Sunday, 29 November 2015

Sunday November 29th, 2015 Indoor Projects

With the snow beginning to fall and the temperature getting lower, you might have started thinking about all those indoor projects that still need to be crossed off your to-do list. But before you start any project, visit your Thunder Bay Public Library and browse the shelves. You will find a large selection of books full of ideas, advice and how-to for all your different indoor project needs. Cleaning and organizing your home can be overwhelming, but books such as Living Simple, Free & Happy by Cristin Frank provides readers with a number of tips and techniques for decluttering and organizing, as well as creative upcycling projects. You will find more creative ways to organize your belongings using repurposed items from around your home in Linda Peterson’s book Creative Ideas to Organize your Home.

Perhaps as you were sorting through old items, you came across the scratched antique table you wanted to restore and the vintage curtains you weren’t sure what to do with. Find the inspiration to reuse these items in Salvage Secrets Design & Decor: Transform your home with reclaimed materials by Joanne Palmisano. This book is full of pictures, design tips and project samples that could be used in any style of home. For more project ideas, you can also check out Reclaiming Style: Using Salvaged Materials to Create an Elegant Home by Maria Speake and Adam Hills.

For a more dramatic change, consider a fresh coat of paint in a room or other space. With so many paint colours to choose from, it can be difficult to find the right one for you; and looking at pictures on Pinterest can get overwhelming very quickly. But books such as Paint and Color by Jeanne Huber and Paint Ideas and Projects from the editors of This Old House provide readers with colour palettes and colour combination ideas, along with professional advice to get the look you want. If you are looking for ways to bring a punch of colour to a room but want to avoid the process of painting walls, check out the colourful ideas in Bright Bazaar: Embracing Color for Make-You-Smile Style.

Completely remodeling a room can be exciting but also has its challenges. The Library has plenty of books that will help you create your room wish list. For example, you will find stylish kitchen and bathroom ideas in Kitchen and Bath Renovation Guide by Better Homes and Gardens. However, this specific book lacks the detailed instructions on how to achieve these looks. Therefore you will want to check out the Library’s selection of how-to books such as Plumbing: Install & repair your own toilets, faucets, sinks, tubs, showers, drains and The Complete Guide to Cabinets & Countertops: How to customize your home with cabinetry. Finally, before you pick up any tools, check out the book Measure Twice: Tips and tricks from the pros to help you avoid the most common DIY disasters by Bryan Baeumler, host of the TV shows Leave it to Bryan and Disaster DIY. Baeumler shares his knowledge and expertise in home renovations, such as installing a door, fixing trim and framing a wall. And if all else fails, call a professional.

Lindsey Long

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Sunday November 22nd, 2015 Managing Diabetes, Managing Awareness

Diabetes is a complex and multifactorial ailment that affects millions of people in Canada and in North America. Diabetes can affect people all across their lifespan – from infancy to old age. But what exactly does it mean to be diabetic? Perhaps you may have heard of the terms type 1 and type 2 in regards to diabetes. Fortunately, the month of November is the designated month of diabetes awareness. If you know someone who has diabetes, or want to learn more about managing your own condition, the Thunder Bay Public Library can be a great place to start.

Diabetes is a condition of the pancreas when it can either produce no insulin or inadequate insulin to manage the body’s high blood sugar. To answer this question further, look no further than Kim Chaloner’s, Diabetes and Me: An essential guide for kids and parents. Written for parents and children alike, the writer clearly explains what it means to be a diabetic, along with discussion on the differences between type 1 and type 2, how to manage blood sugar, and insulin administration. Along with helpful illustrations of where diabetes stems from and how it affects other organs, Chaloner has created an easy and insightful book on managing one’s diagnosis.

For children and adolescents, diabetes can be tricky to manage and difficult to understand. For young people, this often includes making sacrifices that may be difficult to make. For young children, titles such as Children Have Diabetes Too: Learning together as a family and Sugar was my Best Food: Diabetes and Me are wonderful titles for parents to share with their child. Children will find similarities in these books to their own that can help ease the transition into living and managing diabetes.

Similar to the aforementioned books is the Mayo Clinic: The Essential Diabetes Book, a comprehensive tool for people who would like to gain a more thorough understanding of diabetes. Known for its practicality, the Mayo Clinic gives the reader plentiful insight into diabetes, as well as strategies supported by up to date research for managing diabetes, as well as leading a healthy lifestyle that is not thwarted by diabetes. This includes maintaining a healthy diet, an important part of a person’s lifestyle living with diabetes.

One quick search on the TBPL online catalogue will yield plenty of resources on the topic of diabetes and nutrition. An excellent title to check out is Eat what you Love, Love what you Eat, with Diabetes: A mindful eating program for thriving with prediabetes or diabetes. With a gentle and supportive tone, the writers stress the importance of keeping a balanced, nutritional diet while recognizing the difficulties associated with intake that comes with being diabetic. With the help of the Diabetes Cookbook: 70 delicious and healthy recipes for every meal, one can explore the plentiful recipes offered for each meal of the day. Guided by lush illustrations of tasty treats, this is a recipe book worth revisiting.

If you would like to learn more about diabetes, check out the TBPL online catalogue at for great materials and resources about diabetes. If you visit your local branch, the knowledgeable staff will help you find the answers you are looking for. Through TBPL, you can also learn about great programs offered in the community for people living with diabetes. Or perhaps you would like to start a support group for your fellow citizen. Whatever your interests may be, TBPL can help you to learn and spread the information about diabetes.

Petar Vidjen

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Sunday November 15th, 2015 Your Library Online

As the weather grows colder you might be less inclined to leave your warm house. This does not mean you can not visit your Library! There are a wide range of collections and services you can use from the comfort of your home through our website:

Go to to learn about OverDrive, hoopla and Tumblebooks. OverDrive is our main collection of eBooks and eAudioboks. You can install the OverDrive app on your smart phone, tablet or tablet-like eReader, or use it to read on your computer or download books to basic eReaders and portable audio players. There’s also an app for hoopla, which gives you easy access to eBooks, eAudiobooks, TV shows and movies. Tumblebooks is a fun, interactive collection of eBooks for kids. Tumblebooks can read to your child, or have them read themselves.

There is a whole lot more than eBooks available online from your Library. Go to to discover what else we have for you! Naxos Music Library is a well-used service which allows you to stream classical, jazz, world and popular music from an app or website. Liner notes, music history, composer information and more additional resources may be found on the Naxos website.

Logging in to My Giant Search gets you access to reliable information you can use for research, projects, homework, hobbies and more. Databases of newspaper, magazine and journal articles, online reference books and how-to manuals will be at your finger-tips. Most databases include tools that help you cite information, expand your research and save your work. Online auto-repair manuals include wiring diagrams, recall information and useful tips. Powerspeak Languages is an online language-learning program that will teach you to speak French, Spanish, German, Mandarin and English as a second language for Spanish speakers. NoveList is a treasure-trove for avid readers, and NoveList K-8 can help you develop a love of reading in children.

The World War One -- Thunder Bay Centennial Project ( is a growing collection of personal stories, photographs, newspaper articles and more chroniclling the War years in our City. Exploring this section of our website in engrossing, fascinating and revealing.

If you like history, click over to the Gateway to Northwestern Ontario History, a searchable collection of images and articles. You can find photos of the original Chippewa Park dance pavilion, people enjoying Boulevard Lake in the 1940s and the Pagoda in 1939. We have posted some of the images on HistoryPIN, a social historical photo sharing website and app.

Are you on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest? So are we! Go to for links to our social media sites. Following your Library on social media will keep you in the loop about events, new books and services. It also gives you the opportunity to share your stories, ideas and photos.

Speaking of sharing, use the Contact Us link to send us feedback. We also have a purchase suggestion form online which you can use to let us know if there’s a book, movie or CD you would like us to add to the collection. It’s at

You can log in to your Library card account through our website -- click on the “My Card” link.  Once logged in you can check due dates, renew, place holds, pay your fines, and make lists of books. Have a look at the videos at to discover all the things you can do online with your card.

If you need some fresh air and feel like venturing out you can find the hours and locations of Library branches at, and check our online calendar to discover all the interesting events we have planned:  Hope to see you online or in person at your Library soon!

Joanna Aegard

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Sunday November 8th, 2015 Speak the Language at TBPL

Flora Lewis an American journalist writing for the New York Times once wrote, “Learning another language is not only learning different words for the same things, but learning another way to think about things.” At the Thunder Bay Public Library, you can learn a new language as well as learn new ways to think about things.

On Tuesday evenings the Mary J L Black Library is offering an introductory yet ever popular class in basic Ojibwe Language and traditional teachings. You can learn to read and speak in Ojibwe using the double vowel system. Registration is required, and is currently at capacity. Further information can be obtained by contacting the Instructor, Esther Diabo.

The Library has a large collection of French books and eBooks, music, movies and magazines for children. The online interactive Tumblebooks site has read alouds in French at various levels and you can check out the newest children’s French books at

Contes en famille (French Family Story Time) is a drop-in program at the Waverley Library on Saturdays at 10:30 am for children of all ages and their parent or caregiver. The upcoming dates are November 14 and December 12, so make a note. You will play, talk, sing, and share books and stories all in French.

On Tuesday evenings this Fall the Waverley Library has been hosting a weekly Spanish conversation group. Fluency in Spanish is not a pre-requisite. Anyone is welcome no matter how great your Spanish is. It’s simply an opportunity to get together with other people and practice your Spanish in a relaxed atmosphere. This fun series is taking a break until the New Year when it will reconvene at the Waverley Library. For more information call Viviana Spicer at 356-1034.

Instantly available on Hoopla is Rapid French By Earworms Learning, which contains a lexically rich and useful set of words and phrases which are settled into your memory bank by gentle repetition to music. Also available in the same format are Rapid Italian and Rapid Turkish.

As always you can access the online databases at with your Library card number and pin. Scroll down to Powerspeak Languages where you can learn a new language interactively: French, Spanish, German, Mandarin and English as a Second Language. In January 2016, TBPL will be offering a new online language learning resource with more languages, also accessible on your phone or device.

While browsing the databases, scroll down to Universalis, one of the largest certified francophone encyclopedias. Or French eBooks, where you can log in, browse and borrow from a large selection of eBooks in French.  EBSCOhost provides a variety of fiction and non-fiction eBooks available either for reading online or downloading to eBook readers and devices in English as well as other languages.

Or how about practicing the universal language of meditation? Monday evenings at 7:00 a group gathers to practice Zen meditation in the Brodie Study Room.  Call the Brodie Library for more information.

As you can tell, TBPL has much available in the area of languages: Arabic, Chinese, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Polish, Spanish, Ukrainian and Vietnamese, to name a few. A new language may open another window. “One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.” (Frank Smith, contemporary psycholinguist and author).

Caron Naysmith

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Sunday November 1, 2015 NaNoWriMo at Your Library

Almost everyone dreams of being an author. Whether it’s because you think it will lead to fame and fortune, from a desire to share your inner thoughts with the world or even to make your mark on posterity, we all have a reason.  Unfortunately, many budding writers are scared away for a variety of reasons.  Questions about how to begin, the need for encouragement and feedback or the motivation to make time to write, as well as, the grind of daily life seem to get in the way.

Faced with the same problems, a group of young writers in San Francisco in 1996 challenged themselves to each write a novel within a month, thus was born National Novel Writing Month which has become a movement involving hundreds of thousands of writers across the globe.  The rules are simple, just register on the NaNoWriMo site,  and track your words written.  Along the way , the site awards badges and provides encouragement and resources to keep you writing.  Each year famous writers from around the globe provide pep talks to the participants, giving examples of tips and tricks they have used to improve their own writing.

The goal is to write a novel of any style or genre of 50,000 words or more.  You can write alone or with someone else.  In order to provide further support, there are NaNoWriMo groups across the world.  The local Thunder Bay chapter will be meeting Thursday evenings in the Baggage Building Arts Centre at the Marina.

Being a skeptic, I wondered if the method was successful and was surprised to find that many bestselling authors and novels began during the binge novel period that is NaNoWriMo.  Jason M Hough, recently scored a New York Times Bestseller with his book, “The Darwin Elevator”, Lydia Netzer’s book “Shine, Shine, Shine”, which was an Amazon Book of the Month, and Marissa Meyer’s “Cinder” which is the first in the bestselling young adult series, the Lunar Chronicles trilogy are some of the novels brought to life during National Novel Writing Month.  Sara Gruen is one of the most famous participants and has used the time to draft three novels, including her most famous, “Water for Elephants”.

This year the Thunder Bay Public Library is becoming involved by hosting a Halfway Party on November 14 at the Brodie Resource Library.  Besides refreshments, we will be answering questions, hosting opportunities for sharing and illustrating the resources that the library has for writers of all kinds.  Whether, you are interested in writing exercises, style and grammar manuals, research resources to bring your creations believability and accuracy or even publishing guides to sell your masterpiece; the library is a great resource.  In order to fully share in the pleasures and pains of NaNoWriMo, I along with our Youth Services Librarian Laura Prinselaar will be participating in writing our own works of fiction.

Through our social media, we will be providing tips, quotes, websites and resources to keep your writing on track and to provide a forum to share comments, thoughts, triumphs and missteps that you encounter during your writing journey.

It’s never too late to start writing, whether you are 15, 51 or 105. So put pen to paper, dust off your typewriter or power up the laptop and hopefully someday, I will help a patron check out one of your books at the library. Until then, happy writing.

Lori Kauzlarick