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March 2014

Play Chess? Volunteer!

March 29, 2014 | Loretta | Comments (0)

Are you a youth looking to earn volunteer hours? Love playing chess in your free time and want to spread your knowledge of this great game? Join the Chess in the Library (CITL) program!


Chess in the library is a student volunteer-run program. Since 2009, the program has expanded to public libraries all across Canada. Members of the program gather each week to play casual chess, blitz, and CFC rated games.

If you're interested in volunteering for this program at the Barbara Frum Branch, please apply directly at

Spring Decorating Ideas and How to Plan Your Next Renovation

March 18, 2014 | Loretta | Comments (0)

It's been a long winter but spring is finally in the air. Time to say goodbye to the winter blues! Nothing says a fresh start like doing some spring cleaning and a little redecorating. Home decoration trends, just like your wardrobe, change with every season. Check out current Spring trends in intererior design with these magazines, available in branch:
House&home BHG April 2014 Cover April-covers-2014

If you're looking to completely revamp your home but don't know where to start, drop by Barbara Frum Branch on Tuesday, March 25, 6:30-8 pm for a Home Renovation Workshop:
Contractor, Greg Peterson of Renovantage, his staff, and a panel of experts will explain the legal, financial, and construction aspects of planning a successful home renovation. Please register in person at Barbara Frum Branch or by calling 416-395-5440.
Happy Decorating!

Favourite Books for Babies -- Great to Borrow or to Give

March 13, 2014 | Kate S. | Comments (0)

I received an invitation to a baby shower recently that requested that we each bring a favorite childhood book as a gift for the new baby. I thought this was a lovely idea, but how could I choose just one book from a list of the hundred favourites in my head? I decided to enlist the help of my four year old, which resulted in the removal of every single book from her bookshelf and the reading of all of her old and new favourites. She was very sure of what the baby would like, and we chose books that she thought the baby would enjoy right away. We settled on two books:

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox: The combination of Mem Fox’s writing and Helen Oxenbury’s illustrations make this one of the sweetest children’s books around. I’ve read this one to my daughter since birth and she still loves it today.




Moo Baa La La LaMoo, Baa, La La La! by Sandra Boyton (or any book by Sandra Boyton): I love Sandra Boyton. Every book she writes is a delight. The text is simple, the pictures are cute, and they are very funny. Some of the Boyton books are even available as Apps for Apple and Android devices which really make the books come to life.



Here are some other books that were in our top ten. Most of these are available to place holds on, but each Toronto Public Library branch also has a collection of board books that are not in the catalogue. That is where you will find many of the Sandra Boynton titles, as well as other favourites in the tougher baby friendly format:

Dear ZooDear Zoo by Rod Campbell: Lift the flaps and see what animals the zoo has sent the young child in this story. Cute, with a simple story.




Good Night GorillaGood Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathman: This almost wordless picture book is fabulous – try telling a different story each night, and when they’re older let them make one up.



Harry the Dirty DogHarry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion: This is one of the books that I remember taking out over and over again from the library as a child, and I never get sick of reading it. My daughter loves it too, and she was sure that any baby would be happy to listen to it.




Same SameSame Same by Marthe Jocelyn: Find the similarities in the objects and creatures in the colourful illustrations, or make up your own story to go along with the pictures.





Sing a Song of Mother GooseSing a Song of Mother Goose by Barbara Reid: Every child needs a book of nursary rhymes and this is a delightful collection illustrated in Reid's signature style with scenes made of plasticine and photographed.




Splendid Spotted SnakeThe Splendid Spotted Snake by Betty Anne Schwartz: As you turn each page in this magic ribbon book the snake gets bigger and bigger, and he gets more spots in varying colours. Available only as reference at TPL, but worth taking a look at. 




Time for BedTime for Bed by Mem Fox: My daughter used to request this book every single night. It’s beautifully written and the illustrations are lovely. It’s a simple concept – animals saying goodnight to their little ones, and the rhyming rhythmic text makes it perfect for bedtime.



The Very Hungry CaterpillarThe Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle: This classic book is still one of my daughter's favourites. This one can easily be made interactive with a little stuffed caterpillar toy - my daughter used to love making the little caterpillar eat all of the food.

International Women's Day

March 8, 2014 | Olena | Comments (0)

Celebrate International Women’s Day on the 8th of March. Historically it arose at the dawn of the 20th century as a day of solidarity amongst the working women to become more vocal and active in campaigning for change.

In 1910 during a second International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen, Clara Zetkin (Leader of the 'Women's Office' for the Social Democratic Party in Germany) suggested the idea of an International Women's Day. On this day, activist women all over the world were supposed to organize meetings and marches in order to increase public awareness of women’s problems.  Over time, International Women's Day has grown to become a global day of recognition and celebration and has been marked by the UN since 1975.

Eventually women in the world occupied a dignified place in society. Women hold executive positions in politics, in education and finance systems, and they chair different foundations and conquer space.  And… they make every effort to stay beautiful, desired, affectionate, delicate and sweet. Traditionally in Eastern Europe where this holiday is very popular and widely celebrated, on the 8th of March (or before the date) women suspend and postpone all their important every day routines and businesses and start their magic called “I am a woman”. I would like to share some titles that reveal the secrets of being young, looking beautiful, and feeling good.


Forever Young     Beauty Quotient   Look Good Feel Good    


 Beauty Prescription    Your Body Beautiful    Give your Face a Lift

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