Public Libraries Section

The Public Library Section aims to bring together librarians who work in public libraries, including the different sections of a public library such as: Reference, Children services and Teen services.  The events organized allow public librarians to share their interests in reading, discuss current events, and become informed of new tools and/or sources that may be of help to their libraries and library members.  Also, by networking with other colleagues in the public library sector, librarians can compare notes on ideas that are being implemented in their public libraries. 

The section organizes at least two events a year; one very popular gathering being the Dewey Divas, which gives librarians insight on new and upcoming books.

News & Articles

Face à face: The Human and Living Library Projects at McGill University, Concordia University and Pointe-Claire Public Library

This ABQLA Public Libraries Section event will be held on Wednesday May 16, from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm at the Westmount Public Library. Learn about the Human Library Project in which visitors are given the opportunity to speak informally with “people on loan.” The Human Library initiative began as a means to reduce prejudice and promote understanding, and the project has continued to evolve throughout participating libraries. This event will explore the possibilities and challenges of the Human Library Project in both academic and public libraries.

Kathy Dempsey's 'Writing Marketing Messages that Matter'

ImageKathy Dempsey, Library Marketing Consultant at Libraries are Essential (, presented a fact-packed workshop sponsored by the ABQLA at the 2011 Congrès des milieux documentaires du Québec.

Her workshop Writing Marketing Messages That Matter provided concrete tips on everything from getting rid of confusing library-speak to participating in social media in meaningful ways. For those who missed the presentation, tips and articles of interest to library marketers can be found on the Libraries are Essential ( website, Facebook page (, or on The 'M' Word - Marketing Libraries blog (

Celebrating 100 Years with a Sleepover at the Library!

ImageBy Wendy Wayling, Children’s Librarian at the Westmount Public Library

Thinking about hosting a library sleepover? The first thing you need is an enthusiastic staff with great stamina! When I started thinking about how we would close the Westmount Public Children’s Library's 100th anniversary celebrations, I knew we wanted to do something special, especially for the older children at the Library. We had already organized a storytelling/Victorian Tea at the beginning of the year for the younger children and their parents. Inspiration came when I read about the plans for the New York Public Library's 100th Anniversary Scavenger Hunt Find the Future at NYPL. I thought we also have an amazing history - why not invite our kids to discover it overnight!

Maurice Sendak Storytelling Workshop

ImageBy Karen Biskin

Throughout his prolific career, Maurice Sendak transformed the landscape of children’s literature, conjuring the monsters of childhood dreams onto the pages of his books. On Thursday, November 3, 2011, the Public, School and Youth Sections of the ABQLA celebrated Sendak’s writing during a storytelling workshop held at the Jewish Public Library. Professional storyteller Selina Eisenberg-Smith animated the evening, using a felt board, puppets, and props to explore the various ways to engage children in a story. After her artistic retelling of In the Night Kitchen, she had the group participate in its own wild rumpus and then perform Pierre, a Cautionary Tale with her. She shared her experiences working with children of different ages and explained how she adapts children’s books in order to perform them for a audience. @ Kirkland Library

On October 12th, the Kirkland Library’s conference room was the venue of a cozy event - the presentation of the Reading web site – the on-line free reading log, teacher/librarian resource that aims at getting kids to read and share their interest in books.


A Maurice Sendak Storytelling Evening

Get ready for a wild rumpus... of librarians!

The Public, School and Youth sections of the Quebec Library Association and the Jewish Public Library will be hosting a Maurice Sendak storytelling workshop for teachers, librarians and those who are young at heart on Thursday November 3rd at 5:30 PM.

This special event is timed to give you the opportunity to discover the international travelling exhibition “In a Nutshell: The Worlds of Maurice Sendak,” which explores the life and artwork of this renowned illustrator and author.

Westmount Children’s Library Celebrates 100 Years! 1911-2011

Imagesubmitted by Wendy Wayling, Children’s Librarian, Westmount Public Library

The Westmount Children’s Library opened its doors on January 13th, 1911. It took the Chief Librarian, Mary Saxe, ten years to persuade the council that the children needed their own library, complete with their own entrance, their own hours and their own children’s librarian. With this addition Mary Saxe felt that Westmount would have a model building. Notes from the City of Westmount’s 2011 Annual Report indicate that this was "the greatest event in the Library’s history since it was established”.

Reader’s Advisory 101

Imageby Melissa Tomecz

The Reader’s Advisory (RA) event hosted by the Public Library section of the ABQLA went off without a hitch.  A good time was had by all during the evening, held on May 26 at the Côte Saint-Luc Public Library. There was a lovely variety refreshments and an intimate café-like atmosphere. Library Director and City Manager Tanya Abramovitch, along with Assistant Library Director Janine West, gave a presentation on how their staff are trained in RA at the library.

The talk was presented in two parts. Tanya first spoke about the appeal factors that help draw people into reading and enjoying certain books.

Learning languages from the comfort of your own home---it pays to be a member!

As the President of the Public Libraries section, I wanted to share some exciting information with professionals and lovers of public libraries alike.  The Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library has just introduced a new on-line Language Learning program for its members called Mango Languages.  Launched on the library’s website the second week of January, it was received with enthusiasm from many patrons who wanted to learn a language with the convenience of being at home and not having to worry about due dates.

City councillors and the mission of public libraries

From New Library World journal
The following abstract is for an article by Dominique Gazo about public libraries in Quebec, which appears in the latest issue of New Library World journal (Vol. 112 Iss: 1/2, pp.52 - 66).

Also available here: Gazo, D. Que Pensent les Elus Municipaux Quebecois des Missions des Bibliotheques Publiques ?. Documentation & Bibliothèques v. 56 no. 1 (January/March 2010) p. 5-13