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Changes Coming in January to Some Key Canadian Magazines

October 11, 2016 | Carrie | Comments (0)


Maclean's Sportsnet
Canadian business FLARE


Rogers Media announced that it will be significantly reducing its print magazine publications -- with some titles shifting to online only content. Starting in January, Flare, Sportsnet, MoneySense and Canadian Business will cease print publication completely and become exclusively online publications.  Other titles will see their print frequency scaled back significantly.

Maclean's, Canada's weekly current affairs magazine that was founded over a century ago, will become a monthly print publication. Chatelaine and Today's Parent will both be published six times a year, down from the current 12.

Declining print revenue from reduced ad sales and subscribers was cited as the main reason behind this overhaul. In a released statement, Steve Maich, senior vice-president of digital content and publishing at Rogers Media stated "It's been clear for some time now that Canadians are moving from print to digital, and our job is to keep pace with the changes our audiences are demanding."

A number of magazines have recently announced they will halt print publication. More magazine, a lifestyle magazine aimed at women over 40, ceased print publication with its April issue and was recently redesigned as Mental Floss, a trivia and fun learning magazine, announced that its November - December issue will be its last in print as it shifts to an exclusively digital platform. 


Looking for Life in the Cosmos

April 18, 2016 | Jane | Comments (0)

Let’s grapple for a moment with another of the universe’s eternal puzzles. Is there life elsewhere, besides here on earth? Neil deGrasse Tyson at NASA says that “most astrophysicists accept a high probability of there being life elsewhere in the universe, if not on other planets or on moons within our own solar system. The numbers are, well, astronomical: If the count of planets in our solar system is not unusual, then there are more planets in the universe than the sum of all sounds and words ever uttered by every human who has ever lived. To declare that Earth must be the only planet in the cosmos with life would be inexcusably egocentric of us.”

When astronomers and astrophysicists ask this question of themselves, a strategy is to identify celestial bodies that have conditions similar to those we know here on earth. There’s some clear logic to this. There is also plenty of hard work that goes into pinning down the hard science. It isn’t reasonable to send someone to find out . . . so instead scientists build extraordinary telescopes like the Hubble, the Spitzer and the James Webb. These can identify planets or moons that are the right distance from stars to allow for the presence of liquid water, one of the key necessities for life, at least for life as we currently understand it. It’s complicated. But Dr. Michael Reid of the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at University of Toronto will be on hand next week to explain some of it.

Life in the Cosmos

Tue Apr 26, 2016

7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


North York Central Library, Auditorium

5120 Yonge Street


This program is a part of the Thought Exchange series. Take a ride into the final frontier . . .                                                                                                               

 Hubble'sAmazingRescue  SpaceStarsandtheBeginningofTime  400YearsoftheTelescope Gravity's Engines

  AYearIntheLifeoftheUniverse  Hubble'sUniverse  HubbletheYearsofDiscovery 

Life in space  TheCosmos  TheHubbleCosmos  TheLastoftheGreatObservatories    

TelescopeHuntingtheEdgeofSpace  TheUniverseThroughtheEyesofHubble  HubbleImagingSpaceandTime Thelivingcosmos

Biggs the Fig Pig

April 4, 2016 | Jane | Comments (0)

Mr. Stephen Biggs is a self-described fig pig.Stephen Biggs He seems to have been born to the role, suited as his name is to his vocation (at least if you like rhymes). But what is it that draws a man to a fruit tree with such passion and commitment? 

He isn't alone, as it turns out, and the thing that holds the rest of us back is our impression that a fig will not grow in our Toronto climate. Biggs will set us straight on this score when he’s here at North York Central Library to give a talk about all kinds of fig trees  – how to propagate them, how to prune them, how to keep them alive over Toronto winters.


North York Central Library (5120 Yonge Street)
Room 2/3
Tues April 12, 7-8 pm


While fresh figs taste wonderful with just a bit of honey over them, or maybe with a dollop of ice cream, you may have more elaborate plans for yours, once you have them in backyard abundance.  

 Grow Figs Sweet Middle East Roast Figs Sugar Snow  A Platter of Figs

Some more tips for growing fruit trees:

Growing Fruit Trees Holistic Orcharding Home Orchard Handbook Growing Organic Orchard Fruits

Store-wide Half Price Sale at Book Ends in NYCL

November 16, 2015 | Ann | Comments (0)

image from
Courtesy of geralt at Pixelbay. License: CC0 Public Domain / FAQ Free for commercial use / No attribution required

The festive season is arriving. Do you have enough books to read and share through the holidays? Do you love finding exciting and rare titles? Do you want to buy as many books for as little money as possible?    



Photo courtesy of the Toronto Public Library


 The Friends of Toronto Public Library, North Chapter

is hosting an amazing store-wide half-price three-day sale of their books with prices ranging from:

$0.25 to $0.50

(blue-dot, special-priced books excepted) 

This sale is at the Book Ends store which is located on the Concourse Level at the North York Central Library--which is located underneath (one floor below) the library's main entrance.  


SALE HOURS run from 10 am to 4 pm on:

  • Thursday, November 19, 2015
  • Friday, November 20, 2015
  • Saturday, November 21, 2015


North York Central Library, Concourse Level, 5120 Yonge Street, Toronto


Please bring your own bag. Cash only. No exchange or refund.  


Once you have completed our Book Ends Sale in the North, five days later there will be another Book Ends sale in the South region (from November 26th to November 28th) at The Toronto Reference Library.  

Bill V.'s blog, The Best Christmas Present Ever... provides the details of their big Book Ends sale on great reads and gift giving suggestions.

Also don't forget to follow us on Twitter @bookendsnorth and on Facebook for our weekly sales.

Toronto's New Poet Laureate and a Super Fun Poet Laureate Quiz

November 6, 2015 | Maureen | Comments (2)

Change is in the air, Torontonians! A new Prime Minister has been sworn in, and Toronto's current Poet Laureate will soon pass the torch to…wait, hold that drum roll. Before I introduce our new Poet Laureate, take my super fun poet laureate quiz!

  1. Who was Toronto's first poet laureate (from 2001-2004). Clue: He made a certain type of reptilian pie famous among Canadian children and their parents.
  2. Alligator Pie Civil Elegies Yesno Nightwatch

    Answer: Give yourself a gold star if your answer was Dennis Lee, who penned the classic children's poem Alligator Pie, and lots of poetry for grownups too.

  3. How many poet laureates has Toronto had?
    1. 2
    2. 17
    3. 4
    4. 9

    Answer: Not including the incoming poet laureate, whose name shall be revealed at the end of this post, Toronto has had four poet laureates.

  4. What are the duties of the Poet Laureate of Toronto?
    1. Write poetry about the city, and read it on important occasions
    2. Compete in poetry smack downs with poet laureates of other cities
    3. Come up with a unique project for our fair city
    4. Promote the literary arts

    Answer: There are two correct answers, c and d.

    The Poet Laureate of Toronto must be given the opportunity to write according to the City of Toronto website. But, unlike Canada's Parliamentary Poet Laureate, who may be called upon to write poems to mark important occasions, Toronto's Poet Laureate is not expected to crank out verse about the Big Smoke. Maybe this is a good thing -- if you think poetry should be inspired, not required. As the city's literary ambassador, the Poet Laureate of Toronto promotes the literary arts. But their most interesting duty, in my opinion, is the realization of a unique legacy project for the city.

  5. Which Canadian poet did Dennis Lee help immortalize in statue? Clue: The statue is at the north-east corner of Queen's Park.
  6. Al Purdy statue
    Photo: City of Toronto website.
    Answer: Al Purdy, often thought of as Canada's first national poet.

    The statue of Purdy, entitled Voice of the Land, was created by husband and wife sculptors Edwin and Veronica Dam de Nogales. (Others who had a hand in the project: Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Sam Solecki and Scott Griffin, founder of the Griffin Poetry Prize.)

  7. Who is Toronto's outgoing poet laureate?
    1. Margaret Atwood
    2. Laura Lush
    3. Molly Peacock
    4. Sky Gilbert
    5. George Elliott Clarke
    6. Dionne Brand
    7. Alison Pick

    Answer: Annoyed at me for such a long list of choices? That was to stop your cheating eyes from jumping straight to the answer: George Elliott Clarke. I tried to blow your eyes out with Margaret Atwood's name and then dazzle you with the fabulous names Lush, Peacock and Sky. (Those three writers should collaborate on something, don't you think? I want to see that sublime combination on a book cover or a law firm.)

  8. During George Elliott Clarke's poet laureateship, he collaborated with the Toronto Public Library on a fantastic project. What is the project? Clue: It is poetical, digital and geographical, all at the same time!
  9. Answer: The Toronto Poetry Map, which helps you locate poetry written about or inspired by particular locations in Toronto.

  10. True or False: If most excellent poet and frequent CBC radio contributor Lorna Crozier, pride of Swift Current, Saskatchewan, now living on Vancouver Island, wrote poetry about Toronto, she could be nominated to be Toronto's Poet Laureate.
  11. Answer: That's a big negatory. Sorry for the trucker slang -- just trying to make it harder for you to cheat. I'm running a clean Poet Laureate quiz here! To be nominated as Toronto's Poet Laureate, a poet's body of work must include poetry about Toronto subjects, AND the poet must live in Toronto. Sorry Lorna, no matter how many odes you compose in praise of TO, you're out of the running, unless you care to leave that boring mild weather behind and move to The Six.

  12. Which of the following Canadian cities does NOT have a poet laureate?
    1. Sackville, New Brunswick
    2. Barrie, Ontario
    3. Montreal, Quebec
    4. Edmonton, Alberta
    5. New Westminster, British Columbia

Answer:  The only city above that does not have a poet laureate is Montreal! I was as shocked as you are! What's up with that, Montreal? You have such a storied literary history. Irving Layton paced your enchanted streets, Leonard Cohen brooded on your small mountain. If Sackville New Brunswick and Barrie Ontario have poet laureates, why don't you?

The poet laureate quiz has concluded. How did you do? You can bring back that drum roll now.

Toronto's new Poet Laureate is Anne Michaels. Her first book of poetry, The Weight of Oranges, won the 1986 Commonwealth Prize for the Americas. Miner's Pond, her second book of poetry, was nominated for the Governor General's Award. Her most recent work of poetry, Correspondences, was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize in 2014. Anne Michaels is also a critically acclaimed novelist. Fugitive Pieces, her first novel, won numerous awards, including the prestigious Orange Prize for Fiction. She followed Fugitive pieces with the novel The Winter Vault, which was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2009. I look forward to seeing what our new Poet Laureate's unique legacy project for the city of Toronto will be.

Here's the complete list of Toronto's Poet Laureates:

Dennis Lee, 2001-2004.
Pier Giorgio Di Cicco, 2004-2009.
Dionne Brand, 2009-2012.
George Elliott Clarke, 2012-2015.
Anne Michaels, 2015-

The weight of oranges - Miner's pond Correspondences - a poem Skin divers

I'll leave you with a couple of lines from a poem in Dionne Brand's book Thirsty, which is about the city. Maybe you can relate. I know I can.

Look it's like this, I'm just like the rest,
limping across the city, flying when I can

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!

Got the Fever? /ɪˈlɛkʃən/ Fever?

October 20, 2014 | Ann | Comments (2)

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.

Get Real: Great Documentaries on DVD

October 6, 2014 | Viveca | Comments (6)

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. 

Related links:

New science and technology books for summer reading

June 27, 2014 | Carolyn | Comments (0)

In summer many of us have more time to read, so I'd like to highlight some recently published books about science and technology available at the North York Central Library.

People often want to read something lighter in summer, so I've selected books that are suitable for a hammock or the beach. Books about science and technology don't have to be heavy going!

All of these books piqued my interest and I've added a few to my own summer reading list. I hope you'll feel the same way and give one - or more - a try. Many are available in a variety of formats for your summer reading convenience.


book and eBook   Book, eBook and eAudiobook

More than a history of the Internet; scholar and technology blogger Naughton also provides an overview of the technology and its social and economic implications.


Examines the mathematical principles that explain everything from sports statistics to lotteries to show how math is relevant to our everyday lives.


book and eAudiobook   book

A look at the science of probability, using anecdotes and real life examples to illustrate how unlikely occurrences are more common than we might think.


  McGill professor Schwarcz separates truth from fiction in the barrage of science and health information published every day.
book, eBook and eAudiobook   Book and eBook

A history of Einstein's general theory of relativity and the debate it has ignited, which continues to the present day.


According to the author, "Our history with alcohol is our history on earth, a history of humans becoming modern, tool-using, technology-making creatures".


Book and eBook   Book and eBook
Falk looks at scientific knowledge in Shakespeare's time and how it is reflected in his work.  

John Brockman of asked leading scientists and thinkers what worried them most. They reveal their concerns in these 150 short essays.


And finally:


The central question of this book is the following: if our civilization were to collapse tomorrow, what crucial knowledge would the survivors need to rebuild a modern, technological society as quickly as possible? The result is "a guide for rebooting the world". This premise provides the framework for a history of techology, focusing on the advances which have been most crucial to human development. Sounds cool!






Happy summer reading.


Books of Wonder, Books with "Wow!" Three Reasons to Visit the New IBBY Collection

March 24, 2014 | Deb | Comments (4)

Its full name is "The IBBY Collection of Books for Young People with Disabilities" -- that's it in the photo below, on the shelves directly under the sign -- but there are other words that best describe this one-of-a-kind resource: "Amazing!" "Fantastic!" and, yes, "Wow!"




As its official name indicates, this collection comes from IBBY, the International Board on Books for Young People. The IBBY collection features more than 3000 multilingual books in sign language, Braille, Blissymbolics, as well as cloth and tactile books and other formats -- all for and about children and teens with disabilities.

Until very recently, this reference collection was housed in a school near Oslo, Norway. Today, thanks to the efforts of many people on both sides of the Atlantic, you'll find this outstanding collection at North York Central Library, its new home, where it is already receiving lots of attention and accolades.

What's so special about this collection? And why should you see it for yourself? Here are three reasons to come and explore these books:

Reason One: You'll find titles from around the world about children and teen characters with disabilities -- all in one place.

If you're a local teacher or librarian, you can arrange a class visit to share these books with your students. You can also arrange the loan of a small kit of books to share with your class at school. Using these books in the classroom, and talking about them, is a terrific way to help children develop empathy for others and introduce them to different ways of seeing the world.


Leigh Turina  with IBBY book-1
Leigh Turina, Librarian in charge of the IBBY collection, shows "Petit Bleu and Petit Jaune," an oversize Braille and tactile edition of "Little Blue and Little Yellow" by Leo Lionni. This edition is published by Les Doigts Qui Revent.

Reason Two: The accessible formats of the books in this collection means that there are many ways to enjoy them and use them with children.

For example, you can use the sturdy, colorful picture books, many containing simple text or no text at all, with children who have developmental delays and learning disabilities. You can also use the same books with children who are learning English as a second language.


Leo Deckt den Tisch
"Leo Lays the Table" (in German: "Leo Deckt den Tisch") is a wordless picture book with vibrant colors, strong outlines, and a simple story that works well with young children who have visual disabilities. It was created by Christin Linder and Regula Stillhart and published by Edition Bentheim. Image credit: Edition Bentheim

Reason Three: You'll discover amazing examples of illustration and inspiring examples of craftsmanship in the one-of-a-kind and limited edition cloth and tactile books.

Books like the one in the photo below -- an imaginative retelling of Little Red Riding Hood that is unlike any version you've ever seen before -- are the ones that provoke a "Wow!" response, every time.

"Le Petit Chaperon" (known in English as "Little Red Riding Hood") is a tactile adaptation by Myriam Colin of the artistic book created by Warja Lavater. This accordion-style book uses colors, shapes, and textures to tell its story. It is published by Les Doigts Qui Revent. Image credit: Les Doigts Qui Revent.

Interested in learning more about The IBBY Collection of Books for Young People with Disabilities? You can find out more by clicking on the IBBY logo below:


Happy reading and browsing and be sure to let us know what you think!

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.