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Free Parent Conference, After School Newcomer Hubs and Volunteering

September 30, 2014 | Iana | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...



Are you a parent of teens or pre-teens? Sanderson Branch of Toronto Public Library is hosting a Parent Conference on Saturday, October 4 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. at Scadding Court Community Centre (707 Dundas Street West).

Parents will learn about the popular After School Newcomer HUB at Sanderson Branch (see more information about the HUB below). In addition, parents will meet community organizations to get information about school, health, employment and volunteer opportunities for their teens.

GUEST SPEAKERS: Jeff Needham from The Duke of Edinburgh Award and Ronald Rojas from CultureLink.

Refreshments will be provided. Register by calling 416-393-7653 or visit Sanderson branch.


    Sanderson-library-01Sanderson Branch - one of the Teen Newcomer Hubs.



There are two locations for the library's After School Newcomer Hubs: Sanderson Branch (327 Bathurst St, Bathurst/ Dundas, 416-393-7764) and Centennial Branch (578 Finch Ave W, Bathurst/Finch, 416-395-5792). The Hubs are open Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays after school hours.

If you have questions or would like to join, email: or call the co-ordinators at the above phone numbers at Sanderson and Centennial branches.

Centennial Branch hosts a Newcomer Hub.

Teens who are in grades 7 to 10 are welcome to  join the drop-in  After School Newcomer HUBS and:

  • get homework help.
  • use a laptop for research/projects.
  • participate in crafts, workshops, and other fun activities.
  • play video and board games.
  • hang out with friends or make new ones.



Share your expertise in a meaningful way: Volunteers are needed to tutor students in grades 7–10 at the After School Newcomer Hubs located in the Centennial and Sanderson branches. Find out more about becoming a volunteer with the After School Newcomer Hubs - Call for Volunteers:

Volunteer contributions:

  • Provide assistance in school subjects, particularly math, science, English and French.
  •  Provide positive encouragement and informal mentoring for students.
  • Work with library staff and other volunteers to run the program.


 Volunteer benefits:

  • Gain knowledge of tutoring techniques.
  • Letter of reference upon successful completion of the program.

Learn more:



“There is nothing like hearing a good grade or a problem solved from a student, especially when I know I have helped to promote the result. When I reflect on the growth of these students, I see tremendous improvements, not just through learning, but through self-esteem and confidence.“ - Volunteer Tutor.



Guide for Foreign-Trained Engineers in Ontario

August 28, 2014 | Carolyn | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Are you an engineer hoping to practice your profession in Ontario?

This Guide for Foreign-Trained Engineers describes Toronto Public Library resources that can help you prepare for licensing exams and job searching. There are also links to websites with information about becoming a licensed engineer in Canada if you were trained elsewhere.

Here are some examples of library resources for engineers:


Around the World in 80 Recipes

August 23, 2014 | Suzanne | Comments (2) Facebook Twitter More...

Appleglobeweb[Source: with permission from Kevin Van Aelst Photography]

Did you know that Torontonians come from over 200 countries? With such a great representation of cultures, we have the unique opportunity to learn different languages, experience cultural celebrations, and best of all … eat great food from all over the world. My favorite part!

I always make it a point to try new restaurants whenever I can, or better yet, get some home cooked food from the different cuisines of my friends. Websites like Zagat or Urbanspoon can be a great way to read restaurant reviews.  Our last post shared some of the great summer festivals in Toronto, now why not take out a book or two to learn how to create some of the tasty foods you tried?

The Toronto Public Library has a great collection of cookbooks with cuisines from all over the world. One of my favorite ways to try new recipes is by downloading an eBook or eMagazine onto my tablet and browsing it before I go to sleep.

When my tablet doesn't become my pillow, I usually find some great recipes to try!  I'm not Vegetarian, but I've found some great receipes in this Vegetarian Collection by Canadian Living. My favorites are the Afghan eggplant ["burani bonjon"] and black bean quesadillas pictured on the cover below. Mmm!

The Vegetarian Collection[Source: The Vegetarian Collection: Creative meat-free dishes that nourish and inspire]

I find that magazines are also a great way to collect recipes. Zinio eMagazines gives you access to current issues of popular magazines to read on your computer, tablet, or smartphone. I use Zinio to access these great cooking magazines:

Food Network Magazine    La Cucina Magazine    Saveur Magazine 

If you've never used Zinio before, have no fear! Here is some information on Getting Started with Zinio eMagazines and a quick Video Tutorial on how to use it. In addition to the magazines I posted, there are a number of others that can be accessed in Zinio's Food and Cooking section.

Here are some cookbooks to get you started on your cooking journey around the world!

Toronto & Canada:

Buon Appetito, Toronto!    Toronto Star Cookbook    Canadas Favorite Recipes

The New Granville Island Market Cookbook    East Meets West    An Ode to Newfoundland


The Americas:

The New Southern Table    Latin American Street Food. jpg    South American Food and Cooking

Africa & The Middle East:

Moorish    The North African Kitchen    Vegetarian dishes from across the Middle East


Grandmas German Cookbook    Everyday Cooking from Italy    In a Polish Country Kitchen

Spain Recipes and Traditions    How to Roast a Lamb Greek Cooking    Revolutionary French Cooking



The Steamy Kitchen's Healthy Asian Favorites    Quick Fix Indian    Sri Lankan Cooking

Authentic Recipes from the Phillipines    The Banh Mi Handbook    Simple Thai Food


For Kids and Teens:

Cool World Cooking    Kew's Global Kitchen Cookbook    The Kids' Multicultural Cookbook

I leave you with some quotes about the joys of food:

Laughter is brightest where food is best –Irish Proverb

People who love to eat are always the best people. –Julia Child

If you have any cookbook favorites, please post in the comments below. Happy cooking, everyone!  

Travel the World in Toronto

August 9, 2014 | Chantel | Comments (1) Facebook Twitter More...

Every year I try to travel to a different country, preferably in a different continent. I love seeing and experiencing the diverse culture, music and customs of people from around the world. But when I can’t travel, I look for something close to home. A multicultural city like Toronto has no shortage of amazing cultural festivals during the summer. So, whether you want to reconnect with your roots or experience something new, check out these upcoming events!

For a full listing of events, visit the City of Toronto website!

Interested in learning about Asia? Find out more about Taiwan at the TaiwanFest taking place at Habourfront Centre from August 22 -24. Take a look at some books and DVDs on Taiwan for a head start!

  Taiwan Guidebook The raw and the cooked


Experience the cultures of South Asia from dancing to Bollywood music, playing cricket or drinking mango lassi at the TD Festival of South Asia from August 23-24. The fun will take place on along Gerrard Street E. between Coxwell Avenue and Greenwood.

Bollywood Anthology Songs Ballroom basics: Bollywood dancing Cricket : steps to success


If you are a foodie, challenge your taste buds to a variety of Greek dishes. Try your hand at some Greek dishes with these recipes, inspired by the Taste of Danforth this past weekend.

  The food and cooking of Greece New Greek cuisine The country cooking of Greece

Your Child's First Day of School: Prepping Your Child for Kindergarten and Beyond

August 6, 2014 | Melanie | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

You know that commerical with the dad prancing happily through the aisles of an office supply store, while Andy Williams' It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year plays in the background and two obviously unenthusiastic kids trail behind? I absolutely love that commercial!


It's true that Back to School season can be a joyous time for parents, but if this is the first time your child is going to school, the experience can be more nerve-wracking than celebratory. Add to that the complexities of being in a new country, and the experience can seem downright terrifying!


R4R Library CardDon't worry! Toronto Public Library is here to help! If you want to get your preschooler ready for school, one of the most important things you can do is sign them up for one of our Ready for Reading storytimes. In fact, it's never too early to get your child ready for reading. From the moment your child is born, you can get a library card for them, and attend one of the many Ready for Reading Baby Time programs available at branches throughout the city.

Ready for Reading programs usually run once a week for six weeks. Each week, we cover a new skill that your child will need in order to develop their reading readiness.


The six skills that your child will need to develop in order to learn how to read are:

  1. Print Motivation - I Like Books!
  2. Phonological Awareness - I Hear Words!
  3. Vocabulary - I Know Words!
  4. Narrative Skills - I Can Tell a Story!
  5. Print Awareness - I See Words!
  6. Letter Knowledge - I Know Letters!

Ready for Reading storytimes are great, not only because they help your child develop these very important reading skills, but also because they will help your child develop the social skills they'll need to function well in a classroom setting.

If you can't make it to one of our Ready for Reading storytimes, you can access our YouTube videos for a sample of our Ready for Reading songs and rhymes:


Here are some of my favourite preschool Ready for Reading books:

Library Lion     Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed    Chicka Chicka Boom Boom  

If you Take a Mouse to School     Big Fat Hen     Miss Bindergarten Has a Wild Day in Kindergarten

ABC's & 123's

Another thing you can do with your child to help them get ready for school is read ABC and 123 books with them. At some branches, ABC and 123 books are shelved separately from the rest of the picture book collection, which makes them really easy to find and browse through. In other branches, ABC and 123 books are interfiled with the rest of the picture book collection, but can still be easily found by their special "ABC" and "123" labels.

ABC 123 Collection - Landscape
ABC and 123 books are sometimes shelved separately from the rest of the picture book collection.


ABC Labels
ABC Labels
123 Labels
123 Labels

Here are some of my favourite ABC and 123 books:

LMNO Peas     Sleepy Little Alphabet     Alphabet Under Construction

Counting on Snow     Canada 123     Let's Count to 100

Has Ready for Reading helped you get ready for school? Let us know!

Celebrate World Cup Soccer at the Library!

July 7, 2014 | Suzanne | Comments (1) Facebook Twitter More...

The 2014 FIFA World Cup has made for an exciting summer of sport! Thirty-two teams competed in Brazil for the 20th edition of the biggest international soccer tournament in the world. As we enter the final week of the World Cup, excitement is building as more teams get eliminated and we enter the semi-final games. While the World Cup has people of every nation cheering for their favorite team, the library is a great place to keep you connected with all the World Cup excitement! The Toronto Reference Library, Fort York Branch and Bloor/Gladstone Branch are all showing games on TV screens at the branch. There are also a number of great soccer books for families to read together to keep you soccer satiated all summer long!


Did you know?

  • With 3.5+ billion fans, soccer is the most popular sport on the planet
  • Although soccer is most popular in Europe and South America, its origins can be traced to China, more than 2,200 years ago
  • The first ever soccer World Cup was held in the year 1930, which was won by the host country, Uruguay
  • India pulled out from the 1950 World Cup because the players were not allowed to play in bare feet
  • Brazil has won 5 World Cups, which is the most by any country!


Here is some recommended soccer reading for families:

SoccerCrazybookcover  Franklinplaysthegamebookccover  Crazyaboutsoccerbookcover 

Howsoccerworksbookcover  Bettybunnybookcover  Goalbookcover

Enjoy the last week of excitement of World Cup Soccer action!

Celebrate Canada!

June 27, 2014 | Chantel | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Canada’s 147th birthday is fast approaching. July 1st is the day to celebrate our history, common values and achievements and what is it to be Canadian.

But there is more to celebrate being Canadian than just that one day!  Did you know that the eleven days from June 21st to July 1st is designated as Celebrate Canada?  June 21st is National Aboriginal Day to celebrate the contributions of the First Nations people.  June 24th is Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day to celebrate the heritage of French Canadians. 

Of course, let’s not forget the Multiculturalism Day on June 27th.  According to Statistics Canada, in 2011 visible minorities make up 19.1% of Canada’s population.  So, it is not surprising that there is a special day to recognize the diversity and contributions of different multicultural groups and communities.

So, where to go to show your pride in being a Canadian?  There are many free events across the city this weekend ranging from fireworks, live performances and family activities:

Don’t forget to check out some great books about Canada and being Canadian!

Canada Day How to Be Canadian Only in CanadaConcise History of Canada

The Library Now Has Free Telephone Stories in 15 Languages!

June 7, 2014 | Iana | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Do you enjoy listening to stories? Have you heard of Dial-a-Story? Toronto Public Library has a FREE phone line 416-395-5400 you can call 24 hours a day and listen to recorded stories in 15 languages.

Recently we added a new language - there are now stories recorded in Tagalog!

It is a very popular service - only in the year 2012 the Dial-A-Story service received  251,917 calls!

Every day there are different stories to listen to in each language and they are divided by age - stories for younger children (7 and under) and for older children (up to 12).


You can listen to Dial-a-Story in the following fifteen languages:  


  • English Dialastory1
  • French
  • Cantonese
  • Gujarati
  • Italian
  • Korean
  • Mandarin
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Somali
  • Spanish
  • Tamil
  • Tagalog
  • Urdu


The newest language that will be added to the story phone line later in 2014 is Persian!

The library will also will continue to add new stories in the languages we currently have.

For example this year 6 new Portuguese stories were recorded and there are plans for new Spanish, French and English stories.

So listen to a story in a language that you know or even in a new one. It is fun to hear how a different language sounds. We all experience this daily in our multicultural city of Toronto.


Dial-a-story Helps  You Practice English as a Second Language (ESL)

Listening to stories in English and French is also a great way to practice your listening comprehension and vocabulary if you are learning English or French as a Second Language.

Among the stories that are recorded and rotated on the phone - there are also many stories recorded for special occasions such as Black History Month, Asian Heritage Month, Aboriginal Month, Christmas, Summer Reading Club.

If you are a newcomer - your family can enjoy stories in your heritage language as well as practice English.


Borrow Books and Other Materials in Your Language from the Library

In addition to stories by phone, you can of course find children's and adult books in many languages (we call them multilingual collections) at some of the branches of Toronto Public Library. Please visit your local library for more information, call our Answerline service at 416-393-7131 or browse the library's list of multilingual collections by language to find out which library has materials in your language.


Read Other Related Blog Posts from Library Staff:


So why not call 416-395-5400 for and enjoy some wonderful storytelling!

Camping: A True Canadian Experience

April 17, 2014 | Melanie | Comments (1) Facebook Twitter More...

Ontario Parks

The call of a loon, the smell of a campfire, and the twinkling of stars in a night sky. This is what a typical Canadian summer looks like. If you want to experience Canada, and what it is to be Canadian, then you need to go camping!

Camping can seem intimidating, especially if you're a first-time camper and don't have all the necessary equipment. But don't let this stop you from experiencing a true Canadian summer! There are lots of resources out there to help you set out on your first camping adventure, and the library is a great place to start!

Learn to Camp

The Albert Campbell library will be a hosting a "Learn to Camp" session on Wednesday, June 18, at 6 PM. A representative from Ontario Parks will lead an interactive presentation on safe and fun camping in Ontario. If you'd like to register, just call the branch at 416-396-8890.

Toronto Public Library also carries a great collection of books on camping. Here are a few of my favourites:

Ontario's Best Parks   Nature Hikes    Wilderness Pleasures    Ontario Provincial Parks Trail Guide

Hikes and Outings of South-Central Ontario    Paddling & Hiking Ontario'    Georgian Bay and Cottae Country    Backroad Mapbook

The Backpacker's Handbook    The Down and Dirty Guide to Camping with Kids    Handy Dad in the Great Outdoors    Top 50 Canoe Routes  

Have you been camping before? What's your most memorable camping experience? Share your favourite camping spots with us!











Guide for Foreign-Trained Pharmacists in Ontario

April 7, 2014 | Ranald | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

The attached Guide for Foreign-Trained Pharmacists in Ontario lists print and electronic resources for foreign-trained pharmacists who wish to be licensed to practice, and to practice, in Ontario.

Working in Ontario

The resources range from pharmacy textbooks and study guides to information on licensing and employment (job searching, job listings).

The guide (9 p.) is divided into two parts:

  1. print resources (sections 1-2)
  2. electronic resources (section 3)

The first part contains links to the library catalogue for books. The catalogue will show what library branch the books are in and whether they can be taken home or have to be used in the library.

The second part contains links to electronic resources in the library and to websites outside the library.


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