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Naxos Music Library Jazz

July 11, 2013 | Mary-Beth | Comments (0)

Looking for jazz music downloads?  Naxos Records started as a large independent classical music label and has recently released Naxos Music Library Jazz.  This database contains over 7,500 jazz titles from Naxos Jazz and over 200 other labels such as Blue Note, EMI, Fantasy and Warner Jazz.  The genres included are contemporary jazz, jazz, blues, nostalgia, and world jazz.

0077778135753Browse by label, artist, composer (including lyricist and arranger), genre, and the time period the recording was added to the database library.   You can also browse from the play screen of an album by clicking on the names of the composers and artists.  You can also search by keyword or perform an advanced search.  Results show the artist/title of album and catalogue number. Click on either to get to the play screen.

Try creating playlists of album tracks. Click on Playlists and sign up for an account. A user guide on playlists is available after you activate your account and log in.  Don’t forget to download the free app from iTunes.

Naxos JazzFind the Naxos Music Library Jazz database through the Toronto Public Library’s A-Z list of all databases Sign in with your Toronto Public Library card and start enjoying more jazz today.


Passport to Communication – Let’s Go Mango!

June 7, 2013 | Diana S. | Comments (0)

Mango Languages database is an online language-learning system that can help you learn over 30 languages like Spanish, French, Japanese, German, Greek, Italian and more.

Mango Languages for the World

The online language learning resource uses real-life situations and actual conversations to more effectively teach a new language. By listening to and repeating after material designed from native conversations, you will not only learn the individual words and phrases, you will know how they are used in practical situations and conversations. You will learn more than grammar and vocabulary. You will learn how to communicate.

  Mango Languages
The database is very useful when you travel as you can acquire practical verbal skills in another language for everyday polite conversation situations. Click on the video for a quick overview of how to go about learning a new language or even improving on a language you already know.

Click on "Mango Languages Database" or start the video below:



 See also related post:
Aloha! Pehea ‘oe? Learn Hawaiian with Mango Languages Database & your Library Card!

Looking for Help with Homework Topics? Try Canada in Context

May 21, 2013 | Mary-Beth | Comments (0)

Canada_in_ContextCanada in Context is a good place to start to find information on topics like Canadian history, government, science, geography, literature, people and more.  You can browse by topic or search using keywords.  You can also limit your search by news, images, audio, videos or magazine articles.

IqaluitIf you click on the Resources tab you can find video tutorials on how to search, tips on using the database  or download the app for your smart phone.  If you click on the Curriculum Standards tab, you can find links to the standard topics covered from grade 6-12 by province.

Find the Canada in Context database through the Toronto Public Library’s A-Z list of all databases Sign in with your Toronto Public Library card and start searching today.




Digital Public Library of America

April 22, 2013 | Susan | Comments (0)

Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) has just been launched by Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet Society.

Digital Public Library of America website

Like the Europeana library, DPLA collects digital objects and their metadata from libraries, archives, universities, and other cultural institutions and makes it all available through an online portal. Contributing institutions so far include the Smithsonian, the National Archives, the New York Public Library, Harvard University, and several others across the United States.

You can search DPLA by keyword, browse by subject, map, or timeline, or explore curated exhibitions, which are organized by theme (e.g.: Activism in the U.S.) and sub-theme (e.g.: Civil Rights Movements; LGBT Activism; Women's Activism). If you register for an account, you can save your searches and items and create "playlists" to refer to or share with others.

You can also access all of the related metadata, which DPLA has decided to make freely available under the CC0 Public Domain Declaration. DPLA and Europeana have already worked together with that metadata to create an app that allows for a combined search of both resources. The metadata has also been used by the awesome Harvard's Library Innovation Lab to create DPLA StackLife, an app that makes (parts of) the virtual collection visible and discoverable.

At this point, DPLA is still pretty buggy and not yet completely formed. But it is an impressive start. Librarian and historian Robert Darnton, and one of DPLA's founders, describes the DPLA in an article in The New York Review of Books

"How to think of it? Not as a great edifice topped with a dome and standing on a gigantic database. The DPLA will be a distributed system of electronic content that will make the holdings of public and research libraries, archives, museums, and historical societies available, effortlessly and free of charge, to readers located at every connecting point of the Web. To make it work, we must think big and begin small. At first, the DPLA's offering will be limited to a rich variety of collections - books, manuscripts, and works of art - that have already been digitized in cultural institutions throughout the country. Around this core it will grow, gradually accumulating material of all kinds until it will function as a national digital library."

You can read more about DPLA in this Library Journal interview with Executive Director Dan Cohen, including his response to concerns that DPLA will replace some of the functions of public libraries. For some initial reaction to DPLA from librarians, take a look at this Library Journal article. And don't forget to take a look at the DPLA website itself and share your thoughts (I'm thinking, hm, what about a Digital Public Library of Canada?) in the comments section below.

Articles on Health, Fact Sheets, Reports, Videos ... Just what the Doctor would Order!

February 26, 2013 | Mary-Beth | Comments (0)


Want to stay fit after 40 – or strong at any age?  Try consulting Consumer Health Complete.  It contains consumer health information derived from a variety of resources including consumer health magazines, health reference books, fact sheets & pamphlets and evidence-based reports.  You can also find drug & herb information, images & diagrams, videos & animation as well as alternative sources.

Topics covered include medical conditions and diseases, food, nutrition and exercise, smoking cessation, substance abuse, surgeries and procedures, women’s and children’s health, environmental health and more.

Find Consumer Health Complete through the Toronto Public Library’s A-Z List of All Databases.  Sign in Senior exercisewith your Toronto Public Library card and browse popular sources, search by topic or keyword or find a disease, condition injury or procedure by checking the a-z list under quick find.  To find out more on how to search, click on Database Help.

16 Days of Action Against Gender Violence: Information and Resources

November 25, 2012 | Susan | Comments (0)

Today (November 25th) is the first day in the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence campaign.


16 Days of Action Against Gender Violence is a global campaign that runs annually from November 25th to December 10th. It was launched in 1991 by the Center for Women's Global Leadership and now counts over 2,000 organizations from over 154 countries among its participants.

The 16 Days campaign calls for the elimination of all forms of gender-based violence worldwide and highlights several significant dates, including:

To mark the start of the 16 Days campaign, here are sixteen reference resources on the subject of gender and violence that are available in print or online through the Toronto Public Library:


Selected books:

Gender Violence by Merry        Women Gender and Human Rights by Marjorie Agosin    

Women's Human Rights by Niamh Reilly         Violence Against Women in Canada by Johnson        Violence Against Women by DeKeseredy


Selected encyclopedias:

Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History          Routledge International Encyclopedia of Women          Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender edited by Malti-Douglas


Selected article databases:

WHRR logo


Selected websites:

  • WomenWatch: This is the central gateway for online information and resources related to the promotion of gender equality and women's empowerment in the United Nations.
  • Status of Women Canada: This federal government organization works to advance equality for women in Canada with particular emphasis placed on women's economic security and the elimination of violence against women.
  • Ontario Women's Justice Network: Here you will find general legal information and resources on issues related to violence against women. A project of the Metropolitan Action Committee on Violence Against Women and Children (METRAC).
  • Springtide Resources: This Toronto-based registered charity develops and delivers programs and resources to decrease the incidence of violence against women and the effect that abuse has on children.
  • 16 Days campaign Resources: This section of the 16 Days campaign website includes suggested books, articles, reports, and websites on gender and violence as well as campaigning.






Britannica Still Rules, Despite Wikipedia

November 7, 2012 | Mary-Beth | Comments (0)


The Encyclopaedia Britannica stopped publishing its print version in March of 2012.  Although Wikipedia has become a popular place to look for information, according to the Wall Street Journal more than 500,000 people are still willing to pay to use the online version of Britannica.  The oldest English-language encyclopaedia still being produced, it enjoys a reputation for general excellence and authoritative references and illustrations for people, places, institutions and concepts. 


The Toronto Public Library subscribes to the online version and it includes the content of the print version of the Encyclopaedia Britannica and the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. There is a prominent link to Britannica Online for Kids from the home page and the guided tour is an great place to learning about this database.

Some interesting features include the biography of the day, this day in history, the Britannica blog and top news stories from the New York Times web version and BBC News. 

The Research Tools section includes primary sources, e-books, a video collection, media collection, a world atlas, notable quotations and a Spanish English dictionary.  Explore the history of topics from art to technology from thousands of years ago to the present day in the Timelines section.  World Data Analyst offers up-to-date statistical information for countries, and graphs and charts can be created with this tool.  Canada in Focus presents a wide-ranging collection of articles covering the most significant people, places, and history of Canada.

Once inside an article, Britannica provides links to expand you research to other journal articles, websites and additional readings.  Vocabulary help is provided when you double-click on a word for definitions and pronunciation.  Students will also like the citation feature at the bottom of articles which allow you to choose from four styles to cite the source in a bibliography.

Access the Encyclopedia Britannica from the A-Z List of All Databases on the Toronto Public Library's website.  Sign in using your library card and PIN number.

Got Film Fest Fever? Get Film Indexes Online!

September 2, 2012 | Susan | Comments (0)

The 37th Toronto International Film Festival is coming up soon, from September 6th to 16th, 2012. If you are suffering from a serious case of film fest fever, find relief through the library and get Film Indexes Online!


 Image of Fumeo film projector by Mattia Luigi Nappi via Wikimedia Commons. Used under Creative Commons license.

Previously accessible from Research and Reference branches only, Film Indexes Online is now available from any Toronto Public Library branch or from home using your library barcode and PIN, which is great news for serious researchers, students, and film buffs alike.

Film Indexes Online is a portal to three top-notch film resources:

1.American Film International Catalog (AFI)

AFI documents over 48,000 American feature films produced between 1893 and 1973. Most records include substantial plot summaries and comprehensive filmographic information, plus citations for reviews and articles. Includes the popular "AFI 100 Years..." series of cinematic milestones, such as AFI's Top 100 Movies, Top 25 Musicals, and Top 50 Stars. Compiled by the American Film Institute (AFI) and updated twice annually.

Filmindexesonline2. FIAF International Index to Film Periodicals Plus (FIAF Plus)

FIAF Plus provides abstracts and full-text articles from some 340 academic and popular film periodicals from 1972 to the prsent. Produced in collaboration with the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) and updated monthly.

3. Film Index International (FII)

FII features cross-referenced records for 120,000 films and 750,000 film personalities from over 180 countries. Coverage is from 1900 to the present and includes all genres of film, from the first silent movies to the most recent blockbusters. Also includes international film awards, searchable plot summaries, and annotated citations. Based on the Summary of Information on Film and Televison (SIFT) database from the British Film Institute (BFI) and updated twice annually.

Film Indexes Online can be used to search all three databases at the same time or each separately. With the all-in-one search you can search or browse by keyword, film title, date, or person. The search interface supports Boolean, exact, truncation, and proximity searching. For more advanced searches, you can search each database separately to take advantage of unique functionality (e.g., hierarchical subject thesauri).

For a video demonstration of how to use Film Indexes Online click here.

Wondering how the Film Indexes Online database compares to the freely available website resource Internet Movie Database (IMDB)? To find out, I searched for one of my all-time favourite films, Rear Window, in both resources.

Here is some of what I found:

Source material: 

The AFI record in Film Indexes Online notes that the film is based on the short story "It Had To Be Murder" by Cornell Woolrich, published in Dime Detective in February 1942, and includes a brief publication history of the story. The IMDB record, by comparison, simply lists Cornell Woolrich under "Writing credits".

Subject indexing:

The AFI record includes two genre headings (Mystery, Suspense), plus dozens of primary and secondary cross-referenced subject headings (e.g., Apartment buildings, Voyeurism, Traveling salesmen). IMDB, on the other hand, includes three genre headings (Mystery, Romance, Thriller) but lacks controlled subject headings.


The combined records in Film Indexes Online include approximately 200 citations to reviews and articles, including approximately three dozen that were published at the time of the film's original release. The IMDB record does not include any citations to published reviews or articles, but does include hundreds of user reviews and an active message board.

In sum, while IMDB is a useful and popular ready reference tool, Film Indexes Online in the resource to use for more complex reference questions and scholarly research.

Happy film fest everyone!

Aloha! Pehea ‘oe? Learn Hawaiian with Mango Languages Database & your Library Card!

August 6, 2012 | Mary-Beth | Comments (1)

Mango many langsMango languages is a fun way to learn another language.  You can choose from among 37 different languages, such as French, Arabic, Korean, Urdu or Pashto.  I tried teaching myself several and found it to be a very effective way to learn by reading, listening and repeating the online lessson.  There are also English courses for speakers of 15 other languages, such as English for Japanese or Chinese speakers from basic to advanced levels. 

Mango languages uses real-life situations and actual conversations to more effectively teach a new language. By listening to and repeating after material designed from native conversations, you'll not only learn the individual words and phrases, you'll know how they're used in practical situations and conversations. You'll learn more than grammar, vocabulary and conjugation, you'll learn how to communicate.  And for people on the go, Mango has an app you can download onto your iPhone, iPad or other Apple device. 

Mango-mobileFind the Mango languages database through the Toronto Public Library’s  A-Z List of All Databases.  Sign in with your Toronto Public Library card and start teaching yourself a new language today.


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

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