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Culture Days

What does Earth Day mean to you?

April 22, 2013 | Cat | Comments (0)

It's April 22nd and all around the world people are celebrating what is known as "Earth Day". But what if we treated everyday as Earth Day and didn't wait for that one day a year to think about our impact on the environment.  Major environmental issues like climate change, ozone layer depletion, waste disposal, pollution, addiction to fossil fuels, food and water crises, and so much more, all tell us that these issues are things we need to always be talking about.  Yes, it's days like today that provide us with opportunities to participate in a neighbourhood clean-up or tree planting activities, but what if we took that enthusiasm a little bit further? If you're like me and interested in knowing what's happening with our changing environment and how we can make things better and not worse, here are some great books to get that conversation started.

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Need some more inspiration? Check out this motivating article in NOW magazine by Adria Vasil.

Earth Day is also a great day to get the conversation started about the environment with your children, students and family members. Check out these books and more for children about Earth Day and the environment.

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Planning a wedding and having trouble finding "the dress"? Let TPL help you!

March 8, 2013 | Cat | Comments (0)

Sometimes you never know where to start when planning a big event or party. But often times you end up starting with what to wear!  So looking for a wedding dress was no different for some of my recent married friends, than planning outfits for that vacation or new years party.  Personally, I was a bit overwhelmed at where to start when looking for a dress and magazines seemed like a no-brainer.  TPL has a few great wedding magazines, like Weddingbelles and Modern Bride that make it easy and free to see what's on (bridal) trend.  We also have quite a few books featuring vintage wedding dress fashion that is great for getting inspired on planning your complete outfit. Not to mention TPL also has all of the Knot's great publications that goes beyond planning your look to helping you plan your entire wedding!

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One of my favourite bridal books has to be Randy Fenoli's (eye roll please... yes, the "Say yes to the dress" host!) book "It's all about the dress". This book was indispensable in the sense that he really did "tell it like it is" outside of the typical wedding cliches you hear everywhere.  Randy "dumbs it down" and covers everything you need to know from understanding your vision to setting out and looking for "the one".  He even includes chapters on what to do about accessories, bridal party and mother of the bride dresses, and groom attire as well!  Whether you've already found "the one" or are in the middle of your dress fittings, this book is worth checking out to get you inspired, excited and prepared for your big day!

Looking for similar titles? Check out more books here to help you find that perfect dress!



Planning your (eco-friendly) wedding

January 26, 2013 | Cat | Comments (2)

Whether you're recently engaged or already planning your perfect day, have you ever thought of making your wedding "greener"? Planning your wedding from stationery to room decor often leaves a ton of waste behind.  Who says you need to leave a big carbon footprint on your big day when you have more eco-friendly and still beautiful alternatives? 


Environmentally conscious couples are choosing to incorporate eco-friendly alternatives in their wedding to express their earth-friendly values.  Even for those who cringe when taking out the recycling, using greener wedding alternatives can still create the same beautiful wedding you've always imagined and might even be cheaper!

From eco-fashion dresses to locavore catering, there are more green options available today than ever before!  Check out these titles for eco-friendly wedding ideas that feature products and services that can reduce environmental harm while ensuring you still get your perfect day! 


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Wildlife Wood Carving

September 20, 2012 | Tony | Comments (1)

We have a pretty cool program coming up for the Culture Days programming called BLOCK LETTERS, but I was curious as to what was going on at our other branches.  So I took a look through all the activities and I was impressed with the variety of programs going on in Toronto.  There is pretty much something for everyone.  One that caught my eye was the Wildlife Wood Carving & Painting at McGregor Park Branch.  On Saturday September 29, Charles Weiss will be conducting this interesting program from 2-4 pm. It consists of showing a wood carving of a fish in several steps from start-to-finish.  This will be followed by having the participants try Gyotaku, a Japanese traditional form of fish printing.  This involves using a real fish on rice paper!  I had to look it up because I wasn't familiar with the term, but it looks interesting. 


For those who aren't familiar with the artist, he recently illustrated Fishes Of Toronto, which is one of the very popular books in the City of Toronto Biodiversity Series.


For those who aren't familiar with these little books, they are a well made series that provide information about some of Toronto's wildlife.  I've personally enjoyed reading the Birds of Toronto, Spiders of Toronto and Fishes of Toronto but there are many more titles.  Whenever a new title is released, we usually get a batch of the publication and they disappear pretty fast.  Here at Lillian Smith, we still have some Spiders of Toronto in the branch.  I wonder which one will be released next.  Charles Weiss did a great job illustrating the Fishes Of Toronto and I believe some branches might still have it.  If you want to see the artist in action you should make your way to McGregor Park Branch.


September 20, 2012 | Tony | Comments (0)

As part of the Culture Days programming, we are very happy to be teaming up with Small Print Toronto on Saturday Sep 29, 2012 for BLOCK LETTERS.  Award-winning artist-author Cybele Young along with Chris Reed and Rani Sanderson of Small Print Toronto will be guiding urban explorers, ages 2-8, on a walk around our city block.  They will then create their own books based on their observations.   Cybele Young is the author of A Few Blocks and Ten Birds, the Latter won the 2011 Govenor General award for Children's Illustration.

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After poking around on her website it is easy to see that she is a person of many talents.  She even created the art installation at St. Clair Ave W and Deer Park Crescent above the street car stop.  I know I've passed by it a hundred times and had no idea who the artist was.


It should be a fun program, so if you have nothing planned on the Saturday afternoon and want to do something with the little one, it's worth checking out.  All materials will be supplied. Parents and other family members are welcome to accompany their children as we walk around the historic Lillian H. Smith branch and see what fantastical stories spring to mind!

Please call the branch at 416-393-7746 for more information and to register. Space is limited.

Lillian H. Smith library, in the heart of the Discovery District, Chinatown and Kensington Market, is a district branch of Toronto Public Library. Learn more about your local library & community, and while you're at it, drop us a comment. If you are visiting us in person, look for the bronze gryphons guarding our door.