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June 2013

Snapshots in History: June 28: Remembering Samuel de Champlain

June 28, 2013 | John P. | Comments (0)

(TVO’s Allan Gregg interviewing David Hackett Fischer, the author of Champlain’s Dream)

On June 28 and beyond, take a moment to remember explorer Samuel de Champlain (Born: circa 1570? at Brouage, Saintonge, France; Died: December 25, 1635 at Québec, New France). Why remember Champlain on June 28? For it was on June 28, 1609 that Champlain departed with a mixed party of Frenchmen and aboriginal people from the Algonkin, Huron, and Montagnais nations to explore the territory of the Iroquois nation. Roughly one month later, on July 29, 1609, Champlain’s party encountered the Iroquois at Ticonderoga (Crown Point, N.Y.) with an ensuing battle occurring the following day. This action marked Champlain’s first military foray in New France and environs. Champlain fired his arquebus and killed two Iroquois chiefs, leading to panic in the Iroquois ranks. Prior to this encounter, Champlain followed the Iroquois (now Richelieu) River into a lake on July 14, 1609 which now bears the name Lake Champlain in upper New York State. In later years, Champlain’s primary focus was the settlement of Québec (now Québec City). Following its temporary capture by the Kirke brothers from England in 1629, Champlain returned to France but returned to the New World on May 22, 1633. As of his death on Christmas Day in 1635, 150 French-speaking individuals resided in the colony at Québec.

Consider the following titles for loan from Toronto Public Library collections:

Champlain the birth of French America

Champlain: the birth of French America / edited by Raymonde Litalien and Denis Vaugeois; translated by Käthe Roth, 2004. Book. Adult Non-Fiction.

This essay collection examined the origins and development of L’Acadie, looked at problems associated with colonization, showcased France during Champlain’s lifetime, and how Champlain has been remembered in recent times. Enjoy the reproduction of 32 maps attributed to Champlain as well as some of his drawings, documents and rare artifacts.

Champlain's dream

Champlain’s dream / David Hackett Fischer, 2008. Book. Adult Non-Fiction.

Historian Fischer strived to deliver a balanced, realistic biography of Samuel de Champlain by focusing on early influences, personal characteristics, and the reasons for the establishment of New France. Fischer also tackled differences of opinion over Champlain’s birth date, the extent of his exploration, his policy towards aboriginal people, and whether Champlain was deserving of being referred to as the “Founder of Québec” and the “Father of New France”. Watch Allan Gregg’s interview with the author above.

Also available in Audiobook CD and Talking Book (Restricted to Print Disabled Patrons) formats.

God's mercies rivalry and betrayal in the age of discovery

God's mercies: rivalry and betrayal in the age of discovery / Doug Hunter, 2007. Book. Adult Non-Fiction.

Compare and contrast two explorers of the late 1500s/early 1600s – Frenchman Samuel de Champlain and Englishman Henry Hudson. Both wished to secure a northern route to the Orient. Hudson would see this turned against him when mutineers put him, his sons, and loyal crewmembers in a small boat during the summer of 1611, never to be seen or heard from again. Champlain initiated an expedition up the Ottawa River in May 1613 after learning of the survival of a young Englishman, the only survivor from a shipwreck. 


Samuel de Champlain father of New France 

Samuel de Champlain: father of New France / Francine Legaré and Jonathan Kaplansky (translator), 2004. Book. Adult Non-Fiction.

Champlain, a renowned cartographer and navigator, focused on the New World in conjunction with reaching India with its different spices and other riches. New France became Champlain’s primary focus and he lobbied the mother country to protect and develop the colony. Arguably, Champlain’s perseverance toward New France led to the Canada that is known today.

Also available in eBook format.  


Would you rather watch and listen (than read) about Champlain? Then try the following documentary on DVD:

The mystery of Champlain [Doc Zone] [DVD] / Ann-Marie MacDonald et al., 2008. DVD. Documentary. Adult Non-Fiction.

This CBC Doc Zone documentary hosted by Ann-Marie MacDonald attempted to fill in some of the blank spots in the life of Samuel de Champlain.


Do you prefer reading fiction to non-fiction? Then consider the following historical/21st century fiction hybrid novel:

The order of good cheer: a novel / Bill Gaston, 2008. Book. Adult Fiction.

Author Bill Gaston demonstrated his adeptness at carrying two storylines within one novel: During the fall of 1607, Samuel de Champlain faced the challenges of keeping his Annapolis Royal (currently in Nova Scotia) colony healthy by combating both scurvy and boredom amongst the colonists. Champlain came up with a moveable feast, “an order of good cheer”, whereby the men could enjoy good food, wine, and comradeship. Contrast the historical plotline with one 400 years into the future where worker Andy Winslow and his friends are immersed in an urban setting suffering from encroaching economic and environmental disaster. What is the 2007 solution? Read the book and find out.  

Snapshots in History: June 27: Remembering Helen Keller

June 27, 2013 | John P. | Comments (0)

(1930 Newsreel Footage – Anne Sullivan and Helen Keller)



(Helen Keller Speaks Out)


On June 27 and beyond, take a moment to remember Helen Adams Keller (Born: June 27, 1880; Died: June 1, 1968), American political activist, pacifist, suffragist, author, lecturer, advocate of the disabled, and champion of deaf-blind people. Helen Keller lost her hearing and sight at 19 months of age from either meningitis or scarlet fever. Keller was the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree, graduating from Radcliffe College in 1904 at 24 years of age. Mark Twain, an early admirer, introduced Helen Keller to Standard Oil magnate H.H. Rogers and his wife who paid for her education at Radcliffe College. Helen Keller is best known in tandem with Anne Sullivan, who helped Helen to communicate with the outside world by initially spelling words into Helen’s hand. Prior to Radcliffe College, Helen attended one school for blind people and two schools for deaf people as well as the Cambridge School for Young Ladies.

Keller learned to speak and gave many lectures and speeches over her life. She learned to “hear” people’s words by reading a person’s lips with her hands by using her sense of touch. Helen Keller also learned to communicate with Braille and Sign Language.

In the broader world, Helen Keller is less well-known for her political activism, including her membership in the Socialist Party of America and the Industrial Workers of the World (or “Wobblies” - which held its founding convention from June 27 to July 8, 1905), and for her help in founding the American Civil Liberties Union in 1920.  In 1915, Helen Keller, along with George Kessler, a survivor of the Lusitania sinking, founded Helen Keller International, dedicated to preventing blindness and reducing malnutrition in the world with work occurring in 22 countries, including 13 in Africa, 8 in the Asia-Pacific region, and the United States.

Consider the following titles for borrowing from Toronto Public Library collections:


Helen Keller Rebel Lives

Helen Keller [Rebel Lives] / Helen Keller et al., 2003. Book. Adult Non-Fiction.

Read about Helen Keller’s support of socialism, the IWW, and pacifism during World Wars One and Two. Read also what author Mark Twain and socialist leader Eugene V. Debs had to say about Helen Keller.


Helen Keller selected writings

Helen Keller: selected writings / Helen Keller, Kim E. Nielsen (ed.), 2005.

Academic Kim E. Nielsen grouped Keller’s writings on a chronological basis with emphasis placed on the 1924-1945 and 1945-1960 writings when Keller was focused on advocacy for disabled people on a global basis.


Light in my darkness

Light in my darkness [2nd. Ed., rev. and enl.] / Helen Keller, 2000. Book. Adult Non-Fiction.

Keller supported the religious teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg and of the New Jerusalem Church.


The story of my life

The story of my life [Restored ed.] / Helen Keller, 2003. Book. Adult Non-Fiction.

This 100th anniversary edition covered the early years of Helen Keller’s life up to 1903 during her time at Radcliffe College.

Also available in eAudiobook (unabridged), eAudiobook (unabridged), and eBook formats. 


The world I live in 

The world I live in / Helen Keller, 2003. Book. Adult Non-Fiction.

Helen Keller outlined how her senses, sensations and imagination fit in with her perception of the world.


Helen Keller a life

Helen Keller: a life / Dorothy Hermann, 1998. Book. Adult Non-Fiction. Click here for more copies.

Biographer Hermann peeled away the public’s perception of Helen Keller as a champion for the deaf-blind to examine other facets of this complex individual as a writer, a lecturer, and a socialist. The author also looked at Keller’s positive character traits of strength, kindness, courage, intelligence, and stoicism along with the negative ones: vindictiveness and pettiness. 


The miracle worker

The miracle worker / William Gibson, 20002. Book. Adult Non-Fiction.

Read playwright William Gibson’s dramatization of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan’s relationship. 


The radical lives of Helen Keller

The radical lives of Helen Keller / Kim E. Nielsen, 2009. Book. Adult Non-Fiction.

Nielsen examined the limited effectiveness of Helen Keller on political matters in contrast to her championing of the deaf-blind.


GO! TD Summer Reading Club programs at Albert Campbell

June 22, 2013 | Alison | Comments (0)



The library is a fantastic place to spend your summer.  We have lots of free programs and ways to keep children of all ages busy and reading all summer long.

Come into the branch and register for your FREE TD Summer Reading Club package.  English magazine cover-thumb

There is a magazine full of facts and activities; a passport to log your reading and stickers.  Read, tell staff about the books and get MORE stickers!


Not in school yet?  You can still join!  We have an activity book made just for you.  You can get stickers just like the big kids.

If that's not enough fun, there's more.  The stickers unlock games and activities on the TD Summer Reading Club website.


Now for the good stuff!  Programs in the library.  All programs are free of charge. 

There are regular weekly programs and special programs.  For special programs, be sure to check registration information.

Preschool Time - Tuesdays at 10 July 2 - Aug 20GO-thumb

Songs, stories and rhymes for children 6 years and under.

Jr Summer Reading Club - Tuesdays from 2-3 July 2 - Aug 20

Summer activities for children ages 6-9

Summer Reading Club - Wednesdays from 2-3 July 3 - Aug 21

Summer activities for children ages 10 and up

Fun Family Films - Thursdays from 2-4 July 4 - Aug 22

Bring your family and friends and enjoy a movie in our cool auditorium. 

July titles to be shown

Pajama Time - Thursdays 7-7:30 pm - July 4 - Aug 22

Come in your PJs (or not) and enjoy songs, stories and rhymes.

Lego Club - Fridays 2-3 July 5 - Aug 23

Come bring your ideas and see what you can build.  Lego provided by the library.


 Special Events!

July 9  2 pm - Great Lakes Conservation

Come learn how important water is and how we can protect it.

July 10 3 pm - IncrediBrent

Enjoy the magic of IncrediBrent.  Free tickets handed out 1/2 hour before the show.  Please also note the start time.

July 17 2 pm - Njacko Backo

African music and stories.  The program will be done in French but all are welcome.

July 24 2 pm - How to raise a Monarch Butterfly workshop

Come to this hands on workshop and help a caterpiller become a butterfly.  Registration Required.

Aug 21 - 3 pm  - Hissssstory of Snakes

Come learn about snakes.  Registration required.


Word Out! Teen Summer Programs at Albert Campbell

June 20, 2013 | Winona | Comments (0)

Summer's almost here, which means it's almost time for the library's awesome online teen summer reading program, Word Out! Have you been to the website yet? No? Well, what are you waiting for?! Take the survey for your chance to win some really rad prizes, then check back often to enter contests, get great summer reads, share your thoughts, and keep up-to-date on all the fun (and free!) events happening in library branches across the city this summer.

Word out banner black

Here at Albert Campbell, we're getting ready for a sizzling summer of cool teen programs happening in our branch. We've got something lined up every Thursday from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m all through July and August. Check it out!


To register for teen programs at Albert Campbell, visit the branch or call 416-396-8900.


Chess CChess pieceslub  - Have fun playing chess while you improve your critical thinking skills. Open to beginners and experienced players alike. Age 7-18. Thursdays July 11, 25, August 8, 22, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. 

Friendship bracelets 

Friendship bracelets - Friendship bracelets are fun and easy to make for yourself and all of your friends. Choose your favourite colours and learn different patterns. Age 9-16. Thursday July 11, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.


Video controllerArcade Gaming - Join us for a night of gaming. PS3, Wii, and XBox will be set up, so the choice is yours! Age 10 and up. Thursday August 8, 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Maker ZombieLab: Felties and Zombie Felties - Learn how to make cute, fuzzy felt mascots and creepy, un-dead zombie friends. You get to make and take home your creation. All materials provided. Age 13-19. Thursday July 18, 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

You Pick the Flick - Vote for the movie you want to see! Choose Popcornfrom one of four great contenders. Cast your vote in the teen section of the library during the month of July. Age 13-19. Thursday August 1, 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.


ButtonsMaker Lab: Button Bonanza - Make a pin for your jacket or bag, or a magnet for your locker or fridge. Materials provided, but you can bring your own pictures, magazines, or comics from home too. Age 13-19. Thursday August 15, 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.


Wrap-Up Party - Celebrate the end of the 2013 Word Out Teen Summer Reading Program at our Wrap-Up Party! There will be music, games, prizes, and more. Age 13-19. Thursday August 22, 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.



Download the Albert Campbell Teen Summer Program Flyer (PDF)


And remember:


Happy Birthday, Aung San Suu Kyi!

June 19, 2013 | John P. | Comments (0)

On June 19, let us take a moment to acknowledge the birthday of Burmese politician, democracy advocate, human rights activist, and 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi (Born: June 19, 1945). Aung San Suu Kyi led the National League for Democracy (NLD) to victory in the May 27, 1990 general election with 59% of the popular vote and an overwhelming majority of the parliamentary seats. However, the military junta of Burma (also known as Myanmar) had already placed her under house arrest on July 20, 1989 and did not permit the NLD’s electoral victory to go through, making Aung San Suu Kyi one of the world’s more prominent political prisoners until she was ultimately released on November 13, 2010, having been under house arrest for roughly 15 years of a 21-year period. She was subsequently elected to the lower house of Myanmar’s parliament on April 1, 2012 with the NLD winning 43 of 45 vacant parliamentary seats. Suu Kyi became Leader of the Opposition on May 2, 2012. It is likely that she will contest Myanmar’s presidency in the 2015 elections. Consider the following titles for loan from Toronto Public Library collections:


Aung San Suu Kyi a biography

Aung San Suu Kyi: a biography [1st ed.] / Jesper Bengtsson, 2012. Book. Adult Non-Fiction.

Swedish journalist Bengtsson was only able to manage one interview with his subject who does not generally dwell on things of a personal nature. Reviews are mixed as to whether the author has presented Aung San Suu Kyi as a saint (restricting criticism to the NLD for not being more forceful in standing up for the 1990 election results in Burma) or not (including criticism from some who describe her as arrogant, stubborn, and obsessive about her father Aung San, recognized as the driving force of Burmese independence from Great Britain.). Readers can decide for themselves.


The Lady and the Peacock the life of Aung San Suu Kyi

The lady and the peacock: the life of Aung San Suu Kyi / Peter Popham, 2011. Book. Adult Non-Fiction.

Aung San Suu Kyi has shown remarkable courage in defying a military junta that placed her under house arrest and that refused to recognize the win of her National League for Democracy party in general elections in Burma in 1990. The 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner endured separation from her family, made all the more painful by the death of her English-born husband in 1999.

Also available in Chinese language.

(This title also appeared in the post: Salute to International Women’s Day! Selected Biographies and Memoirs of Women .)



Letters from Burma

Letters from Burma / Aung San Suu Kyi, 2010. Book. Adult Non-Fiction.

Go to the source: Through letters, Aung San Suu Kyi outlined the situation in Myanmar faced by the Burmese people and her supporters and those of her political party, the National League for Democracy. Read about economic pressures on people’s diets and health, Burma’s natural beauty, and important Burmese traditions and celebrations.


If you would prefer to watch something, what about:

They call it Myanmar lifting the curtain [DVD] / Robert H. Lieberman (director/producer) et al., 2012. DVD. Documentary. Adult Non-Fiction.

Filmmaker Robert H. Lieberman originally released this documentary as a motion picture in 2011, using clandestine film footage taken over a three year period. This documentary included an interview with Aung San Suu Kyi. Watch also the bonus footage showing Aung San Suu Kyi accepting her 1991 Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway on June 16, 2012.


Alternatively, watch Aung San Suu Kyi receiving her Nobel Peace Prize on YouTube:



(Aung San Suu Kyi's speech in Norway on June 16, 2012, accepting the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize.)

Snapshots in History: June 13: Remembering Andrew Mynarski VC

June 14, 2013 | John P. | Comments (0)

(Documentary Credit: The Story of Andrew Mynarski / Nathan Cox – Point 59 Productions )


On June 13 and beyond, take a moment to reflect upon the bravery of Canadian Pilot Officer Andrew Charles Mynarski (Born: October 14, 1916 in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Died: June 13, 1944) who gave his life trying to save his friend Pat Brophy (during their 13th mission on June 12-13, 1944) who was stuck in a gun turret after the Lancaster bomber in which they were flying was hit by enemy fire over France a week after the start of the D-Day invasion. Following the pilot’s order for the crew to bail out, Mynarski crawled through burning hydraulic oil in an unsuccessful attempt to free Pat Brophy who waved him off. Mynarski bailed out, uniform ablaze, which affected the efficacy of his parachute and resulted in a faster and harder fall to the ground. Mynarski was found by French farmers who took him to a German field hospital where he succumbed to his injuries and died. Ironically, Pat Brophy survived the plane crash. Before the mission, Mynarski gave Brophy a four-leaf clover for good luck. Was it coincidence or just plain superstition? That is for the reader to decide. Read Pat Brophy’s account of Andrew Mynarski’s heroic actions here.

On a serious note, Andrew Mynarski was recognized for his bravery when he was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross, the British Commonwealth’s highest military award for bravery and gallantry. Read the text of Mynarski’s Victoria Cross citation from the London Gazette of October 11, 1946 here or see it on the London Gazette website in PDF format here. Consider the following items for borrowing from Toronto Public Library collections:


Our bravest and our best: the stories of Canada's Victoria Cross winners / William Arthur Bishop, 1995. Book. Adult Non-Fiction.

Consult chapter thirty-seven “The Supreme Sacrifice of Three Air Force VCs” for information about Andrew Charles “Andy” Mynarski, David Ernest “Bud” Hornell, and Ian Willoughby Bazalgette.


Mynarski's Lanc the story of two famous Canadian Lancaster bombers, KB726 & FM213

Mynarski's Lanc: the story of two famous Canadian Lancaster bombers, KB726 & FM213 / Bette Page, 1989. Book. Adult Non-Fiction.

Learn about 419 Squadron, Andrew Mynarski, and KB726, the Lancaster bomber of which Mynarski was a crew member on June 12-13, 1944.


The 13th mission: one Lancaster bomber, the women who built it and the men who flew it into history one week after D-day [DVD] / Bette and Jerry Thompson [written/directed/produced], CBC Home Video, 2004. DVD. Documentary. Adult Non-Fiction.

Five of Andy Mynarski’s crew members tell their stories in 1988. Also, learn about the role of women in World War 2 who built Lancaster bombers such as the one that Andy Mynarski flew in.

Snapshots in History: June 12: Remembering Anne Frank and Her Diary

June 12, 2013 | John P. | Comments (0)

On June 12 and beyond, let us remember Annelies “Anne” Marie Frank (Born: June 12, 1929; Died: early March 1945), a victim of the Holocaust who died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Anne Frank is best remembered for her diary, often published as The Diary of a Young Girl. It was on her thirteenth (13th) birthday on June 12, 1942 that she was given a diary which she would fill with her writings that would become famous the world over. She kept the diary for two years in hiding from the Nazis until her family’s capture in 1944. Her father, Otto Frank, the sole survivor of the Frank family retrieved Anne’s diary after World War 2 from friend Miep Gies. Consider the following titles for loan from Toronto Public Library collections:

The diary of a young girl the definitive edition

The diary of a young girl: the definitive edition [1st ed. in the U.S.A.] / Anne Frank, 1995. Book. Non-Fiction. Also available in Audiobook CD, eAudiobook, and eBook formats.


Anne Frank the biography

Anne Frank: the biography [2nd U.S. ed.] / Melissa Müller, 2013. Book. Adult Non-Fiction.


Treasures from the attic the extraordinary story of Anne Frank's family

Treasures from the attic: the extraordinary story of Anne Frank's family [1st U.S. ed.] / Mirjam Pressler with Gerti Elias, 2011. Book. Adult Non-Fiction.

Also available in eBook format.

We all wore stars memories of Anne Frank from her classmates

We all wore stars: memories of Anne Frank from her classmates [1st ed.]  / Theo Coster, 2011. Book. Adult Non-Fiction.

Volunteer Opportunity for Teens at Albert Campbell

June 10, 2013 | Winona | Comments (0)

Attention high school students! Are you interested in earning your volunteer hours by helping out at the library this summer? Albert Campbell is now accepting volunteer applications for our upcoming Weaving Memoirs on the Web program!

Weaving Memoirs on the Web is a free library program that pairs older adults who are interested in telling their life stories in an online blog format with high school student volunteers who provide basic technological assistance. We are offering two series this summer: 

  • Series 1: Wednesdays and Tuesdays, 1:30-3:00 p.m., July 10, 16 (Tuesday), 24, 31
  • Series 2: Tuesdays, 10:00-11:30 a.m., July 30, August 6, 13, 20 

If you like the idea of helping members of an older generation learn how to use computer technology to express themselves, connect with others, and share their life experiences online -- and if you can commit to attending all four weeks in your series -- then drop by Albert Campbell to pick up your volunteer application today!

If you are an older adult interested in joining this program, or if you know an older adult who would enjoy the opportunity to share his or her life stories and gain computer skills, please contact the branch in-person or by phone (416-396-8890). Registration is required, and space is limited.

WMW 2012
Jim with volunteers Usman and Shadman - Weaving Memoirs on the Web Summer 2012
For more volunteer opportunities for all ages check out the Toronto Public Library Volunteering web page.

Travel the World of Literature

June 3, 2013 | ZB | Comments (0)

Summer is approaching and everyone wants to go on a vacation, including me.

But traveling can be very expensive especially if you go overseas as everything adds up: taxi, air flight, hotel, food, sightseeing, etc. Sure, experiencing different cultures, customs and sightseeing is important but what if you cannot travel for whatever reason? Explore new cultures and travel the world by picking up one of these great reads available at TPL.

One amazing thing-India
Me and you-Italy

1China -flag

China - Mo Yan

Bangladesh - Tasalima Nasrin
India - Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Italy - Niccolo Ammaniti



One amazing thing-India
Things we left Unsaid-Iran
Love Marriage-Sri Lanka

India -

Chitra Banerjee




Iran - Zuya Pirzad



Norway - Jo Nesbo


1Sri Lanka 

Sri Lanka-

 V.V. Ganeshananthan


We All Become Stories

June 3, 2013 | Elsa | Comments (0)

To celebrate Senior’s  Month in June, McGregor Park Branch is pleased to have a visit from published authors Ann Elizabeth Carson and Ellen S Jaffe for a reading and discussion about experiences of aging and memory.  Carson’s new book “We All Become Stories” (available in September) contains the voices of “12 elders who made extraordinary changes in their lives to find places for themselves in societies that seldom welcome or respect old age.” What's your experience? Come and join the conversation.

Friday June 7, 2-3 pm
2219 Lawrence Ave. E

The Albert Campbell District Blog is an online resource and place where you can access information related to the Albert Campbell, Eglinton Square, McGregor Park, and Kennedy Eglinton branches. It will feature reading recommendations, information on new titles and resources in the branches, special events and programs, as well as other information of interest to you. We encourage you to make this blog an interactive space by replying and commenting on posts and by subscribing to the RSS feature which allows you to receive blog updates without having to search for them.