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Lillian H. Smith

Halloween Crafts

October 8, 2013 | Cat | Comments (0)

Fall has arrived and Halloween is just around the corner! Once the leaves start changing
colour I know it's time for pumpkin patches and apple picking... even if that
just equates to pumpkin spice lattes and baking apple pies. Every year towards
the end of September and early October I start to think about costumes and Halloween
home decor. Check out these new titles TPL has to offer on Halloween activities
and crafts for children, teens and adults.

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Check out the crafts from the Mother of all Crafters Martha Stewart's Halloween craft ideas.  From pumpkin cravings and costumes to home decor and family activities you'll find something the whole family can enjoy. 

If you're a Martha Setwart fan you can also log onto Zinio with your library card from the TPL webpage to download the Martha Stewart Living Halloween Special.



Quick & Easy Meals for Busy College Students

September 30, 2013 | Cat | Comments (0)

Dorm_room_diet_216pxSeptember is coming to a close and for the student, you’re probably just getting used to deadlines all in the same week and marathon back-to-back classes. You might not even remember the last solid meal you had! 

As a student you might find it a challenge to cook when the deadlines are looming or even find healthy food on campus (campuses can be total food deserts sometimes).  I can tell you from years of experience; it can become pretty stressful to eat well as a student when dealing with tight budgets and ridiculously busy schedules. 

That's when I turned to TPL to find books on quick and easy recipes to keep me from starving.

So check out these titles for new ideas on eating well and start thinking about healthy choices… you have the rest of the year to pull through!


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9781554076024_500X500 Full_size

Branded by the Pink Triangle

September 18, 2013 | Cat | Comments (2)

PinkTriangle_coverBW3Join us on  

Wednesday September 25th

as author Ken Setterington talks about his new book "Branded by the Pink Triangle": a history of the persecution of gay men by the Nazi regime during the Holocaust.

7:00 p.m. - 8:00.p.m.

Lillian H. Smith Library


Between 5,000 and 15,000 gay men--identified by the pink triangle-- were sent to the concentration camps of Nazi Germany, many to die there. After the war, this bitter history was for decades ignored. Author Ken Setterington talks about his work on this book and why he wrote it for young adults.

Enter the Roald Dahl Short Story Contest!

September 13, 2013 | Cat | Comments (0)

ThIf you woke up on a school day morning with Matilda's magical powers, 
what would you do? 


Small Print Toronto 
invites writers 6-12 years old
to take part in the 
4th annual Toronto 
Roald Dahl Day
Short Story Contest,
celebrating the 25th anniversary 
of Dahl's novel Matilda!


Craft a short tale (1500 words MAX) about what you, a middle grade student in Toronto, would do if you woke up on a school day and realized you had incredible telekinetic powers just like Matilda.

Send your story to by 
Sept. 27, 2013.

And on Saturday October 19th at 2:00 pm, an all-star panel of judges will award cool prizes to the top stories!

So come in and celebrate contest participants and winners!



Street Smart: Safe Cycling Workshop this weekend!

July 3, 2013 | Cat | Comments (0)

Toronto-cycling-reuters_cropThis weekend we are featuring a Street Smart: Safe Cycling Workshop in partnership with Library Settlement Partnership, CultureLink, Citizen and Immigration Canada, and Cycle Toronto.

Saturday July 6th from 2 to 4 pm

All participants will receive a copy of the Toronto Cyclists Handbook and a Toronto Bike Map. 


 You'll gain knowledge on:

  • The benefits of cycling
  • Rules of the road: The Ontario Highway Traffic Act and City of Toronto's Cycling By-Laws
  • Techniques for safe cycling
  • Route selection
  • Basic bike maintenance and how to fix a flat tire (hands-on training with a mechanic!)
  • Community and legal resources

The workshop is FREE but we do ask you register in advance by calling us at 416-393-7746 or stop by in person to the 2nd floor reference desk.

We do receive quite a few questions about the Toronto Cycling Map every year and you can pick up your own copy here in branch.  Just visit us on the 2nd floor reference desk.

The Toronto Cycling website has a ton more information - including updates on bike by-laws, trails under construction, bike riding courses and more.

From Cycle Toronto, The Toronto Cyclists Handbook is available in 17 languages. To download the language edition you want, click the image below.


Lettuce go to the BBQ: The vegetarian and vegan grill

June 20, 2013 | Cat | Comments (5)

Have you ever been the only vegetarian at a BBQ? Or are you a vegetarian or vegan planning to host friends over this summer who have all different tastes? It's never easy planning meals that will please our friends and family that are painless (and also good to the environment).  With titles like "Simply satisfying" and "Easy, sexy raw" TPL will help you find recipes that will satisfy the long-time vegan, as well as introduce vegetarian/vegan dishes skeptical friends and family will love (and not just tolerate)!

Check out these titles on great summer vegetarian and vegan (even flexitarian) BBQ dishes everyone will like:

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What are you doing for NXNE this weekend?

June 13, 2013 | Cat | Comments (2)

Now in its 19th year, North by Northeast Festivals and Conference (NXNE) has become the Canadian festival destination for emerging artists as well as major-label headliners; music filmmakers; comedians; visual, sound, and other artists; and for digital interactive innovators bridging the gap between technology and the arts.

Beginning June 10 - 16th, NXNE runs seven days and nights, with an eclectic mix of music, film, comedy and art to check out at venues throughout the city. I always view the schedule online and make a bucket list of all the bands I want to see throughout the weekend.  Things can easily get hectic but travelling from venue to venue between sets is all part of the fun!

Other than the NXNE Music takeover, there are a few other series to check out: 

NXNE Film screens 30+ of the year’s best music-themed features, documentaries, shorts, and experimental films from around the world.

NXNE Interactive (NXNEi) is a digital interactive media conference like no other. It brings together content-creating artists, tech entrepreneurs, digital marketing gurus, web business experts, and social media aficionados for four days of workshops, presentations, and panels that explore the newest ideas in bridging the gap between creativity and the interactive world.

NXNE Comedy presents popular and emerging stand-up and sketch acts from around the world.

NXNE Art will connect visual artists with an expanded, engaged audience. It will feature late-night visual art fun as well as a packed slate of daytime activities both on the streets and in galleries. Art will also be presented in non-traditional viewing spaces.

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TPL also has a local music collection that includes many of the bands who have previously played NXNE and many that are playing this weekend!  Check out our Make Some Noise blog and our local music collection here.

To find all the detailed schedule and ticket information, check out NXNE online! 

What shows will you be checking out?

Pedestrian Sundays in Kensington Market are back!

May 31, 2013 | Cat | Comments (0)

Pedestrian Sundays in Kensington Market kicked off this past Sunday May 27th and will continue until the end of October! 

2013 Pedestrian Sundays dates:

Sunday May 26th, June 30th, July 28th, August 25th, September 29th and October 27th, 2013

From 12 to 7pm throughout the market, and until 10pm on north block of Augusta

I can't believe that this is the 10th season of Pedestrian Sundays! With the Lillian H Smith branch so close to the market I always tend to stroll through before work and love showing off the market to visiting friends and family. Pedestrian Sundays are extra special with some of the city's most creative street performers and local restaurants and shops buzzing with activity.

Both Sanderson and Lillian H. Smith feature historical material about Kensington Market in their local history section, so if you're interested in learning more about the market you love, check out these great titles:

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Check out more TPL material on the historical Kensington Market here.

You can always connect with PSKensington online to find out further details!

Lillian H Smith's 3rd Out of This World Booksale

May 28, 2013 | Tony | Comments (0)

Bksl2013draft3Lillian H Smith is having it's third Out of This World Booksale.  Previous events have been very popular and this years is going to be just as memorable.

It started out as a Science Fiction and Fantasy booksale and it still is for the most part, but this year we are adding some mainstream books.  So if your friends don't care for Speculative Fiction bring them anyway.

We're also expanding from one large room to two.  We will have more graphic books than ever before, including Manga.

While many of our books are former library books, more are donations that we couldn't take or already had.  Many of these are in very good condition and are not marked.

The booksale will be from 10:00 - 3:00 on Saturday June 22nd 2013 C.E. at Lillian H Smith Library.  239 College St. (1 Block east of Spadina) Toronto, ON.

Bring bags, or better still buy one of ours!

Jackson Pollock

May 22, 2013 | Tony | Comments (0)

No5,1948Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) was an interesting figure in the art world and a major force in the Abstract Expressionist movement.  Most people would know him for his "drip painting" technique that made him famous in the late 1940's.  Hollywood even made a film about his life starring Ed Harris in 2000.  I haven't seen the Ed Harris portrayal of Pollock but I did see a documentary titled "Who The #$&% is Jackson Pollock."  It was an amusing tale of a retired trucker named Teri Horton who buys a painting in a thrift shop for $5 and who later believes it to be an original Pollock.  Its an interesting look into the art world as it focuses on her struggle to get it authenticated.  I'm not a huge fan of abstract expressionism, but there's no doubt he was an influential figure in art.  If you're feeling inspired to create some art on your own, we have a program coming up at our branch that may be of interest to you called Oil Pastels for Beginners.  The instructor Asha will be teaching it in the style of Jackson Pollock (he also worked with oil pastels).  Please call the branch to register at 416-393-7746.  Spaces are limited.  In the mean time, if you want to learn more about this famous artist, check out our catalogue here.      

Image above: Jackson Pollock No. 5, 1948




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.