Sunday, 28 February 2016

Sunday February 28th, 2016 Virtually Amazing!

Your Library added an exciting new collection in January -- Zinio for Libraries.  Zinio offers full-colour digital magazines for immediate checkout and reading online on desktop and mobile devices, or download through apps. We selected twenty titles to start this collection, and welcome your suggestions for other magazine you would like to read online.  Please send your suggestions to Joanna at    The five most popular titles in Zinio, so far, are OK! Magazine, Hello! Magazine, Canadian Living, Martha Stewart Living and Glamour.  New issues are added to Zinio as soon as, or before, the print edition is released.  You can sign up for weekly email reminders about your favourite magazines.  There are no limits to how many people can access each magazine at once, so you never have to place a hold and wait for an issue.  There are also no limits on how many magazines you can check out.  You can keep them in your account for as long as you wish.  Apps are available for Apple, Android and Kindle Fire devices.  Zinio’s help pages are truly helpful, and include detailed instructions for using it on various types of devices.  Online help is also available through the site.  To get started with Zinio go to

Another exciting recent addition to your Library is the online language learning platform Transparent Language.  This platform includes over 95 different languages, with 1,500 to 2,000 words and phrases for every language.  It also includes English learning (ESL) for speakers of 25+ languages, including intermediate-level immersion courses.  The most popular languages in Thunder Bay so far are Spanish, French, Afrikaans, Danish and German.  Of note Finnish, Italian, Oji-Cree, Cree, three dialects of Ojibwe and six dialects of Arabic are included.  Transparent Language makes learning fun with a flexible learning structure including dozens of learning activities designed to engage your brain for rapid learning and maximum retention.  You can access the full site on any PC, Mac or tablet, or via the Transparent Language app for iPhone and Android devices.  Cultural and social connections provide a full learning experience.  Go to to access Tranparent Language.  This is an excellent resource for travellers, French Immersion parents and those working with refugees. We welcome your stories of how learning through Transparent Language has enriched your travel, helped with your studies or assisted with cross-cultural understanding.  Share them with us on Facebook, Twitter (@TBayPL) or email

Zinio and Transparent Language are the newest additions to our extensive and diverse Virtual Collection. Go to and log in to My Giant Search to explore what’s available.  You’ll find databases of articles from magazines, newspapers and journals, Encyclopedia Britannica, auto-repair and small engine repair information, literary criticism and more.  Teen Health and Wellness can help adolescents and their parents manage the teen years.  NoveList is a wonderful resource for avid and reluctant readers of all ages.  Speciality databases for children include KidsInfoBits, Tumblebooks, Searchasuarus and PebbleGo.  Curious children can spend time learning online in fun, safe, picture-based environments. Information in our Virtual Collection is reliable, trustworthy and can not be found through Google.  Students can use this information for school projects, and often proper citations are provided by the database. 

In addition to meeting your information needs, the Virtual Collection includes eBooks, movies, eAudiobooks, TV shows, music and comics to meet your leisure needs.  Check out OverDrive, hoopla and Naxos Music Library -- all of which have apps for use on the go.

Your Library card is the key to this treasure trove of reliable information, great reads, interesting movies and wonderful music.  You can use it all from anywhere in the world you have a computer or portable device and internet access.

Joanna Aegard

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Sunday February 21st, 2016 The Good Olde Hockey Game

The Thunder Bay Public Library has a number of books on the history of hockey. For example, Hockey:  A People’s History by Michael McKinley offers a broader view of hockey history.  McKinley begins his book by delving into hockey’s origins, then continues with information on a multitude of topics including Lord Stanley’s donation of the cup, the Dawson City Nuggets team, the building of the Montreal Forum, and Florida’s Tropical Hockey League of 1938. The CBC television series that the book accompanied is also available at the library as a set of six DVDs.

Did watching hockey during the Olympics spark an interest in its past?  If so, Canada’s Olympic Hockey History 1920-2010 by Andrew Podnieks is a great resource. Illustrated throughout, Podnieks’ book offers information on Canada's Olympic hockey teams, their trips towards the Olympics, and their games at the Olympics. Starting from the time of the amateur champs representing Canada up to the modern day professional players, this book covers the history from the 1920 Winnipeg Falcons playing in Antwerp, Belgium to just before the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

In the dawn of professional hockey do you think team owners were people of great integrity, the good of the game the main priority, and everything was done fairly and above board? If you ever held any of those notions, Deceptions and Doublecross by Morey Holzman and Joseph Nieforth will quickly set you straight. Creating a new league to keep an owner out, unevenly applying rules, and newspaper reporting of extreme "homerism", were the order of the day back then. This books covers the time of the NHL's formation but also includes the period prior to and after this.

If you ever wanted to visit the Hockey Hall of Fame, you can get a glimpse of some of the memorabilia on display in the book Hockey Hall of Fame Treasures. It is chocked full of photographs that showcase hockey related items from a variety of eras: cards, pennants, sticks, pucks, equipment, trophies, masks, etc. Some interesting items include a pair of white and green skates from the California Seals team, a 1940’s Toronto Maple Leafs cardigan sweater, and the Clarkson Cup (North American Women’s Professional Hockey Trophy).

For hockey history closer to home, check out David Nicholson’s book Gamble in Goal. Nicholson traces Bruce Gamble’s hockey life starting from his time of playing ball hockey and outdoor peewee hockey on the outdoor rinks of Port Arthur. The book continues through Gamble’s time in junior hockey at the early age of 14 through to his Memorial Cup Western Final and OHA all star team experiences. Readers will learn about the ups and downs of Gamble’s NHL and professional career which sadly ended due to a heart attack. Gamble would later die of another heart attack at the young age of 44.

Another book containing hockey history in the region is Neil McQuarrie’s On the Allan Cup Trail: The Story of the Fort Frances Canadians. Starting with the building of a small natural indoor rink in 1920, the book continues to the mid 1940’s and the formation of what would be called the Fort Frances Canadians hockey team. The senior team’s various runs at the Allan Cup, culminating with their victory in 1952, are described in detail.  As a back story in the book, we get more than a glimpse at the many challenges and delays in the town of Fort Frances getting a new larger more modern arena built.

Check out these books and other hockey history books including ones on team histories, player biographies, and much more available at your local library.

Will Scheibler

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Sunday February 14th, 2016 Reading without Walls

In January, a new National Representative of Young People’s Literature was announced by the Children’s Book Council, the Library of Congress and the Every Child a Reader foundation: Gene Luen Yang. This position was created “to raise national awareness of the importance of young people’s literature as it relates to lifelong literacy, education, and the development and betterment of the lives of young people,” according to its organizing bodies. This two-year position was most recently filled by Kate DiCamillo, author of Because of WinnDixie. Other past ambassadors include Walter Dean Myers, Katherine Paterson, and Jon Scieszka.

Unlike the previous selections who were prose authors, Yang writes and illustrates graphic novels (or comics) for kids and youth. This appointment reflects the growing acceptance of graphic novels by the traditional literary world. As someone who is a personal champion of the format, this validation of their relevance and importance is very exciting! Yang’s books are excellent examples of how graphic novels have been bridging this divide as they garner awards from both the book and comic industries. American Born Chinese, published in 2006, is an exploration of cultural identity and was a finalist for a National Book Award. It won the Michael L. Printz Award and also received an Eisner Award, one of the most prestigious honors in the comic book world. Since that time, he has continued to produce critically acclaimed books like 2013’s Boxers &Saints, a fictionalized account of the Boxer Rebellion in China (also a National Book Award finalist) and 2015’s Secret Coders, a juvenile graphic novel mystery illustrated by Mike Holmes. Yang is also the current writer of DC Comic’s Superman series.

Each ambassador establishes a platform to promote while in the position, and Yang’s is called Reading Without Walls. Developed with the book council and his publisher First Second, this campaign hopes to encourage youth to read outside of their comfort zones. Yang says, “Reading breaks down the walls that divide us. By reading, we get to know people outside of our own communities. We gain knowledge others don’t expect us to have. We discover new and surprising passions. Reading is critical to our growth, both as individuals and as a society.” This platform and message align closely with the current focus in the world of literature on the importance of diversity and inclusion, as seen in the ever-growing #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement. Yang recommends three ways to jump into reading without walls: Firstly, read a book with someone on the cover who doesn’t look like you or doesn’t live like you. Secondly, pick a book on a topic you find intimidating. Yang suggests that new concepts can be taught using stories, as in his own Secret Coders book which teaches children basic computer coding. Finally, read a book in a different format. If you’ve only read prose, try a graphic novel. If you’re strictly a comic reader, try something in prose or maybe a hybrid novel.

Are you ready to try Reading Without Walls? Yang suggests these personal favourites for juvenile and teen readers: Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle, EsperanzaRising by Pam Munoz Ryan, El Deafo by Cece Bell, Ms Marvel by writer G. Willow Wilson and artist Adrian Alphona, and The Last of the Sandwalkers by Jay Hosler. You can find these suggestions and all of Yang’s own works in our collection at TBPL.

Laura Prinselaar 

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Sunday February 7th, 2016 February at TBPL

The word February comes from the Latin word februarius, in turn from februare meaning to "purify." In ancient Rome, Februarius was the "Month of Purification" and took the form of a month of fun celebrations and festivities. February is a transitional month with a change in the air, more daylight and a pickup in the forward momentum towards Spring. February is a fun and busy month at TBPL as well. There are a variety of things that will definitely inspire and motivate you to dabble in something new.

As always there are computer courses available, free of charge, in a variety of areas. One-on-one computer coaching uses Library equipment where staff will assist you with basic skills in MS Word, Email, webpage and library catalogue navigation, virtual collection and library databases investigation. Simply call 684-6815 to book your session for a time convenient to you.  

Coming up in March are more Ancestry classes. You will learn to use the online genealogy resource Ancestry Library Edition (LE) by exploring databases and record collections from Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe and Australia. You must know how to use a computer and Internet browser to register for this class. There is also an advanced Ancestry class. Pre-register by calling 684-6815 or online at under view all library events. Participants are welcome to bring their own laptops.

Thunder Bay Public Library has you covered for business research and information through the PCensus database which is available at Brodie and Waverley for free public use. Through this resource you can determine market potential and target market, find Canadian demographics and consumer spending data and pinpoint suitable business locations. Not sure how to get started? Schedule a one-on-one session by calling Jesse at Brodie (624-4203 / or Lindsey at Waverley (684-6812 /

Need a little help downloading eBooks and eAudiobooks? For a few tips and to book a one-on-one session contact Margaret at 345-8275, extension 7251 or email at

Are you searching for a new job or something different to do? Come to the Waverley Library on Fridays this month from 1:30-3 and meet with a friendly Employment Advisor to discuss your employment goals and the ways that NEW (Northwest Employment Works) can help you along the path to employment. Call 475-6661 for details. The same program will be offered in the Brodie Reference Department on Tuesdays from 1:30-3.

FREE, drop-in financial planning seminars with a financial advisor are being offered in February and beyond. These one hour seminars will cover a specific topic as well as any questions you have about your financial situation. They are being offered at both the Waverley and Brodie Libraries. There is more information available at Upcoming sessions will be covering Registered Accounts and Insurance. For more information call Reference Services at 684-6815.
Maybe you are just looking to relax for a change. Join the many who have discovered the joy and creativity of “colouring for adults” at the Brodie Fireside Room on Monday evenings from 7-8:30. Group Colours is a fabulous way to both relax and meet others. The library supplies all the required materials as well as coffee and tea. For further information call Lori at 345-8275 ext 7259.

So celebrate the month of February at the Thunder Bay Public Library by participating in our fun activities and events. There is something for everyone.

Caron E Naysmith