Join Librarians Without Borders at the OLA Super Conference for a fun evening at Jack Astor’s Restaurant Bar and Grill on Friday February 1st, 6:30 p.m.! Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to find out more information about Librarians Without Borders, meet Librarians Without Borders members and hear about our upcoming trip to Guatemala this April!

For more information or to join the event visit our Facebook Event page.

We look forward to seeing you there!


*Poster and text courtesy of Carmen Ho.


Speaking Tour Announcement

It is our pleasure to announce that Librarians Without Borders (LWB) will be hosting our Guatemalan partner, Jorge Chojolan, from November 11 – 29, as part of a North American speaking tour. Jorge is the founder and director of the Asturias Academy, a progressive K-12 school that offers education for students from low-income and indigenous families. The speaking events will focus on the following themes: education reform, leadership, libraries and literacy in Guatemala.

About Jorge Chojolan

Jorge has spent his life committed to improving access to education for low income and indigenous families in Guatemala. Inspired by the writing of Paulo Friere’s book Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Jorge is creating an alternative school system designed to spur improvements in education throughout Guatemala. Learn more about Jorge’s story…

Librarians Without Borders and the Asturias Academy

Since 2009, Librarians Without Borders has worked with Jorge and the Asturias Academy to promote literacy and libraries in Guatemala. Through many hours of fundraising, planning and hard work, Asturias was able to open a community library to students and their families in January 2011. Learn more about our work in Guatemala…

Tour Itinerary & Public Events

“Promoting Democracy and Human Rights Through Education in Guatemala”

Toronto, ON 
November 13, 6:00PM
St. Mike’s Muzzo Family Alumni Hall (121 St. Joseph Street, Toronto)

London, ON 
November 14, 12:15 – 1:30pm
Faculty of Education, University of Western Ontario

Ottawa, ON 
November 16, 2:00 – 4:30pm
Room 129, Simard Hall, University of Ottawa

Montreal, QC 
Public lecture and reception for the library community.
November 19, 2012, 6:00 – 8:00pm
Thomson House, 845 Sherbrooke Street West, McGill University

Public lecture and luncheon co-sponsored with The Centre for Society, Technology and Development (STANDD)
November 20, 12:00-1:30 pm
Peterson Hall, room 116, 3460 rue McTavish, McGill University

Public lecture
November 20, 6:00-7:30 pm
Hall Building, 1455 De Maisonneuve W., Concordia University

Los Angeles, CA
November, 29, 7:00 p.m.
Auditorium, Main Campus, Marymount College

*Photo courtesy of John Abernathy Photography

A few days ago, our friend Dr. Beverly Baker send us a message.  She’s in the process of filling an entire shipping container of dearly need supplies to be sent to one of Librarians Without Borders partner groups, Lycee Jean-Baptiste Cineas.  Please take a moment to read her message and help out of you can!

A 40-foot container is being parked on the McGill campus this August and will be filled with discarded McGill desks and furniture and other donations, to be shipped to the Lycee Jean-Baptiste Cineas in Limbe, Haiti. This is a collaborative project with myself, McGill Facilities Management, and undergraduate and graduate students and groups across campus.

When: August 13 and 14
Where: McGill Lower Campus, east side of the James Administration Building, south of the parking lot below the Wong Building (see attached map)

Interesting in helping out with this project? We need you! There are three ways to help:

1) Volunteer to help with the packing of the container on August 13 and 14 :
You can do this by emailing me at and letting me know which days and for which shifts you are available: 9am-1pm or 1pm-5pm. We will need a lot of volunteers to help with this. Experience in packing/moving would be very helpful! Please email me ahead of time so I can schedule volunteers in an efficient way.

2) Drop by with a donation: You can drop by between 9 and 5 on the 13th and 14th with the following items:

·        – Microscopes

·        – CD players, DVD playes, cassette tape players; rechargeable batteries and chargers of all types

·         -Large coffee makers (50+ cups) and reuseable cups

·         -Basketballs and basketball nets; soccer balls

·        – Musical instruments

·         -Art supplies; sewing supplies (not cloth, but notions)

Books in French, Spanish, or English as a second language and  school supplies (paper, pens, binders, folders, etc.) are also welcome.
Please do not bring anything that is not on this list, as there are restrictions on what we can pack. Make sure that you bring items already packed in boxes and labelled. Please make sure that the items are all in excellent condition.

3) Donate $$$ to help with the shipping costs
To make a tax-deductible donation, go to the following link and donate through MSR International, a non-profit organisation that supports projects at the school.
Click on “donate now” and the container fund for Haiti will be visible.

A big thanks to all who have already donated materials as well as money to support this project. The container will be shipped to Haiti on August 17 and should be at the school in time for the start of classes!
Beverly Baker

P.S. For more information on the Lycee Jean-Baptiste Cineas, go to my YouTube video of our work there:

Another year of Shazamfest, and another big success under the belt of owner and impresario Ziv Pryztyk. For those of you have have never had the pleasure of attending the festival, no number of words are sufficient to describe its level of grooviness. If it had to be summed up in one word, that word would be funkymusicwrestlingfreakshowburlesquecircusskateboardingenvironementalsummerfestival. That is to say, the lineup is as varied as your imagination can conceive. I couldn’t possibly go over every single act in this short space, so I’ll hit the highlights and link to other resources and articles to complete the picture.

Here’s the entire line-up:


The Garlics  In-your-face punk rock.

Les Tribal Roses Tribal fusion dance troupe.

Lack of Sleep  These Montreal-based rockers were the surprise hit of the weekend.

Black Snake Circus Conceptual  performance and contemporary freak show group.

Malajube  Juno award-winning Indie rock. 

Gasoline Straight up rock ‘n’ roll, heavily influenced by Led Zeppelin, RATM, SOAD, Beatles, STP, Pink Floyd. 

Bloodshot Bill This rockabilly legend graces the Shazamfest stage for his third consecutive year.

Tente Dj Tent With/Avec PEDRO, Bobby & High-C


The Eastern Townships Laughing Championship and Laugh in with Albert Nerenberg, Laughologist.

Wrestling Show with/avec the ETWA The Eastern Townships Wrestling Association bring the pain.

Skateboard Competition on the Hager Half Pipe.

Dj Don Pedr Funky world beats.

Michelle & Sasha A groovy blend of folk, soul-full blues and reggae.

Dan Fiyah Beats Spreading peace, love, and unity through cool reggae. 

The Blue Mushroom Sirkus Psyshow An assortment of traditional Circus and Sideshow acts, dance, theatre, vaudeville, and burlesque.

Alaclair Ensemble Seven MCs and one DJ.

Capital Tease Ottawa’s premier burlesque troupe.

Dubtribe This legendary group has influenced a generation of electronic music makers and lovers for the last 20 years.

Tente Dj Tent avec/with JAXPRATT (Ottawa) & Bopp (Mtl)


Chahut d’Ruelle A mix of blues-country-folk-punk-roots-experimental music. 

Seahags Old-timey country garage with a honkytonk/grunge edge.

Dirt Cheap Winos Folky-bluegrass tunes with a jug band feel.

David Francey  Widely regarded as one of Quebec’s finest singer/songwriters .


Skateboarding with Mike Townsend the Valoiz Boyz at the Hager Half Pipe. 

-All-day circus workshops with Michael Jensen in the Circus area.

 -Forging workshops with David McDonald.

-Mask making from 10am to 12pm @ the coffee house. For all ages.

-Musical instruments making from 10am until noon @ in the circus area. For 5 to 9 years olds.

-Song writing workshop from 10:30am to 12:30pm @ the Dj Tent. For ages 12 and up.

-Mystical Lantern Making workshop at 4 :30pm @ the Dj Tent.

Articles, Blogs & Stuff:

Dream.Love.Grow An interview with Shazamfest impresario Ziv Pryztyk by the Dream.Love.Grow artists group.

Instead Cinema’s full and complete round-up of all the artists and events.

Other Resources:

In addition to his annual Shazamfest duties, Mr. Pryztyk also runs Checkpoint Charlies Bistro Bar, where many festival regulars can be seen during the off-season.

The Department of Canadian Heritage supports Shazamfest!

Check out Sharon Ep1c, the artist who live painted the events as they occurred.

*Top banner photo courtesy of Claude Dufresne, all other photos courtesy of Shazamfest.

This weekend, July 27th-29th, I make my now annual trek east to Shazamfest. For those of you who don’t know, Shazamfest is Quebec’s most unique summer festival, running the gamut from live music to circus acts to burlesque to professional wrestling.  This year’s musical lineup includes San Francisco funk/soul legends Dubtribe, Quebec’s own Malajube and rockabilly supercat Bloodshot Bill. The three day extravaganza also includes Capital Tease Burlesque, the Blue Mushroom Psyshow Sirkus (a must see for fans of the bizarre!) and heroes and villains of the Eastern Townships Wrestling Association.

If you’re anywhere near Way’s Mills, Quebec and you’re looking for a completely different and chill way to spend your weekend consider making the drive. I’ll have a full report posted here upon my return next week. In the meantime, check out these links for further info:

The Official Shazamfest Site!

Join the party on Shazam’s Facebook page


Follow them on Twitter

Read this very cool write-up by Damon Cox of Instead Cinema

See you there!

A few months ago, I was approached by superstar librarians Krista Godfrey and Nick Ruest with an interesting opportunity. They had devised a cunning plan to encourage fellow librarians to break their rusty cages and try something new.  Both are members of the Ontario Library Association‘s OLITA group, otherwise known as the Ontario Library and Information Technology Association. OLITA’s primary focus is to foster the promotion and innovative use of emerging technologies in library settings. Together, we’ve created the OLA Discovery Fund, an award designed to provide seed money to help launch interesting and innovative library projects. We’re awarding up to $500  each for the best, most unique and creative ideas. If you work in the information field, and have an idea that you can’t wait to try, read on…

The text below comes courtesy of the Ontario Library Association website. You can see the original and apply for the award by clicking here –> OLA Discovery Fund


Libraries constantly strive to improve their services and communities in new and innovative ways. As library budgets continue to shrink, opportunities to explore new ideas are at risk of being cut to preserve more essential services. Limiting the ability to improve and explore new ideas would undermine libraries’ position to continue to be an important and vital part of our communities. OLA recognizes this and proposes the creation of the OLA Discovery Fund, a fund that would allow libraries to apply for small start up money to explore new and innovative ideas.

The OLA Discovery Fund will act as seed money to begin an innovative idea. As the fund is small, it may not fund the entire project but will aid in getting an idea started. Ideas are not limited to innovation in technology – service innovation, building innovation and other new ideas that push libraries forward are eligible for the fund.

Winners of the OLA Discovery Fund will be required to share their stories. Libraries will thrive by sharing both successes and failures and fund recipients will be required to share their findings with the OLA community.

Participation in the OLA Discovery Fund will not exclude a project from being nominated for other OLA award such as the OLITA Award for Technological Innovation or the Larry Moore Challenge Award.


Applicants (OLA Members) can apply to fund at anytime during the year. Awards will be given out 3 times a year, with a maximum of $500 per award.

Winner Responsibilities
Projects funded by the OLA Discovery Fund will be required to share their findings, whether
they succeed or fail. The project should be shared via OLA communications such as the OLA
website or Access magazine within a year of receiving the fund money.

Committee Responsibilities
An OLA Discovery Fund committee will be responsible for accepting and reviewing nominations.

Awards will be given out August 1, and December 1 of each year.

Application & Review Process

  • Media: Participants shall apply online. Participants must provide full contact information (name, position, organization and relevant contact info such as email/phone).
  • Organizer: OLA Discovery Fund committee, a sub-group of OLITA.
  • Task/ Topic specificity The fund will act as seed money to launch or test an innovative idea.
  • Degree of elaboration Participants will submit a brief 500-1000 word summary of their proposal. The proposal should include a description of the idea, the need/problem it addresses, the manner in which it will address this need/problem, why it is innovative, a brief explanation of how the $500 award will be spent and a brief explanation of how project goals will be accomplished.
  • Target group: Individual OLA members, OLA member libraries.
  • Participation: Participants may apply individually, as formal groups (representing formal organizations) or as informal groups of individuals. Participants must be OLA members in good standing to apply.
  • Contest period: Three awards of approximately $500 each will be awarded per year at intervals of approximately four months. Each participant shall be eligible for a maximum of one award per year.
  • Reward/ motivation: A monetary award of $500, the opportunity to gain positive publicity via OLA communications infrastructure (website, Access Magazine, Super Conference etc.), the opportunity to launch a project that will return tangible benefits to the participant.
  • Community functionality Award recipients will be required to communicate their experiences directly to the OLA Discovery Fund committee. Any communications may be used as the committee sees fit. Recipients may also be required to communicate their experiences via other channels (website, Access Magazine, Super Conference etc…).
  • Evaluation: Applications shall be judged by the OLA Discovery Fund committee. Applications will be judged on uniqueness of idea, the idea’s potential to deliver benefits, feasibility/usefulness of the idea.

Friends! Help Librarians Without Borders win a grant from Better World Booksto build a library in Haiti. Voting opens now and ends June 25. You can vote once a day! Please share widely and vote, vote, vote!

Which non-profit organization will get up to $15,000 in funding from Better World Books? You decide.

In addition to the funding we regularly funnel to non-profits and libraries from every one of your purchases, Better World Books has annual grants that we award to specific innovative literacy projects that share our vision of spreading literacy around the world! So cast your vote for the organizations that you think will best promote learning and literacy to under-served communities! The winning organization will receive their proposed grant from Better World Books, up to $15,000. You can vote once per day. Be sure to get your friends involved to help fund an amazing project!

Vote here!

*Banner photo and italicized text courtesy of Better World Books.