Toronto Reference Books
View our available human books below. You can book an appointment starting Saturday, Oct. 6 by visiting or calling the branch (416-393-7161).
Please review our borrowing guidelines before making an appointment.
What kind of transit system does Toronto need? How will regional transit influence our quality of life and how can it contribute to a prosperous economy? These are the questions being asked by Metrolinx, as it implements The Big Move - the biggest transit expansion plan in Canadian history. Check out Metrolinx Community & Stakeholder Relations Specialist Mathew Bertin and ask your own questions about transit in and around Toronto.
Amy Lavendar Harris
Do you ever dumpster dive? Would you ever take home something - a book, furniture, a box of dishes, clothing, maybe even food - you've found at curbside? Sign out geographer and urban scavenger Amy Lavender Harris to talk about dumpster diving, bottle picking, freeganism, and personal, social and cultural taboos about garbage. Amy is the author of the Heritage Toronto Award-winning Imagining Toronto; her next book, Acts of Salvage, explores what the contemporary city compels us to cling to or discard.
Do you have a list of books you want to read that's longer than the list of books available at Toronto Public Library? How do you decide what's worth reading and what isn't? What would it be like to talk to Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood, Jonathan Franzen or Martin Amis? Get some answers from self-confessed book hoarder and National Post Books Editor Mark Medley, who has written about and interviewed some of the world's foremost authors.
Are you looking to give back to the community and help make Toronto a better place to live? Not sure how to get started? Check out Paul Nagpal, a director of the biggest South Asian festival in North America, Masala! Mehndi! Masti! and find out from this energetic and ambitious human book how to get started connecting with people and engaging with the community.
A cruise ship tour director for 20 years, Robin Noble was involved in a near-fatal car accident eight years ago in Russia. She had to learn to walk and talk again, combining medical and alternative therapies to the point where she is now able to help others, once they have decided to take control of their lives and need help moving into the world again. Borrow Robin and be inspired to take control of your own life.
While studying French literature at UBC, Diana Olsen became captivated by novelist Honoré de Balzac, who was a serious coffee lover. She launched her first successful Balzac's Coffee Roasters in Stratford, ON. This past August, she opened her seventh location in the Toronto Reference Library. Check out this creative entrepreneur and find out what it was like to successfully face down the dragons on the popular TV series Dragon's Den.
"There's no skill that can prevent you from being killed in war... you're just lucky if you don't get killed or hurt." What was it like to be a soldier during the original United Nations peacekeeping mission on the Gaza Strip? Or in the Congo after they achieved independence in the 1960s? Check out veteran peacekeeper retired corporal Gerry O'Pray and find out why Canadians were at the time the "best soldiers in the world."
Peter Sloly (Cancelled)
Due to a scheduling conflict, Peter Sloly is no longer participating in the Human Library. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Borrow the library's first ever Entrepreneur in Residence, Miriam Tuerk. Ask Miriam about her 20 years experience as an entrepreneur and business visionary, her background in electrical engineering, or her expertise in developing technology innovations, including cloud and open source software. Then, if you like what you see, get in on the library's new Entrepreneur in Residence program for a more comprehensive critique of your small business plans.
Literary voyeur Julie Wilson is shameless when it comes to the act of reading. She'll do it anywhere - on the subway, in coffee shops or parks - and she likes to catch other people reading and to document her literary voyeurism on her blog. Meet the creator of Seen Reading - and be Seen Talking to her at the Reference Library.
The Human Library program is sponsored by the Toronto Public Library Foundation.