Monthly Archives: February 2011

Wasn’t It Just Yesterday?

Alas, wonderful readers, today is my last at Them Days Magazine. I haven’t been here as long as most Katimavik volunteers have — I only started in January and did two days a week — but I feel like Them Days has still made a huge impact on me. I spent my time here calling around the province, from Forteau to Goose Bay to Makkovik, organizing old newspaper files, emailing and transcribing… the days went by quickly. I’m glad I had the two months here, though. I feel like I’ve grown to understand Labrador a little better, through the stories I’ve heard, flipped through, and scanned. I’ve gotten a little taste of the Big Land (and rather fancy it). And I got FREE SUGAR COOKIES!

Awesome! Apparentally this is a tradition here at Them Days — leaving people get cookies! Or maybe it’s just leaving Katima-victims. In any case, I shouldn’t be so thrilled about these.

“Out of your whole experience, what was the best part?” — “SUGAR COOKIES!”

Really, how shallow.

Cookies

Me with sugar cookies!

They were quite pretty, though. But also kind of heart attack-inducing. I’d forgotten how sweet storebought cookies were. Still, they were a gift! And therefore awesome!

sugar cookies

So bright and sparkley!

Aimee and I shared them, too. Couldn’t really eat them all myself. She also took me out for lunch (and thank goodness for that — my made-at-ten-PM-last-night pasta lunch was a bit TOO spiced)! We went to one of Happy Valley’s more popular of the, what, three dining places? Still, three is three more than my village back home has. Anyway, we had a lovely dinner of assorted-whatever-we-picked-out-from-the-buffet, and I learned the fine art of toasting bread. We had a lot of fun with the weirdo questionaire cards on the table, too. They were made to start conversation, but we figured a few — namely those asking, “What contrubution do you make to your family and do you think it is appreciated?” and “Should parents stay together when they are unhappy or get divorced?” — might make for more awkward arguments. In any case, we had fun!

Picture's kinda blurry...

Dinner!

But the sad finale to this brilliant day is that I’ve only five more days in Katimavik, and this is my last day at Them Days. I’m gonna miss this place. The people’ve been awesome, the place has been awesome, the weather could use some work, but that’s irrellivent… in any case, I’d like to thank Them Days, Aimee, and all the people who’ve come and gone from here.

Thank you, Labrador. You’ve made this an excellent three months.

– Leah

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Heritage Fair Time!

I was just reminded of the fact that it’s Heritage Fair time by an e-mail I had in the inbox this morning. I love the heritage fair time. It’s so exciting! Kayla, one of our summer students from last summer, was actually a fair winner when she was in Grade 8 and got to travel to Ottawa and everything. I have to say, when I saw that on her resume, I knew she’d be a good fit here at Them Days, and she definitely was!

I know lots of students use Them Days for their research. In fact, when I was in St. Lewis on the School Days at Them Days tour, one of the students in the classes I went into told me that he read this blog because he was looking on the Them Days website for information for his project! He already knew who I was and what I did because he was a blog reader! I thought that was so cool.

Anyway, Them Days is a great resource for students who are looking for information. We have two indexes for our back issues, and another index is available online at The Centre for Newfoundland Studies Periodical Article Bibliography. It’s not quite as thorough as our published indexes, but still, very, very useful. (Tip: Go to Advanced Search and in “Search Anything”, put your topic, and then under “Journal Title”, enter “Them Days” so you only get results in Them Days magazine.)

We also have an archive with a wealth of information too. It’s a great opportunity to learn about different types of information sources and about how to use an archive. Don’t know what an archive is? Well, I can tell you all about that too! I have a display set up in our reading room that explains exactly what an archive is and there’s even some cool hands-on stuff involving a pH pen that will help you understand things about the archive. Take a look at our finding aid to get an idea of what we have here.

So if you are interested in doing some research for your Heritage project and you’re in the Happy Valley-Goose Bay area, please, come on down! You don’t have to call, but if you do, we can be ready for you when you come. (Them Days’ phone number is 896-8531.) We are open from Monday to Friday, 8:30 – 4:30 (closed for lunch from 12-1).

Most schools also have a set of Them Days in the school library (I’ve found that not many of them are still complete — so if you are from a company that would like to sponsor some copies for the schools or work with the school board, keep that in mind) and the public library has a set too. So if you would like to use Them Days but can’t get to the office when we’re open, you can use the magazines there too. Or if you’re on the coast, your school library should have a set. If you’re in Rigolet, you’re really in luck, because they’ve got one of the best collections I took a look at!

One of my favourite parts about school was working on projects. I loved doing them! And I’m so old, I did them before the Internet and I actually had to go to the public library and look through a card catalogue for information and get information from books. 😉 (By the way, it is still a good idea to visit the public library and get information from books — it’s just a lot faster to search now!) I even get excited when I know of students working on projects. And Heritage Fair time is so exciting!! It’s one of my not-so-secret wishes to be a Heritage Fair judge sometime. After all, I am the editor of Them Days! It just fits. I know it would be super-hard, but it would be so much fun and I think I would have good advice for the students!

So if you are working on a Heritage Fair project (or any other kind of school project where Them Days could be useful), come down to the office! You’ll find a lot of interesting information here — information that can help you get a good grade on your project!

Aimee

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Looking for an Administrator!

That’s right, some sad news. Hope’s leaving the position. She was just so good, other people wanted her too! She may have been here just a short time, but she did lots of good work and I know I’m thankful she’s been here to start off 2011!

Hope’s departure could be good news for you if you’ve always wanted to work for an awesome place like Them Days and have the right financial and people skills to make it work.

Click here to see the job ad!

Aimee

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Monday Morning Links

Ah, Monday morning. I had to drag myself out of bed, but I’m mostly awake now. (How is it that I wake up super early on weekend mornings and can’t get back to sleep for the life of me, but on a weekday, I need to summon all my willpower to urge myself out of the bed at a later time?)

So if you need something to wake yourself up, here are some links that might help.

  • Land & Sea: True Blue – for those of you who missed it this weekend (like me), you can watch the latest episode of Land & Sea online. It’s about Labradorite!
  • The restoration of a 240-year-old map – There’s also a related article about how they found the map, and the steps they went through to restore it. The before and after photo shows just how much work goes into a good restoration. The man who did this is a very talented, knowledgeable conservationist!
  • Abe Books – When we get people in here looking for sold out issues of Them Days, I often direct them to this website, which is used by used book stores to publicize their holdings. I was showing it to Hope last week, and we discovered many available copies of Margaret Baikie’s Labrador Memories: Reflections at Mulligan publication. It’s also just amazing to see Them Days for sale across North America! I always wonder: how did that magazine get there? How many hands has it passed through? (Tip: Go to Advanced Search and look for “Them Days” in the publisher field.)
  • Labrador North – The National Film Board recently added a documentary from 1973 on their streaming site, and I watched it on my lunch break a couple of weeks ago. Very interesting, and some familiar faces to be seen (just younger!).

Hope everyone’s week is starting off well!

Aimee

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Volunteer Focus: Our Inventory Counters

Over the past two weekends, we’ve had a lot of volunteer help to count the inventory. It was a big, big job and it’s finally done!

Our volunteers are people from all walks of life. Students, youth, Baby Boomers, seniors, working people, retirees — everyone, really. We’re so thankful for all their help.

Two volunteers who were here on Saturday are especially busy people, yet they still took time to come down and pitch in and do the nitty gritty work. Judge John Joy and Mayor Leo Abbass put down their gavels for a day and lent a hand to the count and reorganization. So if you were ever wondering what a mayor or what a judge does on the weekend — they just might be out volunteering somewhere!

They were good sports and let me snap a couple of photos of them, paparazzo-style, while they worked on Saturday.

Mayor Leo Abbass surveys the inventory work ahead of him.

Judge John Joy counts the Christmas cards in our inventory.

Thank you to Mayor Abbass and Judge Joy and to the other volunteers who helped out these past two weeks: Theresa, Patti, Linda, Robin, Allan, Mary and Morgon! (And a special thank you to those who supplied yummy baked goods!)

Aimee

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Brrr!

Well, the winter started strange but we’ve definitely seen more familiar January/February temperatures lately. It dipped down to -44 with the windchill this morning. Brrr! No wonder the pipes in my house froze! But still we don’t have nearly as much snow cover as we usually would have at this time. Environment Canada says we have something like 16 cm on the ground right now, but if you look at data for previous years, last year at this time we had 46 cm and the year before that we had 126 cm. In 2008 we had 56 cm, and in 2007, it was 67 cm. (All dates are Jan. 31, because they don’t have stats for Feb. 1, 2011 yet.) Big difference, hey? I just keep hoping for a big blizzard but the only thing forecast is sunny skies. If only we could have a big storm and lots and lots of snow!

This weekend we had more inventory counting – and it’s done! The difference to the inventory room is AMAZING. It needed to be reorganized, and it finally has been! There are even EMPTY shelves in there, and before, you’d think that another box couldn’t possibly be stuffed in there. We’re even taking up more room for non-magazine items in there than before, and we still have tons of space. I really can’t get over it.

I took a couple of photos, but of course, I forgot the camera at home. I brought it in yesterday, but yesterday sped by and I didn’t get around to loading the pictures on the computer. And this morning, what with the pipes freezing and everything, it slipped my mind.

One of the things I did yesterday was tally up the volunteer hours for January. Turns out we had just over 175 hours of volunteer effort here at Them Days! Wow! That’s split up between our Katimavik volunteer Leah, our Board members, and a few volunteers who have come in to help out with various things. I’m so thankful to have all their help. They certainly help us to get more things done!!

Aimee

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