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March 2013

Let's Have a Little Fun Today

March 19, 2013 | Claire A | Comments (1)

A good friend of mine recently had a few setbacks in her life and told me she was having trouble finding a good book that she could get into.  She didn't want anything sad or heavy, she just wanted a light read.  I looked for days trying to find something that might interest her.  One afternoon, I was watching The Ellen Degeneres Show and she mentioned her latest book.  I thought to myself, I watch Ellen everyday and she always makes me laugh, maybe I should recommend her book to my friend.  It turns out that it was exactly what she needed to put a smile on her face.  I love Ellen and I find that she never disappoints me.  However Im feeling, she always seems to say or do something that makes me laugh  Reading her book really lifted my friends spirits and I was so glad I could find her something that would help.   If you are in need of a book that will brighten up your day, check out these titles by  these very funny ladies. 

Ellen     Mindy     Tina

Chelsea     Sarah     Joan

Stompin' Tom saved my career, or, you might think it's goofy, but the new librarian is a newbie....

March 11, 2013 | Denise | Comments (2)


The year, 1990. The setting, the Audio Visual Department at North York Central Library where, a few nervous months after arriving in Canada, I had begun working in a temporary position.  I might have been the first South African librarian they had worked with. It is certain that I was probably one of the most confused and also one of the luckiest they had met.


As any newcomer to Canada or any other country soon finds out, being the "new kid on the block" involves so much more than learning a new language or which side of the road to drive on. Once, I listened to a programme on CBC in the 1990's about newcomers to Canada. Of  the many people who were interviewed for the show, the vast majority stated that it was much harder trying to integrate into the new culture than the actually learning of English as a Second Language. It is such a good thing that today there are so many wonderful resources for newcomers such as LIP and .

 Anyway, returning to my early, angst-drenched days here  - would my previous experience be enough to keep the job? Would I fit in with the work group? Would my accent prevent me being understood? How would I ever manage to learn the intricate booking sytem? And who on earth was Stompin' Tom? What did he do? And why was he so important to one of my colleagues in particular?

Soon I was enlightened. Somewhere between the "voluntary" viewing of an old 16mm film, Across This Land with Stompin' Tom Connors and the gleeful, unabashed joy of those watching me watch the film, Stompin Tom got to me.  Seeing him in all his everyman glory, stamping away in his famous style, sharing the love he had for all things CA-NA-DA.  From that unlikely moment on, the Stompin' Tom bond grew between myself and my colleagues. From the annual Stompin Tom parties held at the end of each crazy year,to any mention of Bud the Spud, by any of us, warm chuckles would soon erupt and often an extra snippet of info about him would emerge.

In this bizarrely unexpected way, my first feeling of community in Canada slowly developed. Slowly but surely, my knowledge of Canadiana grew and so did my confidence. It wasn't too long before I realised that I need not feel bad that Tim Horton hadn't invited me personally for a coffee, because "he" was a chain.  And I soon stopped bumping into people when I realised that one walked on the right down supermarket aisles.

So, thanks to all of you from AV - you know who you are! - and thanks to Stompin' Tom, I found out all about Canada and how goofy it was to be a Newbie. I mean Newfy.

The wearing of the green

March 5, 2013 | Sephora | Comments (0)

St. Patrick’s Day, celebrated on March 17th has become a day when everyone, regardless of nationality, is Irish for the day.  On “St. Paddy’s Day”, people flock to their local pub for a drink with friends, usually donning something green, because it is a day associated with mirth and merriment.  Banners, signs and t-shirts emblazoned with the words “Kiss me, I’m Irish” can be seen everywhere, in addition to pictures of shamrocks and leprechauns.  Spirited Irish music can be heard and many an impromptu song can erupt from crowds of happy revelers.  How much is known about the history of St. Patrick though?

 In the Catholic calendar, the feast day of St. Patrick is March 17th.  St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, even though he was not Irish by birth.  It is believed that St. Patrick was of English or Scottish origin, and he journeyed to Ireland as a missionary.  There are many legends associated with him, including the famous tale in which he banished all the snakes from Ireland. 

 If you are interested in finding out more about the origins of St. Patrick’s Day and the history of St. Patrick himself, check out these titles available through the Toronto Public Library catalogue:


                       Swh1                Swh2


The History of St. Patrick’s Day (DVD) and The Wearing of the Green by Mike Cronin.


Today, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated around the world in both religious and secular ways.  Here in Toronto, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade will take place on Sunday, March 17th, beginning at 12:00 noon.

The procession will travel east from Bloor and St. George Street to Bloor and Yonge Street, then proceed south along Yonge Street to Queen Street, and finally proceed west to University Ave. where it will end at Nathan Phillips Square.  For more information, please visit the parade website at

Since no celebration is quite complete without some lively Irish music, be sure to tune into CHIN radio’s Irish and Scottish hour hosted by Toronto’s beloved Irish personality, radio host, comedian, entertainer and 2010 Irish Person Of The Year, Hugo Straney 

However you decide to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, may the luck of the Irish be with you and if you’re heading out for a pint of green beer somewhere, don’t forget the Irish Gaelic for cheers: Sláinte!













































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