Planning your city garden

There are many types of City gardens from potted balcony gardens to community gardens.  There are also many ways to get help with planning your garden, whether you are a beginner or seasoned gardener looking for new ideas.  The City of Guelph has a Healthy Landscapes  program that supports City residents and there are also many other organizations that can support your gardening endeavours.





There are also great gardening resources at the Library!

garden1 garden2gardening3




National Volunteer Week

A chance to say “thank you” to Canada’s 12.7 volunteers and be inspired to volunteer in your community.


Why volunteer?

  • It’s good for you! Research shows that those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability as they get older and report good health more often.
  • Makes our community stronger. Volunteering gets people involved in their community and reduces isolation.
  • Learn something new.  Volunteering is an opportunity to develop new skills or build on existing experience and knowledge.
  • Feel good! Volunteers consistently report a high feeling of self-worth, achievement and higher motivation.
  • Enrich your life.  Volunteering gives you the opportunity to make new friendships and show yourself and people around you that you care—perhaps you can inspire them too!
  • Helps you get a job.  Volunteering enhances job skills and connects you with new employment opportunities.
  • Spend time with your family. Volunteering as a family is a great way to spend time together.

volunteer1Looking for a local volunteer opportunity?  Go to the Volunteer Centre website and explore your options.  


gpl-logoWant to volunteer at a Guelph library? Please fill out our online application.


Following is a great article about volunteering, and the Volunteer Centre:

Guelph-Wellington Centre readies for National Volunteer Week

The Wellington Advertiser,Vol. 44 Issue 14

Guelph-Wellington’s theme for National Volunteer Week this year is Volunteers Build Caring Communities.

The centre said volunteers’ enthusiasm and spirit instill a sense of community pride,  inspiring others to participate in building a caring community. The outstanding service volunteers provide makes Guelph and Wellington County great places to live, work and play.

The Volunteer Centre of Guelph Wellington is dedicated to supporting volunteers and member organizations by:

– promoting volunteer opportunities;

– encouraging volunteerism, through promotion of National Volunteer Week;

– training for effective volunteer engagement; and

– providing leadership to support community needs.

The Volunteer Centre hosts an on-line database of volunteer opportunities, as well as providing walk-in and telephone service. Volunteers can search for appropriate volunteer positions related to a field of interest (such as children, animals, special events), length of commitment (short-term, long-term), location, or by organization.

The centre is dedicated to supporting the community by providing local, accurate information on services that enable access to the basic necessities of life, promote emotional stability, and adaptation to new environments.

Community Information Guelph is a program of the Volunteer Centre of Guelph/Wellington. It provides information on community organizations, human services, events, and government contacts.

Information is provided by phone, walk-in or our on-line internet database.

National Volunteer Week Events in Guelph and Wellington County include the fifth annual Dr. William Winegard Exemplary Volunteer Involvement awards.

That event honours the significant community involvement and charitable activities of University of Guelph students, staff, and faculty. The awards were presented on March 31.

On April 11 from 10am to 12pm, the Volunteer Centre will be hosting an official launch to mark the beginning of National Volunteer Week. This launch will feature star speakers, with an all star line-up and a Wall of Fame portraying members and local volunteers.

The annual Time to Give community breakfast will be held on April 14 featuring an all-star cast of community volunteers, organizations and employers on the Galaxy Cinema’s red carpet. The event premieres short films made to celebrate volunteering.

Tickets for that event must be purchased in advance by calling 519-822-0912 extension 224.

The County of Wellington Volunteer Appreciation awards are presented to individuals who demonstrate generosity of time and spirit by achieving outstanding results as a volunteer. There is a recipient from each of the seven towns and townships in Wellington County. They will be presented at the April 28 county council meeting.

“Volunteering is a fundamental building block of civil society. It brings to life the noblest aspirations of humankind – the pursuit of peace, freedom, opportunity, safety, and justice for all people,” states the Universal Declaration on Volunteering, 2001.

It began 68 years ago.

National Volunteer Week began in 1943 as a way to draw attention to the impact women were having on the war effort on the home front. In the late 1960s, the focus grew to include all community volunteers. In Canada, 12.5 million volunteers dedicate their time to the front lines of our community services – health care, sports and recreation, heritage and arts, environmental protection and advocacy, disaster relief, international development, firefighting – and many more. The week pays tribute to these millions who give freely of their time and energy.

All across Canada, volunteers strengthen communities. They participate on boards, committees, mentor peers, plan cultural and special day events, organize recreational programs, support older adults, provide shelter, tutor young people, clean parks and streets, and much more.

People volunteer because they believe in something – the equal opportunity of all, healthy and safe communities, active living and helping others. Volunteers aspire to make our communities a better place to live and enhance the lives of others. They inspire and encourage others to participate. We honour them for these contributions.

Volunteer Canada is celebrating National Volunteer Week with the theme: Volunteers. Passion. Action. Impact. It is based on the individual super-heros across Canada who dedicate themselves to making their communities better – and Canada a great place to live.

For more information about Volunteer Canada and its resources, visit

International Year of the Volunteer (IYV plus10). Proclaimed in 2001, the International Year of the Volunteer was created through Japan’s recommendation at the 52nd assembly of the United Nations. The 10th anniversary offers an exceptional opportunity to join the global effort to revitalize the spirit of volunteerism. The United Nations Volunteers met to develop a Global Plan of Action to guide stakeholders.

That included a vision statement, along with volunteer values, volunteer engagement and volunteering in the future guidelines. The vision statement is: Inspiring the Volunteer in You. In celebrating IYV+10, volunteer values are:

– an expression of the common humanity and as a means of building mutual respect, understanding, trust, solidarity and reciprocity.

– universal and inclusive, and recognize volunteering diversity, as well as the purpose that sustains it.

For more information, visit

Alternative yarn projects

rug hookingI know we’ve done a few posts on here about knitting and crocheting so I thought I would mix things up a bit and showcase our great collection of books on rug hooking.

So what exactly is rug hooking? Rug hooking is both an art and a craft where rugs are made by pulling loops of yarn or fabric through a stiff woven base such as burlap, linen, or rug warp. The loops are pulled through the backing material by using a crochet-type hook mounted in a handle (usually wood) for leverage.

Here are some of the great books the library has to offer on rug hooking.

Introduction to rug hooking by Kristen Miller

Creative techniques for rug hookers by Donna Hrkman

Hooking animals by Judy Carter

The rug hooker’s bible by Jane Olson

Rug hooking for the first time by Donna Lovelady

Scrappy hooked rugs by Bea Brock

Finishing hooked rugs

Basic rug hooking

Rug hooker’s companion by Donna Hrkman


Books and Hooks: Join the Royal City Ruggers for a weekly fun and   social afternoon at the Library.

Whether you are experienced with rug hooking or not, this is a great opportunity to meet new people, learn and practice a great skill, and enjoy the Library.

East Side Branch  Every Tuesday Afternoon, noon – 7 pm.

East Side Branch  Last Saturday of every month, 9:30 am – 4:00 pm




Teaching teens to cook

Teenage boy (15-17) holding a fried egg in a frying pan

As you know I feel it’s very important to get kids in the kitchen and cooking. I’ve posted before on how having picky eaters help cook their food will encourage them to try more and in this post I want to talk about getting teens ready to move out for school or work.
Let’s face it, you wont always be able to cook for them and they will need to learn how to cook cheap nutritious meals for themselves. I remember being in University and having friends that were so amazed that I could cook, they didn’t even know how to make KD let alone make something from scratch. I felt that their families had done them a great disservice by not teaching them at least the basics of cooking like how to boil water, and cook an egg.
Check out some of these great cook books geared for teens.
cluelessThis thorough and witty culinary guide demystifies the kitchen and its contents for young adults and anyone who’s found themselves in front of a full fridge exclaiming, “There’s nothing to eat here!” With 200 easy-to-follow recipes, Evelyn Raab shows the culinary neophyte how to make all kinds of simple and scrumptious dishes for every meal and occasion




how to cookA fully revised and updated edition of Raymond Sokolov’s classic kitchen primer for beginning chefs of all ages, filled with 150 simple, sophisticated recipes, easy-to-learn techniques, and indispensable advice. First published in 1986, Ray Sokolov’s How To Cook is the ultimate book for beginning cooks of all ages. Unlike most kitchen primers, How To Cook does not assume any prior cooking instruction or skills, but rather guides the reader through the entire cooking process with simple explanations in ordinary language. There are no fancy cooking terms or special gadget here, just easy, indispensable techniques and foolproof recipes for every occasion.


teen cuisineRenowned chef Matthew Lorrichio introduces adolescents to more than 50 mouthwatering recipes that don’t have meat or fish. For beginning cooks and seasoned chefs, its step-by-step instructions feature fresh, nutritious ingredients and show-stopping dishes for all times of day, from breakfast through dinner.There’s a even a special section on making sushi. With more than 75 original, stunning photographs by award winning photogorapher and chef James Peterson, this one-of-a-kind book will provide a show-stopping culinary experience.


cooking skillsMaster essential cooking techniques and skills Learn how to make simple, tasty soups Make and bake delicious pizzas Prepare some perfect pasta dishes Create delicious desserts and fruit feasts Cooking Skills shows you how to get started on a wide range of cooking adventures. It is packed with ideas, techniques, and tips and includes advice, information, and clear step-by-step instructions.




the green teenGoing green is hard to doespecially when it comes to food. There are acronyms to learn, labels to decipher, seasons to accommodate, and grocery stores to navigateand that’s before you even turn on the stove! The Green Teen Cookbook cuts through the chaos and shows teens how to shop smarter, cook more consciously, and eat a healthier diet. And in addition to the 70+ incredible recipes (created by teens, for teens), the book also includes: Illuminating essays about freeganism, flexitarians, vegetarianism, and more!






It’s Poetry Month!

April is National Poetry Month!  In honor of this celebration I wrote my own poem about the Guelph Public Library:

Library is home

I lose myself in novels

Explore. Connect. Thrive.

The poem I wrote is an example of a haiku. The first line has five syllables, the second line has seven, and the last line has five syllables again. I learned how to write a haiku and other styles of  poetry back in elementary school, however, I don’t really remember the technicalities of these poetry styles anymore. Luckily, I was looking through the many programs that the Guelph Public Library puts on and came across this program that runs on April 3rd:

Poetry as Play: Inspiration, Ideas, and Spontaneity program image

In this workshop, you can learn to play with words, participate in writing exercises, practice writing poems – plus try out different subjects and ideas. The event is hosted by author Marianne Micros who has written many books such as: Four women : Colleen Thibaudeau, Penn Kemp, Marianne Micros, Gloria Alvernaz Mulcahy, Seventeen Trees, and The Creative Circus Book all available at the University of Guelph’s Library or through interlibrary loan.