Sunday, 29 June 2014

Sunday June 29th, 2014 Summertime Repairs @ Your Library

The summer is, for many car buffs, the ideal time to do all the tinkering and maintenance projects that have been building up over the year. Or it’s an opportunity to work on a side restoration job that has been waiting for a sunny (rainy?) day.

The automotive repair manuals formerly located in the Reference area of the Brodie Resource Library are moving to the Reference area of the Waverley Resource Library. This extensive collection contains manuals and wiring diagrams for Chrysler, Ford and GM models, and dates to the 1920s. We are working on a searchable index for this collection that will be available online in the near future. Circulating collections will still be maintained at both locations and can be searched online at Staff can also assist if you are looking for something specific.


Did you know that more automotive repair manuals are also available online! The Thunder Bay Public Library provides access to the Auto Repair Reference Centre and the Chilton Auto Repair databases. The Small Engine Repair Reference Center database provides manuals and diagrams for boat motors, tractors, and more. Go to, click on the Sleeping Giant under the Research tab and log in with your library card & PIN.

For me, cars just aren’t a hobby of choice at any time of year. However I did just buy my first house and so home repair is high on the priority list right now! The Library offers a wide variety of home repair, DIY, woodworking, decorating, and outdoor project books that will suit any skill level. Here are a few of the most recent additions to our collection that you might want to check out for help or inspiration:

The Holmes Manual: expert answers to your most common home maintenance questions by Mike Holmes (2014). If you don’t recognize the author, all you have to do is browse the weekly tv listings to find him. This book provides solutions and tips for everyday home issues such as squeaky floors, water heater comparisons, cold rooms, and more. Instructions are geared towards the do it yourself home owner and are paired with colour photos and helpful hints.

Outdoor Wood Projects: 24 projects you can build in a weekend by Steve Cory (2014). This book boasts 24 projects that can each be completed in a two day time frame. Included are things like: planters and window boxes, trellises, outdoor furniture, bamboo garden projects, reclaimed/recycled wood projects such as an Adirondack chair made from wood pallets, and more. Designed for beginners, these projects are inexpensive to make and require only basic tools.

Plumbing: Install & repair your own toilets, faucets, sinks, tubs, showers, drains (2013). As part of the HomeSkills DIY series, this volume can help you to save money and gain valuable knowledge of the plumbing system within your home. With HomeSkills: Plumbing, you’ll gain a full understanding of the what, how, and why of plumbing work, from general theory and descriptions of the typical home plumbing system to detailed information on the most common materials, fittings, and tools. Additional sections include troubleshooting and repair techniques as well as 300 supplementary photos to help along the way.

The only thing left to do at this point is make your to-do list, roll up your sleeves, and get your library card out.
Jesse Roberts

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Sunday June 22, 2014 ""

Having flipped through almost every pregnancy related book the Thunder Bay Public Library had to offer (see Library Detective article What to read when you are expecting, Chronicle Journal June 30th, 2013) it was inevitable that when our little one was nearing the six month mark I would begin to research signing with babies. The idea was very appealing to my husband and myself, being able to communicate with our baby before verbal communication was possible; however the thought of learning signs as well as teaching a baby while only sleeping in intervals of two hours (at best!) seemed rather daunting.

We jumped right in, starting with the signs that are most common, “milk”, “more” and “eat”.   We were amazed that we were able to incorporate the signs into our everyday conversation as well as how well the baby picked up on the signs, understanding them first and then signing back to us. These are just a few of the books that took up residence on our dining room table and helped to open the doors of communication.

Babies Can Talk by Marilyn Daniels, PhD, Georgie Frawley, MA, and Ken Frawley. This book was great for explaining why and how signing works with babies. The book includes hints and tips for successful signing as well as real success stories. My favourite part was the chapter on signing with songs and rhymes, which had pictures of how to sign familiar songs and rhymes such as Hush Little Baby, Five Little Fingers and To Market, to Market.

The Baby Signing Book by Sara Bingham contains so much information on developmental milestones and how to work with your baby to build a strong foundation for communication. A “Your Sign Dictionary” is included to help parents keep track of signs they are working on, have mastered and what they hope to work on in the future. Tips and games accompany simple illustrations and a very detailed, yet easy to understand program for beginning to sign with your baby.

Our favourite book was Baby Sign Language Basics by Monta Z. Briant. This was a great little book with an extensive dictionary, displaying only one sign per page and using an actual photograph compared to many books which only used illustrations. However, the best feature of this book was its small size, perfect for being stashed in our diaper bag.

Although we do not sign as frequently as we have in the past there are times when we cannot communicate verbally (while watching a library puppet show for instance) and we find ourselves signing as second nature. As someone who was skeptical at first, I am very glad we stuck with it and worked through the difficult beginning weeks. If you’ve ever thought about signing with your baby give it a try, you’ll probably have more fun than you expected. Happy signing!

Chelsea Cernjul-Marsonet

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Sunday June 15th, 2014 Father's Day

Happy Father’s Day. Did you know the first Father’s Day was celebrated back in 1910? If today is your first Father’s Day, or you are expecting to be a father soon, the Thunder Bay Public Library has books that you may be interested in checking out.

The Expectant Father: Facts, Tips, and Advice for Dads-to-Be by Armin Brott provides fathers-to-be with practical tips and advice on the emotional, financial and physical changes he may experience during his partner’s pregnancy.

Using humour, Thomas Hill’s book What to Expect When Your Wife is Expanding: A reassuring month-by-month guide for father-to-be, whether he wants advice or not also provides tips for what you should, and should not, do during those nine months.

If you found yourself laughing out loud with Thomas Hill’s book, Clyde Edgerton also uses humour, along with his years of experience as a father and educator, in his guide Papadaddy’s Book for New Fathers: advice to dads of all ages. Lastly, Show Dad How: The new dad’s guide to baby’s first year by Shawn Bean uses full illustrations to guide new dad’s through everything starting with conception to your baby’s first year.

For any dad looking for ways to be creative with the kids, the library has a huge selection of how-to books that will foster your child’s imagination. Enjoy the benefits of playtime with these fun filled, idea packed books.

Geek Dad: Awesomely geeky projects and activities for dads and kids to share by Ken Denmead has project ideas for all ages, and all budget sizes too. Denmead is also the author of The Geek Dad Book for Aspiring Mad Scientists: the coolest experiments and projects for science fairs and family fun.

Maker Dad, written by Make magazine editor Mark Frauenfelder, explores emerging technology in twenty-four creative projects that teach children lifelong skills such as computer programming and problem solving.

How to Build a Robot (with your dad) by Aubrey Smith provides illustrated, step-by-step instructions to build twenty different robotic projects.

Also check out the ideas in Mike Adamick’s book Dad’s Book of Awesome Projects: From stilts and super-hero capes to tinker boards and seesaws, 25+ fun do-it-yourself projects for families.

Reading with your children is one of the best things you can do. Practice your storytelling skills with these children’s stories just for dads; Just me and My dad by Mercer Mayer, When a Dad says I Love You by Douglas Wood, Berenstain Bears: We Love Our Dad and David’s Father by Robert Munsch.

Have a wonderful Father’s Day.

Lindsey Long

Monday, 9 June 2014

Sunday June 8th, 2014 Thunder Pride

The week of June 8-15 Thunder Bay will be celebrating its 4th annual Thunder Pride. The week will be full of events and activities for the whole community, including movie nights, drag shows and a parade on the 14th. The week is for acceptance of everyone, but especially the LGBTQA2S community.  You can find the agenda for Thunder Pride at its website: Thunder Bay Public Library is committed to reflecting the diversity of society in all of our collections, including picture books, Young Adult titles, fiction and non-fiction, and are excited to participate in Pride in the Park as part of the Ally Alley. Find us there to check out some of the books mentioned below in person!

We have some excellent children’s picture books, like the well-known, best selling and award-winning And Tango Makes Three. This is the true story of Roy and Silo, two male penguins at the Central Park Zoo who add a baby penguin to their family. Other titles include A Fire Engine For Ruthie, the story of a little girl who loves to play with “boys” toys and her grandmother who loves dolls and dress-up and The Great Big Book Of Families, a picture book illustrating all kinds of diversity.

Our largest collection of LGBTQA2S materials can be found in our Young Adult section. Young adulthood can be a difficult time for all teens; however, it can be even more difficult for those who are part of the LGBTQA2S community. The library catalogue has many books about the coming out process and life afterwards, including It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating A Life Worth Living, GLBTQ: The Survival Guide for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Teens or Beyond Magenta : Transgender Teens Speak Out.

There are also many fictional stories featuring LGBTQA2S characters. If you are looking for stories about coming out as a gay male, we have my personal favourite,  Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz. Boyfriends With Girlfriends by Alex Sanchez and Boy Meets Boy by David Leviathan are two other great coming of age novels. If you are looking for novels about lesbian youth some titles include The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M Danforth, If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan and Hello Groin by Beth Goobie. In the transgender/genderqueer collection we have Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher and Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kirsten Cronn-Mills. For those who identify as bisexual we have Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith and Beauty Queens by Libba Bray. Finally, if you’re interested in graphic novels, there are stories told in this format as well, like Raina Telgemeier's celebrated and best-selling Drama, the Kevin Keller stories by Dan Parent about the newly added gay character in the Archie comics universe and A + E 4ever by Llike Merey. 

As you celebrate Thunder Pride week, come check out TBPL’s collection at our branches or find more suggestions online by visiting the TBPL Teen Zone --> Read This Next and Kids Space --> Good Books pages on our website. If you are interested in reviews of these titles, visit the TBPL Off the Shelf blog

Happy Thunder Pride!
Eric Stein

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Sunday June 1st, 2014 Grilling Season

Warm weather and sunshine are finally upon us, leading me out of the kitchen and onto the deck.  My shopping lists are full of things I can throw on the barbecue be they meat or vegetable.  I find myself perusing the freezers at the Thunder Bay Country Market to seek inspiration for the grill.  With purchases in hand all that is left to find is the perfect recipe.  As luck would have it the public library has a fabulous selection of cookbooks that are sure to provide something for everyone.

For most grill aficionados, the weapon of choice is meat.  What to do when a vegetarian or vegan guest arrives?  Never fear, we have the answer in Grills Gone Vegan by Tamasin Noyes.  Within these pages you’ll find more than just the traditional barbecue fare.  Noyes covers everything from starters to soups to mains, all the way through to desserts.  The final chapter focuses on rubs, marinades, and sauces, so there truly is something for everyone.

If you’re looking for some summer reading as well as grilling check out The Essential New York Times Grilling Cookbook: More than 100 years of sizzling food writing and recipes edited by Peter Kaminsky.  While there are many mouth watering recipes to be found here, you will also find essays to enjoy during a break from the grill.  Vegetarian and dessert recipes are given some real estate, but you will also find a wide variety of meaty dishes to choose from.   

I’ll share one last title and then let you get back to planning your dinner.  The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen Grilling Cookbook: 225 sizzling recipes for every season offers something a little different.  For one it has the handy ring bound binder format which helps keep you on the right recipe.  As one would expect from Good Housekeeping this collection is great for the basics. Yes, I know every cookbook is by its very nature a collection of recipes, but they’ve done something quite special here.  In addition to their test kitchen recipes they have also included some by celebrity chefs and blue-ribbon prize winners from the competitive barbecue circuit. 

My hope is that the above list has whetted your appetite.  There are many more cookbooks that are either wholly devoted to barbecue or have chapters on grilling for you to borrow from your library.

Ruth Hamlin-Douglas