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Citizenship/Settlement Programs at North York Central Library!

October 26, 2015 | Emoke | Comments (0)

Pass the Canadain Citizenship TestThe Toronto Public Library offers a vast variety of New to Canada and Citizenship Test Preparation classes and programs on an ongoing basis. The library website under New To Canada is a good place to look for information on: Learning English for all levels and ages, Citizenship Test, Settling in Toronto, Jobs, Training & Certification, Materials in Your Language, Your Library Card, and so on.

You can also do a search on the library website using the words "Citizenship" and you will find all the many library programs and classes and other materials and information and recommended websites that will help you with citizenship information.

The Citizenship Test Section of the website has some sample questions and answers and links to the booklet to help you study for the Citizenship test: Discover Canada. There is also a link to Learning Express Library, a database you can use with your library card even from home, with more citizenship tests.

The third floor of the North York Central Library usually keeps free copies of Discover Canada to hand out, and various other libraries also have copies to loan out or for use in the library only.

The Society and Recreation Department also has three major Citizenship/Settlement Programs: New to Canada? Speak to a Costi Representative!, Canadian Citizenship Test Preparation (name changing to: Canadian Citizenship Information in 2016) and Discover Canada Citizenship Mentoring Circle.

The first program, New to Canada? Speak to a Costi Representative! is held once a month, on the last Friday of the month. At the library sessions, a COSTI representative will answer your questions about employment, education, health, housing, and settling into your new environment. COSTI Immigrant Services is a community-based multicultural agency which has been serving all immigrant communities and new Canadians for many years. Some of the topics of the most interest to newcomers are: finding a job, family sponsorship, continuing education at secondary and post-secondary levels, improving English, residency requirements to maintain permanent resident status, applying for citizenship, maintaining OHIP coverage, and OAS pension eligibility

Fridays, October 30th, November 27th, 2015 (1 p.m.- 2 p.m. in Farsi, 2 p.m.- 3 p.m. in English), North York Central Library Room 2/3. Free. Drop In.

And for next year:

Fridays, January 29th, February 26th, and March 25th, 2016 (1 p.m.- 2 p.m. in Farsi, 2 p.m.- 3 p.m. in English), North York Central Library Room 2/3. Free. Drop In.

The second program, Canadian Citizenship Test Preparation (name changing to: Canadian Citizenship Information in 2016) involves a representative from the Toronto District School Board discussing what it means to be a citizen, what to expect from the test, and how to prepare using the Discover Canada guide. You must bring your Permanent Resident card to the session.

In December, North York Central Library is having its last program called Canadian Citizenship Test Preparation. It will be on Tuesday, December 15th, 2015 at 6 p.m.- 8 p.m. in the Auditorium at the North York Central Library. Register at 416-395-5660.

In the new year, instead of this one 2-hour session, North York Central Library will be dividing this program in two and having two 2-hour sessions. They will be:



Learn about the Canadian citizenship application process. Find out the latest information about eligibility (age, residency requirements, proof of language ability etc.), completing and submitting the forms, fees, application processing times and more. Presented by a Toronto District School Board representative. You must bring your Permanent Resident Card. It will be held on Wednesday, January 27th, 2016 at 6 p.m.- 8 p.m. in the Auditorium of the North York Central Library. Register at 416-395-5660.



Learn about the Canadian citizenship knowledge test. Get study tips and try some practice questions based on the Discover Canada study guide. Presented by a Toronto District School Board representative. You must bring your Permanent Resident card. It will be held on Wednesday, February 24th, 2016 at 6 p.m.- 8 p.m. in the Auditorium of the North York Central Library. Register at 416- 395-5660.

The third program, Discover Canada Citizenship Mentoring Circle, is 10 weeks long and is currently running. The dates for this year are:

Mondays, September 14th to November 23rd (except Monday October 12th), Room 1, North York Central Library. All sessions run from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Even though the program has started, you may still join in.

The dates for 2016 are: Mondays, January 18th to April 4th, 2016 (except February 15th and March 28th), Room 1, North York Central Library. All sessions run from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.

In these sessions, you will review and discover the Discover Canada study guide with a CultureLink staff member and a team of trained Citizenship Education mentors. Every participant is matched with one mentor. Newcomers can improve their vocabulary and boost their confidence in speaking English by participating in conversations on various topics. Paricipants can also connect with local volunteers, network and share experiences and stories.

Provided by CultureLink. Free. To register, contact Hashem Rahin at 416-588-6288 x220 or

I hope you will find these sessions helpful and useful and that they help you pass your Citizenship Test and settle into Canada in a positive and successful manner!

Health Force Ontario – A Type of Matchmaking

September 8, 2015 | Jane | Comments (0)

Canada is a country that thrives on immigration. So there are systems in place to help immigrants move into their new lives in Canada as easily as possible. In fact, new changes in immigration processes (some of them controversial) allow skilled and highly educated immigrants to be “fast-tracked” into Canada to fill specific labour vacancies. Many of the 50-or-so designated occupations are in health fields.                                            

Screen Shot 2015-09-07 at 10.06.47 PMpicture credit: CanStockPhoto

This is where Health Force Ontario comes in. It is an agency whose role is, as Citizenship and Immigration minister Chris Alexander puts it, “matchmaker” to the health needs of Canadians and foreign-educated health workers who wish to come to Canada, to Ontario in particular.

Health Force Ontario “ensure[s] that Ontarians have access to the right number and mix of qualified health-care providers, when and where they are needed, now and in the future”.

On the other end, it executes the strategy by certifying the highly trained people who can fill these health care jobs, and who want to be in Canada.

The requirements for and process of certification can be confusing. If you are an internationally educated health professional, and would like to learn more about how to smooth the path to professional practice, come and see what the Access Centre for Internationally Educated Health Professionals may have to help.  

North York Central Library is hosting a session with a representative from Health Force Ontario/Access:

Are You an Internationally Educated Health Professional?

Tues. September 15, 2015

2:00 to 3:00 pm

North York Central Library

5120 Yonge Street

Toronto M2N 5N9

Room 2/3 (2nd floor, west side of atrium)

 To register, please call 416-395-5649


Volunteering Benefits

August 17, 2015 | Emoke | Comments (2)

Volunteering and society in the 21st centuryHave you ever wanted to volunteer for a cause you believe in, but your other time commitments, such as school, work, family, etc. got in the way?

I'm sure we have all felt this way in our busy adult lives. I started my volunteer work after finishing my studies. With no more schoolwork to keep me busy all the time, I finally decided to devote my extra time, or days off work to various causes. Some of those have been for my own pleasure or interest, such as volunteering at an art gallery, and some efforts have been more about giving back to the community and helping with a cause I really believe in, like working in a women's centre.

For me, there have been vastly different advantages for working in both types of settings. The art related job allowed me to be surrounded by a subject that I love and keep my interest and passion for art alive and ongoing. This type of volunteer job is what I would consider the "fun" and entertaining type. The personal rewards are: education, creative stimulation, etc.

The other type of volunteer work I have done, I would consider to be the more "humanist" approach, that deals with spending your free time helping a cause that you feel passionate about, and consider important for all of society to pay attention to, and work towards improving. Helping disadvantaged and abused women (violence against women) really taught me that we should never take our lives for granted. There are those of us going through serious challenges, and are in need of much support from others as they can get. This support can come from family, friends or strangers, hence, the volunteers.

My next type of volunteer venture leans more towards the second type I have described, but is quite unique to me. I will be working with children in a school setting in the near future by mentoring them on their lunch hour. Working with children raises a whole new set of challenges. These are individuals whose lives are still being shaped, and may have already gone through their own difficulties. They require a helping hand, or simply a friend, to sit down with them and listen and share. Every child should have a fair and equal chance at life, and although this is not the case in our world, at least having someone to talk with about their lives (if they choose), can make them feel that somebody cares.

There are also many volunteer opportunities at your local library branch. These include helping with adult literacy, homework help for teens, helping newcomers with homework, helping children with their reading and learning skills, and so on.

For further information about volunteering and the various types available, please see the following materials from the Toronto Public Library:

Volunteer : a traveller's guide to making a difference around the world.  Wide-open world : how volunteering around the globe changed one family's lives forever   Wildlife & conservation volunteering : the complete guide   The complete idiot's guide to volunteering for teens

Volunteering at home and abroad : the essential guide for nurses   World volunteers : the world guide to humanitarian and development volunteering   Archaeo-volunteers : the world guide to archaeological and heritage volunteering   Voluntary Sector Organizations and the State

New To Canada? Speak To A COSTI Representative!

March 4, 2014 | Margaret W. | Comments (0)

If you are new to Canada, no doubt you have a lot of questions. Did you know that you can come to North York Central Library and speak to someone who will help you find some answers?

COSTI Immigrant Services is a community-based multicultural agency which has been serving all immigrant communities and new Canadians for many years. At the library sessions, a COSTI representative will answer your questions about:

  • COSTemployment
  • education
  • health
  • housing

and settling into your community.

These are drop-in sessions, so you don't have to register - just come.

The sessions occur on the last Friday of every month, from 1pm - 3pm, in room 2/3 at North York Central Library.

Upcoming dates are:

  • Friday February 28th
  • Friday March 28th
  • Friday April 25th
  • Friday May 30th
  • Friday June 27th

It will definitely be worth your time.

North York Central Library's address is: 5120 Yonge Street Toronto, Ontario M2N 5N9

If you need more information, call the Society and Recreation Department at 416-395-5660.

Keep your New Year's Resolution and Rock your Finances this 2014! You could win a free book!

January 22, 2014 | Ashley | Comments (0)

Here we are again, it is the beginning of the year and I'm sure we are all filled with resolutions. One of the most common ones is to manage our money better, especially after spending over the holidays. New Year's resolutions seem to go by the wayside quite shortly after the new year. 

Next Tuesday, January 28, 2014 from 6:30 - 8:00pm Bruce Sellery will present the program The Moolala Guide to Rockin' Your RRSPs  

In this fun and engaging talk, Bruce Sellery, columnist and author, will bring you "The Moolala Guide to Rockin' Your RRSP". He'll make retirement savings relevant to you, help you to develop a simple plan to rock your RRSP immediately and leave you inspired to get up and take action. 


Moolala RRSPs



The book Moolala Guide to Rockin' your RRSP: Start Rockin' in 5 Easy Steps was just released early January 2014. Actually, the Business Department just received its copy last week. Bruce Sellery has generously offered to give a copy of the book to the first 50 people to attend

Take a look at Bruce Sellery's five week financial challenge:



Go ahead, take the challenge, you've got nothing to lose - especially not your money!

At Toronto Public Library we have a lot of Finance Programs and workshops coming up which will help you maximize your income at all stages of life from student loans to living on your RRSPS. So why not start the year by being mindful of your financial goals, putting your plans into action and attending some free finance workshops?

Some of the finance programs coming up at North York Central Library are:

Identity Theft Protection

IdentitytheftPlease join us for an informative session to better understand fraud and learn how to protect yourself from being victims of fraud. Program is brought to you by Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada.

Thursday, January 23, 2014 | 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. | Auditorium 


Real Estate 101: Everything from buying, selling, leasing and investing


Real Estate Broker, Investor, Developer, Author of two books, and University of Toronto Instructor Claude Boiron will give an overview of Real Estate ownership, buying, selling, leasing, financing, and answer all questions. This program is free. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014 | 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. | Auditorium 



Tax Tips for 2013-2014


78 tax tips

Brian Quinlan, chartered accountant and co-author of 78 Tax Tips for Canadians for Dummies, will discuss "what's new in tax." Learn how you can minimize your 2013 taxes as well as plan for your 2014 taxes.

Monday, February 24, 2014 | 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. | Auditorium 


You can call the Business Department at 416-395-5613 to register or you can always just drop in if space is available - we hope to see you there!

Happy Financial Literacy Month! Are you a good financial role model?

November 13, 2013 | Ashley | Comments (2)

Finace Role Model

Did you know that November is officially Financial Literacy Month in Canada? You may not know because it is a fairly new initiative, this is Canada's 3rd annual Financial Literacy Month. The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) and the Financial Literacy Action Group (FLAG) (which is 7 non profit organizations), launched this event for the first time in November 2011.  Unfortunately, there is a need for this, Canada has one of the highest debt to income ratios (MoneySense), we are struggling financially. In November FLAG and FCAC have organized events all across Canada to educate Canadians about their finances. They have created a calendar of events (most of them are free), you should invest your time wisely and check some out!


According to the The Investor Education Fund (IEF) only 3 out of 10 Ontarians are aware of typical priorities and strategies for long-term saving and even fewer know how financial priorities change with age (IEF). The IEF's website provides unbiased programs and tools to help consumers make better financial and investing decisions. They delivered a program early this year at North York Central Library, where they shared the 8 universal truths about your money, the number one truth on the list:

1. Know your money personality. 
Everyone has a personality: unique attributes, values, goals, worries, tendencies, likes and dislikes that define their character. These traits also apply to your relationship with money – you have a “money personality.” Knowing your money personality can help you meet your financial goals. For example, if you know that you are a spender, you could make saving a habit by setting up an automatic deposit to your savings account every payday.

They have a lot of other great tools on their website including; a mortgage calculators, a wedding budget spreadsheet, student debt calculators, and a  lot more great resources and tips for people in all financial stages of life.



One of the purposes of this month is to help Canadians invest in their future and the future of their children. The Business Department has planned a program to celebrate Financial Literacy Month this November:

Are You a Good Financial Role Model for your Children?

Please join us at the North York Central Library  for an informative financial literacy session. Learn how to understand the goals and challenges of teaching children about money. This Program is brought to you by Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada. 

This program is being held in the auditorium at North York Central Library on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 from 6:30 - 8:00. You can either call 416-395-5613 to register, or just drop in - we'll let you in! 

Of course, you can always visit the North York Central Library's Business Department on the 4th floor and check out all of our personal finance, investment and economics books, DVDs, databases and newsletters. The staff at the reference desk are always happy to help you!

Here are some books to help you get started on teaching your kids about money:

                               MoneysmartkidsMoney savvy kids

                                Financially intelligent parent        Happy money

Thanks for reading, have a Happy Financial Literacy Month!


Mark your calendars. This October is full of awesome programs at North York Central Library!

September 30, 2013 | Ashley | Comments (0)


Craig Asano from the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada
Filmmaker and Successful Crowdfunding user James Cooper


This fall we've already had some great small business programs so far. October is officially Small Business month, but we've already had 3 small business programs here at North York Central Library this past September. The pictures above are from our first program Crowdfunding for Beginners where Craig Asano; Founder and Executive Director of National Crowdfunding Associaion of Canada  (NCFA) and  James Cooper; who used to raise over $26,000 for his film Elijah the Prophet, discussed what it takes to prepare and launch a successful crowdfunding campaign.

It's funny, someone was asking me about crowdfunding on the reference desk in the Business Department, they asked why we had a program on it if it isn't actually fully legal in Canada. Well, it actually is, the legislation has changed and there have been many successful crowdfunding stories across Canada. I learned a lot from the program we had with the NCFA, they've provided a lot of good information on their website. I wrote a blog with some crowdfunding examples and resources a couple weeks ago. We are planning to have more programs on Crowdfunding in the very near future, so not to worry if you missed it!


Fall for small business
Fall for Small Business display created by one of our Business Librarians

We have 3 more small business programs coming up and one personal finance program this week. 

Here are the small business programs happening at North York Central Library, they will all be held in our auditorium  (2nd floor, west side):

Doing Business with the Government of Canada/Tuesday, October 1, 2013. 6:30 - 8:00pm

The Government of Canada purchases approximately $20 billion worth of goods and services each year. Join us with John Lu from the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises and learn how to sell to the Government of Canada, including how to navigate the federal procurement process, how to market your products and services, where to find opportunities and much more. 

The Mentor's Circle: Clearing Your Path to Business Growth/Tuesday, October 15, 2013. 6:30 - 8:00pm

Join author Elizabeth Verwey as she explores the benefits of peer mentoring. Based on her book, the mentors circle provides a way to solve problems, brainstorm, gain new perspectives and take the necessary steps to grow your business. Learn how to clear your path for business growth.

The New Ecology of Leadership - Why Small is Beautiful/ Thursday, October 17, 2013. 6:30 - 8:00pm

Join author David Hurst as he discusses themes covered in his recently published book The New Ecology of Leadership. Learn how best to utilize your own management experiences and education to improve your judgment and organization. Discover the ways that small is truly beautiful! 

This is the personal finance program happening this week:

Carrick on Money/ Thursday, October 3, 2013. 7:00 - 8:00pm

Rob Carrick, the Globe and Mail's personal finance columnist since 1998, talks about the good, bad and the downright awful in Canadian investments. Opinionated and no-nonsense financial advice that you can use.

All programs are free! Call 416-395-5613 to register. Hope to see you there!




It's tax time! Let us help you Solve the Mysteries of Income Tax

February 20, 2013 | Ashley | Comments (2)


The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.

-Albert Einstein.

Like it or not, it's that time of year again, tax time! As you can see even Albert Einstein, deemed one of the smartest men in history also had a hard time understanding taxes. Not to worry, the library is here to help. If you come visit us in the Business Department department up on the fourth floor, we have some free booklets prepared by Ontario's Certified General Accountants called Your Personal Tax Planning Guide. Every year we receive these booklets around January, just in time for you to start preparing your taxes. You can also view this free publication online as a PDF.

It seems as if every year there is something new which we have to learn and include in our taxes. One of the nice features of the free booklet I mentioned above is that it includes a section called Major 2012 Federal and Provincial Changes Affecting Individuals. One of the major changes this year is that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is no longer mailing income tax and benefit packages, we are all being encouraged to file online. However, this doesn't mean that you can't file your taxes on paper you can request a paper package, and it will still be accepted. You can also call the CRA at 1-800-959-8281 (press * star key to speak with an agent).

At North York Central Library, we have our annual income tax clinic:

This is a FREE, community income tax program provided by Certified General Accountants, using software supplied by Canada Revenue Agency. It is available to single persons with incomes under $30,000 or families with an income of under $35,000. Qualified accountants will help individuals to fill out their 2012 Income Tax Returns. Interest income must be under $1000. Sessions are on a First come/First served basis.

Please note clinic dates & times:

Saturdays, March 2, March 9, April 6, April 20, & April 27 - Hours are 10:00am-5pm, last client taken at 4:15pm. Concourse level.

Thursdays, March 7, March 14, March 28, April 11 & 25 - Hours are 6:00pm-8:30pm, last client taken at 7:45pm. Concourse Level.

Please call 416-395-5614 after Jan. 28, 2013 if you need more information.

If you have mobility issues, you can contact Wheel-Trans Customer Service at 416-393-4111 to arrange to be picked up or you can even book a wheel trans trip online

There are other tax clinics available all across Ontario, the CRA has a great list of Volunteer Tax Preparation Clinics. Also, has a list of clinics available across the GTA. If you come up to the Business Department, our staff will be happy to assist you with questions you may have about your income tax, we have a great deal of resources to help you or we can direct you to other places which may help you.

Don't forget that there are always books available to help you prepare your taxes as well if you'd like to do your taxes on your own, here's a couple you can take a peek at:


                          Tax1                   Tax3    

                          Tax2            Tax4


Gordon Pape, Canadian Personal Finance Expert will also be coming to North York Central Library next Monday evening to present his program Retirement's Harsh New Realities where he'll discuss important things every Canadian should know including information about minimizing your taxes and protecting your financial future. 

All the best with your taxes!

Small Business Month may be over, but our Small Business Programs aren't!

November 15, 2012 | Ashley | Comments (2)


Even though small business month is technically in October, in the Business Department at North York Central Library we decided to extend it until the end of the year! Did you know that in Ontario roughly half of us work for small and medium size enterprises (SME's), and they generate approximately $250 million annually?

"Small business owners and entrepreneurs are truly exemplary Ontarians. After all, they are key contributors to innovation, investment and job creation in every part of our province. They are the drivers of our economy, and while we pay special tribute to them this month, their efforts are felt year round."

- Harinder Takhar - Minister of Small Business and Entrepreneurship

We know that every year our patrons look forward to our annual small business month programs. Based on your feedback, we've realized that a lot of people wondered why small business programs were limited to October so we've got more planned for you entrepreneurs. We understand that finding the right information for your small business can be difficult and sometimes costly. All of the programs offered at the library are free, so why not stop by and learn something new?

Here's what's coming up in November:

Hot or Not: How to Know if Your Business Idea Will Fly or Fail

Sean Wise a Ryerson Professor, author and past Dragon's Den coach will discuss ideas based on his 2012 bestseller

Hot or Not

There are many copies of the book available at the library, check it out:




Best Business Tools  

Miriam Tuerk our first ever Entrepreneur in Residence will discuss both cost and time effective productivity tools. This program was actually rescheduled. Originally it was scheduled for Tuesday, November 13, 2012, however due to illness, the program will be held on Wednesday, November 21, 2012 in the Concourse.

Best Business Tools

And this is what's on in December:

  Why Privacy Makes Good Business Sense        

Any business owner who collects, uses or keeps personal information about clients has a responsibility to protect this information according to guidelines set out in the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). Lonny Kates from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada will teach you how to keep your business in compliance with the law.



 From Renos to Riches

Ian Szabo, is an expert house flipper and author of the only Canadian title in the field of investing in renovations From Renos to Riches: The Canadian Real Estate Investor's Guide to Practical and Profitable Renovations.  Learn about house flipping, the Canadian way.



You can check out the book too:

Renos to riches


Please call 416-395-5613 to register, hope to see you!



Whenever I Go to the Library, My Friend From Iran is There

September 14, 2012 | Deb | Comments (16)


Hello Everyone,

I'm Not Quite Miss Rumphius and this is the blog for the Children's Department at North York Central Library. Welcome back.

* * * * * *

My good friend, Laleh, is from Iran and every time I go to the library I see someone who reminds me of Laleh -- someone with dark wavy hair and olive skin that never looks pale or washed out even in the middle of a sun-deprived Canadian winter, someone with a gracious manner and a ready smile. It’s easy to want to be more like someone else, and all I can say is that’s true for me with Laleh.

Will I Have a FriendLaleh and I first met over a dozen years ago at the daycare our sons both attended. Back then, our little boys looked so similar that we joked we could swap photos of them, pass off the other one as our own, and no one would be the wiser.

Much has changed since those days. For one thing, our boys have grown ... and grown ... and grown. They no longer look alike and they now tower over us, something they're always quick to point out.

There have been other changes too. Like everyone else around us, our families have faced difficult situations, the kind that come out of nowhere and suddenly -- starkly -- divide life into Before and After. We’ve been up in the mountains; we’ve been down in the valleys too.

Through it all, together and apart, Laleh and I have been consoled, entertained, distracted, and uplifted by books and reading. We’ve had food, too -- especially the wonderful meals that Laleh prepares and shares with a wide circle of family and friends, people I already know and people I’d like to know better.

* * * * * *

When I first came to work in the Children’s Department at North York Central Library, I was pleased to be in such a warm, friendly place -- not my real home, and yet home.

A Bus Called HeavenWas it the books and children and families -- all the great bustle and good cheer around me -- that made this place feel so right?  

Yes, but it was more than that. And it had to do with my friend.

The first people I met in the library were a mother, a father and a young daughter who had come here, like Laleh’s family, from Iran. The two older women who asked me for a Farsi-English dictionary reminded me of Laleh’s older aunt. And at a Family Time program I led, I spoke with a young Iranian woman who looked so much like Laleh that I swore they had to be sisters, separated at birth.

Then there was the language -- the same language I’d heard spoken at the memorial service for Laleh’s father. I couldn’t understand this language, but that didn’t matter. It was both foreign and familiar, and it was here too.

* * * * * *

All the Places to LoveWe are all, I think, looking for our tribe, our flock -- the group and place that accepts us for who we are, nurtures us, and brings out the best in us.

We get a lot from our flocks -- but we also get to give something back too. I've learned that with the people I know, including Laleh. And I found it out all over again, in the place where some of the things that matter most to me are.

I found it with the people who come to this place every day: the Iranian families, the South Asian grandparents, the Korean preschoolers, and the tiny Chinese babies.

I found my tribe at the library.

Welcome to North York Central Library. We're one of the City's most welcoming spaces, open to all for study, research, relaxation and fun.

Our extensive digital and print collections, programs and services are yours to use, borrow and explore. Expert staff are always on hand to help. Meet us in person or join us online.