based on Richard Wagamese’s poetic and heartwrenching novel, the film follows Saul Indian Horse as he is torn from his Ojibway family and taken to one of Canada’s notorious Catholic residential schools. Despite the oppression, abuse and indignity he suffers there, Saul finds salvation in the unlikeliest of places and favourite Canadian pastime: hockey. Film rated 14A. Visit to get all of the details. Our thanks to the Culture Alliance in the Heart of Georgian Bay for sponsoring the film license.

Cool Collections!

You know we’ve got books, movies, and more, but the Library also has some new special collections to engage and inspire you!

Get outside by borrowing an Ontario Parks or Wye Marsh pass, thanks to their support! There’s often a waitlist, so place your hold online or call us at 705-526-4216 to make sure you get a turn. The Culture Alliance in the Heart of Georgian Bay and other donors have supported the collection of outdoor equipment and games – walking poles, pedometers, GoPro cameras, telescopes, and more!

If you’re concerned about indoor air quality, MPL is now a loaner site for carbon dioxide monitors, sponsored by Community Access to Ventilation Information (CAVI). These devices measure carbon dioxide levels, temperature, relative humidity and atmospheric pressure – they’re not carbon monoxide monitors. Adult patrons can borrow a monitor for one week at a time.

We have many options to help people with varying abilities in reading print. We’ve added lots of Wonderbooks to our children’s collections – these are picture books and chapter books that have built-in audio to help families read along. For children and adults, we have Playaways. These are portable, preloaded audiobook devices that fit in the palm of your hand. One AAA battery (provided by MPL) lets you listen to your title of choice for 30 hours. Let us know if you need earphones or an audio cable when you check out. We still have lots of audiobooks in our downloadable collections and on CD.

We’ve also added C-Pens to our collection. The pens make it easy to process printed text, empowering people’s ability to read, understand and learn. You can borrow one for three weeks!

Don’t forget, you can also borrow ukuleles, wifi hubs, sun light lamps, and our Maker robotics, electronics, and building kits, along with our traditional collections! MPL membership is open to everyone in North Simcoe.

Celebrate Black History Month at your Library!

We have Black History Month stories and crafts for kids ages 2-8, on Saturday, February 25 at 2pm. Come hear stories that celebrate Black heritage, then make a craft to take home.

On Tuesday, February 21, at 5:30pm, join us for a family movie night – we’re showing Remember the Titans, based on the true story of the integration of a high school football team in 1971, and starring Denzel Washington.

Register for both of these programs at online or by phone at 705-526-4216.

Join MPL staff and members of the community for biweekly conversations based on W. Kamau Bell and Kate Schatz’ Do The Work: An Antiracist Activity Book. This book club will begin as soon as there’s sufficient registration, and is free for everyone; a $25 suggested donation would cover the cost of your workbook. Email Faith at [email protected] or call 705-526-4216 ext. 3305 to register or for more information.

If you can’t join the book club, you can place a hold on some amazing items in the Library’s collection.

Rodney Diverlus’ Until We Are Free is a collection of essays and reflections on the Black Lives Matter movement in Canada. It describes the latest developments in Canadian Black activism, organizing efforts through the use of social media, Black-Indigenous alliances, and more.

Shakil Choudhury’s Deep Diversity : a Compassionate, Scientific Approach to Achieving Racial Justice is a comprehensive and approachable guide to understanding and working toward racial justice, with tools to start making a difference today.

Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ memoir and letter to his teenage son, is a National Book Award Winner and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, published in 2015. It’s starkly and beautifully honest about the feelings, symbolism, and realities associated with being Black in the United States.

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

This is the Place For You! Our Community Survey Results

This year MPL again conducted a survey at the Library and out in the community. Thank you all; you’ll help us determine how to best serve our community!

50% of you visit daily or weekly; 28% visit monthly. What do you do? 70% pick up your holds and check out materials; 40% attend library programs and spend time with your friends or family; 46% read or browse the collections.

78% of you say we provide excellent customer service (93% excellent or good). 61% say MPL is excellent overall (89% excellent or good). We’re so glad!

Other elements of library service people were pleased with were our special collections, including items like WiFi hotspots, park passes, outdoor equipment, and Maker at Home kits; services such as WiFi access, printing services, and public computer access; and our programming. As the MPL MakerPlace has reopened, many of you have returned to make, create, and learn, or have thought about what you’d most like to learn in the new year (3D printing!). You’re excited by how the Library “encourages people of all ages to be curious and creative.”

You see the Library as having a role to play in the challenges facing our community – opportunities for young people and those among us who are vulnerable; supporting lifelong literacy; combatting social isolation; promoting inclusivity: “a place for my teen and I to spend time together;” “a source of connection and community;” “Good books, lots of information, awesome activities!” “I value the environment & diversity in materials & programs.”

What else do you value most about your Library?

“The community atmosphere and programming. You feel so welcome here!”

“Brings us many opportunities for family time and reading. The programs are also very interesting and challenge us to learn new skills.   The staff are always so welcoming of me and my family… It genuinely feels like being part of the community visiting the library.”

“Draws me into town which benefits stores as well  – Keeps me reading and learning  – Highlights items and events that may be of interest to me  – Social, upbeat, happy environment.”

Midland Public Library Top Choices 2022

2022 is coming to a close and we have some fun suggestions for the end of the year!

Mel loved Dial ‘A’ for Aunties and its sequel, Four Aunties and a Wedding, by Jesse Q. Sutanto.  These two books are an absolutely hilarious glimpse into the lives of five women who are connected by the bonds of family, business, and accidental body counts.

In 2022, Jenn really enjoyed The Lightkeeper’s Daughters by Jean E. Pendziwol. A beautifully written, atmospheric, and intricately plotted novel about familial love, deception and lost chances. Pendziwol’s descriptions of Porphyry Island and life at the lighthouse perfectly capture the Great Lakes vibe, which makes it a perfect read for those close to Georgian Bay!

Faith had lots of fun with Less (winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize) and Less is Lost (2022), written by Andrew Sean Greer. The books follow Arthur Less, a struggling novelist, on his travels as he tries to make his way in a world that’s both harsh and joyful – with lots of humour, always landing on his feet, and finding true love.

What else did people love in 2022? Six of the top ten most borrowed books for kids were from the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Where the Crawdads Sing, Five Little Indians, The Rose Code, and books by John Grisham and Louise Penny continued to be popular in 2022, even after being published in previous years. Newer books like Katherena Vermette’s The Strangers (a follow-up to The Break), and The Maid, by Nita Prose, also made the top ten list for adults.

For movies, families loved Luca, Abominable, and the classic Matilda, along with series titles like PAW Patrol, Thomas and Friends, Barbie, and Peppa Pig. Adults were thrilled by The Matrix: Resurrections, Those Who Wish Me Dead, and F9: The Fast Saga. They also loved the TV series we have on DVD, including The Gilded Age and Agatha Raisin.

In 2023, make sure you visit the Library to find your next favourite!


Are you looking for your next great read?

We have a special Express Reads collection for adult fiction. Copies of the most exciting new titles go out for 7 days, they’re non-holdable, and non-renewable – so more people can read the best new books, more quickly! If you want to be guaranteed a copy, or don’t read as quickly, you can still always place a hold and get your copy for the full 21 days.

Thanks to the support of the International Dyslexia Association – Ontario, we’re adding some great decodable books to our children’s collection! Find them in a special display or ask in the children’s department.

If you’re having trouble finding a new book, we have lots of ways to help. 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.

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 at Library staff are experts at providing recommendations, online or in person!

If you love reading, you’ll be thrilled to know that the Book Cellar, MPL’s used book store run by the Friends of the Library, is open again! This volunteer team, thanks to your donations and purchases, supports exciting Library projects like the Vault, MPL’s new teen space! You can find the Book Cellar on the Library’s lower level, and they’re open 10am – 4pm on weekdays, and 10am – 2pm on Saturdays.

If you’re not a member yet, good news! Memberships are available free of charge to all residents of Midland, and those living in Tiny, on Christian Island, or in Oro-Medonte. We also offer reciprocal library memberships to anyone living in Barrie, Orillia, Penetanguishene, or Tay, with a valid library card at their home library.

Celebrate @ Your Library!

Ontario Public Library Week takes place from October 16 to October 22 and the theme is “One Card, One Million Possibilities.”

Do you know about all the possibilities your MPL card provides? Access to our collections, the MPL MakerPlace, and outdoor equipment, thanks to the support of the Culture Alliance in the Heart of Georgian Bay. Borrowing walking poles or monoculars is the perfect way to experience Wye Marsh or Awenda Provincial Park – you can borrow family or day passes to both, with thanks to the Marsh and to Ontario Parks for their support. There’s lots more – we also loan ukuleles, light therapy lamps, and WiFi hotspots – all for free with your MPL membership! You can find all the details at

We’re celebrating Ontario Public Library Week with food for fines—from October 16-22 bring in a non-perishable food item to receive $1 in fine forgiveness (up to $10). We also have some amazing programs!

Children ages 6-10 can “Be An Author” on October 19 at 4pm for a special writing activity, or kids and teens can join in now on our STEMposium science fair, with participants showing off their amazing projects October 18 starting at 5pm. Families can explore all our regular programming that week, including Baby Time, Storytime, Junior Builders, and more.

Seniors can paint a harvest scene October 17 at 2pm – no previous experience necessary! We’re also having a free concert by Shawnwaters – Shawn Corbiere – where he’ll sing his original songs about Georgian Bay, among others, October 21 at 2pm.

Adults can join us for a special screening of the film Honor Thy Mother, focused on the experiences of Indigenous women from the west coast who migrated to Bainbridge Island, the traditional territory of the Suquamish people, in the early 1940s (October 18, 7pm). We’ll also have an online author visit by Bernie Saunders, retired NHL player (October 20, 7pm).

Thanks for loving your library!

Celebrate Simcoe Reads!

7 libraries, 7 books, 1 winner! Join your Library for our annual Simcoe Reads event! A champion from each community has chosen a book they think everyone in Simcoe County should read. Our competitors are Barrie, Essa, Innisfil, New Tecumseth, Ramara, and Bradford West Gwillimbury Public Libraries, but we know we’ll come out ahead!

Our local champion, Suzanne Marchand, has chosen Daniel Kalla’s exciting and moving novel about the opioid crisis, The Last High. A gripping thriller, The Last High explores the perfect storm of greed, addiction, and crime behind the malignant spread of fentanyl, a drug that is deadlier than any known epidemic.

Daniel Kalla is an internationally bestselling author. His novels include The Darkness in the Light, Lost Immunity, The Last High, and We All Fall Down. He practices emergency medicine in Vancouver. Find out more at or follow him on Twitter @DanielKalla.

Suzanne Marchand is the Executive Director with the Centre de santé communautaire CHIGAMIK Community Health Centre and is an active and engaged community member, concerned with equitable access to healthcare, sports, and wellness. She has become an avid reader and is always up for a good debate.

Other titles include: Esi Edugyan’s Washington Black; Omar El-Akkad’s What Strange Paradise; Genevieve Graham’s The Forgotten Home Child; Hench by Natalie Zina Walshots; Alexandra Morton’s Not on My Watch; and Can You Hear Me Now? by Celina Caesar-Chavannes. Read them all and help us decide which book all of Simcoe County should read! Watch the debate between champions on September 17 and get ready to place your vote. Find all the details at

If you love reading, you’ll be thrilled to know that the Book Cellar, MPL’s used book store run by the Friends of the Library, is open again! This volunteer team, thanks to your donations and purchases, supports exciting Library projects like the Vault, MPL’s new teen space! You can find the Book Cellar on the Library’s lower level, and they’re open 10am – 4pm on weekdays, and 10am – 2pm on Saturdays.

Go Beyond the Books!

At the Midland Public Library you can go beyond the books! We connect our community with resources that they might not otherwise be able to access, and a great example is our outdoor equipment collection.

Thanks to a generous donation from Jill and Bob Strachan, MPL is happy to announce a large expansion of our outdoor equipment collection. If you’ve ever wanted to play a game of disc golf at Little Lake Park, try checking out one of our disc golf sets. If you’re in the mood for more traditional lawn games, we’ve got you covered with badminton, bocce, and croquet. If you’re feeling adventurous, you might enjoy taking along one of our GoPro cameras to capture the action; just don’t forget a microSD card!  If strolling is more your speed, try one of our new pedometers.  You may even consider borrowing one of our Wye Marsh or Ontario Parks passes to take it on the trails, and some walking poles!  Want to explore the secrets of the universe?  Our new microscopes and telescopes can help.

Through the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters’ TackleShare program, sponsored by Ontario Power Generation, we’re a loaner site for fishing rods, reels, and tackle. If water isn’t your thing, you could borrow a monocular and try your hand at birding, or borrow a ukulele for a bonfire singalong.  Remember us in the winter, too, when our snowshoes are available for loan in both adult and child sizes.

If you’re looking for indoor fun, remember that we have robotics and technology kits in our Maker @ Home collection, board games, and escape room kits!

These items and more are available for one or two week loans with a valid adult library card. To place a hold, visit our website at or call 705-526-4216.

We’re still about books, too. Don’t forget our Express Reads collection for adult fiction. These books go out for 7 days, they’re non-holdable, and non-renewable – so more people can read the best new books, more quickly!

Summer Fun @ Your Library!

Our summer reading programs run June 13-September 4, and we have lots of options for all ages. You can read, report and repeat! Download the free Beanstack app 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 and do fun activities to earn badges and win prizes, including a super reader lawn sign, or gift cards, including a $100 grand prize, from fun local businesses! For teens, there’s also a $100 Amazon gift card grand prize!

The TD Summer Reading Club theme for ages 0-18 is Once Upon a Time: Myths and Legends, so we have lots to spark your imagination, from merpeople to valiant knights to ancient civilizations, including writing, art, and science programs for kids, and lots of ways for everyone to have fun!

You can start reporting on June 13, but we know you can’t party until school’s out, so on June 29, 1-4pm, join us for our Summer Reading Launch Party! There’ll be lots of great activities and you can register for summer reading. The coolest part will be free ice cream for SRP participants (or a small donation). MPL is hosting an ice cream truck, thanks in part to TD Bank!

Adults don’t have to let kids have all the fun – if they log their reading on Beanstack, people who participate in our adult summer reading challenge can put in their ballots for a grand prize draw!

MPL is also joining in on Simcoe Reads – 7 libraries, 7 books, 1 winner! Our competitors are Barrie, Bradford, Essa, Innisfil, New Tecumseth, and Ramara, but we know we’ll come out ahead! The champions and books will be announced July 4 – watch our website for updates and join in on our July 14 author visit – also announced July 4 –  to show you’re #mplproud. The final debate happens September 17!

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