Category Archive – What’s Going On

Week of Geek Bonus: Happy Pride Day!

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Hi Everyone

Today is Pride Day in Toronto, so I wanted to take a moment and celebrate!  With vids!  And Pop Culture!  Yay!

First, WatchMojo has a great list of coming out scenes in TV shows, including some of my favorite characters.  Some are heartwarming, some are awkward, some are horrifying, but all are poignant and pretty groundbreaking.

I remember when that last scene featuring Ellen Degeneres happened.  That was back in 1997 (I would’ve turned 16 that year.  Yeah, I’m old), and I remember everyone was talking about it.  19 years later, there’s still controversy and there’s still bigotry, but we’ve come so far as well, as this vid from Ellen’s talk show highlights.

The song featured on that clip is from George Michael, another gay icon (he ended up coming out in one of the most public and, frankly, embarrassing ways possible in 1998).  As the title suggests, this song was released all the way back in 1990, and it’s still one of my favorites (with one of the most ’90s music videos ever).

But on the note of loving yourself, let’s end off with Meghan Trainor’s latest track (she’s the one who’s all about that bass), which is just about digging who you are.  And it’s got a heck of a base line, so it’s great for a party!

Check out my post last year for a few more examples of LGBTQ characters in nerdom, and we got some great books and other materials no matter where you fall on the rainbow.

Have a colorful, proud day, and until next time, End of Line!

Week of Geek: Mission Impossible kicks off! Here are some favorite spies!

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Hi Geeklings

Welp, it’s almost here.  After weeks and months of waiting and talking it up and being all excited, this is the weekend that the Teen Summer Reading Challenge officially kicks off.  YIPPEE!

*happy sigh* Reading all summer!  Prizes!  Missions!  A party!  S’gonna be awesome!  Click here to register and learn more!

In honor of the occasion, and because the theme this year is Mission Impossible, I figure, let’s talk about spies.  Pop culture has no shortage of them, and their allure and mystery and all of that living on the razor’s edge creates so much fodder for movies, books, tv shows, etc.  So let’s count down some fictional spies you may know or may like to know.

James Bond

No list is complete without Bond, James Bond.  Stylish, timeless, very British and just iconic, Bond is the cinematic spy all other spies are measured against.  And after 54 years and 6 actors, Bond still breaks the box office and still excites on screen.  (Also, gotta give a shout out to the latest Q as well.  I’m a fan.)

The Black Widow

Former KGB, current Avenger, Natasha Romanoff is a complex, butt-kicking heroine who can hold her own deep undercover or fighting alongside super-powered individuals.  Fiercely loyal and dedicated to wiping out the red in her ledger, she’s someone you want on your side in any fight.

Lana Kane

Though the show she stars in is named after her colleague and on again/off again boyfriend Sterling Archer, Lana is the true super spy in their agency.  Tough as nails, sharp tonged, brilliant, down to earth, and doesn’t take guff from anybody, she gets the mission done without all the awkward mess-ups Archer gets into.  Yuuup!

Gary “Eggsy” Unwin

He’s a guy who started out as a London punk; you know the type.  In and out of trouble with the law, no real prospects to speak of.  And then he was whisked away by a man who turned out to be a spy (and was played by Colin Firth) to undergo training as a new ‘knight’ and compete against more upper-crust potential spies (with the help of a pug) to earn that stylish bullet-proof suit and high-tech glasses.  And just in time to save the world.

The Men from UNCLE

Who doesn’t love a little retro flick?  Based on the 1960s TV series (btw, U.N.C.L.E. stands for United Network Command for Law Enforcement), this new film keeps the swinging sixties charm and gives us not one, but TWO spies.  But here’s the kicker; one is smooth-talking American (Napolean Solo) and the other is a stoic Russian (Illya Kuryakin).  Remember, it’s the 1960s.  Cold War anyone?  But a far greater threat emerges, and the two nations, and two agents, must work together.  For now.

Severus Snape

Now here’s a double agent if ever there was one.  Feared and pretty much detested by the students of Hogwarts, this Potions Professor found himself working for both sides of the Wizarding Wars, trusted by both Albus Dumbledore and Lord Voldemort to pass on information about the other.  Though he kept you guessing about his true allegiances until the very end, *spoiler alert* Snape went out in the truest way a spy can; out in the field, with his cover intact and thinking of the woman he loved.

Alex Rider

Another British spy (there’s a lot) Alex is unique because he started his career when he was only 14, after his secret agent uncle was killed in action.  Over 10 books, some graphic novels, short stories and a movie, Alex has not only worked for MI6 (the same agency as Bond) but also  the CIA and the Australian Secret Intelligence Service… all while still continuing his education and dating.  He’s a busy guy.

The Gallagher Girls

The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women comes across as a typical boarding school.  But that’s just it’s cover.  As Cammie Morgan and her friends know, this school teaches you how to be a top-notch spy.  What it doesn’t teach you is what to do when you fall for a guy who isn’t a spy and has no idea you are one.  That’s something Cammie will have to learn on her own.

1Etiquette&EspionageSophronia Temminnick

For all you Steampunk fans out there, I’ve got a spy for you!  Fourteen year old Sophronia has been shipped off to Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality by her mother, who hopes the school will turn Sophronia into a proper young lady.  Well, she’s going to learn things like dance, dress and etiquette, but at this finishing school the ladies learn to finish… everything.  Including others.  Because they’re training to be spies, you see.  Polite spies, but spies.  OH, and their school is in a dirigible.

Mary Quinn

And for those of you who like your historical fiction a little more realistic, meet Mary Quinn.  A 17 year old orphan and thief heading straight for the gallows, she’s plucked from that unfortunate fate and lands in Miss Scrimshaw’s Academy for Girls to receive a proper education.  But, as with the last two Academies we’ve spoken about, it’s a cover to train young ladies how to be spies.  The theory being that at that time, people hardly paid any attention to women… and that let’s them get away with stuff!  And Mary will have to put her wits to the test, while dealing with secrets of her own.

And of course you’ve got your Ethan Hunts and your Jason Bourne’s.  Can’t forget them.  What do you guys think?  Did I leave anyone out?  Post in the comments section.

So have fun this summer, with all the reading and everything else you’ve got planned.  Pop into your local library and try out our missions.  Do you have what it takes?  Find out and earn those ballots.

Let us know if you have any questions, and until next time, End of Line.

Harry Potter and the top secret box of books

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So for those of you who haven’t read your What’s On yet… We have a program for the release of the newest chapter of the Harry Potter saga. The program is called Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Read In and it will take place at the Pierre Berton Resource Library on July 31 from 7 – 11:00pm. The program will include Harry Potter activities, Harry Potter inspired refreshments, Harry Potter Movies and of course the new book! The new book is based on the play that is on stage in London starting July 30.

potterThe book itself is not available in Canada until 12:01 am July 31st. July 31 is the civic holiday Sunday so we have special permission to open the library that day. Getting permission for that was easy compared to what we have to go through in order to get books for the event. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

The secrecy surrounding the release of the Harry Potter books is infamous and epic but this is my first direct experience with the process. There are forms to fill out, waivers to sign and rules to follow. Here are some of the rules we as librarians must abide by.

We can not open the box until after 12:01 on July 31. That means no reading, no touching, no selfies, no nothing!

If we need to link the books to our catalogue, which we do if anyone is going to take the book home that evening, staff who link the book can only link the book and they have to be in a locked office.

The office has to be a secure environment and only the minimum necessary staff from operations will have access.

We must know who those staff are ahead of time and give their names.

The books can not go in our courier bins before the sale date. Someone needs to drive them and we have to know ahead of time who that person is.

If we don’t follow these rules they will sue us, and we will never get anything before the release date again.

VIPSo obviously we will be following these rules very carefully to ensure that there are no spoilers. Not only is this  a fantastic way to build excitement over the release but it also makes us librarians feel VERY important. 😉

Teen Summer Reading Challenge starts a week today!

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Teen Summer Reading Challenge

Hello teens!

I am sooooooo excited! Teen Summer Reading Challenge: Mission Impossible starts in one week (Canada Day).

What is Teen Summer Reading Challenge you ask?
Every year we challenge the teens (that means Grade 7 to 18 years old) in Vaughan to read over the summer. There is a reading challenge and other ways to earn cool prizes and an end of summer Party. This year we are challenging you to read 500,000 pages collectively. That means everyone together. :)

Make an account at and let us know how many pages you read that week. You will Teen Readingreceive an electronic ballot each week you log in no matter how much you have had time to read.

To collect more ballots visit your local branch and ask at the information desk (July 2 – August 31) to complete the weekly spy missions. Missions include photo scavenger hunts, creating your own comic, writing lyrics to your own spy song, making a catapult out of random office supplies and more. Once you have completed your mission show the librarian and they will award you another electronic ballot. If you do a really awesome job they might even give you two!!!

Want to participate with friends? That’s cool! If you work together to complete the mission you will each get a ballot for your efforts.

Want to participate at more than one branch? That’s cool too! The more participation the better.

Okay, so what are all these BALLOTS for? Each week we will do a randomly generated draw and a participant will receive a cool prize. Prizes include: A blue tooth tracker, a Chromecast, a portable recharging bank, big bag of books, and more.

At the end of the summer we will do a randomly generated draw for a GoPro Hero 4 Camera.Go Pro Hero 4

The camera will be awarded at the end of summer party on September 3, 2016. The party will be held at our new beautiful library  the Civic Centre Resource Library from 7pm until midnight.

What kinda party is it? You choose! While logged into your TSRC account go to the party tab and vote for the party you think would be awesome. The choices are a movie party, a pirate themed murder mystery party, an escape room party and a humans v.s. zombies (LARPG) live action role playing game. Just make sure you vote by July 31st!

Sign up by July 1st to make sure you are getting all the chances you can at our awesome prizes.

This message will self destruct!!!

inspector gadget

Teen Summer Reading Club : Mission Impossible

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Christine Oosterhof Teen Advocate Hi! My name is Christine and I am the new Teen Advocate for Vaughan Public Libraries. If you see me around say hey.

One of my first jobs as Teen Advocate was to revamp the Teen Summer Reading Challenge for 2016. I had a lot of fun with this and I hope you enjoy what we have in store for you this summer.

First off we are challenging YOU to read 500,000 pages (don’t worry collectively). I know you guys can do it so I’m not even going to entertain the idea that we won’t be having our end of summer party!

To sign up you can go to Create an account and tell us how many pages you read. You will earn one ballot for every week you sign in. By the way the ballots give you two ways to win cool prizes…more coming on that later in this post.

To get even more chances to win complete weekly spy missions at your library. The missions are fun and you can either do them on your own or with a group of friends. They include code breaking, building a catapult, 2 photo scavenger hunts etc.

So okay what do you win???

Each week we will have a draw for a weekly prize. Below is a picture of some of the weekly prizes you could win just by signing in and having fun at the library. Untitled




Go Pro Hero 4The grand prize which will be drawn from all of the ballots earned over the entire summer is a GoPro Hero 4 camera.

At the end of the summer we will have an end of the summer party on September 3 7 – 12 midnight @ the new Civic Centre Resource Library. When you are signed in to the Teen Summer Reading Club website you can vote for one of 4 options.

  1. A pirate themed murder mystery party.
  2. A movie party.
  3. A humans vs zombies LARPG.
  4. Escape room party.

There is one catch: You must vote before July 31. Why? I need time to plan the party.

Questions? Ask your local librarian or me:

tsrc1      tsrc2