The door to our Chinguacousy branch near the parking lot is BROKEN. Please use the door on the opposite side, near the beach volleyball court and skate park, to enter the Library.

The last two months have been some of the most difficult and frustrating of the COVID-19 pandemic for all of us, and that is equally true for us here at Brampton Library. The Omicron wave has upended all of our expectations and assumptions, seeming to promise, in almost equal doses, increasing danger and a path out of the pandemic. 

For the Library, this phase meant that provincial restrictions reduced our capacity to welcome you to 50 percent. But we went further than that, limiting services solely to those that were transactional and brief in order to both protect the community and to respond to a higher than usual level of staff absences. At one branch, Mount Pleasant Village, we are reluctantly offering only curbside pickup service. 

We know that you miss our services, none more than the ability to use our spaces to read, study, and relax. Our feeling was that this sort of extended visit, in a setting where proof of vaccination is not required, would lead to a higher level of exposure than the community was comfortable with under the circumstances. 

We are immensely grateful to everyone in our community for their patience throughout this trying time. We are also heartened by the fact that the wave seems to have peaked and that hospitalizations have decreased. For that reason, we are hoping to restore some of the services you need after the Family Day weekend, in keeping with the province’s ongoing relaxation of restrictions. We are also looking to re-open our Mount Pleasant Village branch as soon as possible.

As I write this, I feel that we have been here before, announcing a return to normalcy, with our branches full of activity, programs, conversation, and quiet study. But like before, I cannot offer a definitive assurance of when that will happen. I can only assure you that we will build back our services as the conditions allow and as the community is comfortable. In the meantime, keep safe, and keep monitoring our website and social media pages for updates.

February is Black History Month. Black people have been present in Canada ever since explorer and navigator Mathieu da Costa arrived in Acadia with Samuel de Champlain in the seventeenth century. As a person of Acadian descent, learning that da Costa’s arrival even predates that of my own ancestors opened my eyes to a history that for so many has been invisible. 

For myself, and for Brampton Library, this is a time to reflect on the contributions and struggles of the Black community, and what can be done to turn a history of racism and exclusion into a present of recognition and inclusion. It is an opportunity to encourage and inspire conversations, even uncomfortable ones, about everyone’s role in correcting historical wrongs. 

This month, your library is a place to discover the legacy of Black Canadians with book and film recommendations, collaborative programming, historical content, and more, for all ages.

On February 15, from 7–8:30 p.m., we celebrate local Black culture through the eyes of our youth, in partnership with ResQ Youth International and Black Youth School Success Initiative (BYSSI). Learn about the influence of African music and language on pop culture, cook Jamaica’s national dish with Chef Horace Spence, and deepen your knowledge of history in the interactive portion. Please register for this program here.

Watch for our social media posts about local Black Canadian history and culture. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @bramptonlibrary. 

Enjoy Virtual Storytime on our YouTube channel. This popular program will share Black themes, authors, and illustrators every Tuesday in February at 10:30 a.m.

Lawrence Hill once remarked:  "Have we read our own authors … Do we know that the story of African-Canadians spans four hundred years, and includes slavery, abolition, pioneering, urban growth, segregation, the civil rights movement and a long engagement in civic life?" 

Accordingly, we suggest Jane Igharo’s Ties That Tether; Louisa Onome’s Like Home; Arts Walk of Fame inductee Ian William’s Disorientation; and Jael Richardson’s Gutter Child. These Black authors and their books will be recognized by the City of Brampton during Black History Month 2022 and you can find them in our branch displays, our online catalogue, on cloudLibrary, and on our mobile app.

And that’s not all! Our librarians have compiled wonderful reading lists and watching lists of books and films that will support you in your journey. Be sure to check out these dedicated online shelves on our website. Click here for books for adults and kids. Click here for e-books and audiobooks for adults and e-books and audiobooks for children. Click here for films on Kanopy. To get a library card click here.

To build your knowledge of Black history and culture now and in the months to come, look no further than your favourite Brampton Library branch. We want to be your neighbourhood champion.

Happy Family Literacy Day! In case you didn’t know, every year on January 27 families across Canada come together to read and play to promote literacy. 

Want to instill the love of reading? Let your kids catch you reading! Don’t underestimate the value of your family seeing you read or starting dinner late because you can’t put down that book!

Here are five fun and easy ways to celebrate Family Literacy Day:

1. Read a book as a family that has been turned into a movie, then watch the movie. Talk about the differences and preferences. Which was better?

2. Plan a themed family reading night! Decorate the house in the theme and have every family member read the same type of book. As a treat, enjoy themed snacks!

3. Write a letter to a relative you haven't seen for a while, including drawings and photographs. You may not have been able to see them in some time!

4. Create a family scrapbook. Spend time talking about the different pictures and experiences you are including and leave pages open for new things you’d like to do together!

5. Visit one (or all!) of our story walks across Brampton! 

On January 27, join @BramptonLibrary on Instagram Stories to share your family’s favourite read!

For families preparing their children for reading and writing, check out our Daily Literacy Calendars and 1000 Books Before Kindergarten, available to download or pick up from any Brampton Library branch. 

Happy Family Literacy Day!

This year, Data Privacy Day, traditionally marked on January 28, has expanded to a global, weeklong initiative to raise awareness and promote best practices around data privacy and protection in the digital age.

In honour of Data Privacy Week, here are five steps you can take today to help protect your privacy and safeguard your personal data: 

Use strong passwords.

No one likes having to create and remember passwords, but a strong password is your first line of defense. Passwords should use a combination of upper and lowercase characters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid using dictionary words as these are easy for hacking software to crack.

When it comes to passwords, the longer, the better! Experts recommend at least 12–15 characters. Consider using a passphrase. Turn a phrase you’ll remember into an acronym. For example:  “I have two dogs. One is named Spot and the other is named Fido” becomes “Ih2d.1inS&toinF.”

Make a habit of changing your passwords on a regular basis and use a unique password for each account. 

Enable two-factor authentication.

For an extra layer of security, enable two-factor authentication (2FA) whenever possible. With 2FA enabled, you’ll be prompted to enter a second piece of information after correctly entering your password. This is usually a one-time code sent to you by text message or email.

Close accounts and uninstall apps you no longer use.

Recently, a number of inactive platforms like Myspace and Google+ have suffered data breaches, affecting millions of users who hadn't logged in for years. These “zombie” accounts can be particularly vulnerable as they are more likely to use passwords recycled with other active accounts and have poor data protection practices in place. 

Review privacy policies and terms of service.

No one wants to read the fine print, but remember, knowledge is power! It’s easy to blindly click “agree” when you create a new account or install an app, but it’s important to understand what you are giving up. Pay attention to what data is collected, who owns it, how it will be used, where it will be stored, and if any third parties will have access. Be on the alert for any overly invasive terms and conditions. 

Don’t overshare on social media, and check your privacy settings.

It’s fun to share details about our lives online, but this can also put your personal data at risk. Check the privacy settings on the web services and apps you use and adjust them to your comfort level. Be cautious when posting details about your location, birthday, or other personal details. 

Want to view your privacy settings, but don't know where to find them? The website maintains a list of direct links to the privacy settings of popular online services.

Also be wary of those widely circulated Facebook quizzes that use your middle initial, birth month or year, and other personal details to reveal something fun about yourself, like  “Which Dr. Seuss Character Are You?” While seemingly innocent, you could unintentionally give hackers access to details that are commonly used in security questions used to verify your identity. 

These are just a few proactive steps you can take to defend yourself from unwanted attempts to access your data and protect your privacy from those you don’t consent to sharing your information with. 

Want to learn more? Check out these recommended links: 

Brampton Library continues to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on our community and make adjustments to our services when necessary for the health, safety, and well-being of our customers and staff. Due to staff shortages and in the interest of our community, we have made the decision to reduce our services at all eight Brampton Library branches.

As of tomorrow, Friday, January 7, 2022, the following changes will take effect:

  • Mount Pleasant Village branch will have reduced hours and will offer curbside pickup only. The new hours will be: 
    • Monday, Wednesday, and Friday: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
    • Tuesday and Thursday: 1 p.m.–8 p.m.
    • Saturday and Sunday: 1 p.m.–5 p.m.
  • At all other branches, our hours of operation will remain the same. Possible closures due to staff shortages will be communicated through our website, social media, and email notifications. Please check our website before visiting a branch for the most current information. You will still be able to access in-branch services, with the following exceptions:
    • Library Chromebooks will not be available.
    • In-branch study space and the use of personal devices to work or study will not be available.

You will still be able to access library materials and online resources. Use of library computers for one hour per day as well as printing services for $0.20 per page will remain available on a first-come, first-served basis.

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