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November 2010

Community Café: improving services in the Bathurst-Finch area

November 25, 2010 | Jorge | Comments (1)

Behind our community walls, there is important work being done to ensure that our communities and the services and resources within them, are delivered effectively.  Here in our very own backyard, there are two community networks that coordinate and transmit information to local community agencies.  The Lawrence Heights Inter-organization Network (LHION) and the Bathurst & Finch Network (BFN).

Within these networks are partnerships between community service providers, who discuss, plan and start-up community-based programs.  Some participating organizations include JVS Toronto, Toronto Employment and Social Services, North York Women’s Centre, Toronto Public Library, Unison Community Health Centre, North York Community House, Jewish Family and Child Services, City of Toronto Social Development, Kababayan Community Centre, Humber College, CUIAS Immigrant Services, YMCA Newcomer Information Centre, Alternative Youth Centre for Employment, Jewish Immigrant Aid Services, and Toronto Griffin Centre.  

In fact, the above organizations form a group called: The Bathurst-Finch Local Immigration Partnership (LIP).  Through collective efforts, LIP is pleased to announce that a forum for discussing ways to improve the lives of newcomers and seniors in the Bathurst-Finch area is set to take place on Sunday November 28 from 11 AM- 3 PM.  The start-up has been dubbed “Community Café” to reflect the conversational and entertaining atmosphere mixed with free food and drinks.  As an added plus, the program is offering free childcare to families with children who wish to contribute their thoughts.  For more information about this program, check-out the attached flyer and the Bathurst & Finch Network’s webspace.

Centennial Library drills in new RFID technology

November 20, 2010 | Jorge | Comments (2)

If you are a regular user of the Centennial Library expect above normal noise levels next week. 

If this made you frown, hopefully this cheers you up: a new check-out system is on its way, which grants you the ability to check-out your own library materials.  All this is made possible through a new technology called Radio Frequency Identification or RFID for short.  Many of you have likely interacted with RFID technology.  Take for instance, your micro-chipped cat or dog, any recent purchase of a laptop, car or cell phones - most of these items have embedded RFID technologies.  In the library setting, RFID technology allows you to check-out your own materials in a fast and convenient manner.

If fast and convenient self-service is not enough then consider this hypothetical situation.  Have you ever been at the library and wanted to take out a book but didn’t because you were embarrassed that someone would see?  If you can’t think of anything immediately, take the tweeny vampire series, the Twilight Saga as an example.  Perhaps, at some point you saw it on our library shelves and wondered why teens are jumping off the walls for it.  Looking through the peak holes of the shelves, you nervously grip the book in your hands and wait for your heart beat to settle. You then decide to leave the book behind because Sally, your neighbour who criticized the series over the phone last night, is waiting to have her books checked out and you don’t want her to see that you’ve succumb to vampire fever.  If a self-checkout system was available, you could have circumvented the whole issue.

If you resonate at all with this particular example or the overall situation, then you will be pleased to know that RFID technology offsets these uncomfortable situations.

So if you hear some added noise at Centennial Library this week, remember that a fast, convenient and private check-out option is underway.

Did you know the library has ears?

November 16, 2010 | Jorge | Comments (1)

Yes, I said the library has ears and not books about ears (although we have that too). 
How and why does the library have ears you may ask?  Just like ears, which most mammals use as receptors of sound and hearing, the library has advisory group meetings where library users can make suggestions and express their opinions on library-related topics concerning them.

So the library's advisory groups are like the organs from which value-added comments are received and transmitted, the same way in which our ears receive sound around us. 

But unlike our ears, which for the most part are identical, the library has different types of ears.

Ear type 1: meet the Centennial Library’s Youth Advisory Group or “YAG at CE” for short.  YAG members at the Centennial Library meet every Thursday from 4-7 PM.  The group has been involved with some impressive art work which have displayed on library walls.  At some meetings, special guest speakers are invited to talk about a wide array of topics that interest teens.  See the program details for more information!

Or, YAG at the Barbara Frum Library, is another great example of ‘ear type 1’.  The group meets once a month to discuss some ‘youthful’ topics.  The group is involved with the teen bulletin display and they also offer suggestions for monthly teen programs.  Did you also know that teens who are members of YAG also receive volunteer hours that can be used to chip away at their graduation requirements?  See the program details for more information.

Or ear type 2, the newly founded Seniors Group at the Barbara Frum Library.  The group is a cadre of older adults in the Bathurst & Lawrence community that inform the library primarily about library programs.  At the last monthly meeting in early November, the group spoke about their favourite movies of all time.  Word is that next year; a few of these titles will be selected and screened in celebration of senior’s month in June.  See the program details for upcoming meeting times and more information. 

November blues are here but no need to fear

November 9, 2010 | Jorge | Comments (2)


What are the first few words that you think of when someone brings up the month of November?  I quickly asked staff at the Barbara Frum Library and their responses were surprisingly similar: cold and colder, fall and leaves falling, dark and darker, and remembering lost ones and Remembrance Day.  Some even went as far as calling it “Novembrance.”  

That’s some depressing stuff, isn’t it?

But why get consumed by an inescapable time of the year unless, of course, you’ve carved out enough resources to vacation down south?  Instead, why not take it for what it is and accept that mourning and colder weather is an essential part of our Canadian lives.

So now you may ask: how do we accept the melancholy while remaining happy with our lives?  There is no simple answer but I swear before my very own eyes that I witnessed it at the 30th Annual Holocaust Education Week hosted at the Barbara Frum Library.

On a chilly fall afternoon, it was paradoxical to see smiling faces and chuckles throughout a completely filled room.  Maybe it was Susan Papp’s creative production skill or something else in the air, but for a historically sensitive issue, it was amazing to see how many people came out to show their support in smiles and pride.

Holocaust Education Week at the Toronto Public Library ends today with a presentation at College/Shaw Library.  For other Holocaust Education Week programs outside the library, see the webpage for the Holocaust Centre of Toronto.

You can also borrow Outcasts: A love story, the print version of the film screened at the Barbara Frum Library on November 3.  Just click the book image below to make your request.



         Outcasts: A love Story

Who is Barbara Frum: explaining the etymology of the Barbara Frum District Library

November 1, 2010 | Jorge | Comments (3)

So what is the story behind the naming of the Barbara Frum District Library?  Yes, it is true that the library is named in honour of Barbara Frum (1937-1992), the distinguished Canadian broadcaster and writer who rocked Canadian media in the 80s.  But this wasn’t always the case.  The library originally opened under the name “Bathurst Heights” back in 1962, which served a local community need.  The library quickly became a popular venue in the community and it was only four years later that the library expanded to serve a regional need, so it was renamed “Bathurst Heights Regional Library.”

But how and why did the library’s name change to the Barbara Frum District Library? In the early 90s, population growth mixed with greater demands on library resources and services drove the need for an enlarged facility.  To keep a long story short, the library exchanged property for a brand new facility at 20 Covington Rd and renamed the building after a local hero and distinguished national treasure, Barbara Frum.

On your next visit to the Barbara Frum Library check out our photo displays of Barbara Frum on the 1st and 3rd floors. 

For further reading on Barbara Frum, check out these reading materials and research databases:


A Daughter's Memoir - BF

Canada in Context


Biology and Genealogy Master Index


As it Happened

Barbara Frum:

A Daughter's Memoir  

Canada in Context Biography and Genealogy Master Index

As it Happened

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