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An End to the Camelot Era

November 24, 2014 | Ann | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

John F. Kennedy at Dealey Plaza in Dallas Texas on November 22, 1963.
This work is in the public domain because it was published in the United States between 1923 and 1963 and although there may or may not have been a copyright notice, the copyright was not renewed.

On November 22, 1963, the 35th President of the United States was assassinated by long-range rifle shots originating from the sixth floor window of the Texas School Book Depository. John F. Kennedy rode in an open-top limousine through Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas, Texas and was struck in the neck and head by two shots at 12:30 pm. Texas Governor John Connally sat one seat ahead of JFK. He was also shot but survived. Jackie Kennedy was physically unhurt but was seen trying to save her husband's life. A lone sniper, Lee Harvey Oswald, was eventually captured and arrested for the crime.  

Two days later, on November 24, 1963, while Lee Harvey Oswald was escorted from the basement of the city jail at 11:20 am, a lone gunman stepped forward from the crowd and shot Oswald in close proximity much to the astonishment of the detective and officers accompanying Oswald. Jack Ruby was identified as the shooter. The front page of the Monday, November 25, 1963 issue of the New York Times reports both the State funeral of John F. Kennedy as well as the report of the public execution of Kennedy's assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald.  

In January 1964, Jackie Kennedy requested a historian, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. to meet with her to record her experiences during the JFK presidency. These tapes were recently released for publication in 2011.  

Historic conversations on life with John F. Kennedy: interviews with Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., 1964  by Onassis, Jacqueline Kennedy, 1929-1994. EAudiobook of Jacqueline Kennedy historic conversations on life with John F. Kennedy, interviews with Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., 1964

Janny Scott's September 11, 2011 New York Times article, In Tapes, Candid Talk by Young Kennedy Widowprovides a glimpse into that conversation. During their recorded conversation, Jackie compared her husband's presidency period to that of Camelot.  

Jacqueline Kennedy's interpretation, though comforting, may contain questionable gaps. In The Guardian, Sarah-Jane Stratford's November 21, 2013 article, Referring to JFK's presidency as 'Camelot' doesn't do him justice, discusses how King Arthur's myth does not accurately capture Jackie Kennedy's romantic version of JFK's presidency. Stratford believes JFK deserves a more accurate historical interpretation of the events of that period.

Despite the different perspectives shared on that period in time, the events that unfolded in November over five decades ago remain instilled in current social media.  

The Society and Recreation Department has a wide selection of titles on American history in the 20th century including a well-stocked display on the Kennedy era.

Kennedy titles at the Society & Recreation Department
Photo courtesy of the Toronto Public Library

Below are more titles on this historical topic:

Four days in November: the original coverage of the John F. Kennedy assassination by Robert B. Semple JFK assassination logic: how to think about claims of conspiracy by John McAdams Killing Kennedy: the end of Camelot by Bill O'Reilly The hidden history of the JFK assassination: the definitive account of the most controversial crime of the twentieth century by Lamar Waldron
The Kennedy detail: JFK's secret service agents break their silence by Gerald Blaine The Kennedy half-century: the presidency, assassination, and lasting legacy of John F. Kennedy by Larry Sabato Mrs. Paine's garage and the murder of John F. Kennedy by Thomas Mallon Kennedy assassinated!: the world mourns: a reporter's story by Wilborn Hampton

The month of November honours conflicts and battles through 20th century history. This month also observes an event that still unites people to share in its mourning. 

Art Talk at North York Central Library: Michelangelo: Drawing Inspiration, Building a Legacy

November 20, 2014 | Muriel | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...



 Art Talk: Michelangelo: Drawing Inspiration, Building a Legacy
Wednesday, January 7, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.
North York Central Library Auditorium

Come and join us for an art talk which showcases and elaborates on a selection of drawings and ideas featured in the Art Gallery of Ontario exhibition, "Michelangelo: Quest for Genius."
This talk will focus on key commissions that Michelangelo felt
would seal his fame eternally and the
particular challenges, both
artistic and personal, behind them. 

Speaker: Betsy Purvis, University of Toronto, Department of Visual Studies
Please call 416-395-5639 to register for this free program.

 Michelangelo A Life On Paper      Michelangelo The Drawings of a Genius
      Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel

he Art Gallery of Ontario exhibition, "Michelangelo: Quest for Genius," is on until Janaury 11, 2015, and centres on a loan of 29 drawings from the Casa Buonarroti in Florence, whose collection is formed from Michelangelo's own.  These drawings represent the range of Michelangelo's work as a painter, sculptor and architect.

With a Sun Life Financial Museum + Arts Pass, you can go for free to the
Art Gallery of Ontario. 

Discovering Michelangelo        Michelangelo the Artist the Man and His Times        Michelangelo The Complete Sculpture Painting Architecture

Remembering Canada's Heroes

November 10, 2014 | Aleks | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Flander's Field

     November 11, a monumental date to all Canadians; Remembrance Day. Remembrance for the men and women who have served and continue to serve our country during conflict, war and peace. This year, 2014, marks 100 years since the declaration of war between the Axis and Allies. The Canadian War Museum has designed a beautiful resource for those interested in Canada's contributions in the First World War. They have brought together information in collaboration with pictures and objects from the war for public viewing. The Toronto Public Library Digital Archives also has a large collection of pictures from World War I and World War II


    The recent events in Ottawa have received nothing but an outpouring of support to Canadians worldwide. As the story unfolded in the following days, I could not resist feeling a sense of nationalism to be a part of such a great country amongst fellow Canadians who felt the same. The heroic acts of bravery by the Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers in light of our fallen soldiers, Cpl. Nathan Cirillo and Patrice Vincent brought a need to commemorate them.

    Canadians have an interesting history, one which include acts of selflessness, heroics, perseverance, and struggle that would eventually shape our country. The following is just a small glimpse into some of the more interesting and exceptional Canadian people and events.


Isaack Brock - Canada's hero in the war of 1812

    Isaac Brock is the best-known figure of the War of 1812. He is widely credited as the military leader who frustrated the United States in its ambition to invade and take over Canada. He was an interesting character such that when he faced a challenge to duel, he insisted the other man be a handkerchief's length away. His opponent was forced to back down. Brock survived family financial disaster and faced desertions and near-mutinies before his successful years commanding his regiment in Upper Canada. As military governor of the colony, he called up the militia to oppose the invading Americans and led his troops into the key Battle of Queenston Heights. He died in the Queenston battle, but his courage inspired his troops to victory -- and even brought tribute from his American foes.

Laura Secord - heroine of the War of 1812

    After dragging her injured husband off the battlefield during the War of 1812, Laura Secord (1775-1868) was forced to house American soldiers for financial support while she nursed him back to health. It was during this time that she overheard the American plan to ambush British troops at Beaver Dams. Through an outstanding act of perseverance and courage in 1813, Laura walked an astonishing 30 kilometers from her home to a British outpost to warn Lieutenant James FitzGibbon. Despite facing rough terrain, the ever-present danger of being caught by American troops, and rather delicate encounters with Native forces, Laura reached FitzGibbon just in time for the British to prepare and execute an ambush on American military nearby, forcing the U.S. general to surrender. Laura lived a very long time, dying at the age of 93. In her lifetime the government never formally recognized her singular feat of bravery, and much controversy still envelopes her legacy. 

Shake hands with the devil - the failure of humanity in Rwanda

    Digging deep into shattering memories, General Dallaire has written a powerful story of betrayal, naïveté, racism and international politics. His message is simple and undeniable: “Never again.” When Lt-Gen. Roméo Dallaire received the call to serve as force commander of the UN intervention in Rwanda in 1993, he thought he was heading off on a modest and straightforward peacekeeping mission. Thirteen months later he flew home from Africa, broken, disillusioned and suicidal, having witnessed the slaughter of 800,000 Rwandans in only a hundred days. 


The courage of the early morning - a biography of Billy Bishop, the great ace of World War I

    William Avery Bishop "Billy Bishop" survived more than 170 air battles during World War I and was given official credit for shooting down seventy-two German aircraft. Experts on aerial warfare acknowledge that his relentless air fighting techniques and skills as a brilliant individualist and marksman were unique and his record unsurpassed. He was the first man in British military history to receive the Victoria Cross, the Distinguished Service Order, and the Military Cross in one ceremony. Eddie Rickenbacker, an American fighter ace once said, "Richthofen usually waited for enemies to fly into his territory; Bishop was the raider, always seeking the enemy wherever he could be found ... I think he's the only man I ever met who was incapable of fear." His three years at the Royal Military College were disastrous – an epic of rules broken and discipline scorned. He often admitted that his special method of landing wrecked more planes than he shot down. In the days when fliers could rightly think themselves heroes for just having the courage to go up in the rickety plans, Billy Bishop won the respect of comrades and enemies alike. He was one of the new breed of warriors who met the deadly challenge of air combat and made the airplane a decisive military weapon.


 For those who are looking for reads about courage, survival, danger and resilience the following are a list of books acclaimed as truly inspiring and mesmerizing reads:  

Lone survivor the eyewitness account of Operation Redwing and the lost heroes of SEAL Team 10Band of brother - E company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's NestUnbroken - a World War II story of survival, resilience, and redemptionLiar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy- Four Women Undercover in the Civil WarA Long Way Gone- Memoirs of a Boy Soldier


Chase away the autumn blues with an evening of words and music

November 7, 2014 | Maureen | Comments (4) Facebook Twitter More...

Sun lovers get the blues when dead leaves scratch along the sidewalk in bone chilling autumn gusts, and days are short and bleak. You might want to hurry home and shut the door on this dark season, but there are remedies for the autumn blues. Stomp and crunch your way through leaf piles! Rejoice in the dark majesty of autumn skies! Greens and tropical blues have had their time. Now the crimson, gold and sapphire of autumn rule, and you can hear the rhythm of Canadian poet Bliss Carman’s classic verse as you stride through frenzied leaf cyclones that suddenly animate the sidewalk:

There is something in the autumn that is native to my blood--
Touch of manner, hint of mood;
And my heart is like a rhyme,
With the yellow and the purple and the crimson keeping time.

Autumn leaf

Is your jack-o'-lantern still out in your yard or on your balcony? Take a photo everyday, animate them, and watch Jack bite his own evil grin as he rots! Make yourself an autumn song playlist. It’s easy to do using Naxos Music Library, which is available to you from your home computer or in any Toronto Public Library branch. All you need is your library card to access a huge music collection. Using the jazz version of Naxos Music Library, I created an autumn playlist that includes the songs “Autumn leaves”,  “Stormy weather”, “Autumn Nocturne”,  “Lullaby of the leaves”, “Autumn in New York”, “Soon it’s gonna rain” and “My favourite things” performed by great artists such as Miles Davis, Vince Guaraldi, Charles Mingus, Oscar Peterson, John Coltrane and Ella Fitzgerald. Coltrane’s soaring, diving saxophone improvisation of Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s “My favourite things” is 13 minutes and 41 seconds of pure brilliance that makes me think of the erratic dance of falling leaves tossed by the wind. With these jazz geniuses playing the soundtrack for your autumn blues, you just might want to stay blue.

North York Central Library invites you to a musical performance that is all about the blues. On Tuesday November 18, award winning blues artists Diana Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley, along with guitarist and musicologist Mike Daley, will perform blues poetry, which is a fusion of blues music and the African American oral tradition. They will perform work by Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes and others. Diana and Chris have played all over North America and Europe, and have won nine Maple Blues Awards and 6 Juno nominations. The performance begins at 7:00 p.m. Please call 416-395-5639 to register for this free program.

 DeltaPhonic Blues Poems  Something about the blues
 The Essential Langston Hughes Selected poems of Langston Hughes   Squeeze my lemon


20 Best Horror Films on DVD

October 26, 2014 | Viveca | Comments (5) Facebook Twitter More...

Wanna see something really scary? Here are 20 of the best horror movies available at the Toronto Public Library. Film critic Robin Wood wrote that the horror film's “true subject is the struggle for recognition of all that our civilization represses or oppresses." This holds true from James Whale's 1931 Frankenstein to the films of David Cronenberg. Haunted houses, sinister children, monsters, murderers and the undead - there is something for everyone on this list. Prepare to unleash the repressed. And let us know if your favourite is not on this list. 

Let the Right One In

The Shining Exorcist
Diabolique Rosemary's Baby

Let the Right One In (2008, Sweden) dir Tomas Alfredson. Based on the novel by John Ajvide Lindquist. Oscar, a bullied 12-year-old boy makes friends with Eli, a young female vampire. It's a moving (and terrifying) story of two outsiders finding each other. Still thirsty for blood? Try Nosferatu or Vampyr, or the Universal films with Bela Lugosi. 

The Shining (1980, UK/USA) dir Stanley Kubrick. Misunderstood when first released, Kubrick's film is now recognized as a masterpiece of the genre. Hotel hallways will never look the same. Keep your eyes peeled for the paintings by Canadian artist Alex Colville. The documentary Room 237 explores the film's symbolism. Based on Stephen King's novel

The Exorcist (1973, USA) dir Willam Friedkin. Based on William Blatty's novel about a 12-year old girl's demonic possession, this film tested the boundaries for graphic horror and spawned many 'demonic child' films, including The Omen

Diabolique (1955, France) dir Henri-Georges Clouzot. A meek schoolteacher plots to kill her abusive husband by enlisting the help of his mistress, played by a smokin' hot Simone Signoret. The plot twist will keep you up at night.  

Rosemary's Baby (1968, USA) dir Roman Polanski. Based on Ira Levin's novel. A pregnant newlywed (Mia Farrow) suspects something is wrong with her unborn child and that her creepy husband may be responsible. Farrow got served divorce papers on the set by Frank Sinatra who reportedly didn't want her to take the role. Cinematographer William A. Fraker explains why this film terrifies in the documentary, Visions of Light

Psycho The Host Nightmare on Elm Street Haunting Devil's Backbone

Psycho (1960, USA) dir Alfred Hitchcock. Critically-acclaimed as one of the best American films of all time, Psycho broke boundaries with its editing, performances, music, and mise-en-scène. The best book ever about Hitchcock?  Hitchcock's Films Revisited by the late, great Robin Wood.

The Host (2006, South Korea) dir Bong Joon-ho. A monster, born of toxic waste, lurks in the Han River and kidnaps a young girl. Both poignant and frightening, this film premiered at Cannes to great critical acclaim. 

Nightmare on Elm Street (1984, USA) dir Wes Craven. Freddy Krueger, a disfigured spirit armed with razored gloves, kills teenagers via their dreams. Watch for a chubby-cheeked Johnny Depp in his first film role. The 2014 documentary, Never Sleep Again, goes behind the scenes of this enduring franchise. 

The Haunting (1963, UK) dir Robert Wise. Based on Shirley Jackson's novel, The Haunting of Hill House. A group of people stay at a haunted house to study its paranormal activity. 50 years after its release, this film still terrifies. Keep your eyes on that bedroom doorknob. 

The Devil's Backbone (2001, Spain/Mexico) dir Guillermo del Toro. Carlos, an abandoned child living in an orphanage during the Spanish Civil War, sees terrifying visions of a ghostly child. By the director of Pan's Labyrinth.  

Halloween Innocents The Evil Dead Changling Don't Look Now

Halloween (1978, USA) dir John Carpenter. Around Halloween, ringtones everywhere change to this ominous theme song, composed and performed by Carpenter. A murderer escapes from an asylum, returns to his old neighbourhood and slices up hormonal teens. Best jump scares ever - and features an intelligent heroine played by a young Jamie Lee Curtis. Steadicam technology becomes a staple of the horror film. 

The Innocents (1961, UK) dir Jack Clayton. Based on Henry James classic novella, The Turn of the Screw, Deborah Kerr is luminous in this ghostly psychological tale about a governess and her sinister charges, Miles and Flora. Fun fact: Truman Capote worked on the screenplay. 

The Evil Dead (1981, USA) dir Sam Raimi. A low-budget horror film about students accidently unleashing demons while vacationing in the woods. Its gore, sense of humour, and ironic performances turned it into a cult classic and spawned sequels, a comic book and a stage musical

The Changeling (1980, Canada/US) dir Peter Medak. After losing his family in a car accident, a man moves into a isolated Victorian mansion where he is visited by the ghost of an extremely angry child. Filmed in Canada, this won the first Genie for Best Canadian film. 

Don't Look Now (1973, UK/Italy) dir Nicolas Roeg. A couple moves to Venice after the accidental drowning of their young daughter. Grief turns to dread as they catch glimpses of a little girl following them. Donald Sutherland and Julie Harris appear in an extremely athletic sex scene (shocking for the time) in this exploration of death and grieving. Based on Daphne Du Maurier's short story. 

Black Christmas 28 Days Later The Ring Night of the Living Dead American Werewolf in London

Black Christmas (1974, Canada) dir Bob Clark. Filmed at the University of Toronto in Annesley Hall, with Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder, John Saxon, and Andrea Martin. The Dubious Achievment Award goes to the Great White North for making the first slasher film (after Psycho, of course). The terrifying phone call becomes a staple of horror films. 

28 Days Later (2002, UK) dir Danny Boyle. A seminal film of the zombie film renaissance, this post-apocalyptic nightmare was shot in Picadilly Circus and Oxford Street. With Cillian ("Spooky Eyes") Murphy and Christopher Eccleston.

Night of the Living Dead (1968, USA) dir George Romero. Romero delves into the dark recesses of the American psyche and offers scathing political commentary in his zombie series (the sequels are good too, if not better). Birth of the Living Dead is a documentary on the making of this cult classic. 

The Ring (2002, USA) dir Gore Verbinksi. What's that I hear? The shrieks of purists faithful to Hideo Nakata's 1998 Japanese film, Ringu? Sadly, Ringu is currently unavailable, and it is a fact that excellent Asian horror films are regularly remade for North American audiences. Nonetheless, this tale of a lethal video has its moments. Even scarier is having younger audiences ask "What is a video cassette?" 

American Werewolf in London (1981, USA/UK) dir John Landis. Two American students are backpacking in the British moors when they are attacked by a werewolf. One dies and the other...well. The film achieved cult status with its in-jokes and special effects. The early 80s was a hot time for werewolf films which included Joe Dante's The Howling.

And speaking of John Landis and werewolves, re-visit Michael Jackson's Thriller video. (Heads up: some scary images and some pretty intense dance moves...) 

Canadian Opera Company Talk: Don Giovanni

October 24, 2014 | Muriel | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...


 Canadian Opera Company Talk:

Don Giovanni

Wednesday, November 19, 7:00 p.m.

North York Central Library Auditorium

Come and join Wayne Gooding, editor of Opera Canada magazine, as he delves into Mozart's Don Giovanni, which will be presented by the Canadian Opera Company this winter.  The Canadian Opera Company's new production is directed by one of opera's most talked-about young directors, Dmitri Tcherniakov, whose The Metropolitan Opera in HD staging of Prince Igor recently wowed audiences worldwide.

           Don Giovanni DVD          Opera Canada          Don Giovanni           

      An Introduction to Mozart Don Giovanni              Opera Viva

 Be sure to visit NAXOS, the online music library available through Toronto Public Library, and listen to great music spanning medieval to modern - classical, jazz, electronic, world music and more, and find expert educational content.   


Got the Fever? /ɪˈlɛkʃən/ Fever?

October 20, 2014 | Ann | Comments (2) Facebook Twitter More...

Elections - City of Toronto website
Image courtesy of The City of Toronto website

Defining Election

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the general definition for the word election, (pronounced "ɪˈlɛkʃən") is as follows,

The formal choosing of a person for an office, dignity, or position of any kind; usually by the votes of a constituent body. (retrieved from on October 5, 2014)

On Monday, October 27, 2014, the polls will open and the people of the City of Toronto will have the opportunity to select a new mayor, a councillor to represent each of the 44 City Wards, and 3 school trustees during this municipal election.   A full list of election candidates is available for your perusal.

The link to where to vote is conveniently located on the ballot box below.

  MyVote link to search for your Ward #, ward map location, voting eligibility, ballot samples used, and voting locations

Image: (License: CC0 Public Domain / FAQ  Free for commercial use / No attribution required)


"Election Fever" with Guest Speaker, Edward Keenan

Prior to the official election date, North York Central Library is offering a program on Thursday, October 23, 2014 from 7 pm to 8 pm in the Concourse. 

The program is called, Election Fever: Exploring What Makes Our City Great with guest speaker, Edward Keenan who is currently involved in several notable professions including working as a columnist for The Toronto Star and as a talk show host at Newstalk radio 1010.   Please register by calling (416) 395-5660 to reserve a seat.


Edward Keenan programs and booksImage Courtesy of Edward Keenan


Edward Keenan is also a writer and author of the recently released (2013) book, Some Great Idea:  Good Neighbourhoods, Crazy Politics and the Invention of Toronto.  The Toronto Public Library offers print and e-book versions for your reading pleasure.  


Some Great Idea: Good Neighbourhoods, Crazy Politics and the Invention of Toronto by Edward Keenan


Suggested Titles to Feed the Election Fever

Come visit the Society and Recreation Department on the 3rd floor.  We have an excellent display of intriguing titles on social and political science encompassing Canada as well as specific books and magazines on Toronto.


Society & Recreation Department Display October 2014


As the energy for the upcoming municipal election reaches fever pitch, voters may also want to glance through resources pertaining to elections, votes, and political choices in Canada:

Dynasties and interludes: past and present in Canadian electoral politics by Lawrence LeDuc   Dominance & decline: making sense of recent Canadian elections by Elisabeth Gidengil Voting behaviour in Canada Fights of our lives: elections, leadership and the making of Canada by John Duffy
Parties, elections, and the future of Canadian politics by Amanda Bittner and Royce Koop Steps toward making every vote count: electoral system reform in Canada and its provinces by Henry Milner Making political choices: Canada and the United States by Harold D. Clarke The Canadian election studies: assessing four decades of influence by Antoine Bilodeau, Mebs Kanji, and Thomas J. Scotto


Enjoy the program, cultivate your knowledge with the best resources available, and select the most suitable candidates to serve the people of the City.

Canadian women win the right to vote...

October 15, 2014 | Aleks | Comments (2) Facebook Twitter More...

The month of October is celebrated as Women's History Month!

The Toronto Daily Star- Canadian women win right to senate seats

Less then a hundred years ago, women were finally given the right to vote in a Dominion election. This was put into effect on January 1, 1919. Canada had held its first federal election where women were allowed to vote and run for Parliament in 1921. After this monumental achievement, women's groups started lobbying the federal government to appoint a woman to the Senate. The Government argued that only "qualified persons" could be appointed. The Act used the word "he" when referring to the individual, which some interpreted to mean that only men could legally be "persons". Emily Murphy of Edmonton, Alberta experienced this first hand in 1916 when on her first day of court, a defendant's lawyer challenged one of her rulings as a judge saying that she was not a "person" and did not qualified to act as a judge. 

Mass meeting for women You ask why we women Votes for women
Above images are from the Toronto Public Library Digital Archive collection.

It was only on October 18, 1929 that Canadian women were legally recognized as "persons". The date was declared "Persons Day" in Canada to mark the victory for equal rights. The success of this event comes from the ambition, the networking and the determination of The Famous Five. The group comprised of five relentless women: Emily Murphy, Henrietta Muir Edwards, Louise McKinney, Irene Parlby and Nellie McClung. 

Women are Persons statue Parliament of Canada
Photo courtesy of Parliament of Canada
1938 unveiling of a plaque commemorating the five Alberta women whose efforts resulted in the Persons Case, which established the rights of women to hold public office in Canada
Photo courtesy of Library and Archives Canada


This file is licensed under the Open Government Licence v1.0

Advocating for women's rights has been an ongoing battle ever since. Many countries around the world are seeing people speaking out for gender equality, even at a price. One of the more recent and famous cases is of Malala Yousafzai who was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman two years ago on her way home from school. She stood up for her right to have an education in her home country of Pakistan. She received the Noble Peace Prize on October 10, 2014 for her work against suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education. Prime Minster Stephen Harper has announced that Malala will be coming to Canada on October 22, 2014 to receive a honorary Canadian Citizenship. 


On Saturday September 20, 2014, Emma Watson delivered a rousing speech about equal rights, gender stereotypes, and the meaning of feminism to promote the launch of a new U.N. Movement for Gender Equality campaign called HeForShe. In her speech she clarifies what women's rights stands for and corrects any misunderstandings. She calls the voices of both men and women in this fight because it is not just one gender's battle. It was quite shocking to listen as she eloquently stated that, "...sadly I can say that there is no one country in the world where all women can expect to receive these rights. No country in the world can yet say they have achieved gender equality." I believe that one of the great strengths of the public library is that it provides voices to all persons.



License  - Standard YouTube License

You can find the voices of many people willing to speak up regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation and more at the library. There are many strong voices out there and below are some books that are inspirational reads on women's struggles and triumphs in light of this month's celebration of Women's History.

A Thousand Splendid Suns A Woman Among Warlords- The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Who Dared to Raise Her Voice The good girls revolt - how the women of Newsweek sued their bosses and changed the workplace Mayada, Daughter of Iraq- One Woman's Survival Under Saddam Hussein I am Malala


Lean in - women, work, and the will to lead The Invention of Wings A vindication of the rights of woman Infidel Half the sky - turning oppression into opportunity for women worldwide

Great Art Series Talk: "Below the Surface: Paul Kane's First Brush"

October 10, 2014 | Muriel | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

 Great Art Series Talk:

"Below the Surface: Paul Kane's First Brush"

Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.

North York Central Library Auditorium



Infrared reflectography makes visible the underpaintings that an artist may have rendered during the initial development of a painting - the artist's first brush.  New research using infrared reflectography - that recorded the entire Paul Kane collection at the Royal Ontario Museum - exposed Canadian artist Paul Kane's thinking during his studio period revealing his sense of art and documentation, the development of his aesthetic values, his reponse to patronage pressure, and his steadfastness to a realized vision. 

Speaker: Kenneth R. Lister, Assistant Curator of Anthropology, Department of World Cultures, Royal Ontario Museum

You can visit the Royal Ontario Museum for free with a
Sun Life Financial Museum + Arts Pass.

The First Brush Paul Kane and Infrared Reflectography      Paul Kane the Artist Wilderness to Studio      Wanderings of an Artist Among the Indians of North America


Get Real: Great Documentaries on DVD

October 6, 2014 | Viveca | Comments (6) Facebook Twitter More...

Prefer your cinema....vérité? Hundreds of great documentaries are available from the Toronto Public Library. While feature films hog the spotlight, documentaries shine the spotlight on their subjects, presenting a version of reality that will entertain, enlighten, and on occasion, even enrage you. Check out the large collection available at the North York Central Library. Here's a choice selection:

20 Feet From Stardom Joan Rivers A Piece of Work Searching For Sugerman Man on Wire Being Elmo

20 Feet From Stardom: Winner of the 2013 Oscar for Best Documentary, Morgan Neville's film honours the sublimely talented backup singers who performed with the biggest names in Motown and rock and roll. Watch Merry Clayton re-live the night the Rolling Stones got her out of bed to record Gimme Shelter. You will get chills listening to her haunting howl that made Mick holler out loud in the recording booth. 

Joan Rivers: A Piece of WorkThe late, great Joan Rivers as you have never seen her before. Ms Rivers walks us through the serious business of comedy and the reality of being an (older) female comic. Directed by Riki Stern and Anne Sundberg. Highly recommended. 

Searching For Sugar Man: Swedish director Malik Bendjelloul follows fans in search of an enigmatic musician, Sixto Rodriguez, who may or may not be dead. This critically acclaimed film won many awards including an Oscar. Sadly, Bendjelloul committed suicide a year after the film's release. 

Man on WireThis Oscar-winning British documentary follows Phillipe Petit's 1974 (highly illegal) death-defying high wire walk between the doomed twin towers of the World Trade Centre. You have to see it to believe it. 

Being ElmoKevin Clash's talent for puppeteering at a young age caught the eye of Jim Henson, the Muppets' creator. Clash went on to invent Elmo, a furry red monster with a high voice. Clash became separated forever from his beloved creation when he left Sesame Street after ongoing controversy in his personal life. Also available in eVideo.

Boxing Girls of Kabul The World Before Her Narco Cultura When Jews Were Funny Blackfish

The Boxing Girls of KabulCanadian director Ariel Nasr examines the challenges faced by an extraordinary group of young female boxers in Afghanistan who hope to represent their country one day at the Olympics. 

The World Before Her: A Canadian documentary about two young Indian women on two very different paths: one is vying to be Miss India, the other trains to join a Hindu nationalist group. Directed by Nisha Pahuja, this film won Best Canadian Feature at the Hot Docs Film Festival. 

Narco CulturaThis film directed by Shaul Schwarz explores the phenomenon of Mexican drug lords glorified in local pop culture via narcocorrido music. More Breaking Bad than Bieber, these 'heroes' are truly terrifying.

When Jews Were Funny: Canadian filmmaker Alan Zweig tells the story of Jewish comedians from the Borscht Belt to present day. Be prepared to laugh your kishkas off watching interviews and performances from the best in the biz. 

BlackfishThis film investigates killer whales in captivity. Focusing on Tilikum, an orca at Seaworld who had killed humans, this film is a passionate defense for exploited marine life. It has also caused waves in many industries - Pixar re-wrote the ending of its upcoming sequel to Finding Nemo because of this film.

Gasland Glickman I am Divine A Brony Tale Into the Abyss

Gasland: Director and activist Josh Fox investigates the environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Winner of the Sundance Special Jury Prize, Fox has since released Gasland Part 2

Glickman: The story of the great Jesse Owens' experience at the 1936 Olympics under Hitler is well-known.  Less known is the story of Owens' teammate, Marty Glickman. Glickman, along with another Jewish-American athlete, was pulled from the team the day before his event. Owens protested, to no avail. Glickman went on to become a major figure in sports broadcasting. 

I am Divine: the Story of the Most Beautiful Woman in the World: Director Jeffrey Schwarz traces the life of the legendary Divine.  Born in Baltimore, Harris Glenn Milstead transformed from a bullied outsider to a trailblazing singer, actor and drag queen performer. 

A Brony Tale: Ashleigh Ball, a Canadian voice actor for the cartoon My Little Pony, finds herself an Internet star with legions of adoring fans. Not unusual - except that her fans are mostly Bronies, the male adult fans of the pretty pastel toy ponies. For more on this, watch Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony.

Into the Abyss - A Tale of Life, A Tale of DeathOne never expects films from renowned German filmmaker Werner Herzog to be fluffy.  And indeed, this film is no exception. Interviews with convicted murderer Michael Perry eight days before his execution, with the victim's family, and with law enforcement officials, make this a powerful exploration of the death penalty in the U.S. 

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