Sunday, 27 August 2017

Sunday August 27, 2017 Stress-free Lunch Making

At this time of year the thought of packing lunches can cause a lot of stress. Your library can help!  Visit us for these excellent books packed carefully with ideas, recipes, and inspiration for tasty lunches the little people in your life will actually eat!

This book is perfect for busy parents with picky eaters. The author outlines how to plan dinners with lunch-worthy leftovers, and includes recipes for deceptively healthy baking.

Yum-yum bento all year round : box lunches for every season by Crystal Watanabe and Maki Ogawa. The term “bento” might be familiar if you like oriental food. Basically it is a single-serving meal that is served in tidy, compartmentalized containers -- perfect for those who don’t like their food to touch! This book is heavy on the cute, and you might find yourself enjoying the pictures more than the ideas.

Weelicious lunches : think outside the lunch box with more than160 happier meals  by Catherine McCord. This book started as a blog (, and includes menu planning ideas, tips, tricks, and reusable product suggestions to make lunch fun and advice on dealing with food allergies.

Best lunch box ever : ideas and recipes for school lunches kidswill love by Katie Sullivan Morford. The author of this book is a registered dietitian and mother of three.  She offers quick and simple solutions for wholesome, balanced meal. The 65 recipes are easy, delicious, and packed with nutrients for well-rounded lunches and snacks, including Deconstructed Caprese Skewers, Easy Cheesy Thermos Beans, Pesto Pita Pizza, Cinnamon Wonton Crisps, Parmesan Kale Chips, Crispy Applewiches, and more.

Kids' lunches : eat in, take out by Jean ParĂ©. Jean ParĂ© is the well-known author of the well-loved Company’s Coming cookbooks. This book is written for kids, and includes lots of handy tips and hints. Get your kids involved in making their own lunches to teach them life-skills, and to save you time.

The brown bag lunch cookbook by Miriam Jacobs. This book is great for anyone who takes their lunch. If you need to break out of your ham sandwich rut, check out this book and make your brown bag the envy of your colleagues! Great for adults and kids.

The vegetarian lunchbasket : over 225 easy, lowfat, nutritious,recipes for the quality-conscious family on the go by Linda Haynes. Even if you’re not strictly vegetarian you might want to check out this book, and change up your lunch menu. Adventurous eaters can try new ways of packing lunches, using leftovers, and combining foods, while learning to use alternatives to meats, eggs, mayonnaise, margarine, and oils - lowering fats and cholesterol yet maintaining taste and variety.

The natural lunchbox : vegetarian meals for school, work &home by Judy A. Brown. Another vegetarian take on lunch, this cookbook includes recipes for kashi salad, lime yogurt guacamole, baked pita chips, vegetable kabobs, marinated baked tofu nuggets, and minestrone soup.

Check out these cookbooks and get ready for stress-free lunch making!

Joanna Aegard 

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Sunday August 20, 2017 Good to Great

Thunder Bay Public Library is undergoing a transformation into a Community Hub and you may have noticed some of these changes, including self check outs at all branches, hub:north at Waverley, and Northern Nature Trading at Mary J. L. Black Library. This transformation has required changes to the strategy, structures, systems and organizational culture at TBPL. The model we have followed in making these changes is based on a series of books by Jim Collins.

Built to Last:  Successful Habits of Visionary Companies(1994) identified the successful habits of visionary organizations.  Drawing upon a six year research project at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, Collins took eighteen truly exceptional and long lasting organizations and studied each in direct comparison to one of its top competitors. He examined the organizations from their very beginnings to the present day and asked ‘What makes the truly exceptional companies different from the comparison companies and what were the common practices these enduringly great companies followed throughout their history?’

The lesson we learned from Built to Last is that TBPL needs a clear ideology, which we call the Community Led Library. We need to make sure that everything we do at TBPL is consistent with this approach. We also need some of what Collins callsBig Hairy Audacious Goals’ which are a commitment to challenging and often risky goals and projects which will stimulate progress at the library. If you use Waverley library you will have noticed that we have been experimenting with the space on the lower level to boost performance.
Good to Great: why some companies make the leap and others don’t (2001) was based on the premise that ‘Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. We don’t have great schools, principally because we have good schools. We don’t have great governments, principally because we have good government. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life. The vast majority of companies never become great, precisely because the vast majority become quite good – and that is their main problem.’

If we extend this argument to libraries we can say that we don’t have great libraries, principally because we have good libraries. TBPL is a very good library with over 3.3 million interactions with the community every year. But we also have to ‘Confront the Brutal Facts (Yet Never Lose Faith)’, as Collins puts it. The brutal facts are that only 29% of residents are library members, yet we never lose faith that we can increase this to 40%, 50%, 60% and beyond.  
Great By Choice: uncertainty, chaos and luck – why some thrive despite them all (2011) recognized that ‘Uncertainty is permanent, chaotic times are normal, change is accelerating, and instability will likely characterise the rest of our lives’. Organisations which continue to be great (10x better than their competitors), even during turbulent times, display three core behaviours: fanatic discipline; empirical creativity; productive paranoia. Some of Collins’s findings were counter intuitive. For example, the best leaders are not more risk taking, more visionary or more creative than their competitors; they are more disciplined, more empirical and more paranoid. Innovation by itself is not the trump card in a chaotic and uncertain world; more important is the ability to scale innovation, to blend creativity with discipline. Following the belief that leading in a ‘fast world’ always requires ‘fast decisions’ and ‘fast action’ is a good way to get killed. The great organisations change less in reaction to a radically changing world than their competitors.
TBPL is certainly facing many political, economic, social and technological challenges as it continues on its journey towards becoming a Community Hub. But our path from good to great is being guided by solid research and best practice, including the inspiring work being carried out by Edmonton Public Library.       
John Pateman

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Sunday August 6, 2017 Boating

We’re about halfway through the summer right now. But don’t be sad - we’ve still got a lot of nice weather left. And if the weather continues to be as hot as it has been these last few weeks, this is the perfect time to be out on a boat. If you need some help brushing up on your boating skills, or learning how to maintain a pleasure craft, be sure to stop at the Thunder Bay Public Library (TBPL). We have many resources to help you out!

If you’ve never captained a boat before, we’ve got lots of books to help you out. Both Boating and Sailing by Frank Sargeant and Cruising Under Sail and Power by Tony Meisel are great general overviews of how to boat with either your typical fiberglass boat or a sailboat. Another excellent option is Powerboat Handling Illustrated: How to Make Your Boat Do Exactly What You Want To Do by Robert Sweet. Sweet’s book has tons of illustrations and photos, making it really easy to understand - you’ll be handling your boat like a pro in no time with Sweet’s help!

To operate a pleasure craft in Canada, you need a Pleasure Craft Operator Card. To help you study for the test, which you can take online through an accredited course provider such as BOATsmart, we’ve got the BOATsmart! Pleasure Craft Operator Card Study Guide. If you were planning on using another program, or otherwise need to brush up on boating safety, we have many other books to help you out, such as The Safe Boater Manual: the Canadian Coast Guard Accredited Manual for Pleasure Craft Operators by Andrew Stevenson, or Transport Canada’s Safe Boating Guide.

If you need some help with boat maintenance, you should try the Boatowner’s Mechanical and Electrical Manual: How to Maintain, Repair, and Improve Your Boat’s Essential Systems by Nigel Calder. Calder’s book is a maintenance bible, going into a lot of depth on a wide variety of boat systems. While we also have a couple of older editions of the book, be sure to check out the 2015 edition, which has been heavily updated from older versions. Another option is Boat Mechanical Systems Handbook: How to Design, Install, and Recognize Proper Systems in Boats by Dave Gerr. Gerr will teach you everything you need to know about designing, installing mechanical systems, or retrofitting an existing boat. His book is geared more towards owners of larger craft, but you’ll still find this book valuable if you’re using a smaller craft.

If you need to repair your boat’s engine, you should also check out the Small Engine Repair Reference Center, which is a database available on My Giant Search. This database has detailed instructions on how to repair a wide variety of small engines; it includes all terrain vehicles, generators and other outdoor power equipment along with personal watercraft and boat motors. You can access it with your library card and PIN from home, or come into one of our branches for some help.

Once your boat is on the water, if you’d like to go fishing, TBPL can help you out with that as well. We are a TackleShare Loaner Site for the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, which means that children and youth ages 16 and under can sign out a rod, reel, and tackle from the Brodie or Waverley Resource Libraries. TackleShare loans go out for a week and are of course free!

So whether you’re learning about boating, needing to fix your boat, or wanting to take your kids out fishing, the Thunder Bay Public Library can help get you out on the lake!

Shauna Kosoris