Respectful Subject Headings Project

Respectful Subject Headings Project

Since January 2021, the Huron County Library has been taking steps to update catalogue subject headings to be respectful and inclusive to all members of society. This project was spurred on by the social need for improved representation in library catalogues for Indigenous peoples, who are currently identified using colonial and offensive terms, which libraries across Canada have deemed unacceptable for further use. Libraries rely heavily on subject headings to provide access to information. When terminology is incorrect, or disrespectful, this affects the users both consciously and sub-consciously, often reinforcing stereotypes and bias.

The Library began receiving catalogue records from our material vendor, Library Services Centre, that included updated Indigenous subject headings that are based on the great work done by the Greater Victoria Public Library system, who shared their list of respectful headings compiled from a variety of sources including the University of Manitoba, the Association of Manitoba Archives, and through resources put out by the Indigenous Corporate Training Incorporation such as Indigenous Peoples: a Guide to Terminology, Usage Tips and Definitions for Indigenous peoples and subjects.

At the time, these headings were not the official authority subject headings put out by the Library of Congress or by Library and Archives Canada, however the demand was too great to wait for these institutions to come to an industry standard. Since then, Library and Archives Canada has begun extensive work on Canadian Subject Headings that will be used in our records as they come available.

In order to update headings already in our catalogue, Huron County Library joined a committee along with other members of the Ontario Library Consortium to work on a system for updating subject headings and have begun compiling a list of old headings within the catalogue, are finding valid new headings from the agreed upon sources, and then updating or records on a monthly basis. These ongoing updates aim to remove bias, improve access and look for new ways of describing material. While our records will continue to hold the official Library of Congress or Canadian Authority Heading, as well as the updated versions of the headings until the official authority records change, once complete, this work will enable a dynamic, multilingual set of terminologies applied to all Indigenous Peoples, places, heritage, tradition, and communities.

Huron County Library is a supporter of Indigenous Authors and of the First Nations Communities Read Program. Check out some of this year’s titles!

Nature Photography Winners!

Nature Photography Winners!

Thank you to everyone who submitted photos to our first Nature Photography Contest! Presented in partnership with Ontario’s West Coast, we received over 50 entries of some stunning nature shots taken this winter from across Huron County. Needless to say, choosing a winner was challenging, but we appreciate local photographer, Conrad Kuiper, who joined our jury to help select the winner and two runners-up.

And the winner is…

Lake Huron sunset, by photographer Bob Nieboer. Bob shot this sunset earlier this month on a calm evening at St. Christopher’s Beach in Goderich. Bob has won a 16×20 framed and matted print of this photograph printed by 519 Prints & Frames.

Runner-up - flock of Snow Buntings


Snow Buntings taking flight by Deborah Johnston. Deborah captured this flock just north of Goderich on Kerry’s Line. She has won a 8×10 framed and matted print of this photograph printed by 519 Prints & Frames.

Runner up - Female Cardinal


And congratulations to Elizabeth Allan, who captured this female cardinal who visited the crab apple tree in her front yard. She has also won a 8×10 framed and matted print of this photograph printed by 519 Prints & Frames.

Honourable Mentions

NOTICE: Library system outage planned for Feb. 19

NOTICE: Library system outage planned for Feb. 19

Please be advised that, due to a planned system outage, access to our online catalogue and some of our digital resources will be interrupted this Saturday, Feb. 19. Our library service provider expects services to be restored once their scheduled server migration is completed Saturday evening, but work will continue into Sunday, Feb. 20, should any issues arise. 

  • Huron County Library branches will remain open to patrons on Saturday, Feb. 19. Curbside and in-branch services will both be available.
  • Library staff will have limited system access and will be able to check materials out, however, they will be unable to place holds, renew items, check patron accounts or search the catalogue while the server is down.
  • While all book drops will remain open, staff will not be able to check in any returns until our system is back online. Please note that all branches will be closed on Family Day, Monday, Feb. 21, so check-ins will be processed when branches re-open on Tuesday, Feb. 22. Due dates will be extended to accommodate the outage.
  • Basic search functionality in our online catalogue may still be available, but patrons will be unable to place holds, renew items, check their account, etc.
  • Any resource that requires you to log in with a library card number will be unavailable. Online resources such as Hoopla, cloudlibrary and Kanopy will be unavailable throughout the planned outage, but materials downloaded ahead of the planned outage should continue to be available.

We apologize in advance for any inconveniece and welcome you to reach out to your local branch should you have any questions.

All branches re-open for in-branch services

All branches re-open for in-branch services

The Huron County Library is pleased to announce that all 12 library branches will begin re-opening for limited in-branch services starting the week of Feb. 14.

Limited services include scheduled computer appointments, inside browsing and holds pick-ups, and space bookings. Given the unique design of each library space and the ever-evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, patrons are encouraged to contact their local branch to confirm hours and available services. For those of you not yet comfortable with visiting us indoors, curbside services will continue to be available at all branches.

In following the advice of local public health authorities, the Huron County Library continues to make every effort to ensure visits to each branch are safe and enjoyable for everyone. As a result, we ask that you review the following information before visiting:

  • To accommodate physical distancing, the number of people allowed in each branch is limited. Once capacity has been reached, you may be asked to wait outside before you can enter the branch.
  • According to Huron Perth Public Health guidelines, both staff and patrons are asked to wear a face covering at all times, even if fully vaccinated. Masks will be made available for those who may not have one.
  • The hours and services at each branch do vary and are subject to change based on County of Huron, Huron Perth Public Health, and Provincial advisement. Changes to staffing levels could also impact available services, so please visit or follow Huron County Library on Facebook for the most up-to-date information on our hours and services.
  • If you are feeling unwell, we kindly ask that you visit us at another time.

For those of you who are unable to access your local branch at this time, a wide variety of online services continue to be available through the Huron County Library website. Gain online access to movies, e-books, audiobooks, magazines, music, genealogy resources, and more for free with your library card. If you need help with renewing your library card or getting set up with a new card, please contact your local branch or visit our website for full membership details.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact your local branch or email

Huron County Library launches automatic renewals

Huron County Library launches automatic renewals

When life gets busy, the Huron County Library knows that renewing library items can easily be forgotten. So we are very pleased to announce that, in addition to eliminating overdue fines, we are also implementing an automatic renewal system that will now take care of renewing items for you!

Starting Feb. 7, eligible items will be automatically renewed on their due date up to two times. Email notifications will be sent to let you know which items have been automatically renewed so you can enjoy them a little longer. A new due date will be listed with each renewed item.

Items not eligible for automatic renewals include:

  • Items that have reached their maximum renewals (items renewed up to two times)
  • Items on hold for another patron
  • Book Club Sets
  • Items borrowed through Interlibrary Loan
  • Internet Hubs
  • Passes for parks, pools, recreation, etc.
  • Special collection items, such as e-readers and Launchpads

To keep track of due dates for all of your checkouts, log into your account online or contact staff at your local branch. Even if items renew automatically, you can always return them to a branch near you at any time before their due date.

What happens if items are not returned after the automatic renewal period?

  • Accounts will be blocked when an item is 3 weeks overdue and patrons will be unable to borrow library materials or access online resources with their Huron County Library card. Items can be returned at anytime to unblock an account.
  • Items that have been overdue for over 2 months are assumed lost, and the patron will be billed for the replacement costs. Charges are removed if the item is returned undamaged.
  • Any patron with bills over $10 for overdue Interlibrary Loan materials, damaged or lost items, will have their accounts blocked.
  • Any patron who has 20 or more overdue items will be immediately blocked.

If you have any questions, please email or speak with your local branch staff.

Huron County Library received prestigious award for Digitized Newspaper project

Huron County Library received prestigious award for Digitized Newspaper project

The Huron County Library is honoured to receive the Ontario Library Association’s (OLA) Archival and Preservation Achievement Award for the Huron County Digitized Newspaper project.

Virtually presented to library staff at the OLA Super Conference on Feb. 2, 2022, the award recognizes significant achievements in the field of preservation and/or conservation for library and/or archival materials.

Beginning in 2014, the digitization project has been a collaboration between the Huron County Library, Huron County Museum, the County of Huron, and the local community. The project has resulted in the digitization of more than 350,000 local newspaper and magazine pages from microfilm and hard copies. This collection preserves more than a century’s worth of local history from communities across the County.

“The Huron County Library has always been one of the most modern and innovative library systems in the province.” said Huron County Warden, Glen McNeil, “The Digitization Project is just one example of its leaderful and progressive work. Congratulations to everyone involved in this project. The recognition received is well deserved.”

The online collection brings together newspapers and magazines, spanning from 1848 to 2019, in one convenient location that anyone can access, for free, from anywhere there is an internet connection. Over the past two years, as libraries and museums were shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers, students, researchers, historians, and genealogists could still easily access Huron County history from around the world. In 2021 alone, the digitized newspaper collection received close to 20,000 visits, making it one of the most popular online resources that the County of Huron offers.

“The digitization project serves as an important contribution to improving access to community history for researchers, historians and genealogists, who continue to expand our understanding of our rural past,” said Beth Rumble, Director of Cultural Services and County Librarian. “New content is being digitized and added to the collection on an on-going basis, further preserving our archival resources for generations to come.”

Support for this project from the community has helped shape the success of this project.

“We appreciate how the news of the day provides tidbits and notes of interest to many researchers and are impressed how this remarkable project has evolved to become a rich asset to our community,” said Rhea Hamilton-Seeger, on behalf of the Huron County Historical Society. “We are proud that this unique resource was made possible through the foresight of the Huron County Museum and Huron County Library and is used not only in Huron, but across the digital world.”

With members across Canada and the United States, the Huron County Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS), having access to this digital collection has helped those researching their families’ Huron County roots.

“Newspapers provide a snapshot into our ancestors’ lives that is not available in government records,” said Huron County Branch, OGS, Chair Debra McAuslan. Having these available digitially for much of Huron County is a unique resource for an rural area in Ontario and we are grateful to the Huron County Library and Huron COunty Museum for making this possible.”

The full collection can be accessed from both the Huron County Library and the Huron County Museum websites or by directly visiting

Watch the award presentation on YouTube: Ontario Library Association Awards Ceremony 2022 (presentation to Huron County Library starts at 35:15)