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Small Business Networking at Agincourt!

November 6, 2015 | Brendn | Comments (0)

Thinking about starting a small business can sometimes be a confounding or scary prospect. However, you are not alone! Meet many like minded people interested in starting a small business in the library's Small Business Networking sessions which are held at various branches across the city.

Agincourt-library-01However, if you are in the Scarborough area (or enjoy trips up to this fabulous part of the city) you are invited to Agincourt branch's popular monthly Small Business Networking events. Agincourt's Small Business Networking attendees have learned from experts in the fields of marketing, social media, and business planning! Join us and exchange business cards and contact information with other blossoming entrepreneurs. Connect, and learn from experts in the field to give your nascent, or established small business the direction or boost it needs! Agincourt's Small Business Networking event this month is How to Get Media Coverage for your Business.

Shelley-head-for-web-1000Have you ever wondered how some small businesses are able to get news coverage? What is it that makes them and their stories unique and newsworthy? How do you make the connection with the news media, build relationships and get the exposure your business needs? Join Shelley Pringle, experienced PR and Marketing professional as she explains how Small Business owners can intelligently leverage the power of the news media to give their business invaluable publicity!

Space is limited. Please phone 416-396-8950 to register.

Small Business Network: How to Get Media Coverage for your Business!
Agincourt District Branch
155 Bonis Ave.
Thursday, November 19, 6:30 - 8:00 pm

However, don't wait to get your business ideas, plans and strategies started! In addition to many small business books, and journals the library provides links to many helpful business websites which can help you and your business dreams today!


Seneca College is coming to the Steeles Branch!

October 23, 2015 | Diane L. | Comments (0)

Agincourt District Libraries Blog is pleased to present this post by Rita A., Branch Head at the Steeles Branch.


Calling all interested future students! Seneca College is coming to the Steeles Branch! Drop by on Tuesday October 27, 2015 from 3:30pm to 5:30pm. Staff from Seneca College will be on hand to answer questions about: 

  • Admission Requirements
  • Application Process
  • Co-op and Field Placements
  • Applying as a mature student
  • OSAP/Financial Aid

After talking with the staff from Seneca College, check out some books about Canadian universities and colleges:

Canadian campus companion 2015 Canadian Universities Guidebook Maclean's 2015 University Rankings










And also check out some study skills books that will help you succeed in college:     

Study smarter, not harder Ten ways to straight A's   Everything guide to study skills

A Life in Panels: Graphic Novel Auto/biographies

October 9, 2015 | Diane L. | Comments (0)

Do you enjoy reading biographies or memoirs? Or maybe you don't like reading them very much? Even if you don't like reading this particular genre, graphic novels can totally transform your reading experience of it. Graphic novels, similar to comic books, use a combination of art and text laid out in sequential panels, to tell a story in book form. Graphic novels can act as a powerful vehicle for telling a story—whether it's the story of a historical figure, a personal memoir or a work of fiction, history or fantasy or anything in-between. There is the oft-quoted saying:  "A picture is worth a thousand words." With the graphic novel, a talented illustrator/writer can evoke complex ideas and emotions with their art/text—resulting in a transformative reading experience. 

Check out some of the graphic novel biographies and memoirs below:

MausMaus: a survivor's tale: My father bleeds history by Art Spiegelman

This is the story of Vladek, a Polish Jewish survivor of the Holocaust living in New York and his son, Art Spiegelman, a cartoonist, who tries to come to terms with his father's story and the historical catastrophe that shaped the course of his family's history and the world. 

Maus became the first graphic novel to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1992.

Follow it up with the second part of Spiegelman's story in Maus II: a survivor's tale: and here my troubles began or check out the complete volume, Maus: a survivor's tale.



Persepolis: the story of a childhood by Marjane Satrapi

In this wise, funny and heartbreaking memoir, Marjane Satrapi's recounts growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution: from age six to 14, Satrapi saw the overthrow of the Shah's regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq.  

Follow it up with Persepolis 2: the story of a return. 

Persepolis was originally published in French in 4 volumes:
Persepolis. 1 [French]  
Persepolis. 2 [French]
Persepolis. 3 [French]
Persepolis. 4 [French]


RielLouis Riel: a comic-strip biography by Chester Brown

With Louis Riel: a comic-strip biography, Chester Brown has created a historical biography of Louis Riel in a powerful graphic novel format—it is a compelling and meticulous retelling of the charismatic 19th-century Métis leader.

Brown received the Harvey Award for best writing and best graphic novel, and made several Best of the Year lists with Louis Riel. Publishers Weekly hailed the book as a "contender for best graphic novel ever."

Louis Riel was originally serialized as a comic book between 1999-2003 before being published as a book in 2003.



 El deafo by Cece Bell

In this funny, poignant graphic novel memoir, author/illustrator Cece Bell chronicles her hearing loss at a young age and her subsequent experiences with the Phonic Ear, a very powerful—and very awkward—hearing aid. The Phonic Ear gives Cece the ability to hear—sometimes things she shouldn't—but also isolates her from her classmates. Ultimately, its the story of a little girl who just wants to fit in and find a true friend, someone who appreciates her as she is. 

El deafo won the Newbery Honor in 2015. It also won the 2015 Eisner Award for Best Publication for Kids.





Smile by Raina Telgemeier 

This is Raina Telgemeier's story of her dental/orthodontic (mis)adventure after injuring her two front teeth in a trip-and-fall mishap. But at the heart of this very charming and poignant book is a very relatable coming-of-age story with first crushes, friendship dramas and the eternal angst of adolescence. 

Smile has won numerous awards and honours, including the 2010 Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor for Nonfiction and the 2011 Eisner Award for Best Publication for Teens. It was also a New York Times "Editors' Choice" in 2010. Kirkus Reviews called it "irresistible, funny and touching," with "strong writing and emotionally expressive characters."

Although marketed for teens, Smile will definitely appeal to adults as well. It will resonate with anyone who has gone through that dramatic period known as adolescence and/or gone through their own bit of dental/orthodontic trauma.

Happy reading!

Repair Café – A True Sense of Community

September 27, 2015 | Suk Yin | Comments (0)

Sandi Trillo with her blender. Fixed!
Sandi Trillo with her blender. Fixed!

On September 12th, 2015, Agincourt Branch hosted the Repair Café Toronto and transformed the rotunda into a bustling community hub. Twenty-two volunteer fixers from the Repair Café Toronto and 85 library visitors from the community gathered together and worked collaboratively to repair many different items—from electronic gadgets and small appliances to jewelry, clothing and umbrellas. On the surface, people came and fixed things needing repair but looking beyond that, we can also see fantastic collaboration at work, engendering a wonderful sense of community—as well as fostering values of caring and generosity.

“It’s a tremendous experience just seeing community members get together, have a cup of coffee and interact with each other,” said Fern Mosoff, coordinator of Repair Café Toronto. She was touched to see so much enthusiasm and energetic spirit from both the library visitors and volunteer fixers.

When asked what inspired her to launch Repair Café, Fern said “I am fortunate to be able to help make our community a better place, and find ways to gain satisfaction through constructive activity. Repair Café is not just about fixing things; it reinforces the idea of creativity and builds the community.”


Repair Café coordinators Fern Mosoff and Paul Magder
Repair Café coordinators Fern Mosoff and Paul Magder

 Next repair café is at Don Mills Branch

Seniors' Discovery Fair at Malvern District Branch on September 30

September 23, 2015 | Diane L. | Comments (0)

Seniors' Discovery Day

Last year, the Seniors’ Discovery Fair was held at Cedarbrae District Branch, and it was a smashing success. The fair is returning this year and will take place at Toronto Public Library’s Malvern District Branch. It will run from 2 to 3:30 PM on Wednesday, September 30, 2015 in Malvern Branch’s Community Room. Everyone is welcome and we hope to see you there!

Just like in previous years, the fair will be a great opportunity for seniors, caregivers, friends and family, to meet with a variety of local organizations and service providers.

Here are some of the groups that will be present at this year’s Seniors’ Discovery Fair:

Grandparents with grandson
Image courtesy of MoodBoard on a Creative Commons License

This free event is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about what services are available for older adults, right here in Scarborough. There will be light refreshments and the chance to win prizes, so come by and find out what is available in your community.

Malvern library branch staff will be on hand to introduce you to upcoming library programs and services. There will be demonstrations of the library’s online databases for eBooks and eVideos, such as OverdriveZinio, and Hoopla.

Scarborough Poetry Walk!

September 21, 2015 | Diane L. | Comments (0)


Please join us on Sunday September 27, 2015 from 2pm to 4:30pm at the Agincourt Branch for the Scarborough Poetry Walk. In celebration of Culture DaysScarborough Arts and Anna Nieminen will lead us on a walking tour of Ron Watson Park in Scarborough and explore the area's sights, histories, and local idiosyncrasies through the lens of Scarborough poets. Participants will also have the option of staying in the Agincourt Branch program room where they can learn about the Toronto Public Library's Toronto Poetry Map, poetry collections, Young Voices program and the Agincourt Branch's new poetry club​. Register for Scarborough Poetry Walk through Eventbrite.

Fall programs at the Maryvale Branch

September 18, 2015 | Diane L. | Comments (0)

Agincourt District Libraries Blog is pleased to present this post by Dora C. at the Maryvale Branch.


With the summer days winding down and the weather getting a bit more chilly, it’s time to look forward to the fall programs here at the Maryvale Branch. Please register in person or call us at 416-396-8931. All programs are free but space may be limited.

MeditationMeditation by Mitchell Joyce, CC BY-NC 2.0 license

Meditation Saturdays

Maryvale Branch aims to provide something for everyone, including providing quality fitness and wellness programming. We encourage everyone, no matter their fitness level or skill, to come out and try our "Meditation Saturdays" program that we will be running for four Saturdays starting September 19.

Class will begin with some simple yoga exercises to help rejuvenate your body and calm your mind. It will be followed by deep breathing exercises, soothing mantra meditation, japa meditation and musical meditation. We hope you will leave feeling tranquil and relaxed!

Sept. 19, Oct. 17, Nov. 14, and Dec. 12 from 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Memory and Dementia

Situations involving memory loss and confusion are extremely difficult for caregivers and families, and require a lot of patience and understanding. In partnership with CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health), please join us for this educational workshop,“Memory & Dementia,” where we will explore the nature of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.

Participants will become familiar with underlying causes of dementia, the risk factors for developing dementia, and prevention strategies. We will also discuss the current treatment optons available and the research being done to advance the field.

Oct. 24, 2015 11 a.m.

Gibson House visits Maryvale

Summer vacation is over and it’s time to get ready for some fun fall activities. Are you interested in knowing more about the Gibson House Museum? The Gibson House Museum is one of 10 historic museums run by the City of Toronto. Built in 1851, Gibson House was the home of Scottish immigrant David Gibson and his family.

On October 31st, the Gibson House Museum staff will bring the history of Gibson House and fun activities to Maryvale Branch. Children ages 5-12 are welcome to join costumed interpreters from the Gibson House Museum and discover historic toys and games! These hands-on activities are available for everyone to come and play with at the library. Children will also be invited to make a small toy to take home!

Oct. 31, 2015 from 2 - 3 p.m.

Youth Advisory Group at the Agincourt Branch

September 4, 2015 | Diane L. | Comments (0)

8435321969_8c5a154a0a_zI <3 2 read by Kate Ter Haar, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Agincourt District Libraries Blog is pleased to present this post by Seth M., Teen Librarian at the Agincourt Branch.


Want to earn community volunteer hours, meet other teens and contribute to library services and participate in special events? Join the Agincourt Youth Advisory Group (YAG)!

What does a YAG member at the Agincourt Branch do? As a YAG member, you will:

  • attend regular YAG meetings at the Agincourt Branch to plan and work on the services and programs you'll be supporting with your volunteer time
  • help out with library or community events
  • promote and speak up for the library
  • and hopefully have fun!

What are some of the benefits of volunteering? 

  • Meet other awesome teens!
  • Great way to gain experience and develop valuable skills such as leadership skills!
  • Get a reference letter for jobs and school applications
  • Earn the volunteer hours you need to graduate high school
  • Overdue fines are exempt after six months of volunteering!

Interested?  To become a volunteer you need to be in Grade 9 or above and/or between the ages of 13 and 19.

So if you are between 13 and 19 and being a YAG member sounds interesting, fill out the YAG application form and drop it off at the Agincourt Branch. Or if you want to find out more, call 416-396-8943 or visit the Agincourt Branch in person. New members are welcome year-round.   

Summer Day Trips

August 21, 2015 | Diane L. | Comments (1)

Summer_day_trips Beach Trip clip art by Gerald_G on 

Agincourt District Libraries Blog is pleased to present this post by Leo W., Branch Head at the Bridlewood Branch.

Running out of things to do to for those hot sultry summer days? Why not go on a day trip with your family or friends?  From hidden waterfalls to scenic lookouts, many of these perfect getaways are only an hour or so drive away. Here are some of my suggestions:

Cheltenham BadlandsCheltenham Badlands, Panorama by Ian Muttoo, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Cheltenham Badlands Trail
Located in Caledon (about a 40 minute drive away), the mars-like surface is the result of agriculture erosion that exposed the shale rock underneath. The area used to be a river bed of a long forgotten river. [Unfortunately,Cheltenham Badlands is temporarily closed].

Dundas valleyDundas Valley in Fall by RichardBH, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Dundas Valley Lookout Trail 
Located in Dundas (south of Hamilton), this scenic lookout spot is best enjoyed during summer and autumn. The trail system is easy to trek and a wealth of amenities are nearby.

Rouge Park
Rouge Park by Stefan Ogrisek, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Rouge Park 
A short drive to the east end of the city is Rouge Park, Canada’s first National Urban Park.  From relaxing on the beach, to trekking in the forest trails, to canoeing among the cattails,—the 79.5 km2 green space offers something for everyone.

Humber Bay Arch Bridge Humber Bay Arch Bridge by Michael Gil, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Toronto Cycling Trails
Why drive when you can cycle?  In recent years, Toronto has been aggressively building trails across the city such as the Waterfront Trail. There are many to choose from, why not try one for yourself? If you would like some help choosing a bike trail, read about some of the trails recommended by the Toronto Star recently.

Still looking for more ideas? Why not check out the travel collection at your local Toronto Public Library branch? Here are some books to get you started:

Toronto fun places   Day trips from Toronto  A nature guide to OntarioBackroads of Ontario  Top 125 unusual things to see in Ontario

Additional online resources:

Ontario Trails 

Ontario Yours to Discover

[This post was revised on August 22, 2015 to include information about the temporary closure of Cheltenham Badlands]

Delicious Reads!

August 8, 2015 | Diane L. | Comments (0)

Too hot to cook? Feeling culinarily uninspired?  Why not check out one of these yummy books from the Toronto Public Library instead and immerse yourself in some delicious reads? Armchair cooking (and travel) for the adventurous at heart! 

 Cooking With Fernet Branca  Debt to pleasure  Like water for chocolate

Cooking with Fernet Branca by James Hamilton-Paterson

Start with a handful or two of satire, add a generous dash of dark and biting wit and then throw in a bottle or two of Fernet Branca (a type of bitter herbal liqueur) and voilà—you have this very delicious story served up for your reading pleasure! This is the story of Gerald Samper, an Englishman whose idyllic life in Tuscany is shattered by the the arrival of Marta—from an unspecified former Soviet republic. The ever increasingly hysterical antics of Gerald and Marta are equally matched by the ever increasingly bizarre recipes cooked up by Gerald: take for example, his Mussels in Chocolate, or Garlic and Fernet Branca Ice Cream, or Alien Pie (which calls for among other things, 1 kg of smoked cat, 1 buzzard feather, and of course, Fernet Branca).

And if you enjoy this book, follow it up with its sequel, Amazing Disgrace.

The Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester

Travel through France with Tarquin Winot, the anti-hero of The Debt to Pleasure, who warns us at the very beginning that this “is not a conventional cookbook.” And it most definitely is not. This satirical novel is full of dark wit and humour,—with surprising twists and turns to keep the reader on their toes. Tarquin, an Englishman foodie, while travelling to his house in Provence (his "spiritual homeland") reveals the story of his life, peeling away his past and present—layer by layer, peppering each layer with his culinary reflections and recipes. 

Like water for chocolate : a novel in monthly installments, with recipes, romances, and home remedies by Laura Esquivel

This charming love story is set in turn-of-the-century Mexico. It's the love story of Tita and Pedro and a strong supporting cast of characters who come between their love. The novel is broken up into 12 chapters to represent the months of the year and each chapter opens up with a recipe. Tita's story is intertwined with each recipe and its preparation. A big dose of magic infuses Tita's cooking—with surprising results when people eat the food she's prepared with so much passion and feeling.

Also available as an ebook.

Are your reading taste buds hankering for something else? Give Fred Wah's biofictional story of growing up Chinese in Nelson, British Columbia a try. In the poetical Diamond Grill, read about Salisbury Steak, chicken fried rice, bird's nest soup alongside themes of family and identity in small town Canada. There is also Ruth Reichl's memoir, Tender at the bone : growing up at the table: let Reichl take you on a delightful journey of food, childhood and growing up. Or consider the implications of what's for dinner in Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma: a natural history of four meals. Or read one of the fascinating histories on salt, potato, coffee, tea or sugar. There is also a growing genre of fiction where food, recipes, and cooking plays a central plot to the story. One is surely to whet your appetite!  

Diamond grill

  Tender at the bone  The omnivore's dilemma : a natural history of four meals  Salt: A World History

The potato : how the humble spud rescued the western world Uncommon grounds : the history of coffee Tea : the drink that changed the world Sugar : a bittersweet history

Welcome to the Agincourt District Libraries blog. Our purpose is to provide information about local events and news, library programs, user education classes, author visits and other special events.