View Toronto Through Poetry

The Toronto Public Library, with the help of poet laureate, George Elliott Clarke, has created a new way to explore Toronto: through the use of poetry.

They’ve created a fun, interactive map of Toronto that marks the locations of important spots in poetry about Toronto. At each location on the map, information about the poems is listed, and details as to which branch of the Toronto Public Library has that poetry book available is also given. There are also many Toronto poems that aren’t associated with any specific locations, and you can find out more about those on the Toronto Poetry Map as well.

Al_Purdy

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We’re Heading into the Forest!

It’s December, and that means Forest of Reading® at the library. We run this fabulous program each year from December through April for all our young readers from Kindergarten to Grade 6. If you’ve had a child participate in past years, this year looks like it’s going to be even better, with tons of fabulous books in each category!

How does it work?

During Forest of Reading®, children read 8 – 10 books within their grade category. The books are all by a Canadian author or illustrator, and have been published within the last two years. Once the kids read the books, they will pick their favourites and then come to our voting night at the library in April 2014. It’s a secret ballot, and the tabulations from our library are then sent on to Toronto to be amalgamated with the province results. Once they calculate the votes, the authors will receive an award at a special ceremony in Toronto in May. It’s so much fun!

Who can participate?

Each year, we participate in a variety of categories.  This year, we’ve chosen Blue Spruce (K – Grade 2), Silver Birch Express (Gr. 3 & 4),  and Silver Birch Fiction and Non-Fiction (Gr. 5 & 6). We’ll go around to the schools in December and January to tell everyone about the program and hopefully sign up a bunch of young readers.  But anyone who comes to the library between now and then may be asked to participate, too!

What are the books this year?

Every category is based on the type of reader best suited for it.  Blue Spruce has more beginning readers, so there are picture books only. Silver Birch Express is aimed at more of a mix—advanced and beginning readers—so there are picture books, non-fiction and even a few chapter books. Silver Birch Fiction has wonderful novels, both thick and thin, for all readers. And Silver Birch Non-Fiction has a variety of fascinating reads for those who might not be interested in fiction.

Blue Spruce

bluespruce

Silver Birch Express

express

Silver Birch Fiction

fiction

Silver Birch Non-Fiction

nonficHow do we join?

Just come to the library and we’ll get your young reader all sorted out. It’s free and they can take home a book today and start reading.  This is a great opportunity to get ahead during the holidays. Come February and March, we’ll have a lot of readers trying hard to finish their required books, so it’s nice to get them done early.

If you want to know more about the program in general, you can visit the Ontario Library Association’s Forest of Reading Website for lots of information. We hope to see your readers at the library to sign up today!

 

Margaret Atwood and Stephen King

It’s not often that great authors come together at one event. Or at least, it’s not often the public gets to attend and listen to them talk. If you’re going to be in Toronto (or maybe just want to make plans for the fall),  Authors at Harbourfront Centre  October 24 – November 3, 2013 will be the place to be!

authors

They’ve just announced more of the lineup for the event, which includes Stephen King and his son, author Owen King at the opening night event, along with Canadian author Louise Penny who will moderate the discussion.  This event is sold out now, but there are plenty more!

Canadian author Margaret Atwood is slated to appear as well to promote her new novel, MADDADDAM, as well as Charlotte Gray, Wayne Johnston and Douglas Coupland. Tickets to four of the special events went on sale yesterday.  You can stop by the site to see the full lineup and also to purchase tickets.  But hurry, they’ll go fast!

The votes are in!

forest1.jpg

We had a great week last week at the library, ending all our Forest of Reading® voting!  The kids arrived on Thursday night nice and early and had their chosen books decided.  We have a very official vote, with a secret ballot and everything. The kids waiting their turn, got into the polling station and then placed their ballots in the box. While we enjoyed a party and some rewards, Janet tabulated the votes and presented us with the official winners from our library!

Here were the winners:

To_Hope_and_Back

Silver Birch Non-Fiction

KatePippin

Blue Spruce

Making_Bombs_Hitler

Silver Birch Fiction (part of a 3-way tie)

Missing

Silver Birch Fiction (Part of the 3 way tie)

Neil_Flambe_Crusaders

Silver Birch Fiction (Part of the 3 way tie)

Margaret_and_the_Moth_Tree

Silver Birch Express

We’ll send all of our votes along to Toronto where they’ll be compiled with the other votes from libraries and schools across Ontario.  And once the official votes are in, I’ll make sure to let everyone know how we did this year! Congratulations to everyone who read books this year, to those who completed all ten books in their category, and especially to those who read in TWO categories (that’s 20 books!).

forest2.jpgAnd a HUGE thank you to Janet for taking care of the vote, to Sheila (and Bronte) for pouring drinks for an hour, and to Judi and the girls at the front desk for taking care of the extra crowd of people. We’re looking forward to next year already!

We’re Back!

After an exciting and hectic four days in Toronto, we’re back from the Ontario Library Association’s Super Conference 2013!

After starting out on a foggy and slightly icy morning, we made it to the train station in Smiths Falls and headed out on our journey.

trainIf you haven’t taken the train before, it’s always a comfortable way to travel, with free wi-fi and frequent snack cart visits to get you through the journey. We passed through snow and rain and fog and sunshine, and got to our destination in great time.

shoppingI’ll have to admit, the train ride was the easiest part of the trip that day. After checking into our hotel and a quick bite to eat, we were off to visit the Whitehots showroom to purchase books. Let’s just say it was an interesting cab ride out to Mississauga.  But once there, we found LOTS of great books, friendly staff and got down to the business of loading up our carts with books.  While we left a few books on the shelves, we can’t wait until our boxes arrive back here at the library. Then, it’ll be down to work to get them all into our system and onto the shelves. Fun!

Back at the hotel, we made our way to the Conference Center and checked in.  If you can imagine thousands of librarians in one space, this was it.  Excitement was in the air and we were all looking forward to getting down to all the plenary sessions, author visits, presentations and poster sessions. Vendors were busy setting up the Expo which we’d all attend at least at one point during the conference, to view books & products and to meet with the wonderful people who keep libraries current and relevant.

Janet and I headed back to our room after a nice dinner with librarians from Smiths Falls, and we poured over the catalog to see what sessions we’d be attending the next day. Exciting!

Stay tuned for more information on the sessions we attended, people we saw and things we learned. It was a great week!

The Joy of Books

A pair of bookstore owners in Toronto decided to make a wonderful stop-motion video about the Joy of Books. Type Bookstore was the scene and with a host of many volunteers, they shelved and re-shelved books all night, every night for about a week to come up with this. Enjoy!

Harry Potter Exhibition in Canada!

We’ve all read the books and are eagerly awaiting the final movies, but Harry Potter is still a prime topic of interest, especially to kids.  And now, Canada will get a chance to see the touring Harry Potter Exhibition, complete with costumes, props and interactive displays, but only in Toronto at the Ontario Science Centre starting April 9th, 2010.

As one of only four stops in North America, the exhibition will surely be busy, running right through until August.  The cost of admission is a bit pricey if you are planning on taking the whole family ($20 for children, $27.50 for adults), but certainly will be well worth it.  You can read an interesting article which appeared in the National Post a few days ago, describing all of the work that has gone into getting the exhibition to the Ontario Science Centre.

There is a website devoted to the exhibition with photos and links to all sorts of interesting Harry Potter information, so if you are wondering whether or not to plan your summer vacation around the event, stop by and see just what others have been delighting in.  You can drop by the site here.  You can even find the link to purchase tickets for the Toronto visit, or find those at the Ontario Science Centre link above.  It’ll be a magical event!