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February 2013

Cedarbrae has a microfilm reader!

February 28, 2013 | Erin | Comments (0)

and it's oh-so fancy:

Finally you can view our local history materials on microfilm IN the branch. No more travelling downtown just to use a reader at the Reference Library!

This also means that Scarborough customers ordering microfilms and fiches via interlibrary loan can now order them into Cedarbrae and view them near home instead of having to have them sent downtown (with the exception of microfilms from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Family History Centre, which must be viewed at the Reference Library only).

This news in itself is pretty awesome, but there's more...

This is not just a regular microfilm reader. This type of reader is connected to a dedicated PC and has the ability to scan, print, and even edit any images or articles you want to keep with the quick click of a couple of buttons.


Here is a quick guide to how the ScanPro Reader works:

(though of course staff are also always available to help you too)

After logging into the attached PC, simply click on the ScanPro Icon on the desktop:


Immediately you will hear the ScanPro reader start to warm up and the program will open a window that looks like this:


Our version of the program only has the expert option, so click on that to start things going.

Now, open the ScanPro Reader in order to put the reel you want to read on it. To do this, gently pull on the Fiche Carrier Handle:

Once you do this, you will see a diagram pop up on screen that tells you how to load a reel onto the ScanPro reader.

Once you have loaded the reel and pushed the Fiche Carrier Handle closed again, the ScanPro program will start to operate; meaning you will see a Film Control box appear, as well as a toolbar.

Use your mouse to push and hold the Fast Fwrd and Fast Rev bottons to get to the spot on the film you want to look at.


You might notice that your reel is not displaying anything legible. This is because the ScanPro resets to default settings for each new reel because every reel is slightly different. You must adust the settings using the toolbar so that the documents on the reel become visible.

As you can see, the toolbar has a lot of options available:

All tools

Luckily, we've simplified it a bit for you. Using these three tools below first will get you viewing the reel documents in no time. Then you can play around with the other tools at your leisure!

Step 1) Click and hold the zoom In (downwards arrow) button on the Zoom tool.






Step 2) Click on Auto-Adjust and then watch the machine work to make the image clearer all on its own.

Auto adjust





Step 3) Click on one of the Rotate direction options to flip the image the right way up. It may take more than one click to flip it all the way.






Step 4) Adjust and centre the image's orientation on the screen by pulling and pushing gently on the Fiche Carrier Handle as needed.

Toronto Community Housing: Year of the Youth

February 27, 2013 | Soheli | Comments (0)


Update: February 27; 2:15 PM --
Sorry, but I've just been told that this event today has been CANCELLED.

Feel free to speak to your local librarian about other youth oriented programs however!

Toronto Community Housing

2013 marks the Year of the Youth for Toronto Community Housing. What does this mean?

Toronto Community Housing would like to hear more from youth in housing and understand what issues affect them directly. In light of recent tragedies involving youth in TCHC neighbourhoods, the need to work together is more pressing than ever. 

To further facilitate this, Toronto Community Housing CEO Eugene Jones Jr is meeting with youth today (Wednesday February 27) from 5 - 8:30 PM at 20 Gordonridge Place (that's near Midland/St. Clair Ave E).

Refreshments will also be available as youth get a chance to speak about what's happening in their communities and brainstorm ideas on how youth can work together and with TCHC representatives to empower and strengthen their neighbourhoods.

If this sounds like something you'd be interested in, be sure to call Larry Freedlander at 416-676-4149 to RSVP. You can also email him at larry.freedlander[at]torontohousing[dot]ca.

To learn more about other youth initiatives and resources, get in touch with some of the various youth service providers in the area like East Metro Youth Services and YouthLink . We also have youth workers in the Cedarbrae Branch at various times throughout the week; drop in to speak with them  or find out more from a librarian.

Death & Taxes.

February 23, 2013 | Soheli | Comments (0)

Ok, so, it's a bit grim, but, yes, as Ben Franklin once said, nothing in this world is certain except for death and taxes! (I'm paraphrasing just a bit.)

Put aside the former and we can help you focus on preparing for at least your taxes this year...

If you're in the Cedarbrae area and meet eligibility requirements, you may want to sign up for a free appointment with a volunteer accountant to file your income taxes. Call us at 416-396-8850 to book a time.


But, first - are you eligible?

The following people can call us to book an appointment:

  • Individuals with a gross annual income of $25,000 or less
  • families with a gross annual combined income of $30,000 or less

(Check the CGA website for more details.)

The following dates have been reserved for tax preparation services at the Cedarbrae Branch:

Thursday March 21, 2013 from 6:00 - 8:00 PM

Saturday March 23, 2013 from 1:30 - 4:30 PM

Thursday April 4, 2013 from 6:00 - 8:00 PM

Thursday April 11, 2013 from 6:00 - 8:00 PM

Times will fill up quickly, so be sure to call and reserve your space soon.

What if you're not in the Scarborough area?
There are many free tax clinic locations throughout the province. Check the Certified General Accountants' website for complete listings and details.

Once you've booked an appointment, what should you bring?
Here is a full checklist of documents to bring to your tax preparation appointment - remember, not every item will apply to you.


Schooled: Teachers & Diversity in Toronto

February 21, 2013 | Soheli | Comments (2)

The Toronto District School Board - Canada's largest school board - has been in the news recently when a memo surfaced recommending that "the first round of TDSB interviews will be granted to teacher candidates that meet one or more of the following criteria in addition to being an outstanding teacher: Male, racial minority, French, Music, Aboriginal..."

The reasoning behind this criteria? The TDSB wants to better serve its communities by having role models that are more representative of the diversity of students in its schools.

The Globe and Mail reports "about 77 per cent of elementary teachers and 59 per cent of high-school teachers are female. Many experts blame a shortage of role models for the fact that boys and some minority groups lag behind girls on standardized tests and postsecondary achievement."

This isn't a new story - in fact, The Globe published this back in 2010, noting that "men have been the clear minority in primary teaching since the days of the one-room school house."

Interested in learning more? Read up on some titles about diversity, inclusion and teaching in Canada, available at the library.

Seeing the Rainbow: teachers talk about bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgender, and two spirited realities (check out this article online too)

Teachers, students and pedagogy : selected readings and documents in the history of Canadian education

The challenges of student diversity in Canadian schools: essays on building a better future for exceptional children

The pursuit of division:  race, gender, and preferential hiring in Canada

Diversityincanada  Teachersattheirbest Teachingdiversity Teachingfordiversity 

Gifted Hands

February 19, 2013 | Soheli | Comments (0)

Join us this Thursday, February 21 at 5:30 PM for a free screening of Gifted Hands.

GiftedhandsThis movie explores the life of Ben Carson, a gifted surgeon who went on to become Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at the esteemed John Hopkins Hospital at the young age of 33. Raised by a single mother, Carson struggled with school as a child, until his mother decided he would start reading more, watching TV less, and consequently, improve in his classes. He ended up graduating from highschool with top marks and attending Yale University.

The movie is based on the book of the same name - so be sure to place a hold.

There is no registration for this; bring a friend and drop in! For more info, you can always call the Cedarbrae Branch at 416-396-8850.





Year of the Snake

February 16, 2013 | Soheli | Comments (0)

Happy Chinese New Year!

The new lunar year began just about a week ago on February 10. According to Chinese astrology, this is the year of the snake - the black water snake, to be precise. A snake year occurs every twelve years, right after a dragon year.

If you were born in a previous snake year, you may be intelligent with a quick wit, with the ability to out-think others. Be careful though: being this sly might make you prone to bragging just a little too!

Unsurprisingly, many of the characteristics of those born in a snake year seem to be shared with the actual reptile so many cultures both fear and admire. Snakes are known to be great predators, with their colouring and patterned skin making them terrific at outsmarting unsuspecting prey.

Interested in more facts about snakes - and maybe some fun info about the Chinese horoscope that goes with it? Check out this article from National Geographic.

In Toronto, the new year was celebrated all over, with performances at Chinese cultural centres, as well as spots in the east like Woodside Square, the Scarborough YMCA, and Scarborough Town Centre. Here's a clip below featuring a group of students at the YMCA showing off their skills!


Want to learn more about Chinese astrology and what this new year could bring for you?


Love and Other Stuff.

February 14, 2013 | Soheli | Comments (1)

Oh, love. What doesn't it have the power to do? It makes crazy things seem perfectly sane, the impossible easy to do, and the worst situations shine like bright opportunities.

But love ain't all it's cracked up to be, kids...

This Valentine's Day, try some of these reads to get you in the mood for love (or not...)

For teen readers, check out these takes on love -

PerishableItems Ducttape  Thingsimbadat

For adult readers, try some of these stories of love and love gone wrong.

Neardeath Otherruins ImpossiblepursuitsDangerouschemicals

If you're feeling particularly lovey-dovey, you might want to pick up a read sure to tug on the heartstrings - aka any book by Nicholas Sparks aka Books About People Almost Kissing if some of the movie tie-in covers are any indication!

The LuckyOne TheLastSong TheNotebook SafeHaven NightsInRodanthe

Have a happy Valentine's Day!


For Your Sweetheart (or just your sweet tooth!)

February 13, 2013 | Soheli | Comments (1)

The best part about Valentine's Day really isn't the flowers, the teddy bears, or the heart-shaped's the desserts!

(Wait, what? Did you think I was gonna say 'love'? Sure... that too, I guess.)

Valentine's Day goodies tend to be on the sweet side, which suits me just fine. Here are some Valentine's Day themed desserts I'm hoping to try out this month, courtesy of the Food Network:

White Chocolate Sugar Cookies
White Chocolate Sugar Cookies
Red Velvet Cheesecake
Red Velvet Cheesecake

No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake
No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake
Red Velvet Cherry Cake Roll
Red Velvet Cherry Cake Roll

For more ideas to satisfy your sweet tooth, try one of our latest dessert cookbooks; here's just a few to get you started:

Bonappetit Baking Sinfullyeasy

Have a particularly delicious dessert idea planned? Share with us in the comments!

The Skin You're In

February 11, 2013 | Soheli | Comments (0)

Has the winter weather lately been throwing you for a loop? You're not alone. The crazy wind, snow and extreme temperature drops have taken their toll on my skin most of all.

You may find the winter weather leads to a whole slew of skin issues with dryness being the most problematic. I used to spend a whole lot of time (not to mention money!) researching and trying out every skin moisturizer, lotion and whatnot on the market.

Here are some ideas for more natural and wallet-friendly options you might consider this winter. Many of these contain antioxidants which help fight free radicals (these can cause cancer, premature aging, etc). These also may be suitable for those with sensitive skin that can't handle too many chemicals and products. 

Skin-care experts and celebrities alike rave about the soothing healing properties of honey. It can be used alone or with other natural ingredients to create many at home remedies for your skin. Try out a simple honey-avocado mask to soften and brighten skin or just apply a thin layer of dark or clover honey to your face to help tighten and moisturize. Honey is also recommended to help lighten and heal acne scarring. 

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
If you already have oily skin like me - but still suffer from dryness - it may seem completely against your instinct to go ahead and slather MORE oil on your face. Olive oil, however, isn't your average oil! I've recently replaced the moisturizing creams I would normally use with just regular old extra virgin olive oil (yes, the kind from the grocery store will do!) and it's been kind of amazing how effective it has been in maintaining moisture throughout the day, despite the really harsh weather.

You don't need a lot of either either: a thin layer all over or rubbed gently onto dry patches will usually do the trick. You may want to do this just at night though so you don't go around smelling too much of olive oil if the scent bothers you or those around you.

Coconut Oil
Like olive oil, coconut oil has long been considered a secret weapon in fighting dry skin (and hair, and nails, too!) although it may be relatively new to some. The women in my family have been combing coconut oil into their hair for years. In fact, my mom is visiting me now, and one of the first things she asked me is where I kept my oil! This prompted me to look into all the uses of coconut oil, even beyond hair care.

Look for extra virgin coconut oil that hasn't been bleached, artifically scented or hydrogenated if you're going to be using it on your skin. It can be rubbed in by itself or mixed with other ingredients to moisturize. It does feel very greasy on your skin at first, but it absorbs quickly and leaves a nice scent afterwards that will leave you feeling you belong on a tropical island somewhere - how's that for beating the winter blues?

The most obvious solution is also the easiest! Hydrate your skin from the inside out by drinking plenty of water, particularly during the winter months. I try to aim for 2-3 litres of water a day, which is about two of those tall water bottles you can find at any grocery store. Invest in a large reusable water bottle if you can and be sure to keep it handy at your desk, in your car, wherever you are! It may not immediately soothe your dry skin, but it will help over time - and really, getting more water is going to help you feel healthier in so many ways!

For more natural and easy ways to save your skin, take a look at some of the books we offer!

Perfectskin BeautyPureandSimple Ultimatebeauty

GreenGuide SkinDeep




You could create the Pan Am Mascot

February 7, 2013 | Erin | Comments (0)

In case you haven't heard, the Pan American (Pan Am) Games are coming to Toronto in 2015.

It's been decided that the games' mascot will be selected from entries by Canadian youth! The contest is open to youth aged 6-17 and all entries must be received by March 8, 2013.Header_mascot_2011


Information on the Mascot Creation Challenge and the entry form can be found here.


How awesome would it be to see a logo that you created plastered around the globe? Not only that, but it would be a great way for you budding artists and graphic designers out there to build your portfolio.



 Join us at Cedarbrae this Saturday, Feb 9 from 2:00 - 4:00 pm to learn more, pick up a printed copy of the entry form, work on your entry, and even meet some of the athletes!


If you can't make it, don't worry: other branches are hosting similar events across the city.

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.