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September 2012

Need help with your homework?

September 27, 2012 | Erin | Comments (0)

Long division mystifying you? Can't quite get that French conjugation right?

Get free basic help with elementary and high school homework from University Volunteer tutors!



3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. on Wednesdays starting Oct 3rd in the Teen Zone.


For grades 2 to 12. Snacks will be provided.


Register for help at 416-396-8850.

Drop-ins are also welcome. 


In the meantime, here are some studying tips to help you:



Study Smarter, Not Harder

Study smarter

"By mastering the seven basic elements of complete study skills included in this book, it's possible to tap into hidden potential for maximum performance and increased learning power."



Studying using the web : the student's guide to using the ultimate information resource

Studying webThis guide tells you how to cut through the vastness of the web to find what you are looking for, and how to ensure you are getting credible information. A good example of the types of web resources you can use are professional and scholarly databases that the library has access to, and which you can get at home or at a branch with your library card.

 And of course, you can always ask a librarian :)


Waiting for Holds Getting You Down? Try These!

September 25, 2012 | Soheli | Comments (4)

There are tons of books, DVDs and other resources available at the Toronto Public Library - but just how many of them are you aware of? And do you know what alternatives are available when your first choice isn't?

Here at Cedarbrae, we get asked for a number of things quite regularly, and chances are, you may also be wondering how to get your hands on some of the same things. This might get long, but grab a cup of hot cocoa and settle down: here are some ideas on where to start!

The Official Drivers' Handbook aka the driver's guide, the driving handbook, the G1 book, etc.

Who hasn't askedThe Official Driver's Handbook me for this book yet? Unfortunately, despite having multiple copies of this title in nearly every branch in the city, you'd still be hard pressed to find a copy just waiting for you on the shelf right when you need it.
Try: a reference copy. Most branches (but not all!) have a copy of this sought-after title to use while you're there. You can always photocopy a few relevant parts for yourself if you'd like (it's still cheaper than buying the entire book!) You can also check out the online version which has a lot of information.


MosbysRNMosby's Canadian RN Exam Preparation Guide aka the book for nursing students, the RN prep book

Mosby's produces a number of exam preparation guides - including ones for nurses and personal support workers. We get many requests for these titles, and it's often necessary to place yourself on hold for the title you need.

Try: electronic versions of the Mosby's series. Not every title is available, but take a look and see if you can use an ebook version instead on your home computer.

TOEFL and IELTS books aka help preparing ESL students for English proficiency exams

There are numerous ESL books available at library branches, and guides specific to preparing for both the TOEFL and the IELTS are commonly on shelf. If you're having trouble finding something at your local branch and don't have much time to wait for a hold, there are online guides to help.
Try: online databases like Learning Express Library or Study Skills Success - both are free to access anywhere with your library card. They contain helpful practice tests and much of the same material you may find in physical guidebooks. Once you've logged in with your library card to Learning Express, you will need to create a user account, but it should only take a few moments. If you're in a library branch, be sure to ask a librarian for help if you're not sure how this works.

Fifty Shades of Grey aka the hot book that everyone keeps talking about

If you haven't seen, read or at least heard about 50 Shades of Grey yet, I'm truly surprised! This book has been in demand for quite some time now, and it doesn't seem to be sizzling out just yet. There's just over 2,500 holds for this title - but don't be discouraged! Notice that there are also over 250 copies of this popular book. This doesn't include paperback versions that most branches will also have in their collections. Be sure to browse under "J" in the fiction paperbacks in any branch you step into and you just may luck out.  There is also the chance to get it in e-book. There is a still holds list, but it is usually a bit shorter. Try other formats, including audiobook and Large Print. Do you read in Spanish? Why not skip the English version entirely and grab it electronically en EspaƱol? And, finally, if you're looking for a sultry read, don't forget that are many erotic fiction writers out there with some pretty steamy romances. The Queens Library Steinway in Astoria, New York has a Pinterest Board dedicated to reads similar to the best-selling 50 Shades that might give you some ideas.

 The G Classicsreat Gatsby or Oryx and Crake or Fahrenheit 451 or Romeo and Juliet...aka some book you need for school, like, rightthisminute!

If you're still in school, chances are you'll be working with a classic text of some kind, whether it's Shakespeare or something a bit more contemporary or Canadian. Along with multiple copies available of many of these titles that you can check out on the catalogue, there are also separate paperback sections for many of these. Next time you're in your local branch, check out the Canadian or Classic paperbacks to score a title you need.

If you have the book, but need help with writing an essay, for example, you may need literary criticisms and scholarly works related to the title. Many branches have student guides to classic titles (you'll recognize Coles Notes, Spark Notes or Barron's Study Guides) but did you know the library offers databases just to fill this need? Shakespeare gets his own spot on our list, while there are also several other databases to help you find literary criticisms and academic articles, including Literature Criticism Online, Literature Resource Centre, and LitFinder. So, yes, your research online can extend beyond Wikipedia and be very meaningful - all while you're still in your pajamas! 

Hopefully, you'll be able to get what you need sooner rather than later by accessing some of the alternatives mentioned. Were any of these helpful? Something new you learned about? Are there are titles you'd like to know more about? Let us know!

Happy Reading!








Running for Your Life

September 18, 2012 | Soheli | Comments (0)

For as long as I can remember, I've been trying to be a runner. I bought a pair of fancy, expensive running shoes one summer and figured I'd be racing marathons in no time. I just forgot about one thing:

I kind of hate running.

I like being outside. I like getting fresh air. Despite all this, I find running rather mind-numbingly boring, even with terrific music blasting into my ears. I'm always baffled by dedicated friends that can run for hours at a time on the treadmill (which seems even more boring to me!)

So, I've been on the quest to find less boring, effective ways to get some cardio into my day and learn a little more about fitness routines in all its forms. Here are some books to help you get started if you'd like to as well.

Cardioorweights Warriorcardio Poolyourgym

Good luck!




The 11th, 11 years later.

September 11, 2012 | Soheli | Comments (3)

911_01It's both amazing and horrifying that the September 11th attacks from 11 years ago still resound so strongly with many of us today.

In many ways, it became the reference point for a lot of questions, fears, and discussion we share about security. There have been numerous defining moments in history: depending on your age and cultural context, you may vividly remember where you were when JFK was assassinated, or your reaction when the Challenger spacecraft exploded.

I was sitting in my biology class when the first tower was hit on 9/11. My teacher had hurriedly dragged in an old TV and we all sat in stunned silence, our eyes glued to the scenes before us.

It was a surreal experience - and I couldn't even begin to imagine the impact it would make on the entire world for years to come.

There's been a lot of fiction that's come out since the attacks in 2001. Here are a few to check out about relationships entangled in the events of that day.

Futureoflove Disorder Dayatthebeach

Usualrules Daysofawe



Young Voices Conference 2012 - Register NOW!

September 6, 2012 | Scott | Comments (0)


The North York Central Library will host an annual youth event that focuses on the artistic and creative talents of 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 with professionals from those fields.

This year the Young Voices Conference is attempting to think outside the box and the keynote speaker will be filmmaker Peter Stebbings. Peter is the writer and director of the film "Defendor" starring Woody Harrelson. Peter will be kicking off the conference with an address and will also be giving two seminars on creative writing with a focus on film making.

Other workshops include: graphic novels, spoken word poetry, urban fiction, photo-journalism(bring a camera), song writing, illustrations 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.

The conference is specifically for youth ages 12-19.

And it is FREE!

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

The conference details are:

Saturday, October 13, 2012
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
North York Central Library
5120 Yonge Street
(North York Centre subway station)

Back to school? Not so much.

September 4, 2012 | Soheli | Comments (0)

A few years back, as I approached the end of my university career, I was filled with a huge sense of relief: I was FINALLY done! No more school! No more classes! No more homework!

Oh, um, wait a second.


 I realized something very sobering, very suddenly: I didn't know what to
I'd been a student my entire life. How could I make that transition from student to Grown Up in the Real World?

The other night, while talking to my younger brother, who recently graduated from teachers' college, we found ourselves talking a little about this strange experience.

After years of grueling essays, late-night coffee runs and early morning classes, it's easy to imagine the thrill of finally being done. The enormity of that moment - whether it's highschool graduation, undergraduate commencement, or something else - can feel so grand, that we often forget about what comes afterwards.

Usually, the most pressing issue is finding a job that will launch your eventual career. If you've spent loads of time, effort (and money!) on years of schooling, you'll want it to count. There are numerous job search guides available right here through the library website. Check out the Career and Job Search blog where Elle recently posted about the young grad job squeeze. In an older entry, Frances has some recommendations for books and websites that can also help.

If your job hunt is leaving you frustrated, check out some interesting ways to keep sharp, motivated and organized so that frustration doesn't get the best of you.

  Place a hold! Place a hold! Place a hold!

The truth is you never stop learning - ever. (And if you do, you're clearly not spending enough time at the library!) So if you're in that twilight time between finishing school and beginning your adult career, make the most of it.  

Note: this is an e-book.
Discover a new hobby, or build on an existing one. Websites like Pinterest can be great for planning and collecting ideas for things like do-it-yourself (DIY) projects, for example. Come into any library branch and browse what we offer on a wide variety of topics. 

 If you're really craving a taste of the classroom, there are also general interest courses you can enrol in covering a wide variety of topics (think: playing the guitar, learning French, floral design and much, much more).

You can also use this time to build valuable pre-job skills: network with other grads and people in your area of interest, seek out volunteering opportunities, and maybe even check out job opportunities abroad if that's something you might be able to do.

 I still get a familiar pang of nostalgia around this time of year as others prepare to go back to school. Don't get me wrong - I'm in no rush to jump back into crowded lecture halls, or run by bustling lockers, but sometimes, I actually...*gulp* miss school! The good thing is, there are tons of things to do and explore once you're out of school, and if you're unsure of where to start, stepping into a library can help you get started.

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.