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September 2012

Museum and Arts Passes - Service Update

September 25, 2012 | Claire A | Comments (0)



Beginning October 2012, the weekly distribution of Barbara Frum's Museum and Arts Passes (MAP) will be moved from Monday evenings to Thursdays mornings. Starting Thursday, October 4, the MAP will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Line up for the passes will begin outside the front doors of the branch at 9:00 a.m. A sign will be posted. We ask that people do not save places in line for themselves or others.  If you have any questions about the new distribution method, please feel free to call staff at the branch at 416-395-5440. 

Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot... and Dolly Beil

September 19, 2012 | Cynthia | Comments (2)

   Jewish people here in Toronto and all over the world are now in the midst of three very important holidays.  The first is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, the first of the High Holy Days.  This two day celebration is believed to be the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve,  the first man and woman, and their first actions toward the realization of mankind’s role in God’s world*   This year, this was from sunset on September 16 to nightfall on September 18.

    This holiday is followed by Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the holiest day of the year for Jewish people.  This holy day is traditionally observed with a 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer.  This year, it is from sunset September 25 to nightfall on September 26*

    From October 1 through 8, Jewish people will celebrate the holiday of Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles.  It is a biblically mandated festival on which Hebrews were commanded to make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem.  "Sukkot" is the plural of "sukkah," referring to the fragile dwellings the Israelites used during their 40 years of travel in the desert after fleeing from Egypt.*

     In Toronto, we should all be familiar with the sight of Jewish people walking to or from their local synagogues during these days.

     But what might it have been like to have grown up in another country?  The Barbara Frum Library is very pleased to be able to present Dolly Beil, author of

Growing up Jewish in China” on Tuesday October 2, at 7 pm.   Dolly was born in 1927 and  grew up in Tsingtao, Mukden, Harbin and Tientsin. “ She and her family lived through the Japanese occupation of China, liberation by Americans at the end of World War II, civil war between Nationalist and Communist forces, and the flight of foreign nationals from an increasingly closed society.”  **   We expect her evening with us to be full of fascinating and entertaining stories, and urge people to preregister for this event.

     Dolly and her family were among many Jewish people who lived and continue to live in China.  Here are some other suggestions for reading on this topic:

Shanghai Diary

  Jews in old china

China dreams



* source: Wikipedia

** source:


Library PC Tips

September 17, 2012 | Jorge | Comments (0)

Library PC Tricks If you use library computers for web browsing, creating documents or something as simple as printing – you might find some of these tricks useful.

Tip 1- Hold my spot! So you’re in the library and you receive an important call. Being the courteous person that you are, you wish to leave your workspace and answer the call privately. There is one problem: you do not want to lose the work you’ve started on your computer – the online application, web pages, and document work. If you ever find yourself in this position, try this:

1. Go to the Library Online start-up menu
2. Click Stand By – note that you are given a maximum of 10 minutes to hold your space
Standby pic3. Enter your PIN to regain access

Enter PINTip 2Excel or Word? This tip you can use in or outside the library. If you are wondering whether you should use Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Word you should ask yourself a few questions before you start. First, consider whether you will need to make any calculations. If so, Excel can do the work for you. If you want to create a table and have the option of re-arranging the data or filtering data, then you’re better off using Excel as well. If your overall purpose is to format and type text to create a flyer, report, letter or simple chart then you’re better off using Microsoft Word.

Tip 3 – Give me the new stuff!! If you are the type of person that likes to get your hands on our fresh supply of materials then listen up.

1. Visit our homepage,
2. Without clicking, hover over the Books, Video, Research & More Tab


3. Select the type of new material you like (e.g., New Adult Fiction)
4. Copy the URL
5. Open a RSS feed manager, like
6. Add a feed to your inbox, by pasting the URL in step 4 (use Mozilla Firefox if you can)
7. Receive all the updates at your fingertips

Thinking of Naming your baby Katniss, Bella or Arya?

September 4, 2012 | Kate S. | Comments (2)

How did you pick your children’s names?  Lots of parents get their inspiration for names from characters in books.   My own daughter is named after the main character in one of my favourite childhood stories.  A story I fell in love with, and begged my mother to read to me repeatedly.  It also happens to be the name of my great grandmother, so it has some family history to it as well.


Many authors are credited with popularizing names, and some have even invented their own names that have become commonly used. Shakespeare created several names including, Miranda for the Tempest, from the Latin word meaning “to be admired”.  The poet Philip Sydney invented the name Pamela in the late sixteenth century for his poem Arcadia, which was later popularized by Samuel Richardson’s eighteenth century novel, Pamela. 

Peter PanJ.M. Barrie is often credited with creating the name Wendy for his popular play turned novel, Peter Pan, but some experts state that the name was previously used as a short form for Gwendolyn, and appeared in the United States census a handful of times prior to the publication of Peter Pan.  Barrie may not have invented the name, but he inspired many parents to name their daughters after Wendy Darling. 

TwilightMore recently there has been a rise in the use of the names Bella, and Edward, inspired by Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Series, and even the name Renesmee (a blending of the names Rene and Esme) which Meyer coined in Breaking Dawn has been chosen by a number of parents, although it hasn’t reached the top of the charts yet. 


Game of Thrones The Hunger GamesSuzanne Collins popular Hunger Games Trilogy  has a long list of unusual names, most based in nature or agriculture, or have a Roman flair, and it will be interesting to see which ones will become commonly used.   Would you name your child Katniss, Primrose, Peeta, Finnick, or Rue?  What about Cinna or Enobara? Another popular series inspiring baby naming trends, is A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin.  Soon we might be seeing an influx of children named Daenerys, Eddard, Bran, or Arya. Do you know anyone named after a character from a book?


If you're looking for some more baby naming inspiration try some of the books listed below.  They provide the meaning and origin of the most popular names, from the traditional to the modern.

The Everything Baby Names Book       Babble's guide to choosing the perfect name       The Baby Names Almanac       Penguin Book of Baby Names

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