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Tagalog at your Library

August 4, 2015 | Maria | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Kamusta? This month's featured language on the New to Canada blog is Tagalog! Are you as excited as I am? 

We have new, featured, and popular Tagalog library material, including books, movies, music, and emagazines! Plus, learn how you can get a library card for free and share your favourite Tagalog titles in the 'comments' section below!


New to Canada? Get a library card! It's free.

Baguhan sa Canada? Sumapi sa aklatan. Ito ay libre o walang bayad! 


Library Branches with Tagalog 

The following Toronto Public Library branches have items in Tagalog:

Large: 1500 or more itemsMedium: 750-1500 itemsSmall: Fewer than 750 items

 You can also view our Tagalog locations on a map.

To find Tagalog materials at the library, you can search by typing directly into the search box on the Toronto Public Library homepage. When using advanced search, make sure to select 'Tagalog' from the language menu.

Note: Other related language options include 'Filipino', "Philippine languages', or 'Pilipino', but each one only has a handful of items.

Here are search results showing all Tagalog materials in the catalogue, sorted by date. I've also put together a list of some of the great Tagalog material we have at the library:



  My facebook boyfriend...for real!?. Vol. 1.  Wifely duties. Book 1.  Tagay, kapatid!  Bitter



Non Fiction

Buti pa ang Roma may bagong papa  Connect the dots - o kung paano ko kinulayan ang aking buhay  Boredom, stress and burnout - paano ko iha-handle?  Mga halamang-gamot sa Pilipinas



The amazing praybeyt Benjamin Be careful with my heart. Volume 40.  So it's you  Talk back and you're dead



Did you know that you can watch movies or TV shows and listen to music online, for free, with Hoopla? Here are some titles, either in Tagalog or set in the Philippines, that I thought you might be interested in:

Rakenrol  Santa Mesa   Dive Travel - Anilao Mabini Batangas Philippines

The Philippines The Philippines - 20 Love Songs The Voice Of The Philippines The Final 16



Zinio lets you read current issues of popular magazines online, for free. There are quite a few magazines from the Philippines on Zinio. Here are a few you might be interested in:

Cosmopolitan Philippines FHM Philippines Good Housekeeping Philippines Yes! Philippines


Hear-a-Story lets kids listen to Tagalog stories online for free. Popular stories include: Anggo Became a StoneKapre on the Akasya TreeLegend of MakihiyaLegend of Makopa, and Where Does the Volcano Taal Come From



You can also listen to Tagalog stories any time by calling Dial-a-Story at 416-395-5400. Stories are for children 12 years of age and younger.  


Do you have a favourite Tagalog book, CD, or DVD that you've borrowed from the library? If so, share it with other readers by using the 'comments' section below!


Want to heat things up this summer?

July 27, 2015 | Rachelle | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Why not check out the Toronto Caribbean Carnival festivities happening around the city. This festival, previously known as CaribanaTM, first occurred in 1967. It was introduced to Canada during the Centennial celebration. Immigrants from many parts of the Caribbean came together to put on a spectacular parade. Volunteering their time, creativity, and money, people from Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Guyana, St. Lucia, Barbados, Antigua, Pan AliveSt. Vincent, to name a few, collaborated to birth an extravaganza that is like no other in North America. Since its humble beginnings, the Toronto Caribbean Carnival has grown to become one of North America’s largest street festivals. Here are a few events that you won’t want to miss! Pan Alive, which takes place on Friday, July 31st at Lamport Stadium.                                                  



                                        Carnival woman

The BIG parade is happening on Saturday, August 1st, 2015 at Exhibition Place & Lakeshore Blvd. This cultural fiesta keeps the rhythm of the Pan Am games moving through colourful costumes, lively dance and rhythmic beats. FREE to attend by lining up along the Lakeshore Parade route.




Before you get ready to ‘jump and wave’, take this short Carnival Quiz!

1) The origin of the word calypso is from:Carnival Man

a) Carrousseaux – the French term for a drinking party
b) Caliso – a Spanish word meaning topical song
c) Carieto – a Carib word meaning 'a joyous song'
d) Kaiso – a west African Hausa word which means 'bravo'

2) What are the three key concepts of Toronto Caribbean Carnival?

a) Mas, Steel Pan and Calypso
b) Love, Peace and Unity
c) Heritage, Music and Food
d) There is no concept, everyone just have a good time!

3) Which famous Canadian volunteered at the very first CaribanaTM Festival?                                        

a) Fergie Jenkins
b) Lester B. Pearson                                                  
c) Dr. Rita Cox 
d) Lincoln M. Alexander                                                             

4) What are traditional Steel Pans made of?

a) Pop tins, melted down and molded
b) The bottom of 55 gallon oil drums
c) Flexible metalloids
d) Low-density polyethylene, also used in outdoor furniture

Answers are after this photo

Carnival Girl
Pierre Dubeau / Photo


1 d) Kaiso - The roots of Calypso are hard to trace. The word first appeared in print in 1900 but that was after the music appeared on the scene. The most favoured explanation is that calypso comes from the West African Hausa word meaning ‘bravo’, a term of approval that is shouted in calypso tents to this day.

2 a) Mas, Steel Pan and Calypso – The Mas or masquerade is the kaleidoscope of colour of the parade, the Steel Pan is the rhythmic pulse of the bands and Calypso is the main musical message.  

3 c) Dr. Rita Cox – Dr. Cox was there at the very beginning, sealing envelopes for the festival after school! Who knew that she would go on to become a librarian, storyteller, founder of the Rita Cox Black and Caribbean Heritage Collection and be appointed a Member of the Order of Canada?

4 b) The bottom of 55 gallon oil drums. Did you know that Steel Pans (steel drums) were created in Trinidad in the 1930s, but steel pan history can be traced back to the enslaved Africans who were brought to the islands during the 1700s?

So if you got all four questions correct, KAISO!

Toronto Caribbean Carnival Bookcover


Want to know more? Toronto Public Library has several Carnival themed books, CDs and DVDs that are sure to please. Toronto Caribbean Carnival: A tribute is a must read if you would like a quick overview of this wonderful festival in all its vibrancy.







Images courtesy and

Guide for Foreign-Trained Physicians in Ontario

July 24, 2015 | Ranald | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

The Guide for Foreign-Trained Physicians in Ontario (PDF) is a guide to print and electronic resources for foreign-trained physicians who wish to be licensed to practice, and to practice, in Ontario.

It includes study guides, textbooks and ESL books and audiobooks owned by the North York Central Library, instructions on using the library catalogue to find additional resources in other library branches and links to online information on licensing and employment.

Essentials for the Canadian medical licensing exam    Guide to the Canadian family medicine exam    OSCE and clinical skills handbook 


Celebrating the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games - Diversity, Hospitality, Grit!

July 21, 2015 | Iana | Comments (1) Facebook Twitter More...

The Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games started on July 10 with a spectacular ceremony! You can watch the CN Tower fireworks as part of the opening! Ten days later the medals count is growing while athletes from 41 participating countries compete - in the third largest international multi-sport games in the world!

Pan Am Pachi

On Wednesday I took my young daughter to the gymnastics finals at the Exhibition Place. We had an amazing experience cheering for the athletes, living through their emotional ups and downs, successes and mistakes. Canada won four medals at that event and we stood up for the national anthem - our first time singing it at a big sports event since we became Canadian citizens and it felt very moving. Outside - the CIBC Pan Am Park was buzzing with people and activities - the national flags of all participating countries turning the skies into a celebration of colours, kids taking pictures with the cheerful Pachi, excellent cultural events happening at the big Panamania stage.


For me - the Games represent several important values, which in fact I also see as values that are dear to Canadians so many of whom, including myself, have immigrated in recent times and have embraced these values and live through them daily: Volunteerism and Hospitality; Sportsmanship, Grit and Perseverance; Multiculturalism and Heritage.

Artistic Gymnastics Finals and beautiful national flags of many of the Pan Am countries.  Pan Am flags gymnastics

Volunteerism and Hospitality

I was so impressed with the thousands of tireless volunteers assisting at the Games. I see them everywhere. At the subway stations, at the cultural sites, and around any of the sports events. I had a chat with one lovely older man who was from Britain and had arrived to volunteer at the Pan Am Games. He had already been a volunteer at the London 2012 Summer Olympics. He said that he loves this kind of memorable experience, being part of such a unique and big event, feeling connected.  

According to Statistics Canada, over 13.3 million people or 47% of Canadians aged 15 and over had done volunteer work in 2010. A large percentage of those volunteers devote their efforts to volunteer work for sports and recreation organizations for non-profit organizations providing social services.

Many newcomers and recent immigrants in Toronto look for volunteer opportunities in order to gain Canadian experience as well as feel included and to make a difference or give back to the community.

Visit your local library and ask staff for suggested volunteer opportunities. Toronto Public Library also offers several Volunteer Programs for adults and teens. 

I felt very proud as a resident of Toronto - the host city of the Pan Am Games and think that the city of Toronto is doing an exemplary job in hosting the games and welcoming all the visitors and athletes.

If you are not able to attend one of the many Pan Am sports events, do join the multiple cultural events of Panamania and come to the library to watch the games on a big screen at those library branches - Malvern, York Woods, Thorncliffe, Jane/Sheppard.

There are many more free events happening during the Games, check the PANAMANIA website for more events information. And you can still join us this week and in August at some of the Toronto Public Library branches for free programs celebrating the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games.

The Panamania stage at the CIBC PanAm Park, the Exhibition Place. Panamania stage

Sportsmanship, Grit and Perseverance

The spirit of the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games and any big sports events is rooted in the athletes' strength of character and the tireless will to perform better and overcome challenges. Even more inspiring and moving is the grace with which athletes learn to also lose a game, how they treat each other and celebrate the success of others.

This same spirit of grit and perseverance has deep roots in Canada, in generations who have endured many hardships for a better future and life.

Multiculturalism and Heritage

The Games are beautiful and multicultural. While watching the gymnastics event, I felt how every athlete had the special support of Canadians and visitors from each and every Pan Am country!

The official languages of the 2015 Pan American games are Spanish, English and French. Spanish is the official language of about half of all participating countries, while English and French are the two official languages of Canada.

And even more - did you know that Toronto Public Library offers free materials to borrow in more than 60 languages?

Check out these books selected by library staff that explore the themes, people and cultures of the TORONTO 2015 Games - Pan Am/Para Pan Am Reading.

Pan Am flags in front of the Coliseum, one of the competition venues. Pan Am games flags

All in all - I felt very proud supporting the Games even in a small personal way. I hope you enjoy the Toronto 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games too this summer! And share with us your favourite moments!

For a taste of the countries, cultures, languages and the sports that are represented in the Games - visit Toronto Public Library and enrich your experience - learn, read, watch and play!

Arabic at Your Library | اللغة العربية في مكتبتك

July 3, 2015 | Suzanne | Comments (1) Facebook Twitter More...

Did you know that the Toronto Public Library carries over 3500 materials in the Arabic language? With thousands of materials for adults, teens and children, let us help you find your next favourite Arabic book or movie! We can also make it easier for you to learn Arabic in many different ways – books, audiobooks or online. Welcome to Arabic at your library! مرحبا بكم في اللغة العربية في مكتبتك  

There are seven locations that carry Arabic collections. The largest Arabic collection is at the Toronto Reference Library. Other locations that carry Arabic are the Agincourt, Albion, Fairview, Don Mills, Maryvale and York Woods branches.

A wonderful way to share the joy of reading with children who speak or are learning to speak another language is through dual-language books. Dual-language books tell the story in English and another language. We have a great selection of Arabic and English dual-language books for children.

Here are some of my personal favourites:

Brown Bear Brown Bear   Splash!   The Very Hungry Caterpillar   We're Going on a Bear Hunt

If you are looking to explore our Arabic collection, have a look at these links to our great collection of Arabic Books, DVDs, audiobooks & music.

Travelling somewhere and need to learn Arabic on the go? Try using Mango Languages to learn Arabic. Our Overdrive collection also has a number of titles to help you learn Arabic. Or explore a world of titles in hoopla.

You can learn Arabic:

How to Speak Arabic   Learn Arabic Easily Effectively and Fluently   Subliminal Learn Arabic

Or listen to some great Arabic music:

Arab Classics   Arabic Beat   Arabic Lounge

These are only a few examples -- find many more by browsing Hoopla and Overdrive.

Haven't got a library card yet? It's easy! To borrow materials from the library, all you need to do is sign up for your free library card. Find out how easy it is to get a library card. Here are instructions on how to get a library card in Arabic.


Come and enjoy the many different resources the Toronto Public Library has in your language.

Welcome to Arabic at your library!

مرحبا بكم في اللغة العربية في المكتبة الخاصة بك!

Library Settlement Partnerships (LSP) Updates and Summer Settlement Services

June 25, 2015 | Patty | Comments (2) Facebook Twitter More...

  LSP logo
The Library Settlement Partnership (LSP) program is now in its 8th year at the Toronto Public Library and is a valuable resource for newcomers to Canada. 

LSP Settlement Worker

Funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and partnering with eight Settlement Agencies, the LSP program helps newcomers settle in Toronto by offering free, direct access to settlement workers and programs in selected libraries across the city.

Toronto Public Library currently has 14 LSP locations year round. 





Fairview  (as of July 22)

Flemingdon Park

Lillian H. Smith




Parliament Street



Toronto Reference Library

York Woods

More information about the LSP program can be found on the Settling in Toronto page and on the New to Canada Blog.

LSP Settlement Worker

The LSP Settlement Agency Partners are:

Catholic Crosscultural Services

Centre for Immigrant and Community Services


Kababayan Community Centre

North York Community House

Rexdale Women's Centre

Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office

YMCA Newcomer Information Centre





During the summer, settlement workers are available at additional Toronto Public Library locations, through the Settlement and Education Partnerships in Toronto (SEPT) program.  This summer, there are 16 locations offering the SEPT program:

Barbara Frum

Black Creek

Burrows Hall


Deer Park



Goldhawk Park


Humber Summit


Maria A. Shchuka

McGregor Park

North York Central Library





There will be over 30 library locations offering settlement services to newcomers this summer.



The Top 10 Free Things To Do In Canada This Summer

June 19, 2015 | Maria | Comments (1) Facebook Twitter More...

Are you new to Canada? Are you unsure of how to spend your summer? Well, you're in luck! I've put together this list of the top 10 things to do in Canada this summer. They're fun and, best of all, they're free!

1. Enjoy the Pan Am Games

The Pan Am Games are the third largest international multi-sport games. The games happen at a different city every four years, and in 2015 they're coming to Toronto! They'll start off with the Pan Am Games (July 10, 2015 - July 26, 2015) followed by the Parapan Am Games (August 7, 2015 - August 15, 2015).

There will be tons of free events all over the city. You can also come celebrate at the library with free Pan Am Games themed events for adults, children and teens.

2. Visit Popular Arts and Cultural Attractions

MAP Pass

Art Gallery of Ontario    Royal Ontario Museum

     Ontario Science Centre   City of Toronto Historic Sites   Black Creek Pioneer Village

Museum of Inuit Art    Gardiner Museum    Toronto Zoo

Another great way to spend the summer is to go to museums, art galleries, and other popular local attractions. You can visit them free by checking out a Toronto Public Library's Museum + Arts Pass with your library card from a participating branch.

3. Plan a Camping Vacation

Planning a Camping Vacation

   Kids gone campin'  The pocket guide to camping

  The essential family camper   Camping in comfort

Camping is a fun and inexpensive way for newcomers to learn about Canada and explore the Canadian wilderness. If you've never been camping before, Albert Campbell Branch has a free workshop, Planning a Camping Vacation on Thursday, June 25th from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. You'll learn everything you need to know, from packing checklists to tips for life at the campsite.

4. Go to the Movies

In many Canadian cities—like Toronto—you can expect some extremely hot and sunny summer days. A great way to cool down is to head indoors and enjoy an afternoon at the movies. Movie theaters charge admission, but many Toronto Public Library branches have free movies for kids, families, adults, and seniors. To find out more, contact the library or stop by your local branch.

5. Check out a Digital Innovation Hub

In Branch Equipment    3D Printer     Digital Design Workstations

Digital Innovation Hubs are a ton of fun!  They have 3D printers, video and photography equipment, audio and music equipment, Arduinos, Raspberry Pis, and much more.

The Toronto Public Library has three Digital Innovation Hubs at the: Toronto Reference Library, Fort York Branch and Scarborough Civic Centre Branch. You can drop by during library hours, register for some free programs and classes, or use branch equipment to work on various projects. 

6.  Take a Computer Class

Computer Class at Agincourt Branch
Computer Class at Agincourt Branch

Did you know that there are free computer classes for beginners? If you have a friend or relative who has never used a computer before, they can learn some Basic Computer Skills at the library. You can take a look at the complete list of computer and library training or pick the closest library branch from the drop-down list to see what they're offering. Classes include Email and Social NetworkingDigital DesignInternet and Library ResearchDownloads and eBooks, and Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

7. Read a Book, or Two, or Twelve

Whether you're lounging on the beach or curled up on the couch, reading is a wonderful way to spend the summer. If you borrow books from the library, it also won't cost you a cent. Just get your free library card and pick up some books at your local branch. Best of all, you can find material in your language

8. Join the Summer Reading Club

Summer Reading Club Logo

Reading is a great way for kids to spend the summer! You can get them reading this summer by joining the TD Summer Reading Club: a fun, free program for kids of all ages. Sign up at any library branch and receive your free kit, which includes a notebook and access code. You can use it to keep track of your child's reading. Plus, kids who come to the library and tell us about the books they've read earn free stickers!

Summer Reading Club Kit

9. Listen to Stories

Dial-a-Story boy

Help your little ones fall asleep on a hot summer night with Dial-a-Story.

You can dial 416-395-5400 any time and listen to stories in 16 different languages:

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

Or visit the Hear-a-Story website and listen to free stories online. There are 11 different languages to choose from:

  • English
  • French
  • Italian
  • Korean
  • Mandarin
  • Persian
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Tagalog
  • Urdu

10. Volunteer

Toronto Reference Library Cyber Seniors teen volunteers
Teen Volunteers at the Toronto Reference Library

Volunteering is a very rewarding experience and a great way to help your community this summer. If you'd like to volunteer at the library, we have many volunteer opportunities for adults and teens that you can be a part of. 

Another reason to love the Library - Italiano Collections at your doorstep!

June 5, 2015 | Chantel | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

You may have noticed the list of "100 Reasons to Check out the TPL" on our website. But if you haven’t, take a look and see what TPL has to offer, especially reason 63! Did you know that we offer materials in over 40 languages? That’s like having the Italian collection right at your doorstep – literally! There are 16 branches that house Italian materials with Downsview, Dufferin/St.Clair and the Toronto Reference Library with the largest collections. You can visit any of these branches and borrow your favourite movie, music, book or magazine!

Books and movies for adults
Elena Ferrant-Lamica geniale Il mio giardino semplice Tradizione and Vapore Stefano Benni-Margherita DolceVita

La sconosciuta Luomo che verra Young Montalbano Corpo Celeste

If you prefer reading on the go, you can check out OverDrive to download eBooks. Or perhaps you want to catch up on the latest entertainment news – check out Zinio for some great magazines on entertainment, health and travel.

Zinio eMagazines

Vanity Fair Italia Gente Focus Italia Geo Italia

Books for Children

Il ballo delle piume Che cosa ci vuole La Grande Invenzione Di Bubal La Gallinetta Rossa e i grani di frumento

Dial-a-storyCheck out the Dial-A-Story service where young children can listen to a story in Italian over a phone. Just dial 416-395-5400 anytime to listen to a story in 16 different languages.


Of course, let’s not forgot that the June is celebrate Italian Heritage Month. Our Downsview, Amesbury Park, Dufferin/St. Clair and Jones branches will be hosting a variety of programs including a live musical performance by Tino@Vivo, storytime in Italian for children and pizza dough making! You can also check out Little Italy at College Street for their annual "Taste of Little Italy" Festival!

With so many options, make sure to check out the Library for materials in your language!

Save the Date - First Annual Toronto Newcomer Day!

May 15, 2015 | Elsa | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Have you heard? Toronto Public Library is working with Toronto Newcomer Office for the city’s first annual Newcomer Day. It will take place on May 29 at Nathan Phillips Square from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. 

Toronto Newcomer DayToten Teresa 5x7 copy

On Newcomer Day, activities will include: a formal presentation on the stage at Nathan Phillips Square to celebrate the City of Toronto’s signing of the Integrating Cities Charter, an interactive Newcomer Fair, "Speakers Corner", self-guided tours of City Hall, a visit by award-winning author Teresa Toten, Toronto Public Library information sessions, and much more. Don’t miss the first Newcomer Day!

City Hall branch is nearby. If you don't already have a library card, be sure to get one on Newcomer Day! 

Library Card

LSP- Library Settlement Partnerships



Toronto Public Library also offers a variety of resources for newcomers.  The  Library Settlement Partnerships (LSP) is offered at several library branches where a settlement worker can help newcomers with their settlement needs. This is a program funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada

 See you on Newcomer Day!

The Caribbean Connection to Asian Heritage

May 7, 2015 | Rachelle | Comments (4) Facebook Twitter More...

When one thinks of the Caribbean, people of Chinese or Indian descent may not immediately come to mind, yet the Caribbean is home to these cultural groups and so many others. Chinese Jamaicans, Indo-Caribbean, Indo-Trinidadians, Caribbean-Chinese are some of the terms that are used to refer to Caribbean nationals of east or south Asian ancestry. These cultural groups have had a presence in the Caribbean since the mid-1800s. Their influence can be seen in the food, language, music and literature of these bonnie islands. If you have ever eaten a roti, doubles or pepper shrimp or listened to chutney music, then you will know exactly what I am talking about! This Asian Heritage Month, why not check out some Indo-Caribbean classics by V.S. Naipaul or Neil Bissondath? Or, perhaps you would like to enjoy one of these interesting Asian-Caribbean films.

Chinee Girl

Chinee Girl

People of Chinese descent have made a significant contribution to the cultural and economic life of Trinidad and Tobago (TNT). Yet the voices of women are notably absent from the story of the Chinese in TNT. In this film, 12 women from all walks of life tell an interwoven tale, creating a compelling contemporary portrait of the Caribbean-Chinese woman.











Half: The Story of a Chinese-Jamaican Son

Half: the story of a Chinese-Jamaican son

Caught between two cultures and races -- Vincent Lee was born to a Chinese father and a Jamaican mother. After his father's pre-mature death, five-year-old Vincent sailed across the ocean to southern China where he endured a life of hardship and servitude. In this compelling documentary Half reflects the complex, yet common practice of sending mixed race sons to China for acculturation in the 1930s. It reveals one man's universal search for family, identity, and belonging.

   Doubles with Slight Pepper

Doubles with slight pepper

Set in Trinidad during Christmas, this dramatic film is a coming of age story centred around, Dhani, a young street food vendor, who must decide if he will help save his estranged father from dying.










 Jeanette Kong

Better yet, come meet filmmaker, Jeanette Kong as she gives an overview of the Hakka Chinese migration from China to Jamaica and then to Canada.

Thursday, May 14, 2015, 7-8 p.m. at the Bloor/Gladstone Branch.

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