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Vietnamese | Tiếng Việt

November 11, 2016 | Maria | Comments (0)

Do you speak Vietnamese | Tiếng Việt? Today, I'd like to highlight the library's Vietnamese collection. From books, to movies, to eResources and even art exhibits, the library has a lot to offer to Vietnamese Torontonians. 

Vietnamese Collection Locations

Many library branches have collections of books and movies in Vietnamese.


1,500 or more items


750-1,500 items


fewer than 750 items

An up-to-date chart can be found on Toronto Public Library Language Collection Locations page.

Find Material in Your Language


Toronto Public Library offers a Browse by Language option, which can help you find out what books, movies, music and digital content are available at the library in Vietnamese. You can also place holds to request the items you want. Clicking on Vietnamese | Tiếng Việt will take you to the library catalogue.

You can also use the menu on the left-hand side to narrow down your search. 


Mango Languages

Mango languages is a great resource for learning different languages, including English and Vietnamese. The English for Vietnamese speakers (Tiếng Anh Cho Người Việt Nam) section can help native Vietnamese speakers learn English. You can access it for free from Toronto Public Library website's Mango Languages section with your library card.

Mango Languages
English for Vietnamese speakers (Tiếng Anh Cho Người Việt Nam)

Myseum of Toronto Presents Cosmopolis: The World in One City

Cosmopolis Toronto: The World in One City is a photography series by Colin Boyd Shafer that captures the stories of people born in every country of the world but who now call Toronto home. Cosmopolis Toronto, offered in partnership with Myseum of Toronto and Toronto Public Library, will be displayed at select library branches across the city from from November 3, 2016 to January 8, 2017.

Helen Vietnam
Photo credit: Cosmopolis Toronto

Helen from Vietnam, pictured above, is part of the Finding Refuge exhibit located at Bloor/Gladstone branch. You can read Helen's story online.

Questions? Comments?

If you have any questions about the library's Vietnamese collection, or any comments about this blog post, please post them below. 

Finding Books, Movies and More in 40 Languages: Diversity and Multilingual Collections at Your Library

October 31, 2016 | Iana | Comments (0)

Looking for a book in Italian? Hindi DVDs? Picture books in Russian? Korean magazines? Chinese e-books, e-audio books and e-videos? Look no further! Toronto Public Library's multilingual collections offer books, magazines, DVDs, newspapers and digital content in over 40 different languages.

Browse Online by Language

Check out the library's revised Materials in Your Language page. Browse by language or search and place holds for materials directly from the New to Canada portal by selecting a multilingual language collection. The page is mobile-friendly, making it easy to log on to digital content as well as place online holds on books, movies, music in over 40 different languages, and have the materials be sent to a preferred library branch for pickup.

Languages List


Visit a Library Branch

In the same website section New to Canada -- Find Material in Your Language -- you can select language collection locations to find out which library branches have large, medium or small collections of books and movies in different languages.

Find Your Way snapshot


New To Canada Blog

Many of the library's language collections have already been featured in previous blog posts and we are planning to feature more of them on the New to Canada blog:


Children's Multilingual Dial-A-Story

Dial-a-story-215x300Toronto Public Library offers free multilingual storytelling by phone that is available 24/7 to anyone. Call the library Dial-a-Story at 416-395-5400 and listen to stories in 16 languages: English, French, Cantonese, Gujarati, Italian, Korean, Mandarin, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tamil, Tagalog and Urdu. There are stories for younger children (seven and under) and for older children (up to 12) and the stories are changed regularly -- more than 600 stories have been recorded.

Listening to stories is a great skill for children, which enhances their literacy and comprehension. Dial-a-story features wonderful stories recorded by professional storytellers and library staff who speak the language. Adults can listen to those stories too and experience the sound of a new language.

New immigrants have told us they appreciate the English stories for practicing English, as well as the stories in their own language, as they help their children connect with their heritage culture.


Mango Languages -- Free Online Learning

If on the other side, you are looking to improve your languages skills, try the Mango Languages online database offered by Toronto Public Library.

 Click here to go to Mango database.Mango Languages is a fast, easy and effective way to learn to speak a new language and it's fun to use! Mango offers more than 60 languages for English speakers and as well as 18 English as a Second Language learning courses for non-English speakers. Includes Mango Basic and Mango Complete. Also available for mobile devices including Android and iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch -- just download the app for free from your app store! All you need is a valid Toronto Public Library card, free if you live, work, go to school or own property in the City of Toronto.


International Multilingual Newspapers

The Toronto Star Newspaper Centre (pictured below) at Toronto Reference Library offers current issues of many international newspapers from around the globe, published in English, French and many other languages. Anyone is welcome to visit the Newspaper Room and enjoy some reading time in the spacious well-lit space.



Multicultural Toronto Speaks Many Languages

Toronto is one of the most multicultural and diverse cities in the world and Toronto Public Library reflects that. Our library staff speak many languages, and also have access to a Language Line Service and can phone an interpreter in the customer's language if needed.  

Our city is home to virtually all of the world's culture groups and is the city where more than 180 languages and dialects are spoken. According to the 2011 Census, roughly 1.8 million persons reported speaking an immigrant language most often at home in Toronto. Forty-five percent of Toronto residents had a mother tongue other than English or French. Mother tongue is defined as the first language learned at home in childhood and still understood at the time of the census. For more fascinating facts about the mosaic of languages that shape up Toronto, I encourage you to read this excellent city report (in pdf) by the Social Policy Analysis and Research division: 2100 Census Language Backgrounder, City of Toronto, 2012.

Myseum of Toronto Presents Cosmopolis: The World in One City

From November 3, 2016 to January 8, 2017, Toronto Public Library and Myseum of Toronto present Cosmopolis Toronto, a city-wide photography exhibit exploring the journeys of newcomers to Toronto. Canadian documentary photographer Colin Boyd Shafer has spent a year photographing one person from every country in the world who now lives in Toronto. 

Cosmopolis gridPhoto credit: Cosmopolis Toronto

The photos will be on display in 18 branches throughout the city, grouped in themes around the power of family, home, nature, tradition, food, art, faith and more.

For more information about Cosmopolis Toronto events at Toronto Public Library, visit and for more information about Cosmopolis Toronto, visit


100 Reasons to Check out the Library

In spring 2015, Toronto Public Library opened its 100th branch, Scarborough Civic Centre. To celebrate, the library ran a city-wide  "100 Reasons to Check Out TPL" campaign to show Torontonians that their library is much more than a place to borrow books. Among the 100 reasons were these two:

Reason # 2 to check out TPL is Dial-A-Story in 16 different languages! Magnifique!

Reason # 63 to check out TPL is Materials in Over 40 Languages! Si! Oui! Tak!


Discover all 100 reasons to love TPL!

Immigrant Business Expo 2016 and Other Resources for your Small Business

October 14, 2016 | Suzanne | Comments (0)

Are you new to Canada? Interested in starting your own business? Attend the Immigrant Business Expo for all your small business needs. This one-day exhibition will include workshops and small business clinics to assist new immigrant and refugee business owners. Organized by staff at the New Canadians website and TV show in collaboration with a number of organizations, including Toronto Public Library, this event aims to assist new immigrants in navigating the sometimes complex requirements of operating a small business in Canada. This free event is happening next Saturday, October 22 at Metro Hall.  

Immigrant Business Expo

There are other ways that the library can assist you with your small business needs:

Small Business Month

Did you know October is Small Business Month? Take part in our free programs and seminars on everything you'll need to run your small business. Ask expert library staff at our branches to help you find what you need. We have books on everything including marketing plans, human resources and more and we also have online databases and e-magazines you can access 24/7 from the library's website. Your library card also gives you free access to the latest and most popular business e-magazines, and to online business databases full of articles, videos, financial reports, competitive analyses and more.

Entrepreneur in Residence 

You can get free small business help from the library’s new Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Sima Gandhi. Sima was raised in an entrepreneurial family and started her career in the family business of manufacturing commercial lighting. She has a varied background in private sector startups, spanning several industries including manufacturing, education and construction. Find out about Sima’s upcoming programs or apply to meet with Sima one-on-one to discuss your business plan or idea. Submission details are on the website. 

Library Collections

The library's collections of business books, databases and more can be found by searching through our catalogue. Here's a recent list of books to help you start and run your small business. There are also great business books in our collection; here are a few examples:

Newcomers Guide to Starting a Business in Ontario    Business Plans for Canadians for Dummies    Your guide to government financial assistance for business in Ontario

You can also email us at if you'd like to be added to our small business enewsletter mailing list.

Visit Toronto Public Library for all your small business needs, and be sure to check out the FREE Immigrant Business Expo next Saturday, October 22 at Metro Hall.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Let's Dance Together! Join us for Library Settlement Partnerships Week 2016!

October 7, 2016 | Patty | Comments (0)

LSP Week Event at Flemingdon Park

Last year’s Library Settlement Partnerships (LSP) Week was a memorable one with over 1,250 people attending 13 special events at Toronto Public Library’s LSP branches. This year’s LSP Week, taking place from October 11th – 22nd, promises to be just as engaging! This year marks the eighth anniversary of LSP and the theme is “Dance from Around the World”, which celebrates newcomers’ contribution to dance in Canada. LSP Week is celebrated annually in October and coincides with Canadian Citizenship Week and Ontario Public Library Week. The library, along with seven local settlement agencies, will celebrate by offering a variety of fun, free programs featuring multicultural dance performances, visits by citizenship judges, open houses, information booths and much more!  We look forward to seeing you there!

LSP Week Event at Toronto Reference Library


Funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Toronto Public Library currently has 13 LSP branches where settlement workers offer direct settlement-related help and programs to assist newcomers’ transition in Toronto:






Flemingdon Park

Lillian H. Smith




Parliament Street



Toronto Reference Library

Toronto Public Library partners with seven local settlement agencies:

Catholic Crosscultural Services

Centre for Immigrant & Community Services

CultureLink Settlement & Community Services

Kababayan Multicultural Centre

Rexdale Women's Centre

Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office

YMCA Newcomer Information Centre



For more information about the LSP program, you can visit the Settling in Toronto page and the New to Canada blog.



For more “Dance from Around the World”, check out these materials from Toronto Public Library:

Passion to Dance Asian Dance
The Magic of Latin Dancing Street Dance


Polish Books, Chopin and Pierogi at Your Library / Po Polsku w Bibiotece

October 3, 2016 | Iana | Comments (3)

When composer and virtuoso pianist Frederic Chopin died in 1849 his body was buried in Paris, but his heart was taken to Warsaw, Poland's capital and interred in a pillar at the Holy Cross Church. That was the composer's wish on his deathbed. And that is how much he loved his fatherland Poland, which he never got a chance to see again during his years in exile.
Polish communities around the world cherish deeply their history and cultural heritage. Did you know that according to the 2011 Census by Statistics Canada, there were 1,010,705 Canadians of at least partial Polish heritage? It is one of the largest and oldest immigrant communities in Canada richly contributing to its art and cultural landscape.
Our Polish collections enable you to access the country's best contemporary literature and arts as well. Toronto Public Library has Polish collections of books for adults and children, DVDs, magazines in twelve of its 100 branches. Large collections can be found in the West End - at High Park, Long Branch, Mimico Centennial, New Toronto, Runnymede branches and at Cedrabrae branch and Toronto Reference Library. In addition, medium collections are located at Brentwood, Jane/Dundas, Richview branches. Two small collections can be found at Eatonville and Parkdale branches. You can visit any of those libraries to borrow Polish materials or you can browse the library's online catalogue and place holds on materials that you choose to request. A free library card is required to use borrow materials and access the library's online resources. If you are not yet a member, but you live, study, work or own property in Toronto - find out how to get your free library card.

 Polish Vigil at City Hall in support of SOlidarnosc 1981 Torstar archivesPolish history is long and tumultuous. As a start check out Prof. Norman Davies' classic study of the history of Poland titled God's Playground: A history of Poland in two volumes, revised edition 2005.

Polish Language

Mango Language LearningPolish language is a West Slavic language, nuanced and expressive and considered quite difficult to learn, in part due to the challenging pronunciation, seven cases and verbs that conjugate for gender, person, mood and time!! If you would like to learn some Polish language beyond "Tak" (= Yes), "Dzień dobry" (= Hello), "Lubię piwo" (= I like beer), "Dziękuję bardzo" (=Thank you very much) - try the library's online language service Mango Languages. You can create an account to track your progress.

Polish Music

Polish music is more than just Chopin. Borrow CDs from Toronto Public Library or listen to e-music for free with your library card in the streaming service Naxos Music Library. There is great Polish classical, folk, jazz and rock music to enjoy. Polish Christmas songs (kolędy) are one of the most beautiful to listen.

Image above: "Polish Vigil: Dick Przygova salutes as fellow demonstrators sing at Nathan Philips Square last night. More than 2500 turned out to protest martial law in Poland". 1981 copyright  Toronto Star Digital Archives at Toronto Public Library.



 Polish Festival folk dancers 2016

Polish folk dancers on stage during the 2016 annual Roncesvalles Polish Festival in Toronto. Photo credit: Ania K.


Pierogi and other delicacies

If you'd like to try and make pierogi at home - we have this Pierogi Love book for you. Even better - get together with your Polish friend's grandma (babcia) - I am almost certain that she will show you how to make pierogi from scratch and they will be better than in any restaurant or store. Take a stroll along Roncesvalles Avenue in the heart of "Polish Toronto" and sit in for dinner at Cafe Polonez and shop at the local grocery store Benna's Bakery & Deli. A little further in the Bloor West Village there is Amber restaurant and Kingsway Meat Deli  - a really good grocer too. For any other and all of your Polish food cravings - visit the epic supermarket Starsky in Mississauga, which Eastern Europeans from all of GTA and many local shoppers visit for the delicious, fresh products and the excellent variety and service. Starsky's deli and cheese section is easily bigger than my living room.


Pierogi Love book     In a Polish Country House Kitchen book     The food and cooking of Poland


Image below: Karol Cardinal Wojtyla: Archbishop of Cracow, Poland and the future Pope John Paul II, takes time out for cup of coffee with host Father Michael Smith; right; in Port Credit, while visiting Polish communities in Canada. 1969 Copyright Toronto Star Digital Archives at Toronto Public Library.

Pope John Paul II visting Toronto Toronto Star archivesFor a more intimate Polish immersion explore the many Polish sites in Roncesvalles Village, including St. Casimir's Church and the statue of Pope John II, the "Polish Pope" in front of the credit union. There are always candles and fresh flowers at the Pope's statue.

Down near the lake you will find the Copernicus retirement home and the Katyn Monument. The inscription reads: "In remembrance of fifteen thousand Polish prisoners of war who vanished in 1940 from the camps in USSR at Kozelsk, Ostashkov, Starobelsk. Of these over four thousand were later discovered in mass graves at Katyn, near Smolensk, murdered by the Soviet state security police."

Polish cinema

Andrzej Wajda's film “Katyn” (2007) about the mass execution of Polish military officers by the Soviet Union during World War II, which was carefully concealed by the Polish communist authorities after the war,  is a harrowing work. There are also the other great Polish masters - Kieszlowski, Polanski, Zanussi and a lot of great contemporary cinema. Check out some classic  Polish cinema in the Criterion streaming film service (free with a library card) or borrow a good Polish film on DVD, there are close to 300 Polish DVD titles at the library, a lot of excellent contemporary works too.


Other great Poles

Poland gave to the world great minds: Copernicus, Marie Curie-Sklodowska and Pope John Paul II, Jan Sobieski and Casimir III the Great, Kosciuszko and Pilsudski, Sienkiewicz, Mickiewicz and Chopin, Janusz Korczak, Lech Walesa and Solidarnosc, Szymborska, Agnieszka Holland, Czesław Miłosz and Gombrowicz, Brzezinski and Kapuscinski. And many others.


In the heart of the Roncesvalles village there is the charming High Park Library Branch (pictured below) - a Carnegie building and celebrating in fact this month 100 years of service in the community! Polish seniors gather there often to discuss politics and read the local Polish newspaper "Gazeta". Happy Centennial anniversary, High Park Branch! 


High park branchPolish literature is a treasure among the European cultures and there is a lot available in translation in English. 11 Great Polish Books You Have to Read (, 2016) is a good list for starters. Many Polish authors in translation and in Polish can be found at Toronto Public Library.

Polish Book Club at Runnymede Library. The book club was founded in 2007 by three Polish librarians at TPL. Discuss a great Polish book(s) each month. Contact the library for a list of upcoming titles. This program is conducted in Polish.

Polish Family Storytime/Spotkanie z Bajka at Long Branch Library - for years a staff member from the Long Branch Library has been offering a very popular Polish storytime for ages 3-6 with Polish stories, finger plays, songs and traditions.

In addition - kids can listen to Polish stories by computer or phone: Hear nine children's stories (bajki) in Polish on the library's KidsSpace website. Or dial-a-story in Polish by calling the library's Dial-a-Story number 416-395-5400.


How do Polish Canadian writers in Toronto identify and create? Here are four authors that are worth discovering:

Eva Stachniak became a best-selling writer of historic fiction in her adopted English language with "Winter Palace";

Andrew Borkowski wrote "Copernicus Avenue" - a wonderful collection of short stories from Roncesvalles Village (a.k.a "Little Poland") and his experience growing up with one foot in the Polish community and one foot out;

Aga Maksimowska's "Giant" speaks with the angst of the teenage experience of immigration From Poland to Canada. Delicious descriptions too of Babcia's kitchen in Poland.

Jowita Bydlowska writes in a powerful, honest, raw way in "Drunk Mom". Bydlowska shared for the National Post in 2014 the essay "On having another “immigrant story”. It offers a fresh and honest perspective of a young Polish Canadian writer about writing, staying away from immigrant stereotypes and living in two languages and two literary traditions.


Winter Palace   Copernicus Avenue   Giant   Drunk Mom A Memoir


As a final treat - I would like to end with the beautiful music of Chopin as performed by the outstanding Polish Canadian pianist and a Chopin interpreter Janina Fialkowska.



Bonus track: Basia Bulat Live at Massey Hall, July 20, 2014 - a live performance of the young and very talented Basia Bulat, a Canadian folk singer and songwriter.


Find Poland at your Library! Dziękuję bardzo!


Read a previous post about Polish Storytimes & Children's Collections at Toronto Public Library.

Read our previous blog post and a great story about Ukrainian at Your Library.



International Literacy Day

September 8, 2016 | Rachelle | Comments (3)

Today marks the 50th International Literacy Day! How will you be celebrating? Perhaps it is more of a plan than a celebration for you. Whether you are an avid reader or someone who reads on a "need to know" basis, now is a good time to make some resolutions. Today can be the January 1st of literacy! A time to make some changes or set some goals. Lately my son and I have been reading a few pages of The BFG each night. No doubt he became intrigued after the movie was released last July. Normally I do all of the reading but I thought that it would be a nice change for us to take turns reading. Maybe you can try out some new reading tips or perhaps you can attend a new event at the library. From family storytimes to movie nights to book clubs, the library has something for everyone. 

  8 and a half 400-Blows Lifeasadog

If a cozy night in is more to your liking, you can stream a classic film or documentary through our Criterion Collection. As for me? Well I have marked my calendar to attend The BFG puppet show at Runnymede branch on Oct 15. My son and I should be finished the book by then!

If you know someone who would like help improving their reading, writing or math skills, the library offers one-on-one tutoring for adults 16 or older.


Learning at Any Age

August 26, 2016 | Chantel | Comments (0)

I remember the first day of school like it happened yesterday. My mom waving and smiling as I walked through the doors. Me with my hands clenching the lunch box tightly, while thinking how afraid I was of this strange place. I didn't know anyone and I couldn't understand what they were saying to me. So many thoughts were going through my mind -- will the teacher be nice, will I meet new friends?  

Fortunately, there are resources to help you and your child prepare for a new school to make the transition easier.

First Day of School

First Day of School

By: Nora Gaydos

A parenting book with a helpful advice section to assist parents in getting their child ready for school on the first day. 




Sumi's first day of school ever Sumi's First Day of School Ever

By: Soyung Pak

A heartfelt story of a Korean-American student starting school in a new country that touches on the possible bad experiences and good experiences of a child's first day. 



Don't forget to check out these "Get Ready for Back to School" and "Your child's first day of school" blogs for more resources and book recommendations!

Splat the Cat Mouse's First Day of School The School

Bear's Big Day Tom and Sofia start school-Chinese Sam's First Day - Tamil

Children are not the only ones who need to prepare for school; adults returning to school might need to as well. If you are an adult thinking about going back to school -- it's never too late! Whether you want to improve your English, brush up on a subject or write an entrance exam, the library has the resources to help you. 

All library branches have an English as a Second Language (ESL) collection which consists of books, CDs and videos that can help newcomers learn the English language. You can also find materials on writing the TOEFL, TOEIC or IELTS exams. If you would like to learn English with other people, several branches offer ESL classes or English Conversation Circle as a way for people to practice speaking. 

For those looking to brush up on a subject or write an exam to get into a program, you can try some of our online resources available to you at home.

Learning Express LibraryThis resource is great for those wanting to go back to school. There are practice tests and exercises on various subjects such as grammar, math and more for high school students as well as for college prep. There are also practice tests for standardized exams such as LSAT, GED, MCAT, TOEFL, iBT and TOEIC. 


Tense BusterAnother great tool to use for improving your English grammar. You can go through practice exercises and tests on different aspects of grammar such as modal verbs, past continuous and prepositions for ESL learners to the more advanced levels. 


If you're like me and like to learn anything and everything, don't forget to check out Toronto District School Board for adult high school classes and community programs held at different locations across Toronto. Of course, another alternative is to attend one of our library programs on topics such as starting a small business or learning basic computer skills and gain knowledge for free!

Now, who says learning is only for the young?





Ukrainian at the Library

August 5, 2016 | Maria | Comments (3)

This week, I sat down with fellow librarian Olena, who moved to Canada from Ukraine. She happily agreed to share her immigration story and offer advice to newcomers.


Olena was born in Kherson, a city in Southern Ukraine. She moved to Canada in 2003 with her husband and six-year-old son. When she first moved to Canada, her home library branch was Mimico Centennial in Etobicoke. Today, Olena works as a librarian at Toronto Public Library’s Albert Campbell Branch.

What was it like moving to Canada?

Olena: Of course there was a lot of excitement. Also relief, because it is a many-years process to get in. So lots of interviews, document scans, screenings and checkups before you get the visa.


Richview Branch

Did you know? Richview branch has a medium-sized Ukrainian collection, with 730 books, 42 movies and videos and 213 music CDs that you can borrow and take home.

Was it scary, moving to a new country?

Olena: No. Not at all. I had big hopes. No fears or concerns. The feeling was great and hasn't changed.

Are you happy in Canada?

Olena: Oh, yes!



Did you know? Runnymede has a medium-sized Ukrainian collection, with 934 books, 29 movies and videos and 111 music CDs that you can borrow and take home.


Did the library play a role when you moved to Canada?

Olena: I loved the library when I came to Canada. Now, of course, the library is my life. It plays a big role because it’s my profession.



Did you know? Toronto Reference Library has a large Ukrainian collection, with 1,294 books that you can borrow and take home, and an additional 2,482 books that you can use in the library.

What’s your favorite thing about the library’s Ukrainian collection?

Olena: That we have Ukrainian folk songs for children and adults at the library. Ukraine is famous for the literature, yes, but Ukraine is also famous for its singers’ talent and its songs.


 Ukraïnsʹki pisni ta romansy MINSKY, Michael Ukrainian Songs Ukraïnsʹki marshi UKRAINE Dumky (45 Folk Songs)     

Did you know? Toronto Public Library has free Ukrainian eMusic that you can listen to online with your library card.


Is there any advice you’d like to give to someone who’s new to Canada?

Olena: The shortest road to success in Canada is language, language, language, which you have to learn, learn, learn.

Unfortunately, even those who come to Canada with seemingly good English still need time to make their English fluent and Canadian. Very often people with strong English language skills learn from books, which is very often not the same thing as how people speak. I was an English teacher back home. I had a strong command of English — reading, writing, speaking, grammar. When I came to Canada, I knew British English. Words like “tram”.  It’s such a small difference, but there are so many local variations. It takes years.

If you’re like me and come to Canada with English learned elsewhere, it’s the skeleton, but you need time to grow flesh on your bones. Worse yet is when you come to Canada without that skeleton.

But you have the library, library, library. It provides a variety of means to learn the language. You’ll always find a book you’ll enjoy. You’ll always find someone to talk to at the library: conversation circles and librarians.


  Library Customers

Did you know? The library can help you learn English, with ESL classes, conversation circles, study guides, books, videos, CDs and online tools. 


How did you learn English?

Olena: I’d find movies that have been translated and available in both languages. I’d also read books in my native language and then retell them to someone in English. Mostly it was my imaginary English-speaking friend.

Naĭkrashchyĭ syshchyk ta padinni͡a  Karpatsʹkyĭ kapkan Taras Bulba The conqueror

Did you know? Toronto Public Library has a wide variety of books, music and movies in Ukrainian?


Do you have any advice on finding work in Canada?

Olena: Finding work is the hardest. I sympathize. My advice? Patience. Persistence. Education.

Forget all your previous experiences and accomplishments. The faster you can accept that you need to start over, that all your past accomplishments were in a different country and that no one knows about them, the better.

At the end of the journey, it’s very rewarding.

Career Books

Did you know? The library has a lot of information to help you find a job in Canada


Do you have any advice on making friends in Canada?

Olena: Seriously, there isn’t much time to make friends. You come here in your 30s or 40s, you have two suitcases, your family and nothing else. First you have to master the language, then go back to university, and only then go back into the professional field. Canada gives means and opportunities, but everything takes time. If you find people along the way, while you are moving ahead in covering these gaps, that’s where you make friends.


If you have any questions or comments for Olena, or would like to ask about the library's Ukrainian collections, please post in the comment section below.

Documenting My Immigration Journey: 纪录我的移民生活

June 25, 2016 | Guikang | Comments (0)

Asian Heritage Month Guest Speaker Juexiao Zheng

On May 7th, educator and Chinese blogger, Juexiao Zheng came to Maria A. Shchuka Branch and delivered a stunning lecture about her life in Toronto, and her writing experience on Wenxuecity, a Chinese-language website and information portal for Chinese expatriates.

Juexiao Zheng


Juexiao is a prolific writer in the blogosphere. She writes her blog almost on daily basis, covering a variety of topics, including her Canadian living experience and current affairs and politics, to name a few. Her reviews of Chinese literature and films are the masterpiece which brought her fame. There are so many followers and die-hard readers around the world. On a personal level, I love her essays on Shanghainese culture, custom and history.

Collage of Juexiao


Juexiao is an active member of my Chinese book club. She wrote many book reviews which we have discussed during our book club sessions. Here are few examples: 

In addition, she also wrote many film reviews:

Juexiao’s lecture was very successful. Her profound understanding of education, unique insights on Canadian society and life resonated very well among the audience members, some of them drove as far as from the town of Markham, to meet her in person. 

Audience Members

The following section is a summary of the event, which Juexiao posted in Wenxuecity: Juexiao’s post @ Wenxuecity





陆续进来的有女读者,有夫妻,有母女,老妈妈也是头发花白了,八十多岁了。我不安写好的演讲稿讲,我不能对着老太太谈“Still water runs deep”?静水深流文绉绉的词语,我讲自己的移民之路,选择,工作之得失。 说得是大实话,包括有些遇见的问题,我没有写到博客里的。





我很喜欢他们,普普通通和我一样生活在多伦多。如果用人数来衡量,那可以说不成功,但是,如果用气氛来衡量,没有比敞开心扉的交流更让人舒服的事情。 西安的老妈妈要离开时,我送她到图书馆门口,她女儿来接。我替她开门时,她不停说八个字,我并不完全领会是说给我的,因为最后两个词是”伟大“,我以为她说白求恩或刘胡兰。她说说得好,又重复那八个字,我一下子明白是她对我而言,但我被”伟大“两个字吓着了,前面的六个字模糊了,到了晚上我绞尽脑汁想,大约是“事情虽小,工作伟大”。(我想有时真有必要记录,简单的句子过了几个小时都记不清。)


我和留下的读者合影了。可是龄爸被挤到边上了,他最近玩深沉留小胡子。我穿今年唯一买的烟灰色新衣裙,戴着我的“A GREEN DAY”。龄妈一袭青烟似的,努力保持着文艺腔。




Library Settlement Partnerships and Summer Settlement Services

June 23, 2016 | Patty | Comments (0)

LSP Services

Toronto is one of the most diverse cities in North America and Toronto Public Library does its part to welcome newcomers. One example is the free Library Settlement Partnerships (LSP)  program. It offers year round direct help from settlement workers, as well as settlement-related programs, in selected library branches across the city: 






Flemingdon Park

Lillian H. Smith       





Parliament Street



Toronto Reference Library   

York Woods (until June 30th)

LSP Logo    IRCC


LSP is funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and partners with the following local Settlement Agencies:

Catholic Crosscultural Services

Centre for Immigrant and Community Services

CultureLink Settlement & Community Services

Kababayan Multicultural Centre

Rexdale Women's Centre

Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office

YMCA Newcomer Information Centre


For more information about the LSP program, you can check out the Settling in Toronto page and the New to Canada Blog.


LSP Service

Summer is a time to enjoy some family fun at the library. While visiting the library, you will find additional summer settlement help. Settlement workers are available at more Toronto Public Library locations through the Settlement and Education Partnerships in Toronto (SEPT) program. There are 13 locations offering the SEPT program this summer:

Barbara Frum

Black Creek

Burrows Hall

Deer Park



Goldhawk Park



Maria A. Shchuka

McGregor Park



York Woods

If you are new to Canada and have questions about settling in Toronto, there will be 26 Toronto library locations offering settlement services this summer.

Welcome! This blog is written by librarians and provides information and resources available from the library and around Toronto to new residents of Canada. For more information see the Library's Help for Newcomers website