Sunday, February 25, 2018

The Far North

The Ottawa Public Library has a couple of bookmobiles that make their way to various sites during the week that are either in areas perhaps underserved by library branches or events like this. One of them was parked at City Hall on Sundays throughout Winterlude.

As mentioned yesterday, City Hall was the scene for various activities, which included a climbing wall for kids to try the sport out.

Parks Canada had photo displays, as well as this inflatable mascot.

The photo displays were on panels, each of them taken from places in Canada's Far North, most of them around Sirmilik National Park in Nunavut, with wildlife, beautifully rugged landscapes, and even a First Nations woman in a striking profile shot. The Parks guide I chatted with talked about the balance between bringing visitors to this part of the country versus safeguarding its ecosystem. 

This critter happens to be an Arctic fox in summer colours.

There's even history in one of these photographs. This marker is the final resting place for a member of the ill fated Franklin Expedition. The two ships of that expedition, the Erebus and the Terror, sunken in Arctic waters, are now a national historic site, overseen by Parks Canada.


  1. ...I trmember in the '50s when the bookmobile came to our grade school.

  2. We have bookmobiles around here, also, and they are a wonderful resource. I'd say if you want to ruin the far north open it up to tourism. Humans have proven again and again they cannot keep their own house in order. I do like that fox. It's so different than any fox I've ever seen!

  3. Kids big and small all seem to love those climbing walls - we too used to have mobile libaries but no more - I had forgotten all about them.

  4. Hi William, what a great idea bookmobiles are. We still have municipal libraries but I'm not sure what state they're in. I should go into ours when I'm next in town and do a post! Thanks for an interesting post. Jo

  5. Thank you for the photos
    The climbing wall is just the right size I'd try. Lol

  6. A bookmobile! What a great idea.

  7. very cool bus, i need to check it out ... wonder what sort of books are on there? ( ;

  8. These outdoor displays are just popping with color. Love the book mobile.


  9. Love the bookmobile and the climbing wall especially!

  10. @Tom: some library systems have them. Because Ottawa is geographically very big, it makes sense.

    @Lowell: it's a challenge. Places like that must be protected, but if no one sees them, how do you convince them of their value?

    @Rosemary: we didn't have them when I was growing up, but that was a library system with two branches.

    @Jo: our library has over thirty branches. That is a reflection of amalgamation years ago.

    @Maywyn: you're welcome.

    @Sandi: it is.

    @Beth: a mix of in demand titles, I believe, and items on hold.

    @Janis: thanks!

    @Marie: the wall was popular!

    @Jennifer: indeed!

  11. The arctic had a major influence on my life and changed it forever.

  12. We see these bibliobuses here too in the country. A great initiative.

  13. Love the concept of bookmobiles William! Gosh that climbing wall is high 😀 wonderful photos in the display.

  14. Did they have any polar bear photos in the group from the far north? My friends Julie & Dave went on a polar bear tour last year up around Churchill. They got some great photos.

  15. Beautiful photos and post today. Adore the fox photo. I remember Bookmobiles they were a lifeline to the kids and parents where I lived. I read about the Franklin Expedition because of a mention from your blog ?
    Lucky, you live in a wonderful city !

    I hope they do not let more people in this area or control the access. The so called "people" who leave trash, garbage and no respect the animal life... this area will be destroyed.
    Just look at the beautiful parks and nature areas in America. Horrible now.
    The Sonoran Desert where I live is being destroyed by people, illegals and drug cartels. Trails are etched into the desert, animals are killed habitats destroyed. Places I visited as a child look nothing like they did.
    Sorry one of my nature rants.....
    Hope Canadians treat their special lands better than we do. So far it seems like you are doing better than America.

    cheers, parsnip

  16. Try to get a pic of Justin T in his Bollywood getup! LOL.
    Sadly, he's only 1000% better than the executive we're saddled with!

  17. Very interesting shots and info. That climbing wall looks a bit slippery!

  18. @Red: I'd love to see the Arctic someday. I haven't been north of the treeline.

    @Marleen: it's a very good idea. Mostly they go to outlying community centers or schools that are a bit of a distance from the nearest branch, or those areas where the branch might have limited hours. I know of some of the rural branches that are only open three days out of the week, for instance.

    @Grace: I think it's a good way of introducing kids to the sport!

    @Sharon: yes, there's actually a polar bear in the first of the shots, in the left panel, but he or she is so dwarfed by the landscape that you'd have to be right in front of the panel to find it.

    @Parsnip: I've mentioned the Franklin expedition at some point. Last year there were panels at the Chateau Laurier's terrace about National Historic Sites, and that was one of them. National parks are places that should be treasured.

    @Cloudia: hah!

    @MB: I do too.

    @Francisco: thanks!

    @Janey: the ropes and gear looked good, and there were parks people in attendance, so the kids were safe having a go at it.

  19. Very cool bookmobile and a cute arctic fox.

  20. I would love to have this bookmobile here in Turin! so cool.

  21. I hope people read those panels!

  22. Bookmobile is a very, very cool idea.

  23. Beautiful photo exhibition of the far north.

  24. We used to have bookmobiles here, too. Not sure if we still do.

  25. So much going on at Winterlude! I remember the bookmobile in Calgary as a kid but haven't seen one in years!

  26. It delights me that the book-mobile was part of the celebration! Wonderful.

  27. Interesting post! I really like the graphics on the bus.

  28. Climbing walls are popular here during the different events.

  29. @Bill: I imagine the bookmobiles get in a lot of mileage each year, especially considering how geographically big the city is.

    @Wilf: I think it's a worthwhile idea.

    @RedPat: I certainly do.

    @Whisk: I agree.

    @Jan: I certainly thought so.

    @Norma: we have the two that I know of. I believe they park at a branch in the south end.

    @Jenn: it wouldn't surprise me if Calgary has something like it.

    @Sallie: it was a good idea. I've seen it elsewhere as well.

    @Linda: so do I.

    @Klara: I've seen it at other spots.