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May 2013

Puzzled by eBooks?

May 29, 2013 | Erin | Comments (0)

While physical books remain the most circulated item at libraries and still account for most sales reported by bookstores, the popularity of eBooks is undoubtedly on the rise. Ebook being held

Perhaps you've been wondering things like:

  • Should I bother? What are the pros and cons of eReading?
  • Will the screen hurt my eyes?
  • There are so many devices, which one should I get?
  • Do you have to have a eReader device in order to read an eBook?
  • What's the point, aren't there more physical books to be had than eBooks?

If you said yes to any of the above, you would probably benefit from registering for Introduction to eBooks at Cedarbrae Library on June 27 from 1:30-3pm.

Call the branch at 416-396-8850 to register.

Sign, baby, sign!

May 27, 2013 | Soheli | Comments (0)

Kids are always smarter than we give them credit for -- and babies are no exception! 

If you're a new parent, caregiver, or you work with small children, you may find that communicating with babies can be funny, frustrating and exciting all at the same time.

Now you can come explore how sign language with babies really works and get started with the support of staff from the Ontario Early Years Centre in Scarborough.

Photo from


Over the course of four weeks, we'll be working with babies (0-6 months) and their caregivers to improve communication through singing and signing using American Sign Language, or ASL.

This workshop will start on Tuesday, June 11 and carry on to July 2. It will run from 10 AM to 12 PM, with a 30 minute story time at the end of each session provided by children's librarians.

Space is limited, so be sure to register for this workshop ahead of time! Call the Early Years Centre to book your spot: 416-438-1800.

Don't forget, the Toronto Public Library offers tons of resources to get you talking and playing with your little one easily, including the Let's Get Ready for Reading Guide that you can place a hold on, or purchase for your personal collection. For more baby-friendly materials, programs and more, come and see a Children's Librarian in your branch!

Growing Up Desi

May 24, 2013 | Soheli | Comments (0)

In case you missed it, on Saturday May 11, we celebrated the rich cultures of South Asia with dance, music, stories and art. South Asian culture is a big part of the Cedarbrae Branch community and our surrounding branches, and it continues to influence our programs and book displays throughout the month.

Like many branches, we have ongoing Asian authors on display this May -- these displays have authors from all over Asia including China, India, Afghanistan and many more. Many of the books deal with the struggle of moving to a new country and navigating between cultures in addition to other universal topics of family, love and redemption.

Many of these themes are linked to youth and growing up, so we've put together a short list of books about growing up South Asian, or desi. Desi is a general term often used to refer to people, culture and experiences related to the Indian subcontinent, or South Asia. It originates from the Sanskrit word 'desha' which means literally 'land' or 'country'. In languages like Hindi and Bengali, it evolved to 'desh' which means the same thing. Desi is a common term in North America, although it seems to be used more frequently in parts of the US, and usually among South Asians themselves.

Check out some of these titles and let us know if you have any recommendations of your own!


The Konkans
By Tony D’Souza
Francisco D'Sai is a firstborn son of a firstborn son—all the way back to the beginning of a long line of proud Konkans. Known as the "Jews of India," the Konkans kneeled before the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama's sword and before Saint Francis Xavier’s cross, abandoned their Hindu traditions, and became Catholics. Francisco's mother, Denise, and uncle, Sam, are passionate raconteurs who do their best to preserve the family's Konkan heritage, while his father drinks a lot but speaks little. Friends, allies, and eventually lovers, Sam and Denise feed Francisco’s imagination with proud visions of India and Konkan history.

The Girl in the Garden
By Kamala Nair
When Rakhee Singh is ten years old, her mother takes her from their Minnesota home to visit relatives in India. There she discovers a family secret that will haunt her. Only as a woman on the verge of marriage does Rakhee find the strength to confront the events of that summer and face the price of secrets.

By Rahul Mehta
With buoyant humor and incisive, cunning prose, Rahul Mehta sets off into uncharted literary territory. The characters in "Quarantine"--openly gay Indian-American men--are Westernized in some ways, with cosmopolitan views on friendship and sex, while struggling to maintain relationships with their families and cultural traditions.


The Harem
By Safia Fazlul (Toronto author!)
Peckville may be a fictional town, but it feels like any other slightly dreary urban centre. Farina is sick of Peckville and the nosy neighbours, the constant expectations of her strict Muslim, Bangladeshi parents, and most of all, her lack of freedom. When Farina and her best friends venture into a world of money, lust and power, the burden of freedom may be too heavy to bear.

Shopping for Sabzi
By Nitin Deckha
Poingnant and humourous, these stories describe the anxieties of ambitious young South Asians as they hustle for status, love, careers and personal fulfillment in a new world.

The Abundance
By Amit Majmudar
Mala and Ronak are surprisingly less comfortable with their dual Indian and American roots than their parents. Told that their mother is about to die, they return home to the Midwest, where Mala persuades Ronak that they should immerse themselves in Indian culture by learning to cook their mother's favorite recipes.

Check out even more great reads to celebrate Asian Heritage Month and other recommended booklists!


South Asian Festival Today!

May 11, 2013 | Soheli | Comments (1)

Looking for something fun to do this afternoon?

Why not join us for some dazzling Indian dancing, a discussion with a contemporary Sri Lankan author, and some beautiful henna designs?

At 1 PM, we'll be having Ekakshara Dance Creations take the stage, in a mix of classic and modern Indian dance.

Here they are performing a traditional lamp dance at a previous event:
Looks amazing! Come and check them out in person today!

Right after, at 2 PM, we've got author Koom Kankesan, along with musicians Dylan and Anupa, to talk about his new book, and share cultural Tamil tales.

His first book, The Panic Button, is available on hold, and you can place a pre-order hold on his latest book, the Rajapaksa Stories.

To end off the festival, around 3 PM, kids and ladies can get a simple henna design on their hands from one of our talented henna artists. Got young boys who aren't interested in getting their hands decorated? Not a problem! Kids aged 13 and under can work on their own unique designs with crayons and markers. Three top artists will be selected to win prizes!


Bring your family and friends and enjoy some great South Asian culture and talent today!

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.