Civic Life Programs with MASS LBP

February 20, 2020 | Loretta

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This winter, we're piloting a new stream of programming, Civic Life, in partnership with MASS LBP, which focus on supporting Torontonians in understanding, acting on and connecting with the world beyond their private lives. This program series will deliver a range of activities that aim to foster a strengthened civic sphere in Toronto.


Illustration of Toronto landmarks CN Tower and Rogers Centre
Image by MASS LBP.


Activity 1: Borrow-an-Issue

Toronto is a complex city with equally complex issues. It can be hard to know where to start when you're trying to understand it all. Borrow-an-Issue is a program to help library users better understand and get more engaged in important local issues.

There are two topics for this pilot program: gun violence and precarious housing, which were selected through an engagement process at participating branches. We've compiled downloadable packages of readings, videos and podcasts that will help you explore the trends, possible underlying causes and proposed solutions to the issues.

It’s easy to take part:

  • Step 1: Choose the topic that you’re interested in, and download the kit.
  • Step 2: Review the resources. There are a range of lengths and types of media to choose from, from readings, to podcasts, to videos – you can pick which ones interest you the most.
  • Step 3: Get involved! After you’ve used the kit, join us at a discussion circle at a local branch to hear from community groups working on the issue, meet other people who have also read the package and discuss what you learned together.

Download the kit on gun violence.

Upcoming discussion circles on this kit:

Eatonville Branch - Wednesday, February 26, 6:30 to 8 pm.

430 Burnhamthorpe Rd. 416-394-5270


S. Walter Stewart Branch - Thursday, February 27, 6:30 to 8 pm.

170 Memorial Park Ave. 416-396-3975


Download the kit on precarious housing.

Upcoming discussion circles on this kit:

Cedarbrae Branch - Thursday, February 27, 6 to 7:30 pm.

545 Markham Rd. 416-696-8850


Fairview Branch - Wednesday, March 11, 6 to 7:30 pm.

35 Fairview Mall Dr. 416-395-5750


Line drawing of a house
Image by MASS LBP.


Activity 2: Film to Action

Institutionalized Marginalization of Womxn

Join us for an afternoon of discussion, learning, and action! Learn about different issues surrounding feminism today, and work together to develop individual and community actions. Watch the documentary Status Quo? The Unfinished Business of Feminism in Canada by award-winning filmmaker Karen Cho. Then, collaborate with other participants on what can be done on a local level to tackle the systemic marginalization of womxn in Canada.

Sanderson Branch - Saturday, February 29, 1 to 4:30 pm.

327 Bathurst St. 416-393-7653



Line drawing of people in front of a building
Image by MASS LBP.


Activity 3: Art and Activism (Youth Workshop)

This workshop is for participants ages 13-19. You will learn about some of the different ways art has been used in activism, and then you’ll get the chance to create your own piece of art about an issue that matters to you.

Woodview Park Branch - Thursday, February 27, 6 pm.

16 Bradstock Rd. 416-395-5960


Registration is required for all programs. Please contact the branches to sign up. We hope to see you there!