Toronto Public Library Homepage

This page has been archived and is no longer updated.

« November 2011 | Main | January 2012 »

December 2011

To Resolute or Not: That is the Question

December 29, 2011 | Jorge | Comments (0)

Jan 1As the January 1 approaches, a considerable number of us look at the days ahead and envision ourselves in an improved state, whether that means to develop a healthy habit or characteristic, shaking off a bad one, or both.  A colleague made the point clear to me the other day that not all of us make New Year resolutions – a commitment known as ‘resolute to no resolutions.’  A survey released by the Journal of Clinical Psychology reported that the number of resoluters vs. non-resoluters is 50/50, interesting stuff huh?


Let me focus on the half that chooses to resolute for a moment – why do they do it and why is it important?  For those that don't, please also pay attention!  Take me for an example.  I fall into the resoluter category.  Each year, a few weeks before the start of a new calendar year, I think to myself "what do I want to achieve by year end?"  I frame my resolution as a piecemeal process, one that requires a gradual input of energy to achieve a desired outcome.  Take my 2011 resolution for example: improving living conditions at home.  The overall process looks like this: 1. Declutter the house 2. Reconfigure furniture setup 3. Install aesthetical improvements.  Obviously this could not happen overnight, it required phases with framed project deadlines (and assistance from my father of course).  Did the outcome make me happy?  Yes, our home is so much more spacious, energetic and refreshing… I feel good!

HappinessProjectcoverBIG.1When you really think about the process of setting resolutions, you notice that it is synonymous with goal setting.  It sounds like school work, but it’s not!  It’s about discovering something about your living that is making you unhappy, and thinking about the proper measures that will help you change that.  So what can you do?  I don’t have the answer to the exact procedure but I have a few resources that can help you get started.  First, if you are having problems framing your resolution then you MUST read this bestselling work by Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project (also available as an eBook).  In it she goes through questions that any resoluter should ask themselves before and during any resolution – think of it as a framework that guides the success of what you are trying to resolve.

Frameworks are good but are they enough?  Sometimes we need knowledge from an experienced professional that can speak on a subject and answer our questions directly.  The Barbara Frum Library has speaker resources at your disposal on some very interesting topics worthy for resolution!

January 11, 2012 at 2 p.m.Throw it or Keep it: Decluttering Your Personal Records
Conducted by an information professional, this workshop will help you with the paper clutter problem.  What records do you keep and which ones do you throw away and why?

January 18, 2012 at 7 p.m. Gluten-free, Diary-free, Sugar-free Living Made Easy
Victoria Yeh, author of Gluten-Free, Diary-free, Sugar-free Living Made Easy will show you how to adapt your favourite recipes to a more healthy diet.

January 25, 2012 at 7 p.m.You Can Do it: Build and Maintain Motivation in Your Life
For all those uninspired to resolute this year and for those lacking the juice to improve their livelihood this program is for you.  Based on the latest motivation research, experienced educator - Suzanne Hidi -will explain what it requires to build and maintain motivation in your life.

Whats your resolution?  Engage in our blog and let us know!  We can make resource recommendations you know!

~ Happy New Year ~

Holiday Songs that Warm You Up

December 17, 2011 | Jorge | Comments (3)

Written by Cristina & Jorge

It started the day after Halloween. Radios began playing holiday music. Whether you love it or hate it, there it is. It follows you in the car, while shopping in stores, and there is no way to escape it…but do we really want to? Holiday music has a way of bringing out the joy of the season. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza or any other holiday in the month of December there is always music to put you in a great mood. This is the type of music that has employees spending extra money, school children jumping off the walls and drivers belting out a tune while going about their day.

Whether you are listening to Jingle Bells or the Dreidl song, you can’t help but feel a sense of happiness.  For both the musician and the aficionado, the library has resources that share the cheerfulness of the season.

For the practicing musician, try the Complete Book of Chanukah Songs.  It’s truly a unique collection of songs in Yiddish, Hebrew, Ladino, and English written by the best Jewish songwriters.  You can also borrow 34 Hebrew and Yiddish Melodies, a collection of music sheets in Hebrew or Yiddish with English translations and annotations.  If you’re feeling Merry, then why not try Holiday Hits – a selection of top Christmas songs for advanced pianists.  Remember, we also have resources for the little ones that like making holiday noise (this time pleasant ones, let’s hope).  Try the classic Lamb Chop’s Special Chanukah or Songs of Chanukah 1st Ed.

The complete chanukah song                                                   

34 c_

Holiday hits

The Complete Chanukah Songbook

34 Hebrew and Yiddish Melodies Holiday Hits

If you prefer to listen to music rather than sing it yourself, there are so many CDs at your disposal.  Here are some of our personal favourites: Sing the Cold Winter Away: Family Songs for Wintertime, A Merry Christmas with Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters and one of our branch favourites, Chanukah at Grover’s Corner

Sing the cold Winter away

Merry Christmas with Bing Crosby                                                 

Chanukah at Grover's Corner

Sing the Cold Winter Away

A Merry Christmas
Chanukah at Grover's Corner

Speaking of Chanukah, the library hosted a special Chanukah Concert Wednesday night. Nearly 90 people participated in the cheerful celebration including CTV who caught some footage of the group’s current repertoire.  “Cheerful and warm, this concert certainly built up an appetite for Chanukah next week” shouted a member from the public. Thanks to the Toronto Jewish Folk Choir for creating a warm buzz in the community and kick starting the festival of lights! Images below are from this year's concert, a short snippet follows.

Chanukah Left    Chanukah Centre   Chanukah RIGHT


For upcoming holiday concerts, check out for a listing of holiday events.


Homemade Gifts Made Easy

December 3, 2011 | Kate S. | Comments (0)

With the holidays fast approaching, everyone is rushing to the malls to find something perfect for all the people on their list.  Wouldn’t it be nice to avoid the line-ups, traffic, and high priced items, and make it at home yourself?  Homemade gifts are a thoughtful alternative, and they can range from simple to complex projects.  While you might not have the time to knit everyone a scarf, or put together a quilt, baking, beauty products, and small crafted gifts can take little time and produce wonderful results. 

One year my sister and I made bath salts, bath bombs and soaps, as gifts.  Most of the ingredients were available from the craft store, and the supermarket.  A quick trip to the dollar store for some pretty bottles and baskets to put them in, and we had nice gifts, with natural ingredients that looked impressive, and smelled great!  This would be a great project to do with your friends, or kids, and it's surpisingly easy!

Here are some book suggestions for making homemade gifts:

Homemade Gifts Food for Friends  Last Minute Knitted Gifts Making Scented Soap


Welcome to the Barbara Frum District Blog! This interactive space is filled with information about your community and your library. We will keep you up-to-date on the latest happenings in the community and on the newest library events, resources and programs.

We want you to be part of our blog too. We invite you to reply and post comments. Also, remember to subscribe to the RSS feature which will enable you to receive blog updates without having to search for them. How the RSS feeds work