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Programs and Services

Seniors' Discovery Fair returns in Scarborough!

September 24, 2015 | Soheli | Comments (0)

Last year, the Seniors’ Discovery Fair was held right here at the Cedarbrae Branch, and was a smashing success!

This year's event returns at the Malvern Branch. It will run from 2:00 to 3:30 PM on Wednesday, September 30, 2015 in the branch's Community Room. Everyone is encouraged to attend.

Just like in previous years, the fair will be a chance for seniors, caregivers, friends and family, to meet with a variety of local organizations and service providers.

Here are some of the groups that will be present at this year’s Seniors’ Discovery Fair:

  Older couple sitting on couch.

Image courtesy of Pixabay  on a Creative Commons Licence.

This free event is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about what services are available for older adults, right here in Scarborough. There will be light refreshments and the chance to win prizes, so come by and find out what is available in your community.

Malvern Branch staff will be on hand to introduce you to upcoming library programs and services. There will be demonstrations of the library’s online databases for eBooks and eVideos, such as Overdrive, Zinio, and Hoopla.

  Overdrive   Hoopla Zinio

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Pan Am Inspirations at the Cedarbrae Branch

September 1, 2015 | Soheli | Comments (0)

Although the Toronto 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games have since passed, we still have fond memories of the programs we enjoyed at our branch during the Games. 

To honour the Games, we held the Cedarbrae Branch's first ever Pan Am inspired Competition. It was a chance for our community's kids to showcase their physical prowess and get their game face on!

We played a variety of fun games including the very silly (but misleadingly difficult!) Junk in the Trunk, which had our kids hopping around like mad. We also had teams take on a giant version of Kerplunk, as well as the classic bean bag toss and ring toss.

Kids of all sizes competed for gold, silver and bronze standings. As we quickly found out, many of these games required not only some physical skill, but also some thoughtful planning and strategy.

We learned not to doubt even the smallest of competitors - you never knew what skills one could bring to the table!

The comptetition was a great success, with over fifty kids participating, and lots of parents to cheer them on. We ended with a medal ceremony to celebrate all the efforts everyone had put in.

PanAm Competition
Some of our happy gold medalists!

This competition was also a chance for us to talk about what some of our favourite Pan Am Games events were (soccer was a popular one for a number of kids!) and what we were all looking forward to watching at the Parapan Am Games in August.

We also had our Cedarbrae kids design their own version of the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games' mascot, Pachi. There were lots of variations, including mini Pachis, a Pachi that hits the gym, and many, many more.

a pair of Pachis

Pachi and friends

Pachi mayhem!

In addition to both of these programs, we also hosted a sports trivia contest for teens, enjoyed a steelpan concert and created community murals to celebrate the feel of the 2015 Games.

Pan Am Mural One of the murals designed by kids in our community.

We had lots of fun this summer with PanAm/Parapan Am inspired events. If you missed out on any of these programs, be sure to check in with us and see what other things we've got planned for this Fall!

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  

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



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!

Find Volunteering Resources Online.

December 20, 2014 | Soheli | Comments (0)

We get asked about volunteering opportunities all the time. It can be a little overwhelming trying to navigate all the options and find the best fit for you.

Confused student looking at notebook.
Photo courtesy of CollegeDegrees360 on a CC license.

If you're a teen between 14 and 19 looking to volunteer, you're not alone. With the highschool volunteering requirement, many youth are looking to rack up their 40 hours as efficiently as possible.

Although the library has a number of volunteer positions, there are many, many organizations and agencies looking for volunteers all across Toronto. There are even some ways to still squeeze in some volunteering this holiday season!

On Monday January 19, at 6 PM, come and join us for a session exploring all the ways to discover volunteering opportunities online. We will look at the different ways you can search for positions, how to contact various organizations, and figure out what best works for you. Also, a volunteer from SickKids Hospital will come and talk about what she does in her role and how she got there. Give us a call to register or to find out more: 416-396-8850.


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 

Scarborough Repair Cafe: a HUGE success!

November 17, 2014 | Soheli | Comments (1)

As you may remember from one of my last posts, we recently hosted Repair Cafe Toronto at the Cedarbrae Branch.

From 12 - 4 on Saturday, October 18, our already bustling library turned into an amazing hub of activity. It began with Repair Cafe volunteers transforming our space with colourful signage, then a spread of all kinds of tools, from tiny beading accessories to heavy duty pliers.

Repair Cafe at the Cedarbrae Branch
Photo courtesy of Repair Cafe Toronto

We had just under a hundred people come from all over Toronto to have their broken items looked at. Some of the things I noticed included a coffee maker, computer and car speaker. In addition to fixing small appliances, there were also tables for clothing repair and even book binding and paper repairs! The bookbinding table also doubled as a fun spot for kids trying out origami patterns and other simple paper crafts. Kids and adults alike were also invited to take a look at some of our bright book and DVD displays about recycling and repair that can be easily done. 

The volunteers worked hard to get most items up and running again. Nearby, those with repaired items could pose for a photo, proudly holding up a cute "Fixed!" sign to celebrate their participation at Scarborough's first Repair Cafe. The 'Fixed!" sign did face a little mishap of its own...

Photo courtesy of @RepairCafeTO on Twitter

As with all of Repair Cafe's events, this event was a success because of the combined efforts of both the volunteer Fixers and the interested partipants who came to learn. We had a great time seeing people working together, excitedly learning about how things work.

If you missed this Repair Cafe, not to worry: you can catch another one on Saturday November 22 from 10 AM to 2 PM at Skills For Change. This is going to be the last Repair Cafe for the year, so be sure to gather your items and head over this coming weekend!

A big thank to you all the kind folks over at Repair Cafe Toronto and, of course, all the library users who joined us to make this an amazing event last month!

Mondays at Cedarbrae

October 18, 2014 | Charlene Lee | Comments (0)

This September brought the return of school and what can be assumed to be a sigh of relief for many parents, but between tests and homework school can be a stressful time for most kids (and parents too). If parents or caregivers are looking for a fun and engaging afterschool activity for kids, look no further than at the Cedarbrae branch!

Cedarbrae recently launched its series of Monday programs for kids aged 7 to 12, every Monday at 4 p.m. The series consists of Maker Mondays, Library Club, and Lego and K'NEX Club. Through these programs we will encourage maker culture and hope to foster creativity in our young users. For our first maker session, participants used recycled materials to fashion musical instruments; shakers and drums could be heard throughout the branch!

    20140915_165629(Drums made at our inaugural Maker Monday)

The following Monday we revived our Library Club, which introduced young users to different aspects of the Cedarbrae library and even included a tour of the back room and our returns sorter. Through this ongoing program we are looking forward to showcasing different areas of the library’s collection in fun and exciting ways.

The third program in our Monday series is our Lego and K’NEX Club, which encourages participants to use their ingenuity and engineering skills. For our first session, kids were able to build what they liked, but can look forward to building challenges in the future.


20140929_165851(A mobile house made with Lego)

Every Monday at Cedarbrae we hope to support self-directed learning and independence, and help build confidence and creativity in our young patrons. For more information contact or visit the Cedarbrae library.

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.