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Mad Cheddar: Personal Finance for Teens

February 6, 2017 | Erin | Comments (0)

No not this


cheddar cheese

We're talking about this

  funny cat bathing in money

February is Personal Finance Month: and it's not just for adults. If you're like me when I was a teenager, the mere thought of anything "financial" makes you yawn. Man do I wish I had known better! Money makes the world go round, for better or for worse, and understanding it is the key to either being in control of it, or letting it control you.

The library has a series of workshops and information sessions this month that are just for teens and youth. Come learn how to make it rain.

raining money

Money 101 

York Woods Library Youth Hub

Mon Feb 6

piggy bank5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

 

Get Cool About Cash 

Sanderson Library Youth Hub

Wed Feb 15

5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

 

Be Cent$ible

Sanderson Library Youth Hub

Tue Feb 28

4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

 


DINARII Financial Education Academy

calculatorCedarbrae Library Youth Hub

Mon Feb 27

4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

 

Moneyi$t in the Library

Cedarbrae Library Youth Hub

Tues Feb 21

4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

 

Check out the whole list of programs and workshops about personal financial for teens.

 

Can't make it out? Read up!

Sink or Swim Millionaire Teacher Pogues Basics Money Index Card


The Sink or Swim Money Program, by John E. Whitecomb (ebook)

Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School, by Andrew Hallam (ebook)

Money: essential tips and shortcuts (that no one bothers to tell you) about beating the system, by David Pogue (ebook)

The Index Card: Why Personal Finance Doesn't Have to Be Complicated, by Helaine Olen (ebook)

 

 

Your New Second Home: The Youth Hub

December 13, 2016 | Debbie | Comments (0)

Youth Hubs
Arts and crafts, DJing and a Photoshop creation at a Youth Hub, but that's not all!

Teens visiting the Toronto Public Library Youth Hubs have so many good things to say about their experiences, it's hard to know who to quote first!

Jasmine really got to the heart of it when she said, "I like coming here cuz all my friends are here."

Then Nick said, "When I come here, it feels like I have meaning."

For Diyn, "The Youth Hub has progressively become my second home."

Sounds pretty amazing. But, what is a Youth Hub anyway?

Thyrone explains: "I come here because you get to do things you want with your friends instead of going home after school. And the workers here help with my school work and resume."

Hakan describes the Youth Hub like this: "Great environment to talk to people and make friends. I get to learn from staff, try new activities, get free snacks, and have a good time."

So, we've got friends, homework help, workshops, activities and snacks. Did anyone mention video games yet?

Better quote Stefan: "I like coming to the Hub because I can play PS4, get free food, and people help me with my homework."

Joel is a fan too: "Thank you for bringing out the video games!"

Alright, what happens if you go to a Youth Hub all the time? Zavier breaks it down for us: "The positive experience I gained from the Hub was I got to meet new people and become more responsible. At first, I did not have many friends but then I gained a lot more by being in the Hub. It made me more social and more outgoing within my community. This was my personal experience gained from coming to the Hub every day."

3D Printer Certification
Getting 3D Printer certified at a Youth Hub

Basically, Youth Hubs run in the library after school as a safe space for all youth. People spend time doing homework with tutors, hanging out, playing board or video games, and planning and participating in events, programs and workshops. Many of the activities make use of the technology that the Youth Hub owns, including laptops, cameras, green screens, Arduino kits and DJ equipment.

What else do you need to know? Follow the link for a list of the branches that have a Youth Hub space and their hours. If you have questions or would like to join, email: youthhubs@torontopubliclibrary.ca, or phone the branch where the Youth Hub is located.

There are also opportunities to become a volunteer for this program.

The last word on Youth Hubs should go to Ajani: "Leadership, equality, respect, good advice and fun."

Or Jacob: "I always feel safe here."

See you soon at the Youth Hub!

Volunteer Hours: Tell TPL Teen Consultation

October 13, 2016 | Debbie | Comments (0)

Join a group of teens on November 5th for two hours and tell us what you think about the library and our digital services. All participants will receive volunteer hours for participation and transit assistance is available. Your input will help shape how the library serves teens and the opportunity is a unique experience to put on your resume.

Teen Zone Toronto Public LibraryAny person between 13 and 19 years old living in Toronto is eligible. You don't need a library card, but if you are a regular library user that is great too. Feel free to sign up with a few friends and make an afternoon of it!

Who?

Teens aged 13-19 who live in Toronto. Library users and non-users are welcome.

What?

Tell TPL Teen Consultation: a two hour session where the library asks participants to share their experiences in small groups.

When?

Saturday November 5th, 2016, 2:30-4:30 p.m.

Where?

Northern District static map

Northern District Branch
Room 200
40 Orchard View Boulevard
Toronto, ON

 

 

 

Why?

Help the library develop excellent services for youth, develop experience participating in a consultation event and earn volunteer hours.

How?

Add your name to our list by registering online, and we'll see you in person on November 5th!

 

DeMarre Carroll Promotes Comic and Gives Advice

September 29, 2016 | Debbie | Comments (0)

DeMarre Carroll Guardians of the Galaxy

This month teens were on hand to hear financial tips from the Toronto Raptors' DeMarre Carroll and receive a free copy of the new Marvel comic, Guardians of the Galaxy: Rocket’s Powerful Plan, provided by Visa. The comic combines Marvel’s iconic Super Heroes with Visa’s financial literacy expertise on important money management concepts. The story has tips about managing money, a topic that DeMarre Carroll really cares about. He believes in hard work, both on the court and in the community. At the event, he had this tip for being successful:

"In order to get what you want to get in life, do what you want to do in life, and become who you want to be in life, finance is the biggest thing, so learning at an early age is very, very important."

The earlier you can learn the skills of being successful with money and figure out how to put these skills into practice, the better. But there are so many things to learn. How do you know what you really need? What about getting a job, living on a budget and saving your money? Where can you go to for good advice? If you have questions like these, you're not alone and that's why the library offers finance programs just for youth. It's just the kind of thing DeMarre says would have helped him:

"I wish when I was younger I would have had somebody speaking to me, telling me to save my money and get ready for the real world of finance. I wouldn't have made some of the boneheaded mistakes I made when I first got in the NBA."


Stay tuned for more information about upcoming library programs geared toward helping you be successful in life and smart with your money. In the mean time, head over to your local library to get your hands on a copy of Guardians of the Galaxy: Rocket’s Powerful Plan, free to borrow with your library card, and check out some of the recommended reads we've pulled together below to get you started.

How Not To Move Back Saving for School Index Card

 

 

 

Whats On @ the library August 22nd - August 28th

August 22, 2016 | Cameron | Comments (0)

Events_programsHi All! Looking for some fun and exciting things to do this summer? Keep any eye on the TPL Teens Summer Edition page all summer long, as we got you covered on the events taking place at the Toronto Pubic Library for Youth.

To kick things off, take a look at What's On at the Library from August 22nd-August 28th

Continue reading "Whats On @ the library August 22nd - August 28th " »

Write Like You Mean It - and Change the World!

August 12, 2016 | Ken Sparling | Comments (0)

 Kristyn-Dunnion-photo-by-Joanne-McArthur croppedIf you missed last night's Young Voices writing workshop at Toronto Reference Library with author Kristyn Dunnion, have no fear... Kristyn will be back to do three more workshops, including one tomorrow, Saturday, August 13!

You can go to any or all of them, they're free, and you can just show up!

Last night, Kristyn asked workshop participants, "If you could change one thing on the planet, what would it be?

Check out some of the answers she got:

Continue reading "Write Like You Mean It - and Change the World!" »

The Before I Die Project

August 8, 2016 | YAG Facilitator | Comments (0)

Before-I-Die-book-coverby The Northern District branch Youth Advisory Group

Have you heard of the Before I Die project? 

It is a project initiated by artist Candy Chang in New Orleans in the period after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city, a project that sought to get people thinking about their hopes and dreams for the future. This project was a huge success and went viral, spawning walls in cities all around the world. 

Our YAG decided as a group to do this project this year for our summer project. We've installed a wall of black paper panels stenciled with lines like the original, and put up signs letting the community know that this was an interactive installation, and that we hoped they would add their own dreams and bucket list items, and take a look at what others are wishing for. We started with this: 

Continue reading "The Before I Die Project" »

What's On @ the Library - August 8-13th

August 8, 2016 | Monica | Comments (0)

Check out all the cool things happening at the Toronto Public Library this week, from the art of filmmaking to designing your very own video game!

Continue reading "What's On @ the Library - August 8-13th " »

Volunteering with Cyber Seniors

August 7, 2016 | YAG Facilitator | Comments (2)

Post by Connor, Northern District Branch

Reading View. Alt Shift A for Accessibility Help.

CyberseniorsCyber Seniors is a new program taking place in certain Toronto Public Library locations. The goal of the program is to help teach seniors how to make better use of new technologies, primarily computers. The program takes an individual approach by assigning each senior a ‘mentor’ (teen volunteer) to work with.

Continue reading "Volunteering with Cyber Seniors" »

What's On @ the Library : August 1 - 7

August 1, 2016 | Christine | Comments (0)

Happy Simcoe Day, everyone! I hope you are all enjoying your August long weekend, and doing lots of fun stuff with your friends. Speaking of fun, here is a list of some more great programs happening at the Toronto Public Library this week:

  1. Comics Jam!
    Tuesday August 2 and Wednesday August 3, 1:00 pm - 3:00pm

    at the Lillian H. Smith Branch
    Can't stop drawing? Join us for a two day comics jam! Sign up for Tuesday or Wednesday and unleash your fury of creativity on paper. With comic artist Rebecca Roher from the Centre for Cartoon Studies. For ages 13 - 20. Register in branch or by calling 416-393-7746

  2. Teen DJ Workshop with Scratch Lab
    Tuesday August 2, 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
    at the Malvern Branch
    Join Scratch Lab for a workshop that examines basic DJ Techniques as well as the evolution of mp3 software in the DJing world. The workshop will consist of a 2 hour info session where everyone will learn the basics of how to mix, match and scratch records, just like the pro DJs. Come out and join the fun and "Get Schooled" with Scratch Lab. Ages 13 - 19. Registration required, please call 416-396-8969 or visit Malvern Branch for details.

  3. Garden Club
    Tuesday August 2, 5:00 pm - 5:30 pm at the S. Walter Stewart Branch
    Get your hands dirty and join the S. Walter Stewart Youth Advisory Group as they plant, grow, and maintain the Library's Flower Garden. Drop-in. Teens 13 - 18. Meet outside the S. Walter Stewart Auditorium to collect tools and plants. For more information contact the branch at 416-396-3975.

  4. Teen Gaming Tournament
    Wednesday August 3, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
    at the Evelyn Gregory Branch
    Whether you're an experienced gamer or just looking to learn a few new tricks, our Teen Gaming Tournaments are sure to be a blast. Drop in to the library and challenge your friends to a game of Mortal Kombat or NBA2K. Maybe you'll even end up on our Gaming Wall of Fame. Prizes for the winners.

  5. Kerbal Space Program
    Thursday August 04 - Tuesday Aug 09, 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
    at the Fort York Branch
    Start your own space program and reach to the stars! Kerbal Space Program is an award winning game that teaches players real-world physics and engineering skills as they attempt to explore the Kerbal solar system. This multi day program will start out with a tutorial, and then attempt a mission to the moon or even another planet.
    For more information: https://kerbalspaceprogram.com/en/?page_id=7
    For tweens and teens aged 11-16 yrs. Registration begins on July 25th. Register in the branch, or by phone at 416-393-6240.

  6. Improv Workshop
    Thursday August 4, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
    at the Barbara Frum Branch
    Building Story Through Improv!
    Learn the basic techniques of improvisation with a Young People's Theatre Artist Educator. The session includes ensemble-based exercises focusing on the creation and development or new characters and original stories. Space is limited. Please register in branch or by calling 416-395-5441.

  7. Fabric Paper
    Thursday August 4, 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm at the Don Mills Branch
    Create your own fabric paper in a few simple steps. Demonstration and materials will be provided. For ages 12 - 19. Space is limited. Please register in person or by phone at 416-395-5710.

  8. Silver Maple Art Club
    Thursday August 4, 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm at the York Woods Branch

    Express yourself and learn visual arts techniques in the Silver Maple Arts Club. Explore and experiment with a wide variety of artistic materials while creating art true to you. Drop-In program

  9. Graffiti Art Drop In
    Thursday August 4, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm at the Parkdale Branch
    In this workshop series, participants will be introduced to the world of graffiti art. Learn from a UNITY artist about letter structure, style and composition. Participants will be give step-by-step instructions on how to create their own unique graffiti pieces of art. This eight week drop-in program will lead up to the creation of a final mural project. Come to as many sessions as you can -- attend one, or attend them all. Ages 12 - 19

  10. Anime Screening -- Kiznaiver
    Friday August 5, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm at the Jane/Dundas Branch
    Bring your friends and enjoy a selection of anime straight from Japan. Please note: anime will be subtitled in English but spoken in Japanese. Anime shown will be for ages 12 and up.

Hope to see you all there!

Whats On @ the library July 25th - 31st

July 25, 2016 | Cameron | Comments (0)

Events_programsWant to know what is going on at the Toronto Public Library for teens this week: Check out the listing of programs below that cover programs and events from July 25th to July 31st.

 

Continue reading "Whats On @ the library July 25th - 31st " »

Happening This Week: July 18-24

July 17, 2016 | Alice | Comments (0)

Dance. Draw. Act. Beatbox. Learn. 

We have a lot going on this week! 

SharpiesTwo weeks of hip hop dance with Scarborough dance crew Bucc N Flvr kick off this week at Maria A. Shchuka branch July 19. 

Michael Brown uncaps some sharpies for an art programme at Don Mills on July 19.

Top Ten author Ryan North teaches you a bit about comic creation at Centennial this week on July 19.

Can you make a play in one day? Young People's Theatre is leading a workshop on Collective Creation on July 20 at Lillian H. Smith.

If you've ever wanted to see what's behind the scenes in the reference library's gallery and amazing special collections, this week we have your chance to find out! Join us for a special insider's look on July 20.

MicAlways wanted to beatbox or learn the art of graffiti? You can still join in our summer-long series with Unity!  

Beatboxing happens on Saturdays at Parliament branch until August 27 - you can come for one or all of the sessions.

Thursday nights are alright for graffiti at Parkdale branch all summer until August 25. See you there maybe? 

Contest: The Changing Face of Toronto (July 11 - July 24)

July 11, 2016 | Susan | Comments (26)

 

Adele Holford 100th birthday Akin Koroma construction worker Josephine Puccini Roy Amirputra
Note:
Thanks to everyone who submitted! The contest is now over and you can read the winning entry. And be sure to check out the rest of the contests happening this summer.

Continue reading "Contest: The Changing Face of Toronto (July 11 - July 24)" »

Happening This Week: July 11 - 16

July 10, 2016 | stephen | Comments (0)

New programs and Summer Edition Tech Week! 

Logics academySeveral branches are hosting Logics Academy this week for an hour long introduction to robotics. Come in and learn how to code and program your robot to participate in our Robot Dance Battle

Steeles: July 11 2-3pm

Cedarbrae: July 12 2-3pm

Pape/Danforth: July 13 4-5pm

 

Continue reading "Happening This Week: July 11 - 16" »

Happening This Week: July 4-10

July 3, 2016 | Alice | Comments (0)

We're kicking off July with some awesome programs this week! 

Hiphop baby - pixabay Brentwood is hosting ScratchLab for a two-hour workshop on DJ skills this Thursday afternoon. Drop by to pick up some basics on mixing, beatmatching, and scratching to get you started. 

And two of our biggest programs are launching for an eight-week run! 

Unity is bringing beatboxing to Parliament branch every Saturday from 2-4, from July 9th to August 27th.

If art is more your thing, we have an eight-week graffiti arts program with Unity starting at our Parkdale branch

For the entire summer worth of what's going on, take a look at our events page.

What's on at the Library -- June 27 - July 3

June 30, 2016 | Christine | Comments (0)

Hi everyone!

Happy early Canada Day! I hope you're all enjoying your summer vacations so far. :)

Here are some more great programs for youth that you can take advantage of this summer at your local branch of the Toronto Public Library this coming long weekend:

  1. 3D Printer Certification -- Thursday June 30, various times
    (please click on branch names for details)
    St. James Town, Scarborough Civic Centre, & North York Central Library
    Staff members show participants how to use the 3D printers available at Toronto Public Library Digital Innovation Hubs. Class instruction includes:
    * How to prepare a 3D design file for print
    * How to use the equipment properly and safely
    * A review of the rules and guidelines for using the 3D printer

  2. Pride Creative Writing Workshop with YA Author Robin Stevenson
    Thursday June 30, 5 - 7:45pm

    Lillian H. Smith, ROOM B/C - Lower Level
    Flannery O'Connor once said that anybody who had survived childhood had enough material to write for the rest of his or her life. Our own life experiences can be powerful jumping off places for crafting fiction - in fact, many novels have their beginnings in specific events in the author's own life. In this hands-on workshop, we'll explore how we can use our own memories, experience, questions and curiosity to create convincing characters and compelling stories. Drop-in, no registration required, TEEN and YOUNG ADULT program! Ages 13-29

  3. Call of Gamerz: Teen Video Game Nights-- Thursday June 30, 6:15 - 7:45 pm
    Malvern
    Join Malvern's Youth Advisory Group for a night of fun and video games including games for Wii, PS3 and XBox 360. No registration required, just drop in and get your game on!

  4. Adults' Chess Club -- Saturday July 2, 1 - 2:30pm
    Gerrard/Ashdale
    Play casual chess for ages 13 years and up.

  5. Storygami -- Saturday July 2, 2 - 4pm
    Lillian H. Smith
    Join us for origami, featuring new & wild folds each session. No experience is necessary to participate and have fun. We partner with the UofT Origami Club F.O.L.D. - Fly with Origami, Learn to Dream. This drop-in program takes place every first Saturday of the month.

  6. Saturday Movie & Popcorn -- Saturday July 2, 2-3pm
    Highland Creek
    Come and join us on Saturday afternoons. The movies are great for the whole family and the popcorn is free.

  7. Keep Calm & Colour On -- Saturday July 2, 2 - 3:30pm
    Locke
    Colour your cares away while you enjoy the latest craze of adult colouring. Materials will be provided, or bring your own. No registration required!

  8. My Home Is... Spoken Word/Poetry Workshop -- Saturday July 2, 1 - 4pm
    Dawes Road Meeting Room
    Join Slam Coach Cathy Petch for a guided freewrite on themes of home, place and transition. Be brave, be bold, be you. For adults and youth. In association with East End Arts. Contact the branch for details.

Hope to see you all there!

What's On at the Library- June 20-25th

June 20, 2016 | Monica | Comments (0)

Hi All! Looking for some fun and exciting things to do this summer? Keep any eye on the TPL Teens Summer Edition page all summer long, as we got you covered on the events taking place at the Toronto Pubic Library for Youth.

To kick things off, take a look at What's On at the Library from June 20-25th

  1. You Belong @ Your Library- LGBTQ+ & Allies Youth Group at the Fairview Branch

    Have you always wanted to be an ambassador for equality and empowerment in your community? Come join us to celebrate the unique and diverse LGBTQ+ youth of our community. In this WEEKLY youth alliance we will engage, lead and impact in inspiring ways in our library. Get involved and let's make a difference! Spaces is limited! Contact Sepideh Mckensy (smckensy@torontopubliclibrary.ca) at Fairview Branch (416-395-5743) or drop in to reserve your spot.

  2. Teen Open House at the Pape/Danforth Branch

    Come and join our teen volunteers for two hours. You will enjoy the following:

    -Learn upcoming teen programs in the summer
    -Talk with teen volunteers about Youth Advisory Group
    -Know summer job opportunities in the city
    -Participate in teen summer reading branch display
    -Play board games

    Snacks are available.

  3. Duct Tape Crafts at the Cedarbrae Branch

    Use imagination and creativity to make a variety of crafts with duct tape. Free materials and instructions provided. Ages 11 to 19 years. To register, call 416-396-8850 or register in person at the branch.

Hope to see you all there!

"Pride. It looks like a party...but it started with a riot."

June 15, 2016 | Susan | Comments (0)

Flag

You likely know all about the amazing Pride Parade that fills Toronto's streets with dancing and celebration. (You should definitely go if you never have!) All that dancing, all that joy is to honour the history of LGBTQ2S+ rights and the continued need to fight for justice and equality. Recent tragic events in Orlando show that respect for LGBTQ2S+ lives is still fragile and incomplete. 

 

 

Canadian writer Robin Stevenson has put a lot of thought into the history of Pride and brings it to life in her book called, appropriately enough, Pride: Celebrating Diversity and Community. As she says, "Pride. It looks like a party...but it started with a riot."
 

Continue reading ""Pride. It looks like a party...but it started with a riot."" »

LGBTQ2S+ Youth Art Show & Sale

May 17, 2016 | Ray | Comments (2)

Tomorrow! Wednesday!  Live performances of poetry and singing!

 

Celebrate creativity and expression! 21a5170d4461f2d440fe0aed3871cc35

Art exhibition of drawings, sculpture, paintings and poetry by LGBTQ2S+ youth. Works will be available for purchase. 

Youth art exhibition is a collaboration between Full Circle Art Therapy and Egale Youth Outreach Drop-In for LGBTQ2S+ youth with support from Toronto Public Library.

Check out the event listing

Lillian H. Smith Branch 

Wed May 18, 2016

5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Room B/C

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Get Your Chemistry Geek On: Live demos! Boom!

May 3, 2016 | Ray | Comments (0)

Teen Chemistry (2)

BOOM!  Get your chemistry geek on.   Just for teens & young adults, a whole afternoon of interactive chemistry demos and hands-on activities. Amazing!  FREE!

With professional chemists from Pueblo Science.

In lower level Room B/C.   

Call or stop in to reserve your spot, drop-ins welcome!  416-393-7746  

Event listing

Make the Cutest Sock Monkey on Saturday

April 26, 2016 | Ray | Comments (0)

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Learn step-by-step how to make the cutest darn sock monkey!  Operation Sock Monkey will be coming to Lillian H. Smith Branch (239 College at Spadina)  to show teens and young adults how.

Crafted sock monkeys will be donated to kids in need, but if you fall in love with it, you may purchase it for a small fee. ($10)

Crafting is happening in the Teen Zone - second floor.  1:00pm - 3:30pm

 

Drop on by!  Bring a pal.   More Event Details

 

Our World is a Beautiful, Beautiful Place

April 26, 2016 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

It's Earth Month 2016 and the time has come to take seriously our impact on the planet. Toronto Public Library is happy to present the best of our collections on environmental education, geared to children, teens and adults. Watch for environmental displays in branches across the city and pick up some reading material. At the same time, please join us for Our Fragile Planet, our free environmental programming series. Learn about issues that impact our city, and what you can do to tread lightly on our planet.

By Robert, member of the library Editorial Youth Advisory Group

Scarborough bluffs
Scarborough Bluffs from the library's digital photography collections


Beauty is not just present in exotic, foreign locales like Antarctica. Rather, wherever there is the natural world, there is also this sense of awe because the totality of our environment is connected by the fundamental beauty of life, regardless of where it’s located. For us Torontonians, we are lucky enough to have the beauty of nature in our own backyards. Just take a stroll through places like High Park or the Scarborough Bluffs or Kortright Centre.

As we near the end of Earth Month, I hope that you have taken some time to reflect on our anthropogenic impacts on our planet. I view this time as almost an “environmental new year's”, a time where we acknowledge our past failings in living sustainably and make new, strong-willed resolutions to work towards reducing our collective ecological footprint. With the help of a great many resources from the Toronto Public Library’s Fragile Planet campaign (free gardening workshops!!!), I believe that we can collectively leap into a new age of respect and preservation for the planet.

However, in the fight against climate change, sometimes we forget the purpose of our struggle. Sure we’re trying to preserve planet Earth, but my question is -- why? Why should we take action to protect this big, blue rock in space that we call home?

There are a vast, vast number of arguments which justify our concern for planet Earth. Some argue that above all, we must protect the planet to protect ourselves and our future livelihood. Climate change will cause an innumerable number of ecological disasters that will have massive ramifications for the health and safety of individuals across the planet. Extreme weather, disruptions in agriculture and water shortages threaten the future of humanity’s collective survival. However, for me, the most compelling reason for preserving our world is that our world is a beautiful, beautiful place. Earth, in the midst of our cold and desolate universe, has been given an incredibly majestic gift referred to as nature, as life. And this life is so awe-inspiring that it is our moral duty to do everything possible to protect it.

I had the opportunity to experience the majesty of planet Earth first-hand in December 2014 as part of the Students on Ice Youth Antarctic Expedition. Students on Ice is an educational program that brings students from around the globe on expeditions to both the Arctic and Antarctic. There is no word that describes my experience in Antarctica better than the word “wow”, as I was in constant awe and amazement of our planet’s ephemeral majesty. At every moment, I was surrounded by the rocky, sculpted silhouettes of mountains rising like spires out of the deep vivid blue hues of the ocean. They were spotted with gleaming glaciers, enormous sheets of ice twisted and manipulated into creviced geometric patterns.Their intricacy, along with their rich blue tint, was only surpassed by the glaciers’ offspring — icebergs. Meandering around the ocean, these blocks of ice were carefully sculpted by the wind to form beautiful, 20-metre high masterpieces of swooping ridges and gently rounded curves. But perhaps the most majestic aspect of Antarctica was its wildlife. Thousands of towering whales, graciously agile albatrosses, Audubon albatrosseals and adorable, clumsy, awkwardly waddling penguins were everywhere. Planet Earth was performing a grandiose symphony of nature, and I was privileged enough to stand amidst its violins.

But this beauty is not just present in exotic, foreign locales like Antarctica. Rather, wherever there is the natural world, there is also this sense of awe because the totality of our environment is connected by the fundamental beauty of life, regardless of where it’s located. For us Torontonians, we are lucky enough to have the beauty of nature in our own backyards. Just take a stroll through places like High Park or the Scarborough Bluffs or Kortright Centre. Take in the delicate cherry blossoms or hundred foot cliffs. Toronto has some absolutely unbelievable nature reserves within TTC distance. Outside these relative wilderness sites, take a bike ride through Forest Hill or the Kingsway and admire the sprawling canopies of trees casting delicate shadows on winding roads, providing nesting sites for the occasional cardinal or blue jay. Even in the downtown core itself, there is life in the lawns of King Cross Circle or the forested trees of Queens Park. Everywhere you go in our city, it is impossible to escape the alluring call of the natural world.

We are so lucky to live in a city that values such environmental awareness, since by connecting to our environment we also connect to the deepest parts of ourselves, the parts of us that make us fundamentally human. For me, the human species is defined by its ability to look beyond the immediate realities of itself. Our societies have made their greatest progress in fields such as science, art and literature. All these fields are driven by one central idea –- the idea that there are bigger things in the world than ourselves. We choose to pursue these fields not because they nourish our physical hunger but because they nourish our spiritual hunger -- they present the beauty and majesty that makes life worth living. The natural world is perhaps the most profound example of such an amazing transcendent ideal. I distinctly remember my first time setting eyes on the Antarctic continent, while zodiac cruising through Elephant Island. I simply sat in the vessel and mouthed the term “wow” to myself over and over again. Wow, wow, wow. The admiration and utter awe I experienced were expressions of my true revelation: that some aspects of our world that are too complex in their grandeur for our minds to comprehend. Through this understanding I became truly human. I became one with our fundamental need to acknowledge, appreciate and strive to understand elements of the world that exist beyond ourselves.

This, above all else, is the reason why our planet must be preserved as the collective heritage of humankind. William Shakespeare’s Hamlet once said, “There are more things in heaven and Earth, Horatio, than dreamt of in our philosophy”. The pursuit of acknowledging and understanding these things are what drive us to confront the perils of everyday life. Without symbols like nature to admire, we are nothing more than sleeping, eating collections of atoms.

So let us move forward with a sense of respect and compassion for our entire planet in order to preserve it for our future. When we work for its protection, we work for the protection of one of the very things that makes us human.

Most Stunning Library Book Domino Video

March 24, 2016 | Ray | Comments (0)

The Youth Advisory Group at Lillian H. Smith branch has created a video you'll like!

Over two sessions, we scoured the branch for shooting locations and optimal book domino staircases.  It was a blast! There were a few accidental "test runs" that set us back, but we managed to get all the books in a row before filming.  

Cheers to everyone involved, from setting up books, planning the routes, filming with iPads, and editing!

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Or click here to watch our video!

Music Sourced: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gCiLVYsXs4

Young Voices March Break Writing and Arts Festival for Teens

March 12, 2016 | Susan | Comments (2)

March break fest header sized

 

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” — Albert Einstein

Yes! The eminently quotable Al Einstein nailed it! And this March Break, you can come to the library for a whole week’s worth of creative, intelligent fun. It’s the Young Voices March Break Writing and Arts Festival!

The festival is a series of 11 writing and art workshops at library branches across the city. Find details on all the workshops online — all are free and open to ages 12-19 and led by professional writers and artists.

All the Libraries Toronto book cover

One of the workshops will be led by Daniel Rotsztain, who went to all 100 branches of the library, drew pictures of them and then made a really cool colouring book called, All the Libraries Toronto. He’s an artist and mapmaker and his session is about exploring your own neighbourhood and creating art.

Pasha Malla
Pasha Malla

Or, you can learn to write devastatingly clever reviews of just about anything. Eat some weird food and review it! Review the library's ceiling! Author, journalist and Globe and Mail book reviewer Pasha Malla will help you express your opinion, whether you love something or hate it.

Ian Keteku
Ian Keteku


At the end of the week, come check out the Young Voices Open Mic with host Ian Keteku, a musician, artist and World Poetry Slam champ. You can sign up to perform when you arrive — but you don't have to perform! You can just come to be part of the supportive audience and applaud! If you do perform, you can read something you wrote, read something by a writer you love, play music, sing, dance, tell jokes, talk about that amazing picture you drew or show off any other talent you have.

After you’ve been to one (or 11) workshops and you are full of creative inspiration, consider submitting your amazing story or poem or comic or drawing or photo to Young Voices Magazine. The submission deadline is coming up on April 5th.

P.S. Did you know that Young Voices Magazine has been published every year since 1965? Be part of a proud Toronto tradition and get your stuff published!

App Development Workshop for March Break

March 3, 2016 | Cameron | Comments (0)

App Development Workshop - March Break

Wednesday March 16th 1:00-2:00 P.M. in Room 1, North York Central Library- 5120 Yonge Street. Ages 12-19. No registration required.

Webapp2016

Youth Hub Homework. My Curved Border

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