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Thirty Before Thirty!

July 31, 2015 | Soheli | Comments (2)

Have you ever been on the cusp of a milestone birthday when it suddenly occurs to you that the years are just flying by? Whether you're turning 25 or 75, time often has a way of creeping up on us and putting a lot into perspective.

Cupcakes with Candles
Image courtesy of April on a CC license.

The Guardian has an article about impending milestone birthdays and a few writers share their thoughts on turning 30, 40, etc. I'm approaching my 30th very soon, so Abigail Radnor's piece really resonated with me. She writes,

Twenty-nine feels like an age that can be worn very differently. I know 29-year-olds on Tinder and 29-years-olds raising toddlers. I know 29-year-old students and others running their own companies. But if there is one common theme among my peers over the past year, it is change: new jobs, careers, partners, flatmates, countries of residence, births, marriages and deaths. Could that be said of any age? Surely not so sweepingly.

Change is a huge thing for 20-somethings headed into the next chapter in their lives. Everyone deals with it differently, but many of us like to try to be prepared. What that means exactly will be different for everyone, but for me, it's making lists (which is, according to one of my former professors, a 'very librarian sort of thing'). I decided to do thirty things I'd never done before I hit thirty this summer. Here are three from my list. 

1. Become completely student loan-free.
This was initially a fairly realistic goal when I graduated in 2010. After all, five years seemed like plenty of time. Except, of course, the rest of your life happens. And, life gets expensive.

There are some good ways to plan out your finances, however, to help make a goal like this a reality.

If you've got a similar goal, why not try out some books on my list?

Debt Free Forever Oxlade  Debt Free for Life Bach  Debt Free Spending Nagler 

We've also got lots of business, legal, and personal finance related workshops and presentations available at a number of branches throughout the city. For example, at the Dufferin/St. Clair Branch, there is an upcoming program on raising financially independent children. Smart!


2. Get my (full) driver's license.
I was a little late when it came to driving. I actually completely avoided it for as long as possible. If you're a natural, this may not seem like a big deal, but if you've ever gotten anxiety taking a test, or if you're prone to making reaalllly wide right turns, you might understand why this is a goal for many people!

If you're studying for your written test and need to review the rules of the road, be sure to check out the online preview of the Driver's Handbook. Similarly, most library branches have a reference copy on hand for you to use in the library as well. 

If you're already a driver on the road, keep in mind that new rules will come into play this Fall 2015. Be sure to be in the know by checking out the Heads Up! website where changes are outlined.


3. Dye my hair a 'wild' colour.
This one has no particular educational or self-improvement angle. Gotta have a little fun sometimes, right? Fun note: when small children come up and ask why my hair is bright pink, I get to tell them I'm half mermaid!

Dolls with pink hair
Image courtesy of Aimee Ray on a CC license.

BuzzFeed has a fun (and informative!) article about bright coloured hair, particularly for people with darker complexions and hair. If you're feeling like a risk-taker, and want to learn more about how to dye your own locks, here are a few resources to get you started. Keep in mind, however, that it can be super tricky and is often best left to the pros!

HairColor Mix  World of Hair Colour

 Do you have any silly or serious goals you'd like to achieve before you hit a certain birthday? Share with us!

How Zayn Malik Broke The Internet

March 28, 2015 | Soheli | Comments (0)

Even if you have zero interest in One Direction, you probably have heard that a certain Zayn Malik has left the incredibly popular boyband. 

Mass hysteria has ensued as throngs of people - mostly young female fans - have been grieving Zayn's exit. Even grown adults have been requesting compassionate leave from their employers to mourn the departure. (As far as I know, no librarians have requested such a thing - we might just cry quietly in the stacks instead.) We've seen quite a few wistful faces in the Teen Zone and Children's Department at Cedarbrae lately too.


Young woman crying against floral background
Image courtesy of Gracie Hagen on a CC license.

If you or someone you know is suffering from Zayn withdrawal, remember the happier times by checking out some of the library's collection on One Direction.

Who We Are  One Direction: The Official Annual 2013  One Direction: what makes you beautiful!

Don't forget the goodies on eBook:

One direction the official annual: 2015  Dare to dream life as One Direction 

More on Hoopla, one of our digital providers of music, movies and more:

One Direction up close & personal    One Direction life on stage

The good news is that Zayn probably will be starting up a solo career, so fans of the heartthrob will still have much more in the future to swoon over. If he can make it on his own, he'll have joined the ranks of some other contemporary artists that stepped away from their bands to find success as solo acts. Good luck, Zayn!

The 20/20 experience  I am-- Sasha Fierce  The dutchess
From left to right: Justin Timberlake from N*SYNC; Beyonce from Destiny's Child; Fergie from Black Eyed Peas

Puppetry Club at the Cedarbrae Branch

March 27, 2015 | Charlene Lee | Comments (0)

Beginning in April, the Cedarbrae branch will be hosting its first ever Puppetry Club! During this six-week program series, participants will learn about the different types and styles of puppetry, how to write a puppet show, and about puppetry around the world! They will also get to make different kinds of puppets and put on a final performance!

Sock puppet creation

While puppetry is a fun activity, it also has its merit, proving to be a beneficial literacy, early-literacy, and communication tool as well.  

Puppets provide an enjoyable opportunity to explore language. They promote the use of symbolism, imagination, and creativity, while encouraging users (of puppets that is) to talk - an essential pre-reading skill. Puppets are also an effective storytelling platform. Being able to understand and interpret, as well as tell a story are essential skills that take time and effort to develop.

If you're not able to join Cedarbrae's Puppetry Club, check out these books to create your own puppet fun at home!

Make your own puppets & puppet theaters Make Your Own Puppets

I can make puppets  Puppets  

Music Festival Season in Toronto

March 13, 2015 | Charlene Lee | Comments (4)

Thinking of checking out one of Toronto's upcoming music festivals? With our current and impending weather forecast, it feels almost futile to start planning summer activities. But if summer doesn't seem as elusive as some may think, you might already be browsing what Toronto's music festival scene has in store this summer.

Concert Goers
Photo courtesy of D.A. Cooper on a CC license

Toronto is home to an increasing amount of music festivals every summer, and plays host to a large variety of musical acts. The Toronto Public Library (TPL) has lots of resources to help you get ready for this year's events!

Canadian Music Week - May 1-10

Now in its 33rd year, Canadian Music Week (CMW) combines music, film, and comedy. With an impressive and growing list of featured artists, attendees have the option to buy individual event tickets or wristbands. This year we can look forward to performances by Canadian musicians Alvvays, Kiesza, and Billy Talent. Check out their official website for more information.

Alvvays Kiesza Billy Talent

Field Trip - June 6&7

For its sophomore event Field Trip has announced a great and varied line-up, with tickets and wristbands available now. With Alabama Shakes and My Morning Jacket headlining, attendees can also look forward to a weekend of great food, art, fashion, and family fun! Check out some of these other artists joining the lineup!

Father John Misty The war on drugs Purity Ring Rhye

NXNE (North by Northeast Music & Film Festival) - June 17-21

This anual festival has traditionally focused on music, but over the years NXNE's focus has grown to include film, art, and comedy. In recent years, NXNE screened films such as Boyhood, and My Father and the Man in Black. Music alums include The National, Yamantaka//Sonic Titan, and Sufjan Stevens. Keep an eye out for details on this year's festival, it's sure to be grand!

TD Toronto Jazz Festival - June 18-27

This monster festival humbly began in 1987. Today it is internationally recognized and at the forefront of Canada's Jazz scene. With no schedule details released as of yet, check out some of these albums to get your groove on!

Miles Davis Charles Mingus Getz/Gilberto Ornette Coleman

Digital Dreams Festival - June 27&28

Digital Dreams is one of Canada's largest electronic music festivals and annually draws crowds upwards of 50,000. Headlining this year is Trance giant Armin Van Buuren, and legends Carl Cox, and Pete Tong. Taking place at The Flats at Ontario Place, revelers can also enjoy Toronto's scenic backdrop.

It's all gone Pete Tong  Electronic MusicArmin Van Buuren

OVO Fest - Date TBA

Toronto rapper/actor/producer Drake's annual OVO Fest, so called after his own brand October's Very Own, is one of Toronto's biggest festivals. Unique to this festival is the format. Rather than announcing a formal lineup, concert-goers can anticipate a surprise programme chock-full of big names in the music industry. Since its inception in 2010, the festival has featured local artist The Weeknd, as well as Frank Ocean, Kanye West, and TLC to name a few. Keep an eye out for tickets, this festival never disappoints!

The Weekend Frank Ocean - Channel Orange Kanye West - Yeezus TLC

Veld Music Festival - August 1&2

The Veld Music Festival is another big weekend in Toronto for electronic music. Attendees can look forward to two stages with equally big sound and names. This year Dutch DJ Hardwell is headlining along with Toronto's own Deadmau5.


TURF (Toronto Urban Roots Fest) - September 18-20

The Toronto Urban Roots Fest, held at Fort York Commons, is not one to miss. Past performers include Neutral Milk Hotel, Belle and Sebastian, Neko Case, and Born Ruffians. The festival, usually held in July, will take place in September so as not to conflict with the Pan AM/Parapan Am Games.

In the aeroplane over the sea The Life Pursuit The worse things get, the harder I fight, the harder I fight, the more I love you Birthmarks

If you're thinking of checking out one or more of these festivals, the TPL can help with your listening preparation. Not just with our in-branch collections, but with our online resources as well! Hoopla is a great online resource for accessing music and videos. Borrow content to stream at home or enjoy offline on your mobile device!  


Lego in the Library

February 17, 2015 | Charlene Lee | Comments (0)

You may have noticed Lego programs popping up all throughout the Toronto Public Library (TPL). Since the acquisition of Lego and K'NEX sets, the TPL has been able to offer programs utilizing these wonderful building tools. But they're more than just the toys we remember playing with as kids; Lego provides a great learning platform, and a new way to engage our younger patrons.

Sea of Lego
Sea of Lego courtesy of Jeremy Page on a CC license

Since 2014, the Toronto Public Library has begun emphasizing the Middle Childhood Framework (PDF). Under this model library programs and services support the growth and development of school-aged children (ages 6-12), and encourage young users to be independent learners. To promote independent learning for this age group, programs aim to foster curiosity, creativity, and a love of reading and learning.

Using Lego is one of the many ways that we can instill these values in our programs, and is a versatile platform for attracting both boys and girls as well as a large age range. It also allows us to implement basic structural and architectural ideas, and encourages problem solving. Lego has proven to be a fun activity; it brings even the most reluctant readers into the library and is an opportunity to promote the library in a new way.

If you're not able to make it into a branch for a Lego program, check out some books for some fun building ideas!

IndexThe LEGO neighborhood book: build your own town!
The LEGO neighborhood book: build your own town!
LEGO play book: ideas to bring your bricks to life
LEGO play book: ideas to bring your bricks to life


The LEGO adventure book. Volume 2, Spaceships, pirates, dragons & more!
The LEGO adventure book. Volume 2, Spaceships, pirates, dragons & more!
LEGO space: building the future
LEGO space: building the future



Why you should read to your child part 1

January 30, 2015 | Charlene Lee | Comments (0)

There are many benefits to reading to children, especially from an early age. Research shows that reading to your child right from birth will positively impact their cognitive, emotional, as well as motor development. Moreover, it will encourage a love of reading and learning! This is the first post of a three-part series that will discuss the benefits of reading with children, and showcase different resources that the Toronto Public Library offers to support this aspect of development.

Mother reading to her baby.
Photo courtesy of the National Media Museum

Stages of development

Birth to 6 Months

Babies develop immensely during the first six months of their lives. They will transition from being completely dependent on their caregivers to wanting to explore more and more through reaching, grabbing, and tasting. During this period babies will also begin to show emotions, especially around those with whom they are familiar. It might not be apparent but during this time babies are also starting to develop a sense of self, and are learning how to comfort themselves.

Boardbooks at the library
Let your baby hold the book as your read to them; boardbooks are a great, durable option!

7 Months to 12 Months

By 12 months, babies are already avid learners and are using their gross and fine motor skills. Although they will show increasing signs of independence, they will still very much rely on those around them. This will also be a significant time for the development of their confidence and coordination. During this stage babies learn best through repetition; songs, stories, rhymes, finger plays, and games will all help foster their development. Consider attending Baby Time at a branch near you!

12 Months to 2 Years

This is the last stage of infancy. Babies will develop tremendously, especially their motor skills such as walking, climbing, and even dancing. This is also the time when infants start to become more socially adventurous and enjoy being around other children. During this period infants begin putting sounds together to form words; they can also communicate with gestures and respond to simple requests.

2 Years to 4 Years

By 2 years old, toddlers will be playing on their own and using more motor skills such as running, jumping, and climbing. Toddlers' language skills will be accelerating around this age, and you should be able to understand them roughly half the time. At 2 years old, children will use their words more and more to express their feelings and needs.


As children transition from toddlers to preschoolers, to being school ready, their mental abilities see dramatic growth. They will be exploring more complex concepts and be able to match, sort, and differentiate objects. Language skills will see much development and by the end of their third year, children may already be able to copy letters and print their name. By their fourth year, children are learning to cooperate and are becoming more even-tempered. You will now also notice an increase in their attention spans as well as their creativity and imagination.

From the moment they enter this world, children begin to develop in great strides both emotionally and cognitively. It is important for parents and caregivers to foster this growth by providing children with positive experiences. One activity that will ensure this all throughout a child’s development is reading. Reading together can benefit children and parents in many ways, and contribute to a child’s positive upbringing.

Father and son storytime
Father-son storytime courtesy of Kelly Sikkema on a CC license




Lego in Motion

January 5, 2015 | Charlene Lee | Comments (0)

As we continue to encourage creativity in the library, the Cedarbrae Branch has found success in incorporating the use of iPads into our programs. For our final Lego Club of 2014, kids made wonderful stop-motion films using Lego, and the National Film Board of Canada's stop-motion app. Check out a creation made by one of our participants!


Check out some books that the Toronto Public Library carries for inspiration on making movies at home!

   Cartooning The Economics of Making a Movie

Lights, Camera, Action! Stop Motion Animation

New Year's at Noon

December 30, 2014 | Soheli | Comments (3)

Remember when you were younger and weren't able to stay up until midnight to ring in the new year? Maybe your parents wouldn't let your bedtime slide that far, or maybe you just couldn't keep your eyes open, no matter how hard you tried.

If you've got little ones just begging to stay up late this New Year's Eve, we've got the perfect solution: why not celebrate a little early when the clock strikes 12...PM?

  cute dog wearing a New Year's tiara

New Year’s Beagle courtesy of Cutie Pie Company on a CC license.

Gather the kids in your life and join us for a craft session where we'll create party hats and noisemakers and share stories and songs. We can't bring out the bubbly, but you can bring a snack or juice box to toast to the (almost) new year as we count down! There's no need to register; just drop by.

New Year's at Noon
December 31, 2014
11 AM - 12 PM
Cedarbrae Branch, 416-396-8850

I’d love to say we came up with this great idea, but the librarians over at the Fort York Branch shared their plans for a midday celebration with us. If you’re in that area on December 31st, be sure to check out their new year's event for children!

If you can’t make it out with the kids that day, here are some children’s stories to read together instead:

New Year's Eve Thieves
New Year’s Eve Thieves
by Ron Roy

Who Stole New Year's Eve?
Who Stole New Year’s Eve?
by Martha Freeman

Happy New Year Mallory!
Happy New Year, Mallory!
by Laura Friedman

Just in Time for New Year's!
Just in Time for New Year’s!
by Karen Gray Ruelle

Shante Keys and the New Year's Peas
 Keys and the New Year’s Peas by Gail Piernas-Davenport


Wherever you are when the countdown begins – whether cozy in your bed or celebrating with loved ones – have a safe night.

Happy 2015!

Everything you can imagine is real: Young Voices at Cedarbrae

December 17, 2014 | Soheli | Comments (0)

You may have noticed a new art display at the Cedarbrae Branch if you've walked in recently...

Young Voices Display near check out computers.

We're the lucky branch that will be displaying the Young Voices art exhibit for the month of December. 

These panels highlight some of the artwork that was submitted by Toronto teens to Young Voices, the library's magazine of written and visual art.

These talented young artists were selected by a small group that looked for high-quality original work that would be representative of and relevant to Toronto's diverse youth. Although only visual art is displayed in this exhibit, there are many more selections of prose and poetry in the Young Voices magazine. You can pick up a copy in your local branch, or check out an online copy of Young Voices right here on our website.

We are currently looking for submissions for the 2015 edition of Young Voices.
If you (or a talented teen you know!) are interested, be sure to check out the submission requirements and submit online. You can also print out a PDF submission form, if you'd prefer, and then simply attach it to your piece and deliver it to a staff member at your local branch.

The deadline for Young Voices 2015 is Tuesday April 7, 2015 so start thinking about your potential selection now! Remember, as Pablo Picasso said:  "Everything you can imagine is real."

For inspiration, check out some examples of different styles from all over the world:

Pablo Picasso  Vincent Van Gogh  Frida Kahlo  Trespass: A history of uncommissioned urban art  Chalo! India 

Mystery gifts at the Cedarbrae Branch

November 26, 2014 | Charlene Lee | Comments (0)

Do you like presents? If so, Cedarbrae's got some surprise 'gifts' waiting to be checked out! If you've been to the Cedarbrae Branch this week, you might have seen our newest seasonal display. Each colourful package is a book waiting to be borrowed. It could be one of this year's hottest reads or a genre you've never read before, the only way to find out is to take it home and unwrap it!


Books waiting to be borrowed and unwrapped!

  Get Wrapped Up in a Good Book

















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.