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highlights & happenings
Welcome to our highlights and happenings page. This is where you will find short articles about Gallanough and other related topics of interest. We might highlight an upcoming event, tell you about something that just happened or provide a link to another interesting site. You never know what you'll find here so come back often.
The Martian: Book or Movie or Both?
Heather & Frank

Until recently many readers seem to have agreed that it is the rare movie that turns out to be better than the book. The movie The Martian seems to be calling that premise into question once again. The book was very engaging and well written by Andy Weir. However, the technological terminology (complicated explanations of botany and chemistry), long monologues and repetitive phrases used by the main character, Mark Watney (played by Matt Damon) made it a difficult read for some.

Gallanough's Book Club will be discussing the book at our November 14th, 2016 meeting. The movie, The Martian, had a near record braking opening weekend in October of 2015. It was directed by Ridley Scott and starred Matt Damon as the main character, Mark Watney. Gallanough has both the movie and the book. At this moment there are no holds "reservations" for either.

It is debatable whether the book or movie is better entertainment. The relationships between crewmembers are less intimate in the movie. This removes a key quality from the movie that made the book more personal and easy to relate to. The movie tries to make up for this by adding an epilogue, which explains the characters lives after the event. However, this seems very impersonal without the interesting details and character development that we get in the book. Beth speaks with her father about the crew's decision to go back for Watney. It is one of the most individual and personal moments in the book. Left out of the movie, we do not have the same understanding of how committed the crew are to his rescue. The political problems behind China's help with the rescue are left out of the movie, making it a lot less relevant and questionable than in the book.

Large sections of the book have been cut out of the movie, making it more of a linear story with less excitement. Watney's drill stops working when he is almost ready to start his journey. The frustration and loneliness that he feels seems less urgent in the movie. Also, Watney mistakenly drives into a crater on his trip from the Hab to the rendezvous site, completely destroying a lot of his equipment and calling the whole trip into question. He also escapes another sandstorm, which NASA knows about, but is not able to inform Watney. Since all these would have made the movie too long, they were removed but they do give the book more tension as to whether the astronaut will actually make it home.

The movie does explain the reasons why Watney is left behind on Mars from the beginning. The book goes back and forth between earth and Mars several times before it is clear why he was left stranded, making the intrigue and desire to read on more urgent for the reader.

The visual effects in the movie are amazing which really helps with the authenticity. It makes Watney's plight a lot more real and his sense of isolation a lot more immediate to us. There are many other positives in the movie as well. The complexities of just moving around in space are revealed first hand. Watney's physical difficulties and the deterioration of his health are seen every day. The combination of the book and movie a great compliment to the story. I would recommend reading the book first because the desire to know whether or not he survives is what keeps you reading, whereas the visual of Mars and inside the Hab and spacecraft are enough to keep the viewer watching.

Heather Spear Meetis Author Frank O'Dea
Heather & Frank
November 2013

Gallanough Board Member, Heather Spear, attended a dinner to promote Frank O'Dea's new 2013 book "Do The Next Right Thing: Surviving Life's Crises" (Penguin Canada) ISBN 9780670065875

Last year the Gallanough Book Club met to discuss Frank O'Dea's book written in 2007 "When All You Have Is Hope."

Francis O'Dea, OC is a Canadian entrepreneur, humanitarian and author. He left a lifestyle of homeless panhandling and in 1975 co-founded the Second Cup chain of coffee stores with Tom Culligan.

"Frank O'Dea is no stranger to overcoming crisis. He was a victim of abuse as a teenager and at twenty-four, a homeless alcoholic. But he was able to turn his life around and become a successful businessman while creating a family. Now he's sharing the lessons he's learned, offering guidelines that anyone can follow to help him or her through crises."
Read More at Penguin Canada

Civic Hero Awards to Gallanough Volunteers
Civic Hero Awards
November 2013

Galanough Board Members Linda Orriell and Marilyn Braude were presented with Civic Hero Awardsby Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua, Ward 5 Councillor Alan Shefman and Members of Council.

"Linda and Marilyn are model community volunteers whose actions are inspirational and set an example for others to follow," said Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua. "They are passionate about working at the local level and their commitment and compassion make Vaughan a better place to live."

For more on this story see the Read More at City of Vaughan Web Site
Quote & photo courtesy of the City of Vaughan

Why Summer Reading Programs Are Important
Reading Bird
May 2012

Do you have a summer reading plan for your family?

Below are twelve key reasons why a summer reading program should be an essential part of every childís summer programs, activities and enjoyment.
  1. Reading over the summer prevents "summer reading loss."
  2. Reading 5 books or more over the summer can have a significant impact for elementary school readers.
  3. Summer reading programs make adjustments for individual children who are at different reading levels.
  4. Summer library programs are not located in school buildings, which may help reduce the negative perception about summer learning.
  5. Summer reading programs encourage readers to use alternate formats such as magazines, recorded books and graphic novels.
  6. Participants often return to summer library programs in successive years which helps build reading into their summer routine.
  7. It is important that students read things that are important to them socially-- items related to movies and books that are popular with their friends--which most library programs encourage.
  8. Free voluntary reading is important to helping students become better readers, writers and spellers.
  9. Students who read recreationally out-performed those who donít. Students read more when they choose there own materials based on their own interests.
  10. Summer library programs address child safety issues by providing constructive, supervised and free activities.
  11. Summer library programs provide quality, productive and affordable learning opportunities, regardless of income.
  12. Library programs can meet the personal and social needs of youth.

Download in PDF format

Gallanough's Expanding DVD Collection
Spring 2012

Some of you may have noticed that it is getting more and more difficult to rent and, in some cases, even purchase DVDs. With Blockbuster stores closing at the end of last year and Rogers stores recently discontinuing rental of movies, one wonders where the actual DVDs have gone?

The answer is: Quite a few have been purchased by the Gallanough Resource Centre for our expanding DVD collection. We are very close to adding the 2500th DVD to our collection. That means we have 2500 DVD titles and many more actual DVDs as most of our TV Series are composed of 3 to 7 or more DVDs. Marilyn Braude and Linda Orriell, our tireless acquisitions people, are ever vigilant and manage to get to sales before anyone else even knows about them. When Rogers recently decided to stop renting their DVDs, Gallanough purchased some great, and very new, titles. These are being added to our collection gradually, so keep your eyes posted to the Recent Acquisitions page.
Our collection of TV Series on DVD is extremely strong with new titles such as Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, Justified, White Collar, Downton Abbey, The Killing, Community, Rescue Me, Nurse Jackie, Bones, Sons of Anarchy, Mildred Pierce and popular movies such as Moneyball, The Descendants, Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1, Real Steel, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and The Hangover Part II have also been acquired recently with more to come over the next few weeks.

Most of our titles have few reservations, if any, so you won't have the long wait like you do at other libraries. If you find something listed on our website that you would like to reserve, you can give us a call at 905-881-2828 and we will hold on to it for you for a few days until you can get in to pick it up.

Where else can you find recently released DVDs and hours of viewing pleasure for a $12.00 membership fee per year? And thatís for the whole family! We have many children's movies on DVD as well (and a few still on VHS!), not to mention the new adult and childrenís books, graphic novels and audio books as well.

Volunteering : A Mother Ė Daughter Alliance!
Dena Yanover
Spring 2012

Dena Yanover has been a member at Gallanough since her children were young enough to participate in programs and come to Storytimes at Gallanough. Gallanough has been their neighbourhood library and she and her family were concerned when the branch was closed in 1996. They were delighted when local residents joined together to reopen the Gallanough in 1999 as a community run library and a focal point of the Thornhill community.

Dena and her daughter Hayley both love books and libraries and are avid readers, so when Hayley was looking for a place to volunteer and gain experience, Gallanough was a logical fit. We were lucky to have her as a volunteer for more than a year and being a very creative person, she helped us with displays, PowerPoint presentations and the many of the programs we offer free to our members for an annual fee of $12 for a whole family.
As her library skills developed, Hayley began to look for library employment and because of her experience at Gallanough was able to obtain a position with Vaughan Public Libraries. We have missed her help but were pleased to see her move on to a permanent position.

Meanwhile, Dena was getting ready to retire after working 30 years as a French teacher with the Toronto District School Board. Having completed her PhD in French and then working for all those years with TDSB, she looked forward to a more leisurely time but still wanted to keep busy. Volunteering at Gallanough and joining our Book Club, which meets once a month, are two of the many new activities she has been enjoying since her retirement. Travel and remodeling her kitchen also figure prominently in her itinerary. Volunteering allows her the freedom and time to travel whenever possible as well as keeping her hand in teaching as a supply teacher.

We are lucky to have Dena as a volunteer at Gallanough and would like to thank her and her daughter Hayley for all their time and enthusiasm.

Fewer Children Say They Like To Read
Boys Reading
December 2011

A report published Monday Dec. 12, 2011, finds that fewer Ontario children are reading for pleasure. The report, published by research group People for Education, shows the number of Ontario Grade 3 students who say they like to read dropped from 75% in 1998-99 to 50% in 2010-11.

Gallanough fosters the love of reading in children and adults. We have compiled a list of 23 things you can do to encourage your children to read for pleasure.

Gallanough's List (PDF Format)
People For Educatio report (PDF Format)
People For Education Web SIte

Gishen Family Volunteers at Gallanough
Gishen Family
Tribute to the Gishen Family - Fall , 2011

The Gishen Family have been "Friends of the Gallanough" for many years and have also given their time and support to the Gallanough Resource Centre in a wide variety of ways.

Lee, Roy and their two children, Roselyn and Alan have been participating enthusiastically in our summer programs since Gallanough was reopened in November 1999 with a volunteer Board of Directors.

In the past few years they have been volunteering their time to help plan and run several of these programs.

Click for: the full story.

Maureen Coppinger at Gallanough
Gallanough Book Club - July , 2011

We had a great meeting of the Gallanough Book Club when we were joined by author of 'Annie's Girl', Maureen Coppinger.

Maureen endured thirteen years in an Irish orphanage (industrial school) in the 1930s and 1940s. She emigrated to Canada in 1955 where she married and raised three sons.

'Annie's Girl' is the touching and evocative memoir of an illegitimate childís profound struggle to overcome a shame-filled past and solve the mystery of her origins.

This is Maureen Coppinger's own story told with insight, compassion and a pace that will keep you turning the pages until the very end.

If you missed meeting Maureen at the Gallanough Book Club meeting you can watch a video interview of her on YouTube.

Click for: MORE PHOTOS.

Gallanough Board Member Meets Will & Kate
Ottawa - July , 2011

Heather Spear is the owner of Northwood Academy and a long time member of the Gallanough Board of Directors.

This story is about her family, especially her mother, Jean,who as a young woman in World War II England fell in love with Canadian soldier George Spear and who arrived in Ottawa as a 22 year old war bride.

Since then Jean has been instrumental in forming a club for war brides, for which she was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 2006. At that time she traveled to Buckingham Palace to receive her award from Queen Elizabeth.

This year Jean and her family met the future King and Queen of England during their trip to Ottawa.

Read the background article published in the Ottawa Citizen as well as the actual account of the meeting.

Peter Jablonski Passes Away - Holocaust Survivor & Gallanough Volunteer

Peter Jablonski was a frequent volunteer at Gallanough, always ready to bring around his tool box and repair anything that needed some TLC.

Peter was also a Holocaust survivor who lost both his parents and his sister to the concentration camps. Peter was a survivor and was instrumental in saving others, including his cousin George and Walter Saltzberg, by smuggling them out of the country.

Peter passed away on July 17th after a long battle with cancer. Link to Peter's obituary.

To read about Peter's rescue of Walter Saltzberg view this article in the Winnipeg Jewish Review.

NEW: The Globe and Mail 'Lives Lived' section features Peter Jablonski. Link to the Globe and Mail article.

21 Things you pay for that Gallanough has for FREE
1. Of course we have books that cost a lot even if you buy at discount stores, but Gallanough even has the popular titles with few or no reserves for them. Just one example, Ann Patchett’s, State of Wonder has 59 holds on it at our a local library and Gallanough just has 1 hold.

2. We have Audio books and CDs you can listen to in your car on a road trip.

3. We have computers you can use and although we charge 10 cents a page for printing and photocopying, that is a lot less than anywhere else.

4. You can borrow movies on DVD and VHS and again there are very short waiting lists for the recent titles.

5. You can watch movies in our library on our TV.

6. You can join one of our 2 Book Clubs – one for any age and another for teens and twenties. (Secret … they have wonderful snacks, sometimes watch an episode of the X-files after they discuss the book and have also even been known to go out for a meal or to the midnight opening of the new Harry Potter movie.)

7. You can have a quiet get together with friends and associates in our comfortable sitting area. Meetings, card games etc. are all acceptable as long as they don’t get too noisy.

8. You can bring your child to Story time twice a week from October to June while you look for material in the library.

9. Girls this summer can join a 45-minute Cardio and Stretch class with our wonderful and certified instructor, Nella.

10. The Mad Scientist enthusiast can learn about weather, water, detective science and much more.

11. Those who love crafts can do origami, make a wallet and other amazing things.

12. Adults can learn beginning computer on our Mac computers or bring their own laptop to learn on.

13. Kids can learn to use our Mac computers as well as more advanced research techniques.

14. Play one of our most popular games, Library ABC Bingo with friends in the library.

15. Start a new knitting project with experienced knitters or finish an old one while you chat with friends.

16. Play chess and other board games with friends in the summer.

17. Register for the summer reading program, fill out your reading log, get stickers for every book you read and enter a raffle once a week to win a prize at the end of the summer.

18. Borrow computer games for 3 weeks and renew them twice if needed.

19. Read and borrow books in other languages including Russian, Chinese and French.

20. We have a water cooler, which is free, and serve coffee (from Steeper’s) and tea for $1.00 per cup.

21. Borrow a recent issue of Vanity Fair magazine for 3 weeks or any other of our popular magazines.