Libraries back in full swing

According to Frances Nunziata’s circular, the Mount Dennis branch of the TPL has reopened its youth hub on weekday afternoons. They’re also starting a “Take & Make” craft series weekly on Thursdays in August, starting at 3:30 p.m..

Nunziata also says that the city has announced

the expansion of 20 Enhanced Youth Spaces and Youth Spaces across the City. Spaces are open five to seven days per week, 50 weeks per year and are intended to help youth build life skills and create pathways to learning and employment through entrepreneurship, employment readiness and continuing education supports.

Locations in York South—Weston will include the Mount Dennis Library, Weston Library, and Falstaff Community Centre. 

If I said this was long overdue, would you forgive me?

Weston returning to normal–slowly

The Farmers’ Market will open on August 1, according to the BIA. They are also looking to hire students to help with the market—but hurry; the deadline is tomorrow, July 20.

The Weston Library is also reopening a bit, for scheduled computer bookings.

Weston Public Library is still open

Though the doors are closed, the Weston Public Library remains open—digitally, at least—to borrowers.  All Toronto Public Libraries are now issuing instant digital borrowing cards, which will give readers access to Overdrive, the library’s ebook program.

To register, you’ll need only an internet connection (to borrow books) and a cellphone (to receive a registration text).

The signup process is easy:

  1. Visit toronto.overdrive.com
  2. Enter your phone number and the campaign code TPL2020
  3. Download Libby for iOS or Android
  4. Enter your local library and phone number.

Libby has about a zillion ebooks and audiobooks that you can borrow on your tablet or phone. (If you need a tablet, the Amazon Fire tablets are good, and doubly so if you get one during one of their frequent sales.)

Two youth hubs for Weston and Mount Dennis

Frances Nunziata announced some very good news: both the Weston and Mount Dennis libraries will be receiving youth hubs.

DJing
From the TPL

Youth hubs are

a welcoming place for teens after school and in the summer, where snacks, fun activities and helpful staff are always available. Drop in to connect with friends in a supportive environment and get help with your homework.

The hubs include gaming systems, iPads, computers, and specialized equipment. Tutors are  available to help with homework.

Nunziata also announced that Pelmo Park will be getting a splash pad.

 

 

Funding for youth spaces proposed for 2020 budget

Frances Nunziata , John Tory, and Councillor Michael Thompson announced yesterday that the proposed budget will include $6 million to curb gun violence by, among other things, “creating new youth hubs [and] opening new youth spaces”—one of which seems likely to be on Falstaff Avenue and one of which may be in Mount Dennis.

Toronto is an extremely safe city, but there was quite a lot of gun violence last year, including in York South–Weston. There were 9 murders in 12 Division in 2019, triple the number in 2018. (12 Division includes many other neighbourhoods)  There were 490 shootings in Toronto last year—and shootings have increased dramatically since 2014.

From The Globe and Mail

The locations for the youth hubs have not been announced, and the funding must be approved by City Council, but that Nunziata and Tory made the announcement at Falstaff is encouraging.

In 2018, library staff also proposed opening a youth hub in Mount Dennis. In 2018, the TPL’s manager of youth services, Lisa Heggum, told The Star

The library has always been a space for youth…. Especially in more disadvantaged neighbourhoods, youth rely on access to computers, WiFi, books and other resources. The hub adds another space to connect with teens, she said.

She stressed their role is facilitation not supervision in a space where teens are encouraged to be loud and librarians aren’t shushing anyone.