Blog - Library Services Centre

On April 8th, the government of Ontario declared a third provincial emergency, and  issued new stay-at-home restrictions for the province except in cases of essential services. Having reviewed the new guidelines, LSC continues to comply with the requirements, and will not be closing.


Since reopening in June 2020, we have positioned ourselves to comply with the most vigorous health and safety requirements of the Region of Waterloo public health and the Ontario Ministry of Health, in order to remain open except in the case of a mandatory lockdown, as in the spring of 2020.


This has included:

  • Only essential personnel on-site,
  • Screening every employee when they enter the building,
  • Physical distancing of employees inside the building, and capacity limits for all areas of the building,
  • Face covering, cleaning, and disinfection.

As with every announcement of new restrictions, we understand that this will impact the library operations of our clients differently. Please contact Michael Clark if you require a pause to shipping, changes to receiving instructions, or anything other needs you may have during this period.


We are here to help in whatever way we can.


Stay safe and stay healthy.

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LSC is taking an extra long weekend to look for Easter eggs. We're closed on Friday the 2nd and Monday the 5th. We'll reopen on Tuesday the 6th. 

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Today is Family Day in Ontario, and due to that our office will be closed, giving everyone here a well deserved long weekend. We recommend sleeping in, toasty beverages, and fluffy blankets. We hope everyone in every province is staying safe and healthy. 

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It’s that time of year again. The air is bitterly cold, there might be a foot of snow on the ground, and library professionals from across the country prepare for the Ontario Library Association Super Conference. This year though, instead of flocking to Toronto for a week, we are getting the super conference at home. And as always, LSC is there to educate and entertain! Read through for details on what we are doing.


Our Booth

This promises to be an OLA unlike any other, and while it is disappointing that we won’t get to see you all face to face, that doesn’t mean we won’t be there. We will be in the virtual exhibitor’s hall, Booth 115. Feel free to stop by and chat with Michael Clark, Trish Hayes, Jamie Quinn, or our CEO Michael Monahan (who recently announced his retirement later this year, making this his final OLA).


This year we will be highlighting our recently activated respectful Indigenous Subject Headings, and will be on hand to answer questions people have concerning these new headings and our retrospective service to update existing records in a library’s ILS.


We have a limited number of Expo Hall passes available. If you would like to tour the Expo floor, contact Michael Clark.


Our Giveaway

It wouldn't be an OLA without a booth prize. Last year we gave away two Polaroid cameras, and thought that was pretty neat. This year though, we are giving away a Stay Comfy At Home prize pack, which includes:

  • one (1) Google Nest Mini (2nd Gen) Smart Speaker
  • one (1) Dog Man plush
  • one (1) Signed Oliver Jeffers What We’ll Build print
  • one (1) Demco StickTogether® Mosaic Sticker Puzzle Poster
  • one (1) Susan Mallery tote bag
  • Notebooks
  • and of course, various Books provided by our publishing partners.

To enter to win this prize pack, you must register to receive our new LSC Weekly Update newsletter between the dates of Feb 3rd and 5th. Anyone who registers between those dates will be entered into a draw after the festivities are over.


Our Fun

LSC's Library Spelling Challenge / the LSC owl logo and two bees with stylized title over a honeycomb backgroundEach year, we host our Wine and Cheese, and try as we might we couldn’t figure a way to translate booze and food to a virtual setting (aside from what you bring to the Zoom yourself). However, we think we’ve come up with just as exciting an option.


On Thursday Feb 4th at 7pm we will be hosting the LSC Library Spelling Challenge. This for-fun spelling bee is an opportunity to come together, have some laughs, and see if you can remember where the ‘u’ in February goes. We have 30 spots for participants who want to compete. Register for your spot at Eventibrite. And for anyone who just wants to watch can email Michael Clark directly for the link (we even came up with drinking game rules for the audience). The winner will get a word-based prize pack!


Our Thanks

LSC is impressed and thanks OLA for finding a way to keep the conference going in this time of COVID. This is a challenging time for our industry, and OLA is a highlight of the year for many, including us. Even if it isn’t the same, it’s good to still bring us together in a way. We'll see you "there"!

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Happy 2021!  Here’s to a better year going forward.  However, the year that was wasn’t all bad, so to celebrate, we asked our staff for their picks of the best books and AV from 2020.


In The Quick by Kate Hope Day / an astronaut against a pink backgroundMichael C. in Marketing has both a best book and a best movie.  In the Quick by Kate Hope Day is a sci-fi romance in the vein of The Martian and Station Eleven. June, an ambitious young astronaut, finds fiery romance while searching for her beloved uncle’s lost spacecraft and its crew. The Invisible Man, released all the way back in February, is Michael’s choice for best movie.  Directed by Leigh Wannell and loosely based on the H.G. Wells novel, this sci-fi horror features Elisabeth Moss as a woman trying to escape from her abusive former boyfriend, despite the fact that he’s already dead. Is it her trauma or something else haunting her?


Crosshairs by Catherine Hernandez / a burning pile of garbage with a cityscape on the horizonIn Cataloguing, Shannon O. has had a bumper year of reading and has really struggled to narrow down her choices of the best of 2020.  In adult fiction, her best of the best is Crosshairs by Canadian author Catherine Hernandez, a near-future dystopic novel where a queer Black performer and his allies fight against an oppressive regime and its concentration camps. In adult nonfiction, she chose The Skin We’re In by Desmond Cole, a Canadian journalist and activist who brings to light the racism and inequality he and other members of minorities struggle with in just one year. 


Little Women dvd cover / A close up of Saoirse Ronan, a blonde woman in a blue shirtMoving over to Selection Services, manager Jamie Q. had many picks for just about every category, but narrowed it down to these. In the Half Room by Carson Ellis, a picture fiction book about the half things in the half room. Apartment by Teddy Wayne tells the story of an unnamed narrator who invites a charismatic classmate to live with him, but their living situation puts tension on their friendship. Finally, Little Women, the latest movie version of the classic novel, this one directed by Greta Gerwig and featuring Saoirse Ronan and Florence Pugh, among others. It was a highlight of her pre-lockdown 2020.


Midnight Library by Matt Haig / several orange items, including whales, books, and women, passing through small windows as though weaving in and out of the book coverFiction selector Rachel S. says, for adult fiction novels, she has two top picks: Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman. In Bookish Life, the titular Nina is a happy, book-reading loner – until the father she never knew existed dies and she’s expected to meet all her new family members while dealing with her attraction to her trivia nemesis, Tom. She also recommends Midnight Library by Matt Haig


The Barren Grounds by David Robertson / four figures walking through snow. Two are children, one is a human sized squirrel, and one is a human bear. Both animals are dressed as humans.Juvenile selector Sara P. has this to say about her selections: “Anyone who knows me well, knows I have a great dislike of squirrels so for me to pick a book for the Best of 2020 that features a squirrel means it must be an amazing story! The Barren Grounds: Misewa Saga Book 1 by David A Robertson is a must-read Canadian middle grade story that brings Indigenous culture, both past and present together within a fun fantasy world. I recently had the opportunity to read to a group of children and I picked up AAAlligator by Judith Henderson and not only was it super fun to read aloud but the kids absolutely loved it. The sign of a great book is when not a peep is heard while the librarian is reading. A unique twist to demonstrate acceptance and a community coming together to help someone in need.”


To round up our staff picks of 2020, Carrie P. in HR chose the album Slow Rush by the excellently-named Tame Impala.


To keep up to date with all of LSC’s latest offerings, please follow LSC on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter, our YouTube Channel, and now on Issuu.


In 2021, we will be transitioning the Green Memo into the LSC Weekly Update, delivered via MailChimp. If you want to continue to receive our weekly newsletter, and other notifications and updates, please take a second to update your profile.


Happy new year!

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LSC will be closed for the holidays from Dec 24th, and will reopen on Jan 4th, 2021 (and be glad to leave 2020 behind). Merrys and happys from everyone at LSC to all of you.

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With the winter holidays looking a little different this year for most people, we asked our staff to share some of their favourite winter holiday books, movies, and music. 


cover of The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper / children on a snowhill running towards the sunsetJamie Q., Manager of Customer Experience and Selection Services, chose The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper, illustrated by Carson Ellis. This juvenile fiction book celebrates the winter solstice and Yule through a poem written by Cooper.  The winter solstice happens every year on December 21st, celebrating the shortest day of the year, looking forward to the days getting longer and lighter.


cover of Idina Menzel's Christmas: Season for love / Idina hugging a coat tight to her, in snowfallContinuing in Selection Services, fiction selector Rachel S. and her partner traditionally watch The Sound of Music, the Home Alone movies, and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.  She notes that there isn’t a lot of Chanukah music by pop stars, but she likes Idina Menzel’s Christmas: Season for Love album, especially the cover of Joni Mitchell’s River.


cover of Anna and the Apocalypse / Anna in a school uniform holding a giant candy cane above her head, with zombies in the backgroundNonfiction selector Stef W. isn’t generally into Christmas movies, unless they’re offbeat and funny.  Some of her favourites include Anna and the Apocalypse, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Krampus (2015), and Rare Exports. At some point she will get over her childhood fear of gremlins in order to properly watch the movies. Christmas songs she enjoys include the soundtrack from Anna and the Apocalypse, The Pogues’ Fairytale of New York, and Da vet du at det er Jul by Ylvis (yes, that Ylvis).


cover of How the Grinch Stole Christmas / the Grinch against an orange backgroundSara P., juvenile fiction selector, had this to say about her picks for 2020:

“Ever since my kids were little, we started a tradition of watching “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” on Christmas Eve while eating “fancy” appetizers (grocery store party pack). My girls love this short movie and even insisted on watching it the one year when my brother and family visited from the US and stayed past the appetizer dinner hour. The girls did not care that family was visiting. The movie went into the DVD player and we all HAD to watch it. We also own the book and will read it repeatedly leading up to the Xmas holidays; it never gets old or boring.


Now, I also have a personal tradition that I have had for at least the last 20 years (guessing here) and that is listening to Mary’s Boy Child from the Boney M Christmas album. As soon as Dec 1st hits, that song comes on in my car, my house, and during my run. I still own the CD but now also have the song on my phone for quick access. It is a classic that never gets old or boring to me.”


cover of Two Drops of Brown in a Cloud of White by Saumiya Balasubramaniam / a young girl kneels and plays in the snowCataloguer Shannon O. has spent the year reading everything she can get her hands on – over 450 books and counting. Narrowing down her favourites for children’s picture books, she chose Two Drops of Brown in a Cloud of White by Saumiya Balasubramaniam; Our Subway Baby by Peter Mercurio; and Snow Falls by Kate Gardner. For adult fiction, her favourite three are Mistletoe and Mr. Right by Sarah Morganthaler; Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur; and In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren .


cover of Hogfather by Terry Prachett / the personification of Death dressed as Santa, flying in a sleigh pulled by boarsFrom IT, software developer Mike Q. has a classic Terry Pratchett book as his favourite: Hogfather.  When the Disworld equivalent of Santa, the Hogfather, vanishes on Hogswatchnight, Death takes up the sleigh’s reins – meaning his granddaughter, gothic governess Susan, must unravel the mystery before Discworld loses its entire myth system.


cover of Black Christmas (1974) / a woman being suffocated by plastic, inside a Christmas wreath Carrie P. from Human Resources has two movies on her list of winter holiday favourites.  In the original 1974 version of Black Christmas, a group of sorority girls on Christmas break find they’re being stalked by a stranger.  Her second pick is a lighter one: 2015’s A Very Murray Christmas, in which Bill Murray worries that a snowstorm in New York will prevent the audience from showing up to his TV show.


cover of Muppet Christmas Carol / Kermit, Piggy, Gonzo and Robin dressed as Victorian charactersLast but not least, Michael C. in Marketing enjoys The Atheist’s Guide to Christmas 2148741, a collection of short essays by 42 secular celebrities, comedians, scientists, and writers on the meaning of Christmas – as it applies to an atheist.  His favourite Christmas movie is, of course, the classic Muppet Christmas Carol featuring Kermit, Fozzie, Miss Piggy, and Michael Caine as Scrooge.


To keep up to date with all of LSC’s latest offerings, please follow LSC on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter, our YouTube Channel, and now on Issuu.


In 2021, we will be transitioning the Green Memo into the LSC Weekly Update, delivered via MailChimp. If you want to continue to receive our weekly newsletter, and other notifications and updates, please take a second to update your profile.


Merry happy!

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Nearly a year ago, LSC announced that we would begin moving away from traditional subject headings that refer to Indigenous peoples in outdated, colonial ways. After some unexpected delays, we are proud to announce that this service will go live in January 2021.


As a non-Indigenous Canadian company, LSC recognizes Canada’s colonial history, and how existing library standards continue to subjugate Indigenous Peoples by perpetuating names appointed by settlers. Our headings will use their own self-identified names - for example, Cree is a title appointed by colonizers; the people themselves identify as Nehiyawak.


LSC has adapted the list of Indigenous subject headings created by Greater Victoria Public Library. We also acknowledge that the list is a work-in-progress which will continue to grow as we learn more, update or add new headings, and remove outdated and offensive headings. The list is not exhaustive or 100% accurate, but is a trustworthy starting point.


Other organizations have started this process as well. We hope that Library and Archives Canada (LAC) continue their work toward building a national standard, made in consultation with the hundreds of Indigenous nations across Canada. When a national standard is available, LSC will adopt those headings.


Stage One
All new publications are being catalogued with the new headings. Starting January 2021, any records you receive from LSC of newly published items will contain the new headings as well as the old. This will happen at no additional cost to your library.


At the same time, LSC’s cataloguing team will update old records internally with the new headings. This will take time, but will ensure any new purchases of backlist material will contain the new headings. This will happen at no additional cost to your library.

Some libraries will prefer to keep the old headings for a period of time to help educate the public. Each library is different. Should you wish to only receive the new headings, or only want to maintain the old headings, please contact Michael Clark.


Stage Two
This stage depends on you, the libraries of Canada, retrospectively updating their catalogue with the new respectful headings. When you make the decision to move forward with the new headings, LSC can help. Each library will be assessed uniquely - from the number of records to update, to the timeline, to the cost. This is open to all Canadian libraries – not just public libraries, and you don’t need to be an existing LSC client. Please contact Michael Clark for a free quotation.


LSC is very proud to be part of this movement, which we feel is made in the spirit of the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. A comprehensive list of the headings is available upon request – please feel free to reach out to Michael Clark with any questions or concerns.

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Yesterday was Indigenous Veterans Day. Wednesday is Remembrance Day. While we do not close for these dates, we do take a moment to reflect and to remember on the brave and valorous individuals who have fought and sacrificed, across history and the world. May they never be forgotten.

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Due to scheduled maintenance, our secure ordering services will be unavailable from Friday, November 6th at 9:00 pm until Monday, November 9 at 7:00 am.  

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LSC Library Services Centre
April 8, 2021
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Stef Waring
April 5, 2021
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Karrie Vinters
March 22, 2021
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Rachel Seigel
March 15, 2021
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Michael Clark
March 8, 2021
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Nicole Defreitas
January 11, 2021
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Sara Pooley
October 19, 2020
show Sara's posts
Selection Services
September 14, 2020
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Jamie Quinn
July 27, 2020
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