The Huron-Perth Period Poverty Taskforce is planning a FREE menstrual product pilot project at local libraries this Fall

The Huron-Perth Period Poverty Taskforce is planning a FREE menstrual product pilot project at local libraries this Fall

The Huron-Perth Period Poverty Taskforce is hosting a pilot project designed to address Period Poverty in the Huron-Perth region beginning Oct. 16, 2023. During this pilot project, select locations, including all library locations in Huron and Perth Counties, will offer menstrual products to all students, visitors, and patrons for FREE.

“Providing affordable solutions to help people manage their periods comfortably and hygienically is absolutely necessary,” said Beth Rumble, Director of Cultural Services and County Librarian for the County of Huron. “This pilot project will not only fill a gap and ease a financial burden for many families, it also addresses the subject of menstruation head on and without stigma.”

“Period Poverty” is a term that refers to the lack of access to menstrual products due to cost or other barriers. Research indicates almost two-thirds of people who menstruate in Canada have missed work or school because of lack of access to necessary hygiene products. Due to stigma surrounding menstruation, these issues are often not discussed.  

It is the goal of the Task Force to ensure equitable access to quality menstrual supplies for all who need them. This pilot project represents one of the initiatives currently being undertaken by the Task Force. The group will also engage in a range of activities, from resource-sharing to improving access to current supply, to advocating for broader, more systemic long-term solutions for Huron and Perth.

The Huron-Perth Period Poverty Taskforce includes representation from:

  • United Way Perth Huron;
  • Huron Women’s Shelter;
  • Optimism Place;
  • Perth County Information Network;
  • Huron County Library;
  • Avon Maitland District School Board; and
  • more 

To learn more about the Huron-Perth Period Poverty Task Force and the upcoming pilot project, please visit the End Period Poverty page on Huron County Connects: www.connectedcountyofhuron.ca/period-poverty

 

Free Tax Clinics

Free Tax Clinics

Through the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP), community organizations host free tax clinics where volunteers file tax returns for people with a modest income and a simple tax situation. CVITP volunteers use 10 of our 12 branches as drop-off points for tax returns. To see if you are eligible for this service, check under “eligibility criteria” on this page: About free tax clinics – Canada.ca.

Our local CVITP program is to be commended for their impressive results. In 2022, they completed 1,102 income tax returns, 787 of which were in Huron County. This meant $2.7 million was returned into our local economy. Nearly $900K of which went to parents through the Canada Child Benefit Program.

All clinics run at the following branches Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. by appointment only. Call or email your local clinic volunteer to schedule an appointment:

Huron County Library receives Minister’s Award for Innovation for In Your Backyard program

Huron County Library receives Minister’s Award for Innovation for In Your Backyard program

The Huron County Library is honoured to be this year’s recipient of the Minister’s Award for Innovation in recognition of the In Your Backyard program.

Presented to library staff at the Ontario Library Association Super Conference on Feb. 2 in Toronto, this Ontario Public Library Service Award recognizes successful new approaches that demonstrate a positive impact to the community and are of continued value to public libraries. 

In the spring of 2022, library staff hosted In Your Backyard, a virtual local travel series that highlighted several hidden gems found across Huron County. Inspired by Ontario West Coast’s tourism program which ran during the pandemic, staff worked with local municipalities to invite participants to learn more about the communities and businesses found right in their backyard. Building on the popularity of the program, the library partnered with the County of Huron’s Economic Development department to offer an exciting summer giveaway that further encouraged people to get out and explore these hidden gems for a chance to win a Huron County weekend get-away. Locations represented each municipality in the County and were chosen to ensure they were accessible and free for everyone to enjoy.

“I am so proud In Your Backyard was recognized for its efforts to collaborate with our local communities to highlight all of the incredible things available so close to home,” said Beth Rumble, County Librarian and Director of Cultural Services. “The program provided the opportunity for the library to support our communities and businesses who were in a state of rebuilding after the pandemic, and to give people the chance to safely get out and explore Huron’s hidden gems.”

 While the program ended in September, 2022, Huron’s hidden gems are still available to explore! 

During the conference awards ceremony, the Huron County Library was also presented with a certificate for reaccreditation as an Accredited Ontario Public Library. This designation was granted by the Ontario Public Library Guidelines Monitoring and Accreditation Council in recognition of excellence in library service. A library is judged and rated on more than 175 guidelines that evaluate library services, resources, planning and policy. Completing the accreditation process is an opportunity to highlight a library system’s capabilities and to identify areas for improvement. Huron County Library achieved an overall score of 98.3 per cent. Library accreditation is an optional process of which only 40 other Ontario libraries have successfully completed. Achieving this standard demonstrates that Huron County has an exceptional library system.

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

Runner-up…

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

Runner-up…

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.