Human books at your local library

United Way logoThis Saturday, April 18th, check out a Human Book at your local Lanark County Library! Anyone can reserve a one-on-one chat with one of the many “books”. Now is your chance to connect with someone you might not otherwise have the chance to meet!

Now in its second year, the Lanark County Human Library has caught on quickly in the community. For those who are not familiar with the concept, it began with the intention of enlightening “readers”, breaking down barriers and prejudices and encouraging understanding. The concept has now grown to include anyone with an interesting story or life experience.

To check out a book, go online to www.humanlibrary.webs.com and reserve your half hour time slot. Should you require assistance, please call your local library. Reservations are made on a first-come, first-served basis – reserve early as books go fast! The event is free for all and a library card is not required to participate. On Saturday, please check-in with a librarian upon arrival who will then introduce you to your Human Book.

With 21 Human Books available across the County, there is a wide variety to choose from! If you’re looking to stay local, here are the Human Books at your Public Libraries:

Carleton Place Public Library

Gordon MacNabb – Graduating in Civil Engineering from Queen’s University, Gordon’s 32 years in the federal public service included 11 years as Assistant Deputy Minister and Deputy Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources Canada, and 8 years as the founding President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1995 and the recipient of eleven honorary degrees from Canadian universities. Gordon is available at 12:00pm and 12:30pm.

Kory Earle – A young disability rights advocate who was the founding member of People First of Lanark County and now President of People First of Canada. Kory was instrumental in ending union picketing in front of group homes in Lanark County in 2009, which became a provincial issue. He uses his own lived experiences to educate and help build more inclusive communities. Kory is available at 10:00am and 10:30am.

Les Reynolds – A proud Carleton Place native, Les joined the Ocean Wave Fire Company in 1974 and works as a volunteer firefighter for 32 years. He became Fire Chief in 2007. He was also a Town Councillor in 1988 and Deputy Reeve in 1991. He has had a lifetime of experiences as a firefighter and is knowledgeable in the history of Carleton Place in general. Les is available at 1:00pm and 1:30pm.

Sarah Loftus – Volunteers both locally and abroad, including the last two Winter Olympics, travelling to Russia in 2014. A highlight for Sarah was the time she spent as a host for Team Canada Family during the 2013 IIHF Women’s World Hockey Championship. She has worked and travelled extensively through Europe and in the future Sarah will be volunteering at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto and hopes to volunteer at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Sarah is available at 11:00am and 11:30am.

Mississippi Mills Public Library – Almonte Branch

Sgt. Bob Kurus – A member of the Ottawa Police Service for 27 years, Sgt. Kurus has spent 12 years on Patrol and 15 years in the Forensic Identification Section. As an ‘Ident’ detective he attends a wide variety of

crime scenes to take photographs and collect evidence. This evidence, such as fingerprints and DNA, can be crucial in identifying and convicting offenders. Sgt. Kurus is available at 11:30am and 12:00pm.

Jeff Mills – As a Community Developer at Mills Community Support, Jeff uses the principles of Asset Based Community Development and believes that strong communities encourage all citizens to share their skills, talents, and gifts. He coordinates the Neighbourhood Tomato Community Gardens, is the founder of Mississippi Mills Bicycle Month and had traveled to Haiti five times working on an art project with youth. He was awarded the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals as well as the Mississippi Mills Cultural Volunteer Award for his community efforts. Jeff is available at 10:30am and 11:00am.

Kate Miller & Gable – A long standing member of Ottawa Therapy Dogs, Kate and her 4 year old golden retriever, Gable, visit multiple healthcare and social service facilities to provide comfort, peace, relief and companionship for those who suffer from physical or emotional pain. The duo visit Fairview Manor and AGH biweekly and plan to work with young children with reading challenges in local schools. When Gable is off duty, he leads a regular dog’s life – full of fun and smells! Kate & Gable are available at 1:00pm and 1:30pm.

Lila Duffy – A mature Anishinaabekwe (Ojibwe woman) from northwestern Ontario, Lila joined the Canadian Forces at 17 years of age, retired after 20 years, then went back to school and became a licensed lawyer. Her passion is the effects of law and policy on Aboriginal people, and, particularly, Aboriginal women. While in the public service, she worked in policy development, and specifically, over 11 years, worked on legislation (which received Royal Assent last year) which gives women on reserves property rights, which they previously did not have. Lila is available at 1:00 pm and 1:30 pm.

Rod Windover – Celebrating his retirement from 35 years of public service, Rod traveled to Nepal in the fall of 2013. After working on the 2010 Vancouver and Whistler Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games for ten years, he headed off in search of another adventure. He fulfilled a lifetime dream by trekking in the Himalayas. He is an active outdoor fan who is pursuing his next career as an author, teacher and consultant. Rod is available at 11:30am and 12:00pm.

Suzanne Winlove-Smith – A Certified 10 Body & Kundalini Yoga Instructor who recently completed a Graduate Degree Program in Conflict Resolution at Carleton University in the Department of Law for Mediation. Suzanne teaches private, corporate and community yoga classes throughout Perth, Smiths Falls and Almonte, and is involved in a Harvard research Study on the benefits of yoga for Elementary School children. Suzanne is available at 2:00pm and 2:30pm.

Mississippi Mills Public Library – Pakenham Branch

Andre Rieux – A new resident of Pakenham, Andre will be opening his micro brewery, Cartwright Springs Brewery, this spring. Andre has previous experience as a general contractor, mason, electrician and was an engineer at Alcatel-Lucent. Andre has also travelled extensively for high adventure sports to Argentina, Chili, Peru, Bolivia, the Andes, France, Switzerland, Thailand, Kenya, Jordan and more. Andre is available at 1:30pm and 2:00pm.

Noreen Young – An award-winning puppeteer and puppet builder, Noreen Young has held roles of designer, writer, and ultimately, executive-producer for “Under the Umbrella Tree”, a children’s series that ran on CBC and The Disney Channel for many seasons. She starred in the series as the puppet character, Gloria Gopher.

A graduate of the Ontario College of Art, she started her own Corporation, Noreen Young Productions, in 1979. Noreen is available at 1:30pm and 2:00pm.

Thomas McIllwraith – Retired from the faculty at the Atlantic School of Theology in Halifax in 2009, Thomas has been a hobby boat builder all of his life. Over the past five years, he has been building glued lapstrake skiffs and canoes. These have included an 18ft sailboat and seven canoes ranging from 11 to 17ft. Thomas is available at 2:30pm and 3:00pm.

For more information, please go to www.humanlibrary.webs.com, contact the United Way Lanark County at 613-253-9074, or contact your local library in Mississippi Mills, Carleton Place, Perth, or Smiths Falls.