Toronto Public Library Homepage

This page has been archived and is no longer updated.

Lillian H. Smith

What are you doing for NXNE this weekend?

June 13, 2013 | Cat | Comments (2) Facebook Twitter More...

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.

          Untitled          Images

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) Facebook Twitter More...

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:

B_kensington   Kensington_cover

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) Facebook Twitter More...

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) Facebook Twitter More...

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




What are you doing this long weekend? Come check out these free events happening at Lillian Smith!

May 15, 2013 | Cat | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Celebrate Asian Heritage Month

this May long weekend! 


We have two great programs ready to go this Saturday May 18th starting at 11 am!

From 11am - noon we are featuring A Taste of the Dragon Boat Festival: Food demonstration and tasting, a Cooking Demo & Tasting with Shirley Lum!  Culinary historian and tour guide, Shirley Lum of A Taste of the World Walks will share lore and legends behind the long paddle boats, a dead poet and the delicious sticky rice dumplings, a.k.a Zong Zi. During this session, she will also shed light on how you make the savoury and sweet dumplings, then participants get a chance to make one to take home as well as try a sampling of dumplings pre-made by Shirley. 

    Afterwards at noon there is the Henna Workshop for Teens  where teens between the ages 12 and 18 can learn the art of Henna from an expert and get a sample design!  We are lucky to have artist Henna by Fia lead a workshop on the history and science of Henna.  See you there!

Space is limited for both events so please call our branch at 416-393-7746 to register.


Playoff Fever

May 8, 2013 | Tony | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...


We recently put out a Maple Leaf hockey display to celebrate the team's appearance in this year's playoffs.  The display was mounted in the front window in the College/Huron corner of the branch.  "We plan to keep the display up as our Maple Leafs push through the 2013 playoffs race," says Neil.  Let's hope it'll last beyond this week, if not there's always next year.

With thanks to Laurel and Neil.

Starting an Etsy business for the crafty

May 8, 2013 | Cat | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Lately I've come across a few new e-commerce books we have in our collection here at Lillian helping crafters, artisans and designers sell their designs online.  Online e-commerce site is one of my favourite places to find both local and unique gifts, jewelery, clothing and other handmade gems.  If you're a crafter or designer and you're interested in selling your items online, check out these great books to help you develop a successful shop and online presence (we even have the e-book versions too!).  Whether you're just starting out and want to turn your hobby into a business or want to learn how to run a full-time business on Etsy, these books will help you imagine the global possibilities for marketing and selling your wares!

  1  3   2






What does Earth Day mean to you?

April 22, 2013 | Cat | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

It's April 22nd and all around the world people are celebrating what is known as "Earth Day". But what if we treated everyday as Earth Day and didn't wait for that one day a year to think about our impact on the environment.  Major environmental issues like climate change, ozone layer depletion, waste disposal, pollution, addiction to fossil fuels, food and water crises, and so much more, all tell us that these issues are things we need to always be talking about.  Yes, it's days like today that provide us with opportunities to participate in a neighbourhood clean-up or tree planting activities, but what if we took that enthusiasm a little bit further? If you're like me and interested in knowing what's happening with our changing environment and how we can make things better and not worse, here are some great books to get that conversation started.

  2 1 3

Need some more inspiration? Check out this motivating article in NOW magazine by Adria Vasil.

Earth Day is also a great day to get the conversation started about the environment with your children, students and family members. Check out these books and more for children about Earth Day and the environment.

All New Crafts for Earth Day51XH399BSQL._SL500_AA300_ Index.aspx


Is it patio season yet!?

April 18, 2013 | Cat | Comments (1) Facebook Twitter More...

Every year when we get our first warm beautiful day in the city I start to get excited about "patio season"! This snowy winter has had me longing for those balmy summer nights spent sitting outdoors on patios with friends sipping on something cold. Whether your outdoors is the patio of your favourite local bar, a park picnic or a backyard/rooftop/condo balcony, you'll want to have a drink that reminds you of summer and helps you forget about snow shoveling. Now let's just hope this weather gets even better!

Check out these titles for ideas on your next favourite patio drink.

1 32

1 2

Henna Workshop for Teens

April 11, 2013 | Tony | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Hennabyfia4May is Asian Heritage month and we always have various programs at our branch to commerate it.  If you're interested in what we'll have here at our branch you can check out the program section of our website to find out the latest and greatest.  One upcoming program that is new to our branch is the Henna Workshop for Teens.  Henna is a type of plant that is used to made dyes for skin, hair and various fabrics.  On May 18th at 12pm we are lucky to have artist Henna by Fia lead a workshop on the history and science of Henna.  She'll demonstrate different types of henna designs and everyone will leave will a sample applied.  It shaping up to be a great event so if you're between the ages 12-18 and interested in attending, please call our branch at 416-393-7746 because spaces are limited.  Can't make it? You can check out our catalogue for more information about this ancient art.   

Photo: Henna by Fia design.



*Update* Program was moved from 2pm to 12pm.

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.