Beltane is the ancient Celtic festival marking the beginning of summer. Bealtaine, (or various other spellings) is old Irish for “bright fire” or “mouth of fire.” On Beltane great bonfires may be lit, so it also known as the Fire Festival. Beltane is celebrated on the evening of April 30 into the day of May 1st. Beltane is celebrated in Ireland, Scotland and in other places where people have tried to revive Celtic festivals and observances. Remnants of Beltane traditions can be seen in many May Day festivals, including parts of Canada, such as Newfoundland.


Find out more:

RTE (Irish Radio & Television)


Newgrange: Beltane

Irish Culture and Customs

The Irish Independent

Your Irish Culture: Bealtaine

Canada’s Poet Laureate

Marie-Célie Agnant is Canada’s Poet Laureate.


Ms. Agnat was appointed as the Parliamentary Poet Laureate for 2023 & 2024.

According to the Parliament of Canada, the role of the Poet Laureate is:

  • To write poetry, especially for use in Parliament on important occasions;
  • To sponsor poetry readings;
  • To advise the Parliamentary Librarian regarding the Library’s collection and acquisitions to enrich its cultural materials and
  • To perform other related duties at the request of the Speaker of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Commons, or the Parliamentary Librarian.*

Click here to find out more about Ms. Agnat

Click here to find out more about the position of Parliamentary Poet Laureate

April is Poetry Month in Canada. Visit your School Library to find out more.

Chernobyl Disaster

DAVID HOLT, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

On this date in 1986, in what is now the Ukraine, what was then part of the Soviet Union, the Chernobyl Disaster began. This was the world’s worst nuclear power plant accident, resulting in incredible environmental destruction, hundreds of lives lost in the immediate disaster, and untold thousands of humans deaths as long term consequences unfolded over the years.

Find out more:

International Atomic Energy Agency

UNSCEAR (United Nations)

Chernobyl: National Geographic

World Health Organization

United Nations Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance

Let’s Talk Science


Wired: Nuclear Power


Is nuclear power a feasible alternative to fossil fuels? The contribution of the burning of fossil fuels to the crisis of climate change must be accounted for, but are the risks associated with nuclear power too great? Check out the websites and books listed above, and then look for more resources to dig deeper to find out where scientists stand on these issues. Get informed and be a positive part of the decisions that will affect our future.

April is Earth Month at your School Library. Visit us to find out more.

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare, arguably the greatest writer in the English language, was born on this day in 1564.

Maybe. We are not sure. In fact, there is much we don’t know about Shakespeare. Some don’t think that he wrote the plays that are attributed to him, or that he even existed,. This might not even be a picture of him. 

Learn more about Shakespeare and the debate surrounding his identity.

More importantly, take the opportunity to enjoy the plays that he wrote, (maybe?) . You can read the plays in school, but to really enjoy them to need to see them performed. Best of all, go to see the plays live and in person, to fully experience the wonder and joy of Shakespeare.

Book Spotlight: Earth Day

Come down to your School Library to find out more about Earth Day and all the issues that we face in terms of protecting life on this planet.

If you are looking for a quick introduction to the scientific understanding of the issues of climate change, this is a great place to start: This is Climate Change: A Visual Guide to the Facts: See for Yourself How the Planet is Warming and What it Means for Us, by David Nelles & Christian Serrer.

What they (the authors) were hoping to find was a book that explained the nuts and bolts of climate change and presented the scientific evidence in a way that was concise and enjoyable to read. After a long and fruitless search, they eventually gave up and instead decided to write it themselves.

“Who’s Behind the Book”, Nelles and Serrer, 128)

An excellent feature of the book is the comprehensive bibliography that can be reached by QR code or by using the given URL. Go here to see the Bibliography.

Eid al-Fitr

The month of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting and prayer, comes to and end this week. Muslims will celebrate Eid al-Fitr, literally the “holiday of the breaking of the fast.”

As is the case with many religious and cultural holidays that are based on lunar calendars, the date of Eid varies from year to year, as the Islamic calendar is not in sync with the Gregorian calendar. Also, according to Islam the new month doesn’t officially begin until religious authorities confirm the sighting of the moon. As such, we can only predict the start of Eid. In 2023 it is predicted that Eid al-Fitr will begin on April 21.

We wish “Eid Mubarak” to the more than one million Muslims in Canada, and to the almost two billion Muslims around the world.