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June 2012

I'd like a copy of the Official Driver's Handbook, please. I'm sorry you'll have to place a hold.

June 17, 2012 | Bhowatson | Comments (1)

IMG_0010Did you know that you don't have to wait for a copy of "The Official Driver's Handbook" to come in for you as a hold?  The entire Handbook may be read online at Driver's Handbook Online.

From this site, you can also link to...

"The Official Motorcycle Handbook",

"The Official Truck Handbook",

 "The Official Bus Handbook

"The Official Airbrake Handbook".


You can access Webcamthe latest road information and and get a real look at traffic by checking  Webcams that are updated every three to five minutes.

There's also a useful link to Border Crossing Bridge Wait Times and there is an APP for this information too.

Google Travel Trip Planner is included and this can be used to plan a trip integrating Go Buses, Go Trains, TTC and Greater Toronto Bus Services.  The Planner uses Google Maps and is a terrific aid for library users who are planning a trip that involves a combination of transit services.


         All the great information at  makes for happy driving and biking!


Core Skills for Business Writing Database

June 12, 2012 | Susan | Comments (0)

The Core Skills for Business Writing Database is one of the many useful resources available on the Toronto Public Library’s website.  Customers can access the database from library computers as well as on personal computers when they login with their TPL library card.  The database provides valuable training and exercises that customers can use to practise and improve their business writing techniques. 

There are a variety of different exercises including: the writing process, successful letters, applying for a job, and perfecting your document.  Each exercise includes an introduction with general information, as well as interactive activities for users to practise what they learned.  Customers can use the recorder option to have a voice-over read the information and questions to them, and can track their progress with their scorecard.  The scratch-pad option also allows customers to make printable notes while working through the exercises. 

What sets this database apart from other business writing resources and what makes it such a useful tool for customers is that it is interactive and practical.  Rather than being overloaded with information, customers can actively learn through the exercises and can see real examples of business letters and documents.  It is an excellent database for both TPL staff and customers to familiarize themselves with.        Bunsiness writing

United Nations Connections

June 4, 2012 | Richard | Comments (0)


Almost all international stories nowadays seem to involve the United Nations at one level or another. Yet the United Nations website includes such a vast amount of information that trying to get a sense of its size, contents, and activities, is like trying to sip water from an open fire hydrant.

A sampling of a dozen examples, pointing to the huge range of areas covered - all related to their large and ambitious mandates of promoting world peace and security, development, human rights, humanitarian affairs and international law - should illustrate this point:

  1. UN Databases
  2. Resolution 2040 and an announcement that the Security Council Extends Support Mission in Libya for additional 12 Months
  3. The International Court of Justice
  4. Treaties . . .  Agreement between the United States of America and Canada on Great Lakes Water Quality, 1978
  5. Current Peacekeeping Operations
  6. Statements and Speeches of Ban Ki-moon
  7. Oceans and Law of the Sea
  8. Report of the Security Council Mission to Afghanistan
  9. The Kyoto Protocol - UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
  10. A current story on Syria from the UN News Centre
  11. International Merchandise Trade Statistics
  12. The Status of Food Security in Africa by the Economic Commision for Africa

* * *

The UN website can be challenging to navigate due to its large size, complexity of resouces, and multiple access points. If you are feeling daunted, you may want to come down to the library to get help consulting print and other resources.

These resources will give you an added perspective and understanding of the United Nations: following are five suggestions for getting started:

  1. Of the many reference works on the United Nations, three stand out for special mention:


    Encyclopedia of the United Nations, 2nd ed.
    United Nations Handbook, 2011
    Encyclopedia of the United Nations and International Agreements, 3rd. ed.
  2. For excellent topic overviews, mostly full text essays in encyclopedic sources, try searching the Gale Virtual Reference Library - this will require your library card for sign in.
  3. Click Here for a search of over a thousand works by or about the UN at the Toronto Reference Library  - Note how the topic subdivides by subject at the bottom left hand column of the screen, eg. United Nations - Armed Forces
  4. Click Here for books authord by the UN or co-authored by them within TPL
  5. For articles . . . there will be a good selection to be found in the Social Sciences category of Article Search on our website - Note, this will also require your library card for sign in.


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