Sunday, 24 October 2010

Sunday October 24th, 2010 Aged to Perfection

Those of us in the 50 plus category are often referred to as internet immigrants because we came to the internet and computers in general, as an adult. My children would call me internet illiterate, but I beg to differ. My father, who is 84, is often known to stay up late into the night, playing online bridge with fellow gamers. And, my mother is often scouring the library website for her next good read. The library has many digital items that would be of interest to the older crowd.

The library has many virtual learning opportunities. There are internet classes available that are 1.5 hour long hands on sessions held in the Waverley Training Lab. Topics include Introduction to the Internet and Searching Tips and Tricks. Perhaps you would like the inside scoop on using your Library Card online. In our programme, Online Explorers, you learn how to renew your books, place holds, save your favourite searches, get notified when a new book by your favourite author arrives, keep a reading history and more! Want to get on Facebook to keep in touch with your kids or grandkids? Book a private one-hour session with our Facebook Coach. More information or registration for any of these programmes is available by calling 684-6815.

If research about your family tree is of interest, check out new updates to our Web site at for information on genealogy and local history. You will also find helpful tips and strategies for doing effective research. is available at all Library locations.

If items of a non-digital nature are more your style, the Library has plenty in that respect as well. Both fiction and non-fiction books, large print titles, and magazines. Here are a few suggestions:

FIRMING AFTER 50 [dvd]: A Complete Upper and Lower Body Workout by Joel Harper. From firming and shaping the entire body to building cardio strength to advanced relaxation techniques, this series shows how to use yoga to help tone and firm your whole body and achieve total fitness. Useful for both beginners and advanced users.

UNBELIEVABLY GOOD DEALS AND GREAT ADVENTURES THAT YOU ABSOLUTELY CAN’T GET UNLESS YOU’RE OVER 50, 2009-2010 by Joan Rattner Heilman. The over-50 set’s bible for bargains, from golf to globe- trotting. Inside this proven bestseller you will find even more information about trips, discounts, clubs, programs, and special perks--only good if you are over 50! Includes amazing bargains on airfares, hotels, car rentals, public transportation, vacations designed for you and your grandkids, tennis camps, golf vacations, ski clubs and more. A great book for the over-50-but-not-over-the-hill-crowd.

EAT WHAT YOU LOVE: MORE THAN 300 INCREDIBLE RECIPES LOW IN SUGAR, FAT AND CALORIES by Marlene Koch. Enjoy all the delicious foods you love--guilt free as you effortlessly cut the sugar, slash the fat and calories, and curb the excess carbs. EAT WHAT YOU LOVE is the perfect family cookbook with healthy recipes that never sacrifice taste.

The Thunder Bay Public LIbrary also has an extensive audiovisual collection of materials in non-book formats. We carry audiobooks, which are books on compact disc (CD), MP3CD, and Playaway formats in both abridged (shortened) and unabridged versions. Playaways are the easiest way to listen to audiobooks – simply press play and go! The complete audiobook is pre-loaded on to its own player. The entire unit is about the size of half a deck of cards and fits nicely into a pocket. Great for listening while on the go. You will need to supply your own headphones and one AAA battery (both can be purchased at the Library). You can browse our collection of Playaways in our Online catalogue.

Helen Cimone, Public Services Assistant

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Sunday October 17th, 2010 Business Resources @ Your Library

In 1979, Small Business Week began as a small celebration in British Columbia. In 1981, the Business Development Bank of Canada, the BDC, officially launched it across the nation. Small Business Week celebrates entrepreneurship and small businesses, acknowledging the contributions they make to the economy. The theme this year is Power Up Your Business. Invest. Innovate. Grow. and runs from October 17 to 23.

There are many online resources for entrepreneurs. The BDC website has an Advice Centre page where you will find articles, tips and tools to help you start and run a business. Free information available includes business plan templates, a self-assessment quiz and advice from professionals. Another website is the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Trade which has an online guide for small businesses as well as a section for small and medium enterprises. This section has links that will connect you to Service Ontario which has a wealth of information.

The Thunder Bay Public Library (TBPL) also has many resources to help you build your business: books, periodicals, company directories, online databases, electronic resources and more. There are two documents available online through TBPL’s website: The Public Library as Your Silent Business Partner: Information and Services for Small Businesses and The Services to Business Guide. The first outlines the resources available at the library and the second outlines the steps and stages in starting your own business and lists resources to help you along the way.

The Ultimate Small Business Marketing Toolkit by Beth Goldstein has tips and worksheets that encourage you to think about your business, the customers, partnerships, and much more. It also includes a CD-ROM with the worksheets for you to print out to work on. This book is full of resources and information, with eight objectives for marketing your small business.

If you are looking for personal anecdotes and advice, Starting a Business is a title in the Lessons Learned series. Top business leaders from around the world offer guidance and tips in these easy to read lessons. Each short personal story lists key points, summarizing what you can learn from their experience.

Get Gr
owing: Keys to Unlocking the Potential of Your Small Business by David Wilton and Kyle McNamara has a Canadian focus. This book provides advice for small business owners and shares success stories. Steps and strategies for sales, marketing, finances and human resources, as well as online links make this a great read.

Also available at TBPL are books by author Iain Williamson, entrepreneur and business consultant. He has written numerous titles that would be beneficial to entrepreneurs and small business owners. Through the virtual collection, you have access to the Canadian Business and Current Affairs database. This online database is updated daily and gives you access to information from trade publications, magazines and newspapers. As you consider becoming your own boss or as you strive to have your business be a success, remember the library as a business planning resource.

Laura McCormack, Library Technician

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Sunday October 10th, 2010 Thanksgiving

According to the Thunder Bay Public Library’s Ebsco Host in the Virtual Collection, Edward Sandford Martin, Harvard University class of 1877, once wrote these words of wisdom: “Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.” Thanksgiving Day (Jour de l’Action de Grace) was proclaimed by the Canadian Parliament on January 31, 1957 to be “A day of general thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed … to be observed on the second Monday in October.” Until then Thanksgiving Day had been held in some form every year, but on various days.

With your library card and pin you can go to and access NetLibrary (My Giant Search) to find the book Thanksgiving by Julie Murray. Here you will discover that history is plum full of Thanksgiving celebrations. Thanksgiving's earliest beginnings were in Europe during the Middle Ages with the harvest festival. Bountiful cornucopias and wagons full of late fall vegetables originated there. In 1578, explorer Martin Frobisher, who was later knighted, is said to have held the first Thanksgiving feast in what is now Canada, specifically Newfoundland and Labrador. Although he failed to find a Northwest Passage through to the Pacific Ocean, Frobisher Bay, a large inlet off the Labrador Sea on the southeastern corner of Baffin Island, was named after him. Samuel de Champlain and the French settlers who accompanied him across the ocean apparently held huge feasts of Thanksgiving when they arrived safely on Canadian soil. After the Seven Year's War ended in 1763 the people of Halifax held a special day of Thanksgiving. And the first Thanksgiving Day after Canadian Confederation (1867) was observed as a civic holiday on April 5, 1872. This was to give thanks for the recovery of the Prince of Wales (King Edward VII) from a long illness.

Today Thanksgiving is often celebrated with dinner surrounded by family and friends. The Many Blessings Cookbook: A Celebration of Harvest, Home and Country Cooking by Jane Watson Hopping, author of The Lazy Days of Summer Cookbook, is a complete guide to making Thanksgiving delicious. Take a peek at Hello, Cupcake! by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson, for funny and original cupcake designs. With some coloured frosting and a few candies you can whip up any holiday on icing, including the turkey cupcake place cards for Thanksgiving dinner. No higher level baking skills required.

So, whenever the calendar flips to October, it means Canada’s Thanksgiving Day is close. A holiday that revolves around family, friends, fun, food, football (the Canadian Football League holds a nationally televised doubleheader, called simply the Thanksgiving Day Classic), and any number of your favourite things. Whatever one ends up doing, Thanksgiving always serves as a reminder of the many things there are to be grateful for. Check on the shelf at TBPL for a great book entitled Chicken Soup for the Soul: Count Your Blessings; 101 Stories of Gratitude, Fortitude and Silver Linings by Jack Canfield. This book shows the reader the importance of being thankful for even the smallest things that are right there, all the time. Reminds me of a young teacher I know who was talking to her class recently about Thanksgiving and being thankful. When asked to share with the class what they were thankful for, one little boy eagerly put up his hand and said, “I am thankful for my teacher.” Perfect answer.

Caron E. Naysmith

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Sunday October 3rd, 2010 Cheers to Beer!

Now, I know cricket isn’t very big here in Thunder Bay, but as the purpose of this column is to promote the library’s beer making materials, it makes perfect sense to begin with a discussion on cricket – right? Australia, you see, has two great legendary beer drinkers. The first is David Boon, or “the keg on legs” as he is affectionately known – a highly esteemed national cricket player. When the Aussie team was flying to London for the 1989 Ashes series, our boy Boonie, consumed 52 cans of full strength beer.

Our other beer-chugging legend is former Australian Prime Minister, Bob Hawke, also one of Australia’s biggest cricket fans. Whilst studying at Oxford in 1955, he entered the Guinness Book of Records by downing 2.5 pints of beer in 11 seconds. As Bob says: ‘This feat was to endear me to some of my fellow Australians more than anything else I ever achieved.’ Way to go, Bob!
Canadians, too, love their beer with an astounding passion. How can it be avoided when so many of us in the colonies are descended from that outstanding drinking race, the Irish - it’s genetic! J. P. Donleavy, in The Ginger Man, describes Ireland as the largest brewery in the world. At any time, any place, you’re never more than twenty paces from a pint.

And here in Thunder Bay - what a wonderful place to live. Apart from the glorious scenery, I have to say, the thing that most impressed me when I first arrived was the Beer Store. Where else in the world, but Ontario, would you find a whole store devoted solely to the sale of beer? I was chuffed. I’d come to the right place. I was home.

Beer consumption and beer making have been with us for eons. Beer, in fact, was the first known alcoholic beverage, and was as ubiquitous then as it is today – everyone was into it: the Sumerians, Mayans, Egyptians, Chinese: they just used different grains to produce that blessed amber brew. For an in depth look at the history of beer, Beer: A History of Suds and Civilization from Mesopotamia to Microbreweries, by Gregg Smith is an interesting read. Or maybe try, Cheers!: An Intemperate History of Beer in Canada, by Nicholas Pashley.

Interest in beer making has by no means waned. Just ask any university student, or your enthusiastic backyard gardener seeking new ways of utilizing their excess crops. Here at TBPL we have an interesting range of materials for anyone who just appreciates a good brew or who is interested in learning how to make their own.

If you want to eat your beer as well as drink it, take a look at Brew Cuisine: Cooking with Beer, by Judith Gould and Ruth Koretsky. Or try Zymurgy for the Homebrewer and Beer Lover: The Best Articles and Advice from America’s #1 Home Brewing Magazine, edited by Charles Papazian. This book includes award-winning homebrew recipes as well as tips on making exotic brews, and analyzing your water to see how it affects your brew results.

We also have encyclopedias, companions and guides that cover the topic of beer in broader terms. Try The Encyclopedia of Beer, edited by Christine P. Rhodes, or Stephen Beaumont’s Great Canadian Beer Guide, for something a little closer to home. Michael Jackson’s Beer Companion: The world’s Great Beer Styles, Gastronomy and Traditions, explains, amongst other things, how to make beer out of fruit – a contradiction in terms it would seem, but apparently not.

And no discussion on beer would be complete without mentioning the Germans. Oktoberfest, a 17-day-long festival occurring every year at this time, is an enormous part of the Bavarian culture. Attracting around 6 million people it’s the biggest beer party around, and has given birth to literally hundreds of beer drinking songs. We have cd’s in our collection to help you get into the German beer drinking mood. All the Best from the German Beer Garden, for example, contains classics such as Der Schonste Platz Ist Immer an Der Theke (The most beautiful place is always on the counter).

So here’s to beer. Cheers!

Rosemary Melville
Library Technician