Toronto Public Library Homepage

This page has been archived and is no longer updated.

Youth & Students

Calling all Teens! Looking for a Job??

November 7, 2014 | Alessya | Comments (0)

Want the latest iPhone 6 or PS4 but don't want to wait until Christmas to get it? If you're a teenager and looking to have some extra cash of your own to spend, why not consider a part-time job while studying in school? I started working when I was 15 years old and haven't stopped since. Even though I had to roll myself out of bed on Saturday mornings, working part-time has allowed me to pay for all my schooling, buy my own place and splurge on a few other luxuries along the way. Any time I needed or wanted something, the decision was mine...never needing the okay from mom and dad. Having your own money to spend when you're young not only allows you to be more independent, but it will also help you learn the necessary budgeting and saving skills that you will inevitably need as you get older and the bills get larger.
(credit: Huffington Post)
  • If you're finding it hard to land a gig that pays, don't rule out volunteer work! Many entry-level positions still require some experience and volunteering is the best way to get some. Volunteer Toronto is a great one-stop shop for volunteering positions in the city.
And don't forget to check your local library for some of these great titles:
Cool Jobs for Teens Teen Dream Jobs What Color Is Your Parachute?


Skills For Success

August 1, 2014 | Elle | Comments (0)

By: AQ

By the time most students reach high school, they have it set in their minds that the path to a successful career is going to school, studying hard, getting good grades, obtaining a degree or two and then voila, they will be hired! But then something strange happens…they’re not hired and it’s hard to understand why not? They did everything right, even trading in late-nights at the bar for late-nights in the library, yet after going to a few interviews, they can’t help but wonder if maybe they’re missing something.

It is fairly straight-forward as to how to obtain the technical skills required for a professional or trade job in Canada, but what may ultimately end up setting you apart from the crowd is your comfort level when it comes to what are called the soft skills.

The top key soft skills are:

  • Communication – the ability to convey yourself clearly both orally and written
  • Enthusiasm and attitude – completing tasks in an upbeat and positive manner
  • Teamwork - working well with others to accomplish goals
  • Networking - being able to connect and interact with other people to exchange information and develop contacts
  • Problem solving and critical thinking – being able to come up with appropriate solutions to problems
  • Professionalism – conducting oneself with responsibility, integrity, accountability, and excellence

Soft skills are often referred to as one’s Emotional Intelligence Quotient. If you’re curious to see how high your EQ is, check out this quiz from the Institute for Health and Human Potential.

If you’re interested in learning more about soft skills or increasing your emotional intelligence, take a look at some of the titles the library has to offer:


The Advantage  The Ace of Soft Skills  The Student EQ Edge  The New Rules of EQ

Jobs or Internships for Young Adults

July 11, 2014 | Elle | Comments (2)

The first day of Summer is June 21st; but in reality, many young adults and recent graduates started their jobsearch months ago. The rate of unemployment for Ontarians between the ages of 15 and 24 is between 16 and 17 per cent (18 per cent in Toronto). Those numbers are double the overall provincial unemployment rate, and higher than the national rate, which is between 13.5 and 14.5 per cent, according to a report released in September 2013 by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives entitled The Young and the Jobless.

TPL's e-magazines/e-journals database, Canadian Business and Current Affairs, has many current articles on the dire state of youth unemployment in Canada and the initiatives that have been developed to help youth obtain meaningful employment. "Young, Jobless and Getting Organized" published in Our Times and 'Labour Woes' published in Novae Res Urbis: City of Toronto Edition are two such examples. You can find these and other relevant articles describing new initiatives by using the search words 'unemployment and young adults Canada' in CBCA.

The Ontario government's initiative, Starter Company, offers mentoring and funding to young people who wish to start up their own small business. Have a look at these other initiatives.

Internships may also be another way to go. Apply for internships just as you would any job, meaning, compose a customized, error-free cover letter consisting of why you'd like to intern, what you like about that company and what you can contribute. Here are a couple of internship sources:

Campus Access - for students and new grads, this directory features a comprehensive directory of internship programs in eight different categories.

Charity Village - dedicated entirely to Canadian non-profit organizations. Listings are current and easy to navigate/search.

 Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP) - Paid internships with the federal government.

All of these sources will offer you opportunities to gain practical experience, explore different/related careers and enrich your and others' lives.


Dress for the Job You Want...

June 13, 2014 | Ashley | Comments (0)


In a professional setting, how you dress can determine many things such as your success, the way others perceive you you i.e., clients, coworkers, bosses etc. Even though we are taught that it isn't right to judge people by the way they look, the same rule definitely doesn't apply in most work settings. At work, often appearance somehow translates into things like performance, competence, credibility, organization etc. Most people make these judgements subconsciously, without meaning to. Many of us have heard that popular saying "dress for the job you want, not the one you have". If you're going for a job interview this is especially important, usually you can't go wrong with a good suit, this applies for men and women. Obviously the guy in the picture above took this a little too far, maybe he should have just worn a suit!

Today's workplace has transformed from traditional professional attire to a more business/casual feel. While this is more comfortable it can be confusing when trying to figure out where to draw the line between too casual and too formal. If your company does have a dress code, just make sure you follow it. However, since a lot of companies don't have a strict dress code it can be difficult to figure out what to wear, based on what your co workers are wearing. So, just because your coworker is wearing ripped jeans, flip flops and a crop top, it doesn't necessarily make it the right thing to do. Different industries also have varying expectations for they way employees dress.

One tip that I've heard of before is to look at the way your boss dresses, as a guideline. The website Talent Egg is a great Canadian career resource for new or recent graduates looking for entry level positions, internships, career guides and meaningful work, posted a great article called How to Dress for Career Success: Tips from Image Expert Erin Miller the article suggests that if you dress in a way that mirrors the way your clients dress (if you have clients) it shows respect. The article has many other great guidelines for formal, casual and business casual looks for both men and women. Check out this excellent video tutorial they provided:


Here are just a couple of tips, I've learned along the way. However, the way we dress is all very personal we all have our own style.


There is nothing wrong with incorporating some colour into your wardrobe, it is becoming more trendy to do so now. However, it is still important not to wear colours that are too flashy or distracting.


Simple accessories are fine. A nice statement piece of jewelry can really transform an outfit. Similar to colour, accessories also shouldn't be too flashy or noisy (like noisy bracelets which bang against each other).


Ladies (and gentlemen too if applicable) if you are going to wear open toed shoes make sure that you have had a pedicure, that doesn't mean you have to go out to the spa and spend a lot of money on french manicures and pedicures, just that your feet and hands should be well groomed. Also, high heeled shoes shouldn't be too high, you should be able to walk in them comfortably. 

Here are a few articles from the web which may also help you dress well for work:

Real Simple - How to Dress for Success

Forbes - Dress for Success

Harpers Bazaar - 10 Rules for a Chic Workplace Wardrobe



Business attire menLands' End Business Attire for Men:

Mastering the New ABCs of What to Wear at Work

Call #: 646.32 LAN

“Can I wear this tie with this shirt?” Men have asked this question for years. But now there’s a new twist: “Should I wear a tie—at all?” Traditional was easy. Today’s business attire is not.Lands’ End® Business Attire for Men can make it easier once again, helping you quickly and confidently decide exactly what to wear to work. This book is full of workplace assessment tools to help you size up the situation at a glance and suit up or dress down as the case requires. 



Lands end womenLands' End Business Attire for Women:

Mastering the New ABCs of What to Wear to Work

Call #: 646.34 LAN

In the list of life’s big questions, “What should I wear?” can loom surprisingly large in a woman’s mind. But for most of us today, “What should I wear to work?” looms even larger. When workplaces encompass everything from the thirtieth-floor boardroom to an open-plan loft to a desk in the corner of a studio, the question gets complicated indeed.Lands’ End® Business Attire for Women will help you quickly and confidently assess your workplace and your style, so you’ll always know exactly what to wear to work. 


Book look speak

Look, Speak and Behave for Women: Expert advice for women on image etiquette and effective communication for the professional

Call #: 395.52802 YAS

For years, highly paid executives at major corporations have had the benefit of professional image consultants to give them feedback about their presentation in the workplace. That expert advice has helped them to dress properly for any business occasion, improve their public speaking and presentation skills, understand the dos and don'ts of the workplace, and enhance their standing in the business community. Now that same type of guidance is available to anyone--recent graduates looking to enter the workplace as well as managers and executives looking to polish themselves and their skills. 


Photo Credit:

School's Out, Time to find a Summer Job!

April 28, 2014 | Ashley | Comments (2)



So, school is over, time to relax right? Well, not exactly now is really the time to find a summer job so you can pay for school and/or reduce your debt. A lot of students actually start looking for summer employment as early as the winter and some have already figured out where they will be working this summer. If you haven't found a job yet, not to worry there is still some time! I know it doesn't feel like summer is just around the corner with the weather we've been having (it snowed just about an hour north of Ontario, the day after Easter Monday) but not to worry my fellow Torontonians it is just around the corner.



The government does provide some excellent resources for student summer jobs. Most times the government actually provides funding to employers as an incentive to hire students. The federal government has a Youth Employment Strategy (YES), the three goals of this initiative are: skill linking, career focus and summer work experience. Just remember like I said before, some of these programs have already hired students so look at the dates carefully, also make sure to look at the qualifications, there may be age or school enrolment restrictions:

        This program was created in 1996 to help young Canadians with on the job experience. The YCW sponsors employment programs for bilingual employment and heritage organizations (non-profit organization in Canada with a heritage mandate, such as a museum, archives, library, or an organization managing a heritage site).

        These are summer positions for students who want to work for the provincial government for Ontario Public Service, its related agencies and community groups. This is for employment in a wide of industries including; office administration, geology, laboratory, research and much more.

        This is free job search and self marketing support which is available through Employment Ontario Summer Job Services agencies. Check out this list of Employment Ontario Agencies in Toronto which offer Summer Job Service.


        This is for students between the ages of 15-29 who are aspiring entrepreneurs (small business owners). These students have the opportunity to receive startup money for their company, training as well as money for when they return back to school.

 Aside from government resources there are a lot of other places to find summer employment as well. If you are still in high school you can ask your guidance counsellor for some more resources. If you are in university or college your school most likely have an employment centre which is full of great resources which you are only able to use while you are in school. Your school probably also has some good blogs about summer jobs, take a look at your institution's website.

Remember that summer employment is very competitive, the majority of students will be looking for summer employment unless they have fabulous summer vacation plans. Make sure that your resume stands out from the other students, you should really try to highlight the skills which are relevant to your job. E.g., if you are looking for a tree planting job (which is a great summer job opportunity for Canadians) and you have landscaping or lawn mowing experience, you would talk about that more than you would your retail experience. You can also check out this resume blog I wrote for more resume tips.

Last but not least, of course the library also has books to help you. We have a book in the North York Central Library's Business Department called The Canadian Summer Job Directory (notei, it is a reference item so you can't borrow it):




This book is organized by province, and it gives regional programs and opportunities. For each company it provides contact information, description of the organization, types of positions, job information and how to apply. Here are a few of the Ontario suggestions from this book:


Good luck and have a great summer!

Happy Small Business Month! Time is running out to attend Small Business Matters programs!

October 17, 2013 | Ashley | Comments (0)


If you didn't know, October is unofficially Small Business Month. It seems  like a lot of people aren't aware of this. I met a local Toronto Entrepreneur this morning the owner of TAJJ Cosmetics and wished her a Happy Small Business Month, she didn't know either!  So, to all you Toronto entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs or anyone who has anything to do with Small Businesse- Happy Small Business Month!

To celebrate Small Business Month there are great programs and seminars happening all over the Country, The Women in Business network has created a great list of Small Business Events. Next week Enterprise Toronto is hosting their annual Small Business Forum at the Metro Convention Centre its free to attend, and a great opportunity to network with other entrepreneurs and discover new resources.


To celebrate, we've already had 5 programs:

Crowdfunding for Beginners

Join Craig Asano (National Crowdfunding Association of Canada) and James Cooper ( ) in this beginner's guide to crowdfunding.  Find out what it takes to prepare and launch a successful campaign.  This session is great for anyone looking to gain a fuller understanding of what it means to be in the trenches of your own funding campaign.

Don't worry for those of you who missed this program we're having another one:

Crowdfunding 101 - October 29, 2013

Asier Ania, co-founder of HiveWire Inc., crowdfunding and crowdsourcing solutions, will guide you through the basics of crowdfunding. This program is in conjunction with the library's Entrepreneur in Residence program series (the deadline for one on one consultations with Jean Chow has been extended to October, 31, 2013). This program is free.

How to Build a Brand for the 21st Century

Join Andris Pone, co-author of Brand: it ain’t the logo* (*It’s what people think of you) - as he discusses how your company can build a remarkable brand that breaks through the noise and resonates deeply with customers and all target audiences. 

Social Media Made Simple

Join author Jim Pagiamtzis as he discusses the variety of social media platforms businesses need to be aware of, their influence on customers’ expectations and their effects on buying decisions. Learn to create a  marketing plan leveraging the strengths of each social media site. 

Doing Business with the Government of Canada 
The Government of Canada purchases approximately $20 billion worth of goods and services each year. Join us with John Lu from the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises and learn how to sell to the Government of Canada, including how to navigate the federal procurement process, how to market your products and services, where to find opportunities and much more. 

The Mentor's Circle: Clearing Your Path to Business Growth. 

 Join author Elizabeth Verwey as she explores the benefits of peer mentoring.  Based on her book, the mentors circle provides a way to solve problems, brainstorm, gain new perspectives and take the necessary steps to grow your business.  Learn how to clear your path for business growth.  



Tonight, we'll be having  the program The New Ecology of Leadership -Why Small is Beautiful

David-HurstJoin author David Hurst as he discusses themes covered in his recently published book The New Ecology of Leadership.  Learn how best to utilize your own management experiences and education to improve your judgment and organization.  Discover the ways that small is truly beautiful!  Join us!


 There are many other great Small Business Month Programs happening in other Toronto Public Libraries, check them out!






Have you read the most popular job hunting book in the world?

September 14, 2013 | Teresa | Comments (0)

What color is your parachute guide to online job hunting
Time magazine has called it "one of the all-time 100 best non-fiction books".  The Center for the Book, Library of Congress calls it "one of the 25 books that have shaped reader's lives".  What book are they referring to?

What Color is Your Parachute, which recently published its 2014 edition, has been a staple of career counselling centers for years.  First published in 1970, it has been updated annually since 1975.  What Color is Your Parachute has sold 10 million copies worldwide and is available in 22 languages. 

Author and career guru Richard Bolles gave some insight into his publication with this 2010 interview with  Proving that it is as relevant today as it was when it was first published, the 2014 edition table of contents includes such chapters as: Google is Your New Resume, Five Ways to Change Careers, What to Do When Your Job-Hunt Just Isn't Working. 

More than just a job hunting manual, it covers career exploration and self discovery.  The pink pages at the end of the book cover such topics as dealing with your feelings while out of work, finding your mission in life, guide to finding a career coach or counsellor.  

No matter what stage you are in your career - starting, changing, midway or ending, this book has something that will resonate with you. 



Could crowdfunding help kickstart your career?

August 28, 2013 | Ashley | Comments (2)

(image from

Crowdfunding is a fairly new social media concept especially for Canadians which provides individuals and businesses with an opportunity to raise money through online campaigning. There are many different platforms to do crowdfunding, Kickstarter is probably the most popular but there are may others as well. I'm sure many of you are now familiar with Gawker, which was actually a blog which was originally intended for posts on celebrities and the media industry. You probably know about Gawker due to our mayor's recent incidentwhere the website was attempting to buy his infamous video for $200,000. Gawker actually used a crowdfunding platform called Indiegogo which is an international website, they managed to raise $63,500 in 2 days.

One of my colleagues recently wrote a crowdfunding blog for the library's Business & Personal Finance blog you can read it for some more information. Also, the Business department will be hosting a program next Thursday, September 5, 2013 to kick off our Small Business Matters series which runs from September to December. 


A lot of new artists, entrepreneurs, inventors etc. have used crowdfunding to help get their career or product off the ground. Some examples are; Canadian Indie Rocker Amanda Zelina , Sprayable Energy., and alternative-rock icon/blogger Amanda Palmer who began as a street performer and raised $1.2 million with Kickstarter(this is the largest music crowdfunding project today). She actually faced a lot of criticism for asking people to fund her album back in 2012. You can watch the TED video "The Art of Asking"  below where she talks about how to get people to pay for things, as she says by "simply asking them."


Of course as always you can also come up to the Business Department and check out some of our books if you want to raise some money for your business, or download some ebooks from home! Check these out:


CDNventure_cover     Crowdfundingrevolution    Crowdfunding

                                                                             (Also available as an ebook)

 Let me know what you think, share your comments ;)

Looking for Companies who are Hiring in Your Field? Check this out

July 31, 2013 | Ashley | Comments (0)

Now hiring

Are you wondering which companies are hiring? Companies tend to go through different phases of growth and development and sometimes there may be times when they are looking to expand and they may have large spikes in hiring. How do you find this information out? There are a few ways to do it, especially using some online tools. 


  • For the past 14 years the Globe & Mail magazine has been putting together a list of Canada's top 100 employers. These employers are usually leaders in their industry, innovative and treat their employees very well so they tend to have and retain quality employees. The winners are chosen by criteria such as; physical workplace, health financial and family benefits, and training & skills development. This year some of the winners were:



Eluta the search engine for new jobs in Canada, is an online career directory which was launched by MediaCorp Canada Inc. in 2006. You can use the website in various ways. The most simple way is by keywords that you choose based on whichever type of job or location you require. There is also a drop down menu the top left hand corner which says "Search Top Employers". Within that drop down menu there are various company lists including the one I mentioned above (Globe & Mail's Top 100 employers) here are some of the other lists:

  • The Career Directory for New Grads: This Search Tool (provided by The Career Directory: Canada's Best Employers for Recent Graduates) allows you to find entry level positions based on what the degree you earned as well as your field of study. You can see available jobs for companies across Canada who are hiring people with your educational background.You can also click on the New Grad link for each job to learn more about which grads are hired and the types of positions, including summer and co-op work term possibilities. Some of these companies include: BMW Canada, Ceridian Canada Ltd. and Corus Entertainment Inc.
  • Canada's Best Diversity Employers:  This search tools allows you to find positions with employers who have won the seven year competition. These companies have exceptional workplace diversity initiatives for individuals in the following categories; Aboriginal, women, visible minorities, Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) people and individuals with disabilities. Some of these companies include: BMO, Health Canada and YMCA of Greater Toronto.
  • Top Employers for Canadians Over 40: The companies in this list are known for offering programs of interest to people over 40, having a good pension plan, they assist their employees with retirement and succession planning, they extend health coverage to employees even after retirement. Some of these companies include: University of Toronto, CIBC, Enbridge Inc.
These are just a few of the options available on, check it out for yourself and maybe you can find the right company for you!




Is there a future for careers in art?

July 27, 2013 | Teresa | Comments (0)

Arts cover 1My daughter is embarking to university in the fall.  Unlike her older siblings, she has a firm eye on what she wants to major in.  She wants to pursue a career in visual art - specifically studio art - to use as a base to a future career in art curating or some other related field.  Of course as a parent, I immediately had visions of her as a starving artist, standing on a street corner selling her wares. 

Well it turns out I should not worry so much.  A recent National Endowment for the Arts  report, entitled Artist Employment Projections through 2018 suggests that there will be jobs in art related fields.  Despite the fact that this report is American, and a bit dated (2011), it gives one hope that there is a life after art school.  Some of the growing fields identified in this report include museum technicians and conservators, curators, landscape architects, multimedia artists and animators and graphic designers. 

But what about the Canadian market?  Human Resources and Skills Development Canada has a portion of their website that is called the Canadian Occupational Projection System, in which you can plug in a NOC (National Occupation Code) and you can discover what the outlook is for a specific career area.  The NOC which includes art is 513.  It projects that there will be more retirements in the field than new hires to fill them.  Good news for those trying to enter the field. 

For more Canadian information, see Career Cruising, a database that you can access with your TPL library card, that gives information on a wide variety of careers, including interviews with people who actually are working in a particular occupation, as well as salary information, and education preparation.  Links to professional or related websites are also included.

And of course there are the books:

  Arts book 1   Arts book 2  

Arts book 3     Arts book 4

The Career and Job Search Help blog is a place where Librarians share and discuss great resources, upcoming programs, related Library services and the Toronto career development and small business scene. Enjoy, and thanks for talking to us!