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For the month of October, and to celebrate Canadian Library Month, we\'re counting down the \'31 Things You Didn\'t Know About Medicine Hat Public Library\'.

Friends of the Library Book and Media Sale – Midnight Madness

The Friends of the Library hold two sales each year, one during Spectrum in June, and one at Midnight Madness in November.  So we’re just a few weeks away from the next sale, which will be held on Thursday, November  25 from 4:00 to 8:30 in the lower level of the library. 

Many of the items in the sale are books, DVD’s, VHS movies, and CD’s that have been donated to us, but not needed for our collection.  You’ll also find books and media items that have been discarded or “weeded” from the collection to make room for new materials.    Recently the librarians have been working on our biography section, so in this sale you’ll find hundreds of biography books that no longer meet our needs, as well as many, many VHS movies.  We have over 200 boxes full already, and are adding more daily (please, no more donations — our storage room is just about full!)

If you’re interested in helping out with the sale, either on Wednesday evening to set up (you’ll be the first to see what’s in the boxes), or to help with the sale itself on the evening of Thursday the 25th, or to help with the cleanup on Friday the 26th, call the library at 502-8525 to add your name to the list of volunteers, or speak with Marlene in reference (502-8538).



Medicine Hat Public Library has videoconferencing!  We are part of the RISE Network which works with public libraries to provide southern Albertans with opportunities to communicate with health care professionals, participate in distance education, attend meetings, learn new skills and more – all by videoconference from their local library. RISE connects 78 libraries with videoconference equipment, which includes people in 89 municipalities.

You can plan a meeting, participate in a lecture, and gain new knowledge and skills. Come check out our programs or call 403-502-8525 to book your next long-distance meeting!

Auto Repair Reference Center

How many people think of the library when their vehicle needs maintenance or repair? Well, they should! With a library card and PIN, you can access the Auto Repair Reference Center (ARRC), one of over 40 databases available through the Shortgrass Regional Library System. AARC includes

  • Repair information on more than 33,800 domestic and imported vehicles, from 1945 to the present
  • Nearly 800,000 drawings and step-by-step photographs
  • Approximately 83,200 technical service bulletins and recalls
  • Over 99,800 enhanced wiring diagrams for easy viewing and printing
  • Specifications and maintenance schedules
  • Labour Time Guide and Estimator
  • AutoIQ — featuring full-motion video and animated technical diagrams
  • Quick Tips — a complete guide to vehicle ownership and maintenance

 Best of all, it’s convenient and easy to use. Click here to get started. Scroll down to the Repair and Maintenance Databases and select Home access to Auto Repair Reference Center. When prompted, type in your library card number and PIN. You can select your vehicle’s year or one of the tabs across the top. Be your own mechanic with Auto Repair Reference Center.

Things you can do with your PIN

  • Place holds on items anywhere in the Shortgrass System (and they’ll be sent here for you!)
  • Renew your items online (so you don’t get overdue fees!)
  • Download e-books or e-audiobooks
  • Access to all of our databases!!

Our Databases include:
Arts and Literature

  • Film and Television Index with Full Text
  • NoveList
  • What Do I Read Next?

Repair and Maintenance

  • Auto Repair Reference Center
  • Home Improvement Reference Center


  • Business Source Elite


  • Educational Resource Information Centre
  • Tell Me More Language Learning

Encyclopedias and Newspapers, Magazines, etc

  • Canadian Encyclopedia
  • Canadian NewsStand


  • Agricola


  • Alt HealthWatch
  • Health and Wellness Centre
  • Health Source — Consumer Edition

Kids Stuff

  • Kids InfoBits
  • NoveList K-8
  • World Book Kids

And many others! Check it out to what else we have!

Don’t know your PIN? Come to the Information Desk and we’ll get you set up!

Library out and about…

This year’s Great West Home and Leisure Show takes place October 29, 30, and 31. And the Library will be there. Increasingly your library is reaching out during community events such as trade shows, resource fairs and even the Downtown Chili Cook-off where we served up some super spicy Habenero-Mango Salsa. We are selling memberships, hosting draws, and looking for feedback. Madeline Fischer was the lucky recipient of our first ever Lifetime Membership for our draw held at the Stampede Exhibition and Trade Show. We will be giving away another Lifetime Membership at the Great West Home and Leisure Show this year.

If you see us out in the community, be sure to visit. Tell us what we are doing right, and where we could improve. We always have program booklets and information about our many and varied programs and services.

Madeline Fischer receiving her "Lifetime Membership" to the Medicine Hat Public Library

Stop by and visit our booth. You may be the lucky winner of a Lifetime Membership!

HiLo Collection

The HiLo (high interest-low vocabulary) collection contains books that are geared toward adult and young adult readers, but written at an easier reading level.  These books are ideal for reluctant readers, ESL students, adult literacy or anyone looking for a quick but satisfying read.


The collection includes both fiction and non-fiction titles at various reading levels on a variety of fascinating topics including:

Biographies, classic and original stories, playscripts, health and wellness, science, technology, history, dictionaries, vocabulary usage guides and more!

Many titles now include an audiobook version of the text that can be played on a CD player or computer and comprehension exercises to help readers engage with the material.

Items may be borrowed for 3 weeks with a valid library membership.

Ask A Question

Can a highway GPS be used in a marine application on a lake?

 What year did Ikea come to Canada and where was the first store?

Do you have a question that you just can’t find the answer to? If so, Medicine Hat Public Library – and perhaps the entire province – can help. Ask A Question is an email-based reference service that is available through Alberta’s public and academic libraries. You don’t need to have a library card to participate. Simply go to the Ask A Question website ( or click Ask A Question under Find Books & More on the Library’s home page ( Then type in your question, email address and postal code so that your question can be routed to your local library. If we aren’t able to answer your question, we’ll ask other libraries within the province to help. You should receive an answer by email within 24 hours. Go ahead – ask a question. We look forward to hearing from you.

Alberta’s Libraries — Planning for the future

As described in a earlier posting, TAL stands for “The Alberta Library”, and using a TAL card, or through TAL online, MHPL patrons can borrow items from any library in the province.   Interlibrary loan is a great service, but collaboration among Alberta libraries goes far beyond sharing materials and resources.  Library professionals and trustees throughout the province work together on many initiatives to promote libraries, to ensure that our libraries are properly funded, to plan for the future, etc.  Library staff members and Board members are often heading out to Calgary or Edmonton to attend meetings and workshops, and there is an annual conference at Jasper that provides an excellent opportunity for keeping up with the latest developments and for sharing ideas.

At the time of this writing our Chief Librarian, Shelley Ross, and our Community Liaison Librarian, Sarah McCormack are in Edmonton at a major planning session to prepare Alberta’s libraries for the challenges of the coming decades.  “NEXT: A Library Futures Symposium”  features some outstanding speakers, and the proceedings will be available for all of us to read and view.   Anyone with an interest in libraries – whether you’re a librarian or not — is invited to take part in the discussion.  A Library Futures community blog called LibFu has been created, where you’ll find a discussion guide, topics to consider, polls and “tweets”.  If you really want to become involved, you can create an account on the site and post your own questions and responses.  (But if you really want to be involved, there is still time to apply for a position on the MHPL Library Board – call Shelley at 502-8528 or by e-mail to find out more about this.)

Homebound Services

Do you, or a family member, have troubles getting down to the library sometimes?
Homebound Services can help!

Do you enjoy helping others? Love supporting your local public library?
Come volunteer with Homebound Services at the Medicine Hat Public Library!

For those who have difficulty getting out or who are recovering for surgery, Homebound Services can set you up with a volunteer who will deliver the books, large print books and/ or audio books that you enjoy. But the best part about this service… It’s Free! (You just need to keep your library card current.)

If you’re the type of person who wants to help others, we could use your help! We need volunteers to select and deliver library items to those people who have trouble getting here OR you can be a reader. A reader goes into either a senior’ residence or into someone’s home to read newspapers, short stories, etc.

If you have any questions about Homebound Services, feel free to contact our Homebound Services Coordinator at 403-502-8541 or at

Lynda, our Homebound Services Coordinator

“Cinema Politica” — Political and environmental films at MHPL

As mentioned in an earlier post, the Monday Night at the Movies group is a branch of the Friends of the Library.  Another film group has just been formed, under the Friends “umbrella”, to bring films to Medicine Hat.  This group will be working with a national organization called Cinema Politica which provides the logistical support, web presence, etc. and circulates the films.

The new group, to be called “Cinema Politica Medicine Hat”, will screen films in the library theatre at 7:00 on the last Monday of each month, beginning on November 29.  The November film will be “Bananas”, a film about Nicaraguan farm workers and their battle to receive compensation from the Dole company, who were using a banned pesticide that was known to cause health problems.   There is no charge for admission, but we’ll be “passing the hat” during the discussion afterward — we can use the $ to add to the library’s collection of documentaries, to promote our films, etc.

Although the film condemns Dole for their actions, the issues are more complex — in fact just this past summer Dole won a court case relating to the lawsuit that the film portrays.  But was Dole actually the victim here, or were they just able to use the legal system to their advantage?  Showing the film, and discussing it afterwards, will give us a bit of insight into the activities of multinational corporations, as well as the difficulties of tracking down the most accurate information on a controversial topic.