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October 2011

Be Patient: We’ll be Back Soon with Express Service!

October 26, 2011 | Jorge | Comments (9)

Is there anything more frustrating than waiting in a line when you’re pressed for time?  Perhaps there is, but if you forgot what it might feel like let me remind you.  Out with a few friends over the weekend, I had a build up of self-directed thoughts as we awaited the hostess to seat us for our dinner reservation.  Here they are:
Keep talking - fool your mind into thinking that you’re not waiting;
Ignore the cold - it’s all about mind over matter;
Stay focused – quit looking around at all the steamy dishes being served;
Play it off – irritability is a natural emotion;
Keep quiet – complaining will ruin it for everyone;
Stop fidgeting – you’re starting to look crazy!

It sounds impatient, doesn't it?  Let’s face it; our time is as valuable as our money and nobody likes losing it.   The Barbara Frum Library is taking measures to save you some time.  In a few weeks, a quick, easy and private self checkout option will be available for everyone.  In a previous article, I mentioned the RFID installation at Centennial Library, a similar setup will allow you to engage with the technology, so you can be out at your own pace.  I've worked at branches with an operational self-checkout system in place and it really is that quick and easy.

Important Information to Follow

If you’ve dropped by the Barbara Frum Library lately, you likely noticed signs indicating our branch renovation closure beginning Monday October 31, 2011. Here are a couple of important items that should help guide your actions during our closure:

  • Our last day of service will be Sunday October 30, 2011 from 1:30-5 pm.  We are officially closed Monday October 31, 2011 and will reopen in mid November 2011.
  • Book return services will be available from Monday October 31, 2011 to Friday November 4, 2011 at 5 p.m. and will restart Monday November 7, at 9 a.m.  Note there will be no book return Friday evening to Monday morning
  • Barbara Frum Recreation Centre (lower level) will continue its operation during renovation but will close Friday November 4, 2011 at 5 p.m. and will reopen Monday November 7.
  • Holds bound to Barbara Frum will automatically be rerouted to the Locke Library (Yonge & Lawrence).  Please be aware that you have ability to manage your holds online.  If you prefer another pickup location, or you would like to suspend your hold for the period in which the library is closed, please do so beforehand (the sooner, the better).  For instructions on managing your holds please read these frequently asked questions

BF nearby branches
Forest Hill Library
700 Eglinton Ave West

Armour Heights Library
2140 Avenue Rd

Amesbury Park Library
1565 Lawrence Ave West

Centennial Library
578 Finch Ave West

Locke Library
3083 Yonge St




Halloween for Everybody: Fresh Ideas to Keep You Festive

October 24, 2011 | Jorge | Comments (0)

WalkinSipderg down the street with blue humanoids from nearby stars is out of the ordinary, but not if it’s Halloween.  This is the time of year people have an excuse to wear outlandish garments, heavy duty makeup and for some, revealing what your momma gave ya’.  If you’re still planning your freakish ensemble but are bored by the mainstream staple of Halloween costumes then check out the books below for fresh ideas and do-it- yourself projects. 




The Halloween Handbook:
447 Costumes

Creative Costumes &
Halloween Decor
Homemade Halloween

If Halloween dress-up is not for you, there are other ways to embrace the spirit of Halloween.  For cookers, why not prepare a devilish cake or a wicked treat for your family and friends?  You might have done this before, but why not shake it up and make something new?  New dishes give your food menu that unexpected wow factor. There are so many ideas out there, but taking the advice of an established professional is a fine approach.  So what new dishes can you make?   Try these book titles for ideas and recipe information.




Halloween: the Best of
Martha Stewart Living

Halloween Treats: Recipes
and Crafts for the Whole
Goulish Goodies

If dress-up or cooking isn’t quite your thing and somewhere inside you wants to be festive then consider participating in events, festivals or exhibits across the city.  Or checkout your local library for program listings, we have a fine selection of storytelling sessions and spooky puppet shows for children, and free movies for adults and teens.

Don't miss out! Spiderweb1

Looking for a Great Toddler Book?

October 20, 2011 | Kate S. | Comments (0)

Getting toddlers to sit still for even a few minutes can be a challenge.  Reading can be a wonderful way to get them to relax and focus on one thing, and it also allows you a moment to rest!  If you don’t have time to sit and read during the day with your child, including it as part of the nap and bedtime routine gives children something to look forward to, and makes going to sleep a little easier.

Most toddlers already have specific interests that can be found in books, be it trains, ducks, dogs or even the colour red.  My daughter is turning two in a few months, and she already knows what she likes.  Here are a few of her favorites which are sure to be a hit with your toddler too:

BedtimebunniesBedtime Bunnies by Wendy Watson

This book is simplicity at its finest.  Its onomatopoeic language (e.g., “Gobble, munch, crunch” for a bedtime snack of carrots), and uncluttered illustrations are easy for a toddler to fully understand.  The familiar bedtime routine is also something they can relate to.  My daughter was much more enthusiastic about brushing her teeth after seeing bunnies do it!



Boo Hoo Bird by Jeremy Tankard Boo Hoo Bird

It's amazing how much empathy toddlers have!  Every time my daughter reads this book, she says, "Oh, no! Poor Birdie!", when bird gets a small bump on the head. She then has to kiss his "boo-boo" better, and give him a little snuggle.  Tankard's colourful illustrations, and humorous narrative, make this book appealing to toddlers and adults.



Papa Please Get the MoonPapa, Please Get the Moon for Meby Eric Carle

My daughter is very interested in nature.  Now that the moon is appearing earlier in the evening she is getting her first chance to see the night sky.  She loves watching the moon disappear and come back in this book. This is a classic Eric Carle book with lovely illustrations and a beautiful story.





Gossie & Gertie by Olivier Dunrea Gossie & Gertie

A sweet little book about two ducks who are best friends, and do almost everything together.  If your toddler likes this one, look for others by Dunrae featuring these and other ducks.





Good Night GorillaGood Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathman

A great bedtime book, with wonderful illustrations.  Humorous, and a delight to read, even for the four-hundredth time!  Watch the gorilla as he lets all the animals out of their cages, and they follow the zoo keeper home to bed.

Bringing Communities Together

October 11, 2011 | Jorge | Comments (0)

Community Across-the-ally
Consider the classic tale, Across the Alley, written by award winning author Richard Michelson.  It’s a story about two boys – one Jewish, one African-American - living next door to each other.  Behind closed doors, the boys exchange talents and become interested in activities that don’t typify each race.  Through support from their families, the boys are able to continue their newfound talents and overcome barriers between both communities.

The significance of this narrative brings me to this question: how important is social cohesion to a functional society?  I’m sure we all agree that it is an essential ingredient although this is not to suggest that everyone must think, act and live uniformly – it is a simple suggestion that socializing with the ‘other’ and recognizing commonalities creates a healthy society for all.

Toronto is the world’s cosmopolitan capital: difference exists here in every way thinkable.   With all the great progress this city has made to overcome these differences, social bridges that connect different groups still need to be made.  Everyone living, working, schooling or playing in Toronto’s diverse communities should feel a sense of belonging – an almost indescribable feeling that “yes, I am part of something.”

I am absolutely sure that all of us want that something to be the best that it possibly can.  Sure, it doesn’t happen overnight, but if efforts were made from all angles, change is possible.

So how can you get involved?

There are some wonderful community events and fairs organized by the Lawrence Heights Inter-Organization Network, LHION for short.  There are so many ways to participate – as a resident, community agency or business.  

Sunday October 23, from 1-5 PM – LHION, The Neptune Renewal Group, the City of Toronto, and Toronto Community Housing are organizing the One Community Festival - an ingenious event bringing together the communities of Lawrence Heights, Lotherton, Neptune and Lawrence Manor/Baycrest.  Download OneCommunityFestival_Proposal flyer for more.

Wednesday October 19th from 1-4 PM – Participate in the Lawrence Heights Community Awareness Fair.  Information booths and workshops will address the needs of building community in Lawrence Heights.  Download LH Community Awareness Fair_Flyer for more details.


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