Check Out a Human Book at TRL & Get Inspired
Library hosts popular human library Nov. 5
TORONTO (Tuesday, November 1, 2011) –Toronto Public Library will be hosting the popular Human Library again this year at four branches across the city to give people the opportunity to walk in someone else’s shoes for a few minutes and learn something new.
One of this year’s branches to host the Human Library, which is funded by the Toronto Public Library Foundation, is Toronto Reference Library. The Human Library will take place on Saturday, November 5 from Noon – 5:00 pm.
The public can place a hold on a must-read human book with just their library card by calling (416-395-5575) or by coming into the branch. Spots may also be available the day of the event but people are encouraged to place a hold on their favourite book early to avoid disappointment.
Check out the collection of human books at Toronto Reference Library below.
Toronto Public Library is the world's busiest urban public library system. Every year, more than 18 million people visit branches in neighbourhoods across the city and borrow more than 32 million items. As cornerstones of their neighbourhoods, our libraries connect people to each other and to their community, inspiring the spirit of exploration, the joy of reading and the pursuit of knowledge for people of all ages and backgrounds. To learn more, please visit www.torontopubliclibrary.ca or call Answerline at 416-393-7131.
Anne Marie Aikins, Manager, Community Relations, 416-393-7212 firstname.lastname@example.org
Human Books are available for interviews.
Toronto Reference Library Human Books
"Climbing a Cancerous Mountain"
In 2004, Lyndsay Crump was granted a full scholarship to Lester Pearson United World College, a prestigious higher level program in British Columbia for international students (and 10 Canadians) showing potential in global leadership. Before she had a chance to follow this dream, she was diagnosed with cancer followed by two gruelling years of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery including a stem cell transplant.
Considering herself a "lucky" girl, Lyndsay proudly calls herself happy and a firm believer in the notion that "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger." She is now nearly finished an Honours BA in psychology, has her eye on graduate school, and is saving for a trip to climb Kilimanjaro. But the biggest mountain she has climbed? She is now five years cancer free!
"Peddling the Integrity of Book Publishing"
Beth Follett is the sole owner and publisher of Pedlar Press, a Canadian literary publishing house based in Toronto, which she started in 1996.
Formerly in social work, she is a published writer and freelance editor, has studied modern dance and now keeps a mindfulness-meditation and yoga practice. Borrowers of Beth will come away from their time browsing through her life chapters knowing a little bit more about what integrity and excellence in publishing (or in any business practice) mean to her, and a little bit more about how mindfulness practice has helped her as a woman entrepreneur in the arts.
"Putting the Fun into Journalism"
Jeff Harrison, a Toronto-based freelance writer and editor, is a book translated into English and French. With over 14 years experience in the industry, Jeff has worked on stories for video games, penned articles for newspapers and magazines and is currently finishing his first novel.
A geek at heart, he loves everything sci-fi, fantasy and horror, especially comics and vampires. Currently he works as the editor-in-chief for Pink Play Mags, Toronto's fresh LGBTQ quarterly life-style magazine. You'll also have fun talking to this human book about his travels to exotic locales on assignment.
"Getting up Close and Personal"
Andrea Houston is a dogged investigative reporter doing what she calls "advocacy journalism" for Xtra Canada. Andrea gets up close and personal with her stories. "I exposed one of the largest queer human rights stories of the past five years," she says in her foreword, "the Catholic school board's ban on gay-straight alliances (GSA)." She is now working hard to support students trying to start GSAs and keep the issue in the headlines.
Over the past year Andrea has covered the municipal and federal elections and is now a familiar face around City Hall covering city politics. Before starting at Xtra, Andrea was in the trenches as a mainstream reporter, covering education, city politics and community news for a variety of media outlets including Reuters at their headquarters in London, England. This book will give you the guts to take a stand.
"Seeing Through the Pain"
Every page of the book of Vani Jain is filled with discrimination, sadness and pain, stories she has heard during her work with people dealing with mental illness. Yet she sees hope, strength and optimism for the future within these stories because of the courageous people she has met at the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario.
"One of the first people I met was a woman named Kelly," Vani says in an excerpt. "Kelly's younger brother, who had undiagnosed and untreated schizophrenia, killed both of their parents while in a psychotic state. What touched me most about meeting and getting to know Kelly was not the act itself, which was truly sad, but her compassion for her brother...her determination to make sure this didn't happen to anyone else."
Vani is thankful for the time she has spent working with marginalized people and would like to tell her story "through the eyes of someone who is in many ways an outsider, but who has had the privilege to spend some time with these beautiful, strong, hopeful people."
"Crime Fighting Cyber Tools"
Nicholas Maharaj may still be a teenager, but experiencing the sudden death of his high school buddy last year due to gun violence turned him into a crime fighting activist. Nicholas, now a student at Centennial College Police Foundations, uses social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to help promote the Crime Stoppers program.
The encouragement of Toronto Police Service Constable Scott Mills (another human book speaker, at Cedarbrae Branch) is one of the main reasons why Nicholas started to help the police by spreading his cyber message to his peers about prevention. "If more people were educated in the anonymous program, which is not operated by the police, but by us, the community would be a safer place to live," he says.
"Stroll Through Toronto"
Urbanists and urban lovers know this human book very well, but his chapters are a must read for everyone. Shawn Micallef is a well-known Toronto writer and author who is currently on leave as Senior Magazine Editor of spacing to pursue a Canadian Journalism Fellowship at the University of Toronto's Massey College. Shawn is researching urbanism while at Massey.
His popular book, Stroll: Psychogeographic Walking Tours of Toronto, makes it clear that Shawn sees his city as a "living book" full of stories waiting to be told. Taking him out on loan will be an opportunity to hear some of those amazing stories.
"Finding Hope Within the Rubble"
Most people watched helplessly when a catastrophic earthquake devastated Haiti last year. Not this human book. Instead of reporting safely from her home, Toronto Star journalist Catherine Porter immediately packed her bags, leaving her young family behind to tell the story first hand. Catherine recently returned from Haiti again - her ninth trip - which "like all the others, was inspiring, exhausting and devastating," she said.
Though she never once appealed to her readers for support, her stories, especially of determined little "Lovely", prompted many to want to help. Cash came flooding in, which Catherine used to send children to school, and provide food and medical aid. Inspired, Catherine committed to raising $26,000 for Muspan Montessori School, so 400 students could attend for the next year. She surpassed her goal. This human book may be a life changing read!
"Facing the Transit Talk"
This human book covers brave new territory never before explored! At a time when public scrutiny is just a cell phone pic away, Chris Upfold became Toronto Transit Commission's first Chief Customer Service Officer earlier this year.
Prior to joining the TTC, Chris worked for Transport for London and London Underground in England where he helped make measureable improvements to customer information, customer security, ticketing and smartcards, non-fares revenue, station design, staff engagement, and accessibility and inclusion. "The TTC's customers are the citizens of Toronto and those are the same people that use Toronto libraries," Chris says in his foreword. "Reaching out to customers to help them understand our issues and us understand theirs will be critical in once again making Toronto proud of the TTC and building advocacy for funding."
"Curiosity Got the Career"
Mercenary, undercover spy, captain of industry, inventor, death-defying magician. Apparently, none of these things describe the human book called Donovan Vincent, the foreword warns. However, this respected Toronto Star journalist is still extremely compelling, his critics and readers say. Donovan pursued a career in journalism, because one of his high school English teachers suggested he consider it as a profession. "She told me she liked my writing and that I was very curious, two important skills for a journalist." He later went on to write for his university newspaper at York, Excalibur, which was a thrill, he said, because he loved seeing his name in the paper on a great story.
Donovan joined the Toronto Star as a summer intern in the late 1980s, and has written thousands of stories, some of them leading to changes in policy direction at the municipal and provincial levels. The stories he's most proud of, though, are the ones with unique and compelling human interest elements, which he hopes to share as a human book.