Sunday, 26 April 2015

Sunday April 26, 2015 The Human Library

TBPL and Leadership Thunder Bay are happy to bring the fourth Human Library to Thunder Bay.  On May 2 between 10:30 and 3:00, the Waverley library will be a buzz in conversation!  In a Human Library, people become the books and are "borrowed" for short conversations in the library.  This type of library offers a unique opportunity to talk with people you might not otherwise meet, to ask questions and to learn about a different lifestyle, a different career, a different perspective. 

The first Human Library was held in Denmark in 2000 and since then, events have been held across the globe. While the first Human Library was focussed around stopping the violence and encouraging dialogue, the same underlying themes come to the surface today:  with dialogue comes understanding, and it is hoped that with understanding comes peace. Visit for more information.

To attend the Human Library simply show up at the Waverley Library in the Reference Department and stop by the Human Library Circulation Desk.  Conversations are set for 15 minutes in length and you can sign up for as many spots as you like which are available.  You may have to wait for your turn, but what better place to spend some time than at the library.  You may find that you want to check out a paper book to take home!

The collection this year is quite diverse and consists of the following books:
  • a war bride
  • a war veteran living with PTSD
  • a vegan
  • a former NHL hockey player
  • a family member affected by suicide
  • a person living with  mental illness
  • a person who overcame an eating disorder
  • LGBTQ members of our community

If you aren't sure how you would start up a conversation with someone you don't know, that's OK, we have a cheat sheet to help get you started.  So please join the library and the members of this year's class for Leadership Thunder Bay as we celebrate the diversity of people who call Thunder Bay their home.

Barbara Philp

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Sunday April 19th, 2015 Thunder Bay Demographics

With the arrival of the 2015 updates to the PCensus demographic database comes an eager desire to see just how the population landscape of our city is changing from a statistical point of view. It was a quiet Saturday morning when the database updates were received, and the day was quickly consumed with getting them uploaded and available for public access. The information provided by PCensus provides an overview of how the population is developing in terms of family structure, age and gender, occupation, income, and spending patterns.

The stories told by these numbers are immeasurable and applicable to a wide breadth of research needs. Local daycares may be interested to know that in 2015, 5357 people in the City of Thunder Bay population are below the age of five. Pet food or pet supply businesses would want to know that more than $15M will be spent this year on pets and their needs. More specifically, the neighborhoods from which people spend the most on their pets are spread across the city with the highest expenditure originating just south-west of the County Fair Plaza. Alternatively, the data shows that over $1.5M will be spent this year on fresh carrots in Thunder Bay.

This is only a tiny surface scratch to show what is here. Over the years the PCensus database has been introduced and used by entrepreneurs, local organizations, students, and others. In 2014 alone, TBPL staff provided 1:1 support to at least 50 new or existing businesses in Thunder Bay that needed to learn how to use PCensus and access demographic information that was vital to their business plans, research efforts or loan/grant applications. Research workshops have been offered, and continue to be offered, in partnership with the PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise, the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC), the Thunder Bay & District Entrepreneur Centre, Northwest Employment Works (NEW), and other incredible organizations/groups that support the growth and development of Thunder Bay. Naturally we also make use of the available data to help TBPL understand our communities and aid in the coordination of future library services and facilities.

PCensus can be accessed for free and by anyone (no need for a library card) at the Brodie or Waverley Resource Libraries. More information and a tutorial are available online at / Research / Business & Careers. Other demographic and market research databases include InfoCanada, CBCA Complete, CPI.Q, Gateway to Northwestern Ontario History and more. Check out the Business & Careers section of our website or come in and ask us about it to learn more.

Jesse Roberts

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Sunday April 12th, 2015 Travel with the Thunder Bay Public Library

Have you heard of the experiential travel series at the Thunder Bay Public Library?  Experiential travel (immersion travel) is a trend in tourism which focuses on experiencing a country or particular place by connecting to its history, people and culture. Experiential travel can emphasize different areas of local life - culinary, culture, history, and nature to name a few. The goal is to more deeply understand a travel destination’s culture, people and history by connecting with it more than just by visiting it. The traveler usually gets in touch with locals who give guidance on how to experience a place. This can be a friend, an accommodation host or another person.

The Thunder Bay Public Library offers the armchair travel series at the Waverley Resource Library. On Tuesday April 7th TBPL showcased Buen Camino. Cathy Farrell and Keith Nymark presented their experience as one of the thousands of pilgrims who have walked the Camino de Santiago in Spain. Great stories and experiences were shared with the audience.

On April 14 at 7 pm once again TBPL is presenting another of the series, Trekking in Bhutan, Land of Thunder Dragon.  Join Heart Transplant recipient Dale Shippam as he takes you to this remote Himalayan country where “Gross National Happiness” is considered more important than Gross National Product.

Whether you're looking to read more about a holiday you've booked, a trip you're hoping to take or you're simply in need of some inspiration the Thunder Bay Public Library has some great travel books to get you ready for take-off.

Top 10 World: A Top 10 Guide to Over 3,000 Sights and Experiences by Nathaniel Lande is the deluxe dream guide showcasing the best architecture, favourite golf courses, top walking and hiking tours, best islands, poshest clubs and pubs and nicest things to do on Sundays in the world’s best cities.

You will discover more travel ideas in National Geographic’s 100 Countries, 5000 Ideas: Where to Go, When to Go, What to See, What to Do. Packed with more than 250 colorful images and over 100 detailed maps, this book is bound to bring some inspiration for your next great trip.

Are you interested in learning a new language before traveling? Along with our learning language guides and CD books, TBPL also offers the online learning tool Powerspeak Languages. You can access Powerspeak by logging in to the virtual collection from with your library card number and PIN.

Be it tips on where to eat or information on things to do, our travel guides offer practical advice, photos, video and sometimes even humour. Topics to tickle your fancy include adventure travel, food and drink, mini breaks, family fun, sporting breaks or retreats and relaxation. So visit your Thunder Bay Public Library and get ready to travel. As the Dalai Lama once said, “Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.”

Caron E Naysmith

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Sunday April 5th, 2015 Poetry is in the Air

I can’t tell you – but you feel it –
Nor can you tell me – 
Saints, with ravished slate and pencil
Solve our April Day!

Those simple and sweet words in the first stanza of Emily Dickinson’s poem written in 1859 express the reverence Dickinson had for the month of April. So, it is fitting that April should be designated as the official month of poetry.

The Thunder Bay Public Library’s 800 non-fiction collection is a wonderful place to discover new poetry. Filled with countless volumes of classic and contemporary writers as well as books on biography and analysis of some of the greatest writers. Molly Peacock’s How to Read a Poem…And Start a Poetry Circle is such a book that fills the reader with enthusiasm about poetry, instructs how to recite and examine as well as appreciate some of the world’s greatest poets.

The beauty of poetry is that it comes in a variety of forms and can be enjoyed in many ways. Poetry can be a viable form of expression by the writer, for example, by bringing about an awareness of change, justice or wrongdoing. Poetry can also be used to project inner reflection and feeling or by contrast, it can offend, provoke and stir its readers. Poetry can be an observation of the world around or of worlds unknown to us.

Such a poet who did just that was Emily Dickinson. Although she was not well regarded during her lifetime, since her death Dickinson is now considered one of the preeminent American poets. Once the comprehensive Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson is opened, an immediate first impression is of Dickinson’s sparse style. Although Dickinson’s writing was short, within those few lines ignited a world of intellectual thought and tragic emotions, all that is carried out directly or subtly.

A contemporary poet to Dickinson was Walt Whitman, also known as the ‘father of free verse’. Whitman’s greatest accomplishment was the controversial Leaves of Grass. Written in 1855, this collection of poems spoke about Whitman’s views on life, death and humanity. Whitman’s approach to his poetry was considered radical. While many of his peers were writing about religion and spirituality in lofty terms, Whitman wrote about physical human experiences in bold and direct prose.

Moving along to the 20th century, Charles Bukowski’s, an equally polarizing poet as Whitman, made his mark as a poet by recounting the wild, strange and sometimes violent life that he lead. Despite his shortcomings, Bukowski was able to turn those events into verses that would demand your sympathy or condemnation. Bukowski’s The People look like Flowers at Last: New Poems and Slouching Towards Nirvana: New Poems are nonetheless, lively and engaging reads even if you do not agree with his way of life.

Perhaps not as bracing as Bukowski, Canada’s own Michael Ondaatje is a tour de force in his own right. Best known for his critically acclaimed novel The English Patient, Ondaatje left his poetic mark in the form of The Cinnamon Peeler. This collection of poems that span Ondaatje’s life from 1963 to 1990 encompasses his philosophy on life and encounters with love. Ondaatje’s poem ‘The Time Around Scars’ is a particularly touching yet perplexing ode to relationships past and present.

Much like Ondaatje’s lyrical collection, you can uncover a lifetime of a poet’s works at TBPL. The 800s collection as well as a diverse electronic resource selection allows you to experience any number of great poets. So this April, take the time to share a poem with a friend or with yourself. You will find that Miss Dickinson may have one or two you might like.

Petar Vidjen