Do you follow medical advice “everyone just knows”— like avoiding gluten or using sunscreen? Are these beliefs really based in science, or are they the modern equivalent of old wives’ tales?

Kingston's own Dr. Michael Hefferon has long been fascinated by the intersection of myth and medicine. Over his long career as a pediatrician, Dr. Hefferon collected 33 "medical myths" into his book Of Plagues and Vampires: Believable Myths and Unbelievable Facts from Medical Practice. Now he's working on a follow-up volume. Come listen to Dr. Hefferon as he explains how much folk wisdom about health is actually true.

This event will be held at the Isabel Turner branch on Thursday, February 8, at 7pm. Admission is free, and everyone is welcome. No registration is required.

Contact: Anne Hall, 613-549-8888, ext.3528, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Published in General Interest
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 13:56

Puppet extravaganza

The Sharbot Lake branch was puppet central last week as part of the Kingston Frontenac Public Library’s Puppet Show Extravaganza Tour Imagine.

Strega Nona (Grandmother Witch), the story of the endless Pasta pot that almost destroys the village when handled carelessly, was the first show that was performed for children who were off from school for spring break and the second play was The Monkey and the Crocodile. The show was performed at the Sydenham branch on Tuesday March 14, and in Sharbot Lake on March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day.

Both shows were well received by area children and their caregivers, a treat for the March break.

Published in General Interest

Kingston Frontenac Public Library Board and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 2202 are jointly announcing a tentative agreement on the union's 2016 employment contract.

Minutes of settlement were signed by officials of both the Library and CUPE on Thursday afternoon.  No details of the deal are being released pending ratification by the Board and by CUPE members.

"This tentative agreement was reached after positive and productive discussions between the Library and CUPE," said Shelagh Quigley, Director of Human Resources and the Library Board’s lead on union negotiations. "We feel it reflects the needs of our staff and the Library as a whole."

"We feel it was a good negotiation and hopefully our members are pleased," said Lori O’Connor, President of CUPE Local 2202. "We will be recommending acceptance at our ratification meeting.”

Wednesday, 01 June 2016 19:12

Parham Library branch opening

More politicians and library board members than you can shake a stick at were present at the official opening of the Parham branch of the Kingston Frontenac Public Library last Saturday morning, May 28.

Not only was County Warden (and Central Frontenac mayor) Frances Smith on hand, South Frontenac Mayor Ron Vandewal and County Council rep John McDougall were on hand as well. They joined library board chair, Claudette Richardson and chief librarian, Patricia Enright, along with Parham residents and local librarian Glenda Young, and the small, clean, well-appointed and stocked space was packed to the rafters for the event.

The opening of the new branch reflects a compromise between the Township of Central Frontenac and the library board. The board was inclined to close the branch, which had been housed in a portable that was attached to the now closed Hinchinbrooke Public School. Central Frontenac wanted to keep the branch open and invested in an addition for the library when they approved the construction of a new Parham fire hall last year. A compromise was reached whereby the library board agreed to stock and staff the branch; but there is a catch.

For Parham residents it is a use it or lose it proposition. There is no hard and fast time frame, but the library will be tracking the use of the branch over the next year or so to see if the number of users and the materials taken out increase to a level where the branch remains viable. Library supporters in Parham are urging their neighbors to consider all that the branch offers.

(see article below by Nancy Benn)

The Parham library needs you

By Nancy Benn

(and when you read this you will know why you need the Parham Library)

Residents of Parham and the surrounding area are delighted that the library is back up and running, attached to the new fire hall on the Wagarville Road.

Regular library users are well aware of the services that a library provides. Book loans are obvious but many people do not realize that a library delivers far more than that.

If you are in the mood for movies, or any of the popular series (Downton Abbey, Breaking Bad, Ray Donovan), then you will find thousands of titles to choose from. If you want to read from a list of over 200 popular magazines you can read them for free through Zinio. Hoopla allows you to download movies, television shows, music, audio and ebooks directly to your computer, tablet, or smart phone.

You can spend hours browsing through the extensive catalog while comfortably seated in your favourite chair at home. Order on line and you will be notified when the book or DVD has been delivered to the Parham library branch. You can use the free Internet service provided at the library, or look through the book and movie shelves. Watch anything from the very old to the most recent releases. And it will not cost you a cent.

The Parham Library needs to increase membership and usage and we are encouraging all of you to pop in for a visit. Get a library card from our librarian, Glenda Young, and then start to enjoy an incredible service.

Parham Library hours are 4 until 6pm on Tuesday; 6 until 8pm on Thursday; and 10am until 12 noon on Saturday. The Kingston Frontenac Public Library website address is

We need all Parham and nearby community members to recognize how lucky we are to have this type of entertainment right here on our doorstep, and we need you to show your support by getting a card and signing out some reading or viewing material. Once you start, we guarantee that you will be hooked.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016 20:54

Fair Vote Proportional Voting System

On Sat. April 23, the Kingston Frontenac Public Library will be hosting a talk about the Proportional Voting System at the Sydenham branch at 2 p.m. The talk will be given by Norm Hart of Fair Vote Canada

“Canada's current electoral system is based on the ‘first-past-the-post’ or ‘winner-takes-all’ system: each riding sends the candidate with the most votes to Ottawa and the party with the largest number of winning candidates forms the government,” says Programming and Outreach Librarian Anne Hall. “But whenever there are more than two parties running, the government will often be formed by a party with far less than 50 % of the total number of votes cast. One could argue that all the votes for the candidates who lost in each riding are lost or wasted.”

Fair Vote Canada believes there’s a better way: proportional voting, where everyone’s vote counts towards the end result, and the number of seats won by each party is proportional to the total number of votes cast. In the April 23 talk, Norm Hart will explain how proportional representation works.

Visit or join the Facebook event:


Many who have heard of the mind boggling capabilities of 3D printers had a chance to better understand the technology thanks to a public service offered by the Kingston Frontenac Public Library. Derek Fenlon, a tech tutor with the KFPL's Central branch in Kingston, was in Sharbot Lake on January 9 sharing the wonders of the Ultimaker 2GO printer with patrons. “I want to show people the potential of 3D printing services that we offer with the hopes that they will utilize this service that is offered to all of our patrons.”

Patrons of the KFPL are being invited to find 3D designs for models online or, alternatively, they can use a number of free online design tools like Tinkercad to design their own 3D objects. These can in turn be emailed to the library’s main branch where tech staff will print the objects for a minimal materials fee and make them available for pick up at the patron’s own branch.

Fenlon said that patrons can also meet with techs at the library's main branch, who will assist them in designing their own objects for printing.

When I visited the Sharbot Lake library branch, Fenlon was explaining to visitors that the printer works by feeding a thin line of plastic filament through an extruder, which heats up the plastic to a temperature of 200 degrees Celsius. Once the plastic has reached the proper temperature, the nozzle at the end of the extruder then moves rapidly and precisely back and forth, and left and right, building up tiny layers of the object. A small silver knight measuring about 2 inches in height, which was in the process of being printed, took the printer about two hours to print. Fenlon explained that the time required for printing depends not only on the size of the object but its density as well. For example, a seven-inch and considerably more dense skull of a T-REX that was on display took 12 hours to print.

Fenlon had brought other printed objects to show to patrons, included an intricate interlinking bracelet, a Terminator head, a rocket ship and a cookie cutter. He also had on display a reference book titled “High Tech DIY Projects for 3D Printing”, which introduces children and adults to the basics of 3D printing and shows them how they can create their own objects.

The technology has been around since the 1980s, and Fenlon said that over the years the printers have become less expensive and more streamlined, and eventually will likely be more affordable to average people. Fenlon himself designed and printed out a miniature replica of the iconic yellow submarine from the Wes Anderson film “The Life Aquatic”. Regarding practical applications of the technology, he said he helped one patron design two replacement knobs for his barbeque and another patron, an engineering student at Queen’s University, used the printer to print out a prototype for a surf board fin.

Fenlon said that 3D printing extends well beyond hobbyists and DIYers and spoke of edible food items and useable objects in wax and metal that are being made. Scientists are currently exploring the possibility of printing human organs using live cells. To date the technology has also been used to print skin grafts and to make prosthetics for amputees. Fenlon said that the technology is also currently being used by business people who use the hobby printers to make various saleable plastic objects and he also knows of full body scanners used in Walmarts in the US by customers who use the scans as the basis for designs.

The technology also lends itself to the need to create objects in remote locations, like in outer space or in the military, Fenlon said. However, regarding the issue of printing guns, Fenlon said that tech staff will refuse to print any dangerous or inappropriate objects.

Fenlon said that while many people have heard about 3D printing, that it is not until they see the printer and how it works that they begin to understand its potential. That proved true when one visitor to the Sharbot Lake branch, Bryan Biondi of Mississippi Station, wondered if Fenlon could create a cookie cutter in the shape of his beloved pet shepherds. Librarian Sara Carpenter quickly found silhouettes of the specific dog breed online, which Fenlon said could be used as the basis to create a design for such an item. “I have a lot of time on my hands”, Biondi said, “and I love to bake and I thought, wouldn't it be great to bake cookies in the shape of my dogs.”

For those who missed the presentation at Sharbot Lake, future presentations will take place at the Storrington branch on Thursday, January 21 from 6 - 8pm; the Hartington branch on Saturday, February 13 from 1 - 3pm, and in Sydenham on Saturday, February 27 from 11am –1pm. For more information about this service visit the KFPL's website at or call 613-549-8888.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016 19:57

Parham library to be put on probation

Central Frontenac Council has received a letter from Kingston Frontenac Library Board Chair Claudette Richardson, which sets out the way the library sees the future of the Parham branch. The letter was based on a meeting held between Mayor Frances Smith and library staff and Board members on December 11.

Not only does the letter outline who will pay for what as the branch is set up in an extra room that was built into the new Parham fire hall, it also makes it clear that the branch will only stay open if it meets “performance benchmarks” set by the library board.

The township needs to provide not only the space but all furnishings and equipment as well, and will also be responsible for facility costs such as utilities, snow clearing and insurance.

The library will supply all computer equipment and related costs, and will cover the costs of Internet and phone service, library materials and staffing for six hours a week.

Richardson said that not only will the board set benchmarks that need to be met by Parham branch users, they will also set out a timeline for those benchmarks to be met. She said they would close the branch and transfer the hours to a new branch in Mountain Grove if those benchmarks are not met. The fact that a new branch in Mountain Grove has not yet been approved in any Central Frontenac budget is also referred to in the letter.

If the Mountain Grove branch is not built within the time frame specified, the Library Board will work with the township to determine the next steps,” Richardson wrote.

Finally, the letter gives the library board an option to remove service from Parham, perhaps even if the usage benchmarks are met.

The continued operation of the Parham branch will depend on the availability of resources and funding within the budget targets imposed by our funders,” said Richardson

At a meeting of Central Frontenac Council on Tuesday (January 12) Mayor Frances Smith said that the shelving that needs to be put in place will cost about $28,000 and that a drop box will cost another $3,000.

She said that the meeting that took place in December had been a good one, and that “the library board is really trying to establish a reasonable target for usage given the size of the community and other factors. We will be able to engage with them on the benchmark and our two county representatives on their board, John Purdon and Annie Peace-Fast, will play a role in monitoring how the library handles the matter.”

She added that it is a “beautiful space” that has been created for the library at the back of the new Parham fire hall.

I'm not convinced they haven't already made up their mind and are just stringing us along,” said Councilor Philip Smith.

Councilor Bill MacDonald said that in his recollection it was the Library that provided shelving when the branch in Sharbot Lake was upgraded in the 1990s.

When the Frontenac Public Library was originally established, each of the Frontenac townships committed to establishing a branch, and when four townships (Olden, Oso, Hinchinbrooke and Kennebec) amalgamated to form Central Frontenac, the new township inherited four branches.

The Kingston Frontenac Public Library, which was created after municipal amalgamation in 1998, has continued to provide staffing and library materials to the four branches, but in a report tabled in 2006, it was proposed that one larger branch in Sharbot Lake be built to replace all four existing branches.

Since then the Arden branch has been upgraded and is included in the long term plans of the library, and the existing Sharbot Lake branch has remained busy, but the status of the Parham and Mountain Grove branches has been precarious.

While the letter from board chair Richardson creates doubt about the continued viability of the Parham branch, the reference to supporting a “new facility in Mountain Grove” is the first sign of a long-term commitment to a third branch in Central Frontenac.

Mayor Smith said that if the Parham branch is forced to close, the new shelving can be used for an upgraded Mountain Grove facility.

The commitment to a branch in every former Frontenac Township was broken by the KFPL Board when they closed the Ompah branch in the former Palmerston - Canonto township five years ago.

A community group has established an independent library where the KFPL branch used to be located.

Thursday, 01 October 2015 08:31

Local faces “strike a pose” for the KFPL

Regular visitors to various branches of the Kingston Frontenac Public Library recently had a chance to strike a pose to help celebrate October as Canadian Library Month.

At the Sharbot Lake branch on September 22, Debbie Whan of Mountain Grove, who is a regular visitor to the Sharbot Lake, Parham and Mountain Grove branches, was approached by Meredith Westcott of programming and outreach services with the KFPL. Westcott invited Whan to add her face to the MY KFPL promotional campaign, which aims to celebrate the faces of real people who love to spend time at their local libraries.

The photos along with a personal quotation stating why the library user loves to visit their local library, were taken at numerous branches of the KFPL including the Sharbot Lake and Sydenham branches and they will be used for various advertising and promotional publications for the KFPL in the upcoming months. “With stock photography you are not able to get realistic people who best represent your local community. The whole idea with this project is to find the real people who use the libraries and share their reasons why. Our aim is to show that we are a community organization and that we are open to all types of people of all ages and all backgrounds”.

Whan said that she visits her local branches regularly not only to quench her love for DVDs, especially those on the topic of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, but also because it is “a quiet and peaceful place to visit”.

Westcott said that she has photographed various local patrons who each have their own personal reasons for visiting their local branch. “It is the richness of the materials available that attract people. Not only do we have books on all topics, as well as a wide selection of DVDs and CDs but we also have download-able movies and magazines and our online resources are also phenomenal. For people who love music, they can get free music every week and it is all totally free.”

Westcott also mentioned the numerous free family programs that are also popular, including story times, P.A. Day and March break programs, and various live musical and theatrical performances by professional artists, which are available through funding by Friends of the Library.

This is the second time the KFPL has run the many local faces promotional campaign, the first having taken place in 2013. Westcott said that not only will this new promotion help library staff to update their photos but that the participants and local residents can look forward to seeing a few familiar faces in print and on view at their local branches in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015 16:52

Creative Anachronism may be for you

History buffs wanting to experience what living in pre-17th century Europe was like may be interested to know that there exists an international society with branches right here here in Canada that allows its members to do just that. The Society of Creative Anachronism is an international organization with over 30,000 members who research and recreate the arts and skills of those days long gone by. Consisting of over 20 kingdoms, members organize events and dress in period clothing and attend various events throughout the year.

As part of the Kingston Frontenac Public Library's series of live monthly speakers, Jon McLean, a member of the society, spoke at the Sydenham library branch on August about the organization and some of its practices. Society members can engage in many of the activities that were popular during those times, including armored combat, rapier combat (also known as fencing), various types of crafting, equestrian activities, archery and other thrown weaponry, heraldry and other forms or writing, performing arts, games, meal and beverage preparation and more.

McLean has a interest in making mead, an alcoholic beverage popular at that time and said that was what initially attracted him to the group. The first step for those interested is to locate the Kingdom closest to you by accessing the organization's website and looking at a list of their events that can be attended, or alternately by getting in touch with a member to find out more. McLean spoke of some of the events that he has attended, which have included special feast days when summer and winter Kings and Queens are chosen by the group; special combat days that are held in a drill hall located at CFB Kingston; large re-enactments of battles that have taken place, as well as other celebrations where members recreate period meals and activities in an effort to emulate life as it was back then. Members create their own authentic dress, and accessories and McLean stressed that it is up to members to go as in depth into the authenticity of their roles and gear as they like. McLean showed slides of members of his group at a special Trebuchet Day where they test fired a catapult they had built, and other slides showed members participating in a re-enactment of a Trillium War.

Those interested can visit the website at to find out more information and how to get involved.

Thursday, 09 July 2015 11:56

KFPL Mini Maker Faire

Youngsters and adults of all ages had an opportunity to explore the latest in creative computing and other related technology thanks to a special interactive event put on by the Kingston Frontenac Public Library (KFPL) at Oso Hall in Sharbot Lake on July 3.

The event, titled the Mini Maker Faire, aims to engage youngsters in the latest cutting edge technology and was headed up by members of the KFPL staff. It included a number of interactive opportunities for kids and adults alike.

On site was a 3D printer where visitors had a chance to create their own 3D designs or choose an existing design to have printed out. A number of finished items were on display such as key chains and various toys, including one detailed dinosaur head.

Liz Coates, a teen and new adult librarian with the KFPL, explained the process. A design is first created and loaded into a computer attached to the printer, which then uses a raw plastic filament to create the object. The filament is fed into an extruder, which heats the plastic to 225 degrees Celsius. The plastic then immediately hardens, which allows layer upon layer to build up, creating a finished three-dimensional object.

Coates informed me that all card-carrying members of the KFPL can put in orders to have their own 3D designs printed out at the library's main branch, which can then be delivered to any member branch. At another station of the Mini-Maker Faire, Derek Fenlon, a tech tutor with the KFPL, showed guests something called arduino, a creative computer/electronics kit complete with a detailed instruction guide that shows youngsters the basics of computer technology by showing them how to create their own computer-based electronic objects. The kit shows the users how to program tiny computers called micro-controllers, which causes objects to be interactive. The kit aims to get youngsters engaged in creating their own designs, which can eventually evolve into more complicated objects like robots.

Another attraction at the fair was a special button-making machine, at which a crowd of youngsters and their parents were busy making their own buttons.

Huda Shaltry, programming and outreach staff with the KFPL, was pleased with the turnout for the first time Sharbot Lake event and said that a lot of parents brought along friends with kids. Although the primary aim is to get young ones involved in the various programs the library offers, these can be a relaxing and equally engaging experience for adults as well. One parent said that she spent hours with her kids, who were thoroughly engaged for the entire duration of the event.

For those who missed the first fair, a second KFPL Mini Maker Faire will take place at the Barrie Hall in Cloyne on Friday, August 14 from 1 to 3pm.

Shaltry also made note of a number of summer reading clubs for youngsters and teens as well as the library's “Books Clubs with a Difference” events, which offer adults a chance to meet for relaxed conversations about the books they have been reading. For avid readers in this area, the book clubs will take place at the Cloyne branch on Friday, July 17 and Friday, August 21 at 11am, and at the Sharbot Lake branch on Tuesday, July 28 and Tuesday, August 25 at noon.

A number of programs geared to children and the whole family are scheduled for this summer at a variety of KFPL library branches and include LEGO making workshops, puppet shows, story telling, concerts and more. For a full listing visit

Page 1 of 3