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August 2011

Young Readers Make A Splash at Cedarbrae

August 24, 2011 | Andrea | Comments (0)

The little girl is all of six, shy but determined to deliver the best book report any librarian had ever heard. She carefully places City Alphabet on the desk, scoops up the dice in her small hands, and tosses. When the dust settles, she’s rolled a 10. The corresponding question is: “How did the story end?” The girl doesn’t miss a beat – she flips to the last page of the book and says, perfectly serious, “With the letter Z.”

Despite these rampant spoilers, the TD Summer Reading Club has brought many and more earnest young readers to the library since June, flocking to the children’s area to report on all the books they’ve read. This year’s theme is Splash! Celebrate Summer, but kids don’t just have to read books about sailors and mermaids and pirates – although who can resist a stirring seafaring story? – they can choose any titles at their reading level, both fiction and non-fiction. The kids get the opportunity to relish the reading club ritual of rolling the dice, and library staff get to ask them questions about the book, e.g. “Did you laugh when you read it?” Sometimes they say no, and the quiet ones must be persuaded to explain why. Others are overjoyed to recount every twist and turn of the entire plot. Luckily, no one seems to mind the spoilers flying everywhere!


For every book they read, the kids get a stamp on a big blue bookmark, plus a sticker to put on their official SRC poster (drawn by award-winning Canadian illustrator Kim LaFave). When they fill up a bookmark’s worth of nine remarkable reads and collect all nine stickers, they get to “level up” to the Read On! program, where they read five books at a time and get ballots to enter a summer's-end draw for fabulous mystery prizes. When they complete their Summer Reading Club activities, the kids receive a certificate and the chance to see their name in lights: on the Fishing Line of Fame! One girl was so delighted to finish that her mother told her to pose with a librarian for a picture.

So it has been quite the busy summer in Cedarbrae’s children’s department – we listened to 3251 Summer Reading Club book reports, and that’s not counting the 2840 books devoured by ravenous readers for the Read On! program. That’s a lot of eager kids (997 registered for the SRC, and over a thousand attended our 32-and-counting programs) chattering about sharks and secret agents, Elephant and Piggie, Geronimo Stilton, Nancy Drew, the continuing adventures of the Rainbow Fairies, and all the rest of a cast of thousands. Not surprisingly, most of these book reports have melded together into one big blur, but here are a few standouts:

1.fishTasdeed, a young newcomer, always writes 11 years, 9 months as his age on the prize ballots we give him. He is a very serious young man who joined the SRC in order to improve his English. He told us that he doesn’t really like to read, but he struggles on with beginning and easy readers. To date he has read over 90 books – not bad for someone who ‘doesn’t like reading!’ Another little girl, who only recently arrived in Canada and does not speak English, refuses to let a language barrier get in the way of participating in the SRC. She reads a book in her own language and then comes in with a cousin who is fluent in English to translate for her!

Then there’s Matthew. He is only five and just learning to read, but wanted to join the SRC when his older sister did. One day there was a wretched wailing coming from the foyer of the library. Matthew was there with his mother, crying his heart out. He had forgotten to bring his bookmark, which is required to do a book report, and he was heartbroken thinking that he wouldn’t be able to do a report that day. We let him do the report that day and stamped his bookmark later – it was that important to him.

Matthew is not the only one who feels strongly about his SRC achievements. Another boy came to the desk last week, very concerned that the fish with his name was drooping off the Fishing Line of Fame and you couldn’t see his name anymore. After we corrected this monstrous mistake, he stood there for a moment admiring his fish. It means a lot to the kids to see tangible evidence of their efforts on display for all to see.


At the beginning of the summer, many kids were shy when they came up to the desk. Little Kush was one such child. It used to be like pulling teeth to get him to talk about what he had read, but not for long. A few days ago, he rushed to the desk with a dinosaur book, so excited to talk about it that he wanted to read every page aloud! And even pre-readers can get something out of the SRC. An adorable toddler came to the desk with a board book and proceeded to retell the entire story. When she stopped, we pointed to a word in the book and asked her what it was. She put her hands on her hips and huffed, “I can’t read yet, you know!” Well, maybe she couldn’t read, but she sure was great at telling a story – a perfect example of how the SRC can help little ones develop their narrative skills!

Our favourite moment came near the end of the reading club, when a boy and a girl came in and did their last book report. They were both very excited to get their final sticker and certificate. We gave them each a fish to write their names on and told them the fish would go up on the wall later. A short while after, when the fish were hanging from the line, we heard squeals of delight. The brother and sister were standing in front of the Fishing Line of Fame, jumping up and down and pointing out their fish to their mother. If only we’d had a camera!

Neil Gaiman on Librarians

August 22, 2011 | Scott | Comments (6)

Neil Gaiman writes books for adults and children; he writes graphic novels, picture books and fantasy novels. He also says very wise, timely things including this quote, woven into the carpet at the new Gungahlin Public Library in Canberra, Australia.


2011 Young Voices Conference

August 16, 2011 | Scott | Comments (0)

The North York Central Library host an annual youth event that focuses on the artistic and creative talents of the youth within the city of Toronto. The Young Voices Conference is organized by the Toronto Public Library with a focus on creating space for youth to get a chance to develop their creative skills and interests in a setting outside of the classroom.

This year the theme of the Young Voices Conference is that of "Genre Blending" and the keynote speaker will be Toronto's own Andrew Pyper. Andrew is the author of such critically acclaimed novels as "Lost Girls", "The Killing Circle" and his most recent novel "The Guardians". Andrew will be kicking off the conference with an address and will also be giving two seminars on creative writing with a focus on the theme of genre blending.

Other workshops include: graphic novels, script writing, visual arts, journalism, non-fiction, and spoken word with an open mic session. Also all involved participants will be leaving that day with an instant anthology of all the work that was created during the conference.

This is an all day event and space is limited so make sure that you pre-register by following this link:    

For youth ages 12-19.

The conference details are:

Saturday, October 15, 2011
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
North York Central Library
5120 Yonge Street
(North York Centre subway station)

(please don't) Kill Shakespeare

August 9, 2011 | Maciek | Comments (0)


(click on the picture to place the hold)

Word Out comes to Cedarbrae!

Meet the creators of one of this year's Word Out graphic novel picks: "Kill Shakespeare", a high adventure mash-up that pits all of Shakespeare's noble heroes against his most despicable villains. Learn all about this great read and get tips on creating your own comics.


Cedarbrae Library, Tuesday Aug 16, 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.


Are you just too busy?

August 5, 2011 | Erin | Comments (0)

Summer is an excellent time for self-improvement projects and trying new things.  And boy do I have a laundry list when it comes to self-improvement…

But what is a busy girl to do? Especially one who relishes her free time.

Being determined to succeed this year, I’ve devised a plan:


1)      Getting healthy – key is actually starting a regimen that is very easy to follow. You feel good doing it, and if you skip it the guilt will get to you! The easier the activity is, the harder it is to find excuses not to do it.

A personal favourit of mine is The Lazy Girl's Guide to a Fabulous Body. Gotta love the title. There is also the popular Walk your way thin and Walking for Fitness.

Did you know you can get loan out a pedometer at many local branches? You may also want to check out the Health and Wellness Blog for some great tips and resources.


2)      Eating healthier – Using my slow cooker has solved my lack of healthy eating. Pop the ingredients in the pot and forget about it. I come home and dinner is done. It’s magic! I now have no excuse to be eating toast n’ KD for 5 nights in a row. And who doesn’t like homemade shepherd's pie?

Albeit if I’m really looking for healthy, maybe I should pick up Dick Logue’s cookbook one of these days…


3)      Being perpetually busy can have its negative effects. Looking for a solution to constantly feeling warn-out, I stumbled upon the Buddhist concept of mindfulness. Mindfulness is an attentive and calm awareness of the reality of the present moment that results in clear comprehension of whatever is taking place in one’s day-to-day life. One's sensations, feelings, thoughts, perceptions, and consciousness are all considered. It is increasingly being used in Western psychology to alleviate a variety of mental and physical conditions, including anxiety, depression, OCD, and the prevention of addiction relapses.

But I have no time to be mindful! And so I’m pretty sure Mindfulness to Go was written just for me. Thanks Mr. Harp!

Welcome! This blog is written by the Cedarbrae Library staff and we want it to become a place where you can find out what's going on in the branch and in the community. But not just that - we plan to write about all things we might find interesting.