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June 2011

Job Search & Resume Help

June 24, 2011 | Tony | Comments (0)

CareerSectionretro For those of you aged 15 to 30 years old that may need a little help in your job search or perhaps your  resume just needs a little sprucing up, you're in luck, we have Service Canada stopping by our branch.   They will be setting up shop on the first floor, to the left of our main entrance for four Mondays.  Feel free to swing by and ask any Job Search or Resume related questions.  Dates and times are below:

Monday June 27th 3:30-6 pm

Monday July 4th 4:30-6 pm

Monday July 11th 4:30-6 pm

Monday July 18th 4:30-6 pm

 Of course, you don't have to wait for them to arrive in order to get information.  On our website we have a section dedicated to Career & Job help, will lots of info ranging from library programs, new titles purchased, to recommended websites to aid in your hunt.

 We also have a section of Books/DVD's on Career information located on the 2nd Floor, right beside the Information Desk.

For branch location and how to get here, see the Lillian H. Smith branch profile page.

The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival

June 24, 2011 | Sarah | Comments (2)

TigerWhen this book came in to the library, I'd completely forgotten about placing a hold on it months ago.  And at first glance, I couldn't remember why I'd ordered it!  The story of a man-eating tiger in the wilds of far-Eastern Russia?  A place I had only a vague awareness of being somewhere south of Kamchatka on a Risk board, and populated by rough tayozhniks (forest dwellers), mostly men, wielding rifles and hunting or poaching wildlife to survive?

Well, it turns out this book is amazing. Vaillant tracks the events of December, 1997, when Vladimir Markov was hunted and killed by an enormous Amur tiger, but he packs a lot of depth and analysis into the narrative.  Everything from Communism and post-Perestroika Russia to human evolution and our relationship to animal predators throughout history is examined.  He also covers literary and scientific references to tigers going back to Shakespeare's time and earlier.

My only criticism is that the book could have benefited from an index.  I found myself flipping back frequently to check on names and some of the Russian terms.  That said, there is a helpful bibliography.  I'd like to read some of Elizabeth Marshall Thomas's books.

As summer begins here, is it worth reading about walking through the cold, snow-covered taiga, wondering with a shiver if a tiger's on your trail?  You bet!  The Tiger has also been nominated for a 2011 Evergreen award.

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

June 23, 2011 | Frances | Comments (5)

Several staff at Lillian H. Smith branch have been reading or listening to the Hunger Games trilogy. I thoroughly enjoyed the plot, characters and the themes of these teen books. The author paints a compelling picture of a dystopian world with corrupt leadership and a strong rebellious heroine. However we find it hard to blame those in the capital city that mindlessly soaked up the bread and circuses provided by their government since they seem victims too. Lots to analyze and to mull over after Katniss's actions in Mockingjay, the third book. The author Suzanne Collins seems to tell teens and young adults to pay attention to their own government. Yep, a good message for everyone.


Icatchingndex.aspx        Imockingndex.aspx

But above all, the books are a good read! A review by Pickychick says "you cheer her (Katniss Everdene) every narrow victory from start to finish. Furthermore, she presents an interesting paradox: is she truly a rebellious figure, able to both survive and protect her loved ones in this twisted society? Or is she just a puppet of the State, only able to last because she conforms? Is survival enough?"

The books have become a web phenomenon themselves. Many websites with quotes from the various books and fansites. There will be even more hoopla when the first movie comes out next year. Not sure I will see the movies though - probably too gory for me! But I think that Donald Sutherland will make a very scary President Snow.

Natural Standard: best and most authoritative website available on herbal medicines

June 20, 2011 | Frances | Comments (1)

So says the World Health Organization (WHO). I find Natural Standard easy to use and very helpful for finding information on non-prescription drugs, vitamins and alternative remedies. 

The Natural Standard homepage says that it was "founded by healthcare providers and researchers to provide high-quality, evidence-based information about complementary and alternative therapies. Grades reflect the level of available scientific data for or against the use of each therapy for a specific medical condition."

I love the simple grading system and the flash cards with the overview of scientific research results for each remedy or therapy.

For example, it says that there is strong positive scientific evidence (A) that acupuncture helps with chronic pain and osteoarthritis but negative scientific evidence (D) for helping with quitting smoking. 

"Chronic pain: Strong evidence supports the use of acupuncture in long-lasting back pain and neck pain."

Smoking cessation: "Results have been inconsistent. Several critical reviews of the research have concluded that the evidence does not support acupuncture as a reliable or effective method for smoking cessation. There may, however, be some benefit in reducing side effects of withdrawal such as irritation, cigarette craving, and headache."

Research shows, according to Natural Standard, that creatine enhances muscle mass and strength (A) but it may not help improve athletic performance or endurance by increasing time to fatigue (possibly by shortening muscle recovery periods)...the results of research evaluating this claim are mixed. (C) Be sure to read the full description on the site.

Naturalstandard I am just highlighting some of the interesting features on this health information resource. There are tools, checkers, medical dictionary, information for health professionals as well as consumers, sports medicine, animal medicine, by brand, foods, herbs and and more! Log into Natural Standard with your library card to explore. Pull out all your supplements to see how you should be using them and perhaps better alternatives.

Organic Magic with Worms: Vermicomposting Workshop

June 15, 2011 | Frances | Comments (0)

Coming up this Saturday, June 18th, 2-4 pm.  There is still some space at this free workshop. While this is a program for adults, interested children are most welcome.

Call Lillian H. Smith branch at 416-393-7746 to register. We are located 1 block east of Spadina on College street, convenient for the College and Spadina streetcars and Queen's Park subway.

For more information, see our previous post or call us at 416-393-7746.

Maintaining Your Bicycle Workshop

June 11, 2011 | Tony | Comments (0)

On June 4, more than 50 participants from all walks of life gathered in the program rooms of Lillian H Smith Branch to learn the basics of bike repairs.  In this interactive workshop, attendees learned about some common bike problems; adjusting brakes, fixing flat tires, oiling and changing a chain, as well as community resources available.  At the end of the session, freebies such as bells and reflective straps were also distributed to the attendees.

Thanks to Kristin Schwartz, CultureLink's Newcomer Cycling Outreach Co-ordinator and her team of volunteer mechanics for making this event fun and informative.  Stay tuned for more cycling related workshops at Lillian H Smith Branch !!

This program was co-sponsored by Citizenship & Immigration Canada, Toronto Public Library, CultureLink Settlement Services and the Partnership for Integration and Sustainable Transportation.

 Click on image to enlarge

Bikeworkshop Bikeworkshop1 Bikeworkshop2

Asian Heritage Month Revisited

June 9, 2011 | Tony | Comments (0)

On May 28, 2011, we celebrated Asian Heritage Month.  We had three great programs in the branch, that were all well received.  "Stories from Japan and Beyond" with Yusuke Tanaka and Nathalie Vachon, had the crowd captivated by their vivid storytelling.  Chef Winlai Wong showed the audience how to make edammame salad, followed by mango and thai basil rice paper rolls with vietnamese dipping sauce.  Everyone in attendance got to taste her creations with some jasmine green tea.    This was capped off with a performance from Sekar Rasa Duo.  They performed some Balinese dance and music to the delight of the crowd.

Click on image to enlarge




Yusuke Tanaka &

Nathalie Vachon

Chef Winlai Wong

Keiko from

Sekar Rasa Duo

Lillian H. Smith library, in the heart of the Discovery District, Chinatown and Kensington Market, is a district branch of Toronto Public Library. Learn more about your local library & community, and while you're at it, drop us a comment. If you are visiting us in person, look for the bronze gryphons guarding our door.