Library

CSL LIbrary to unveil our new "baby grand" at June 22 concert

As the city councillor responsible for the Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library, I am very proud of the work our amazing staff does every day. One of our goals this mandate was to finally purchase our much anticipated baby grand piano. Well that day has come.

On Wednesday, June 22 at 7 pm rising-star pianist Emie R. Roussell and her jazz trio will perform the concert Quantum, featuring music from their critically acclaimed CD of the same title, at the Harold Greespon Auditorium just below the library. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the library’s circulation desk. This concert is beng presented in collaboration with the Conseil des arts de Montréal en tournée.

Winners of the Felix Award for Best Jazz Album 2015, critics and jazz lovers alike are unanimously referring to the Emie R. Roussell trio as “one-to-watch”. “I am so proud of the library and its outstanding programming,” says our mayor Mitchell Brownstein  “I hope residents can join us for a delightful evening of jazz music and get a sneak preview of what the trio will be offering at this year’s Montreal International Jazz Festival. Don’t miss your chance to hear them first right here in Côte Saint-Luc.”

On this night we will also be inaugurating the baby grand piano. We were able to acquire this gem of an instrument through various fundraising initiatives, including our heartfelt 88 Keys to Music Campaign, allowing us to honour donors’ names on a plaque to be unveiled outside the Greenspon auditorium the evening of the concert. We are thrilled to be able share this piano with our community, and our hope is that it will be enjoyed for years to come.

 

GC1M-yamaha-baby-grand-piano
To see our actual new baby grand, you'll need to join us June 22.

 

I  personally want to thank all those who contributed to our 88 Keys campaign and our dedicated staff and volunteers for the efforts they put into the library’s books sales, proceeds of which helped pay for the piano and achieve our goal. We are still encouraging people to buy a key with their name or that of of someone dear to them so you to can be part of this program.

As the library’s 50-year landmark anniversary approaches, please stop by on June 22 and pick-up your free list of anniversary-related activities and events leading up to our mega birthday party on Sunday, September 18. If you’re a Côte Saint-Luc resident and haven’t joined the library yet, bring some ID and we’ll sign you up for free. Tell your friends and family, and help us continue to make the Côte Saint-Luc Library the perfect place to discover, share, create and connect.

For more information about these events and programs, visit csllibrary.com or contact the library’s Programs Department at 514-485-6900, ext. 4205.

 


Extended hours on Sundays at the Côte Saint-Luc Public Library

Here is a press release we issued following a decision related to the library.

The Côte Saint-Luc Public Library will be staying open until 10 pm on Sundays starting May 29.

“Council is very responsive and attentive to the community and this modification is a testament to our commitment to address resident concerns in a timely manner in order to provide the highest quality of service,” Mayor Mitchell Brownstein said. “We listened to residents who asked that we restore late hours at the library, particularly on Sunday evening, which was a popular study time for students.”

Starting May 29, the updated Côte Saint-Luc Library hours are from 10am to 10pm from Sunday to Thursday, and 10am to 6pm on Friday and Saturday.

“We worked hard to find a way to restore the Sunday hours,” said Councillor Mike Cohen, who is the council member responsible for the library. “Careful re-organization of our staffing plan by Director Janine West made this modification possible.”

The virtual library remains open 24/7 with online access to eBooks, audiobooks, magazines and reference material. Library membership is free for Côte Saint-Luc residents.

The Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library is located at 5851 Cavendish Blvd. For more information, call the library at 514-485-6900 or visit www.csllibrary.org.


Shalom Bloom's wildlife sculptures on display at CSL Library

An exhibit of wildlife sculptures from District 2 resident Shalom Bloom will be on display at the Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library’s Art Gallery from March 31 to May 29, 2016.

The vernissage is April 14, 2016 at 7 pm.

Bloom is considered one of Canada’s pre-eminent wildlife sculptors. Many of his sculptures are on display at corporate headquarters worldwide as well as in White Tail Deer Park in Elliot Lake. His work has been commissioned by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to create a sculpture for their headquarters in Montreal.

See this impressive video of his work

 

Just as fascinating as his art is his personal story. Bloom, who is today an active resident of Côte Saint-Luc, only started working on his sculptures at age 50, while creating a successful career building his own businesses. He was CEO of Arlington Sports, the South Africa Diamond Company, as well as a chain of restaurants. Starting in 1995, he devoted much of his time to pursue his art.

He stumbled across his talent by accident when his children were working with plasticine modeling clay and asked for his help.

“The minute I got my hands on the wax, it changed my life,” Bloom said. “All my inner thoughts, philosophies, and my yearnings and doubts came out in the wax. I became the master and wax became my tool.”

Bloom credits his wife for encouraging him in his new endeavour.

Bloom says there was one incident that convinced him to get into art more seriously.

Shalom Bloom wildlife scultures

"One day my secretary was standing at the door of my office with her 5-year old son,” Bloom said. “The young boy was standing there just staring at the life-size sculpture of a sleeping cub. Then he ran to the sculpture, gave it a hug and kiss, and shyly turned back. I realized that if I am able to evoke that kind of reaction from a child, then I should enter it seriously.”

For many years, Bloom worked in his studios as well as his garage at home. Often after dinner, the children on the street would sit near the driveway and watch as he worked. He would explain what he was doing and often allowed his young audience to add small pieces of wax to his sculptures so they could feel they contributed something.

“On many occasions, someone would be driving down my street, glance in my garage and stop the car so suddenly that one could hear the screeching of the brakes,” Bloom said. “They thought they saw a real life-size bull in the garage.”

Bloom, an opera lover, created most of his sculptures with the music of Puccini in the background.

“A businessman achieves success with his head and tongue, while an artist creates with his heart and hands, providing something that outlasts material wealth,” Bloom said. “Each human being is like a mine and you must constantly dig to find the vein of talent that is hidden. Once you find it, it can lead to endless beauty and interesting directions—changing your life forever.”

The Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library is located at 5851 Cavendish Blvd. and is open from Mondayto Thursday from 10 am to 10 pm, and Friday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm. The Library remains open on all statutory holidays from 12 pm to 5 pm. For more information, call the library at 514-485-6900 or visitwww.csllibrary.org.


Our transformed library lounge at the ACC will be open until 10 pm

The Côte Saint-Luc Public Library has transformed the library annex at the Aquatic and Community Centre into the new Library Lounge, which includes the popular take-a-book-leave-a-book concept.
LoungeChairs
The very popular concept of Little Free Libraries has been gaining momentum in North America over the last few years. People bring books, magazines, CDs, or movies they no longer need and take ones already there. There is no need for membership cards and no associated fees. Items are not part of the regular library collection so they don’t need to be returned and there are no due dates to contend with.
Loungeshelf
Our Aquatic and Community Centre is located at 5794 Parkhaven Ave. The Library Lounge will be open from 6 am to 10 pm. The space is loaded with thousands of donated items. People can also use the space to read, relax, play a game, do a puzzle and use the public computer. There is also an outdoor return slot where official library items can be returned 24/7.
Loungecheckoutdesk
 
Material and monetary donations are welcome and can be made in place.
Loungecorner
For more information you can contact Justin Burnham at jburnham@cotesaintluc.org
 
Loungenearwindow

The decision to modify library hours

In December, Côte Saint-Luc  City Council completed an exhaustive budget process in which certain cuts had to be made in order to balance our books.

The way this works is  that department directors review their own budgets and come back to us with recommendations. In the case of our fabulous library, we wanted to ensure that its first class service was maintained and that any measures taken would have the least effect possible on the membership at large---some 15,000 people.  We were told by the library director that on weekend evenings there are an average of 10 to 25 people on site and that the cost to maintain those hours was $125,000 a year.  Council subsequently agreed that the library hours would remain 10 a.m. to 10 p.m Monday through Thursdays, but that on Friday,Saturday and Sunday evenings we would close at 6 p.m. Library

Naturally we are saddened when there are any cuts to library service. However the city has looked at a variety of ways to cut costs across the city with the overall goal of keeping taxes down. Cutting library hours and aligning them with the hours of other suburban municipalities was a way to allow the other great services that the library provides to continue such as home delivery; catering to children, families, schools and daycares; outstanding cultural programming, including concerts, exhibits and support for CSL artists; literary programs, and the many other things that we deliver to the community.

I believe our city should be commended for focusing our attention on continuing to deliver these outstanding services that have high impact value to many rather than focusing on low attendance hours that deliver service to a few.

I have personally received a number of calls and emails on this subject. I responded to every one of them. Only a small few refused to engage in a dialogue with us, choosing to utter threats instead. All of the others were polite and once having digested our explanation agreed that under the circumstances we made a logical decision.

“Thanks so much for your detailed reply and for the time and effort you put into kindly providing me with the detailed financial rationale for the cuts,” wrote one woman. “Having worked at Batshaw Youth and Family Centers for the Quebec Ministry for Health and Social Services, I have experienced first-hand the kind of necessity that drives decision-making on budget cuts. I acknowledge that the detailed context you describe does speak to a principled rationale for the cuts. As for using the library on a weekend evening, I have in fact often dropped by late on a weekend evening, if only to drop off books or quickly browse the new arrival shelves. But with such a price tag, thank you, I know I can do without."

Can we assist those individuals who consider it important to have somewhere to go on weekend evenings? I am certainly open to exploring that. Our Library Lounge at the Aquatic and Community Centre remains open most nights until 10 p.m.as a quiet place to read every day as well.

In December, as he completed his term as acting mayor, Councillor Glenn J. Nashen wrote this piece about the library on behalf of the entire council. I believe it covers all of the bases.

From Florida, former Men’s Club president and one-time Town of Mount Royal councillor Sidney Margles shared his perspective on the revised hours at the library.

Hello from Florida


I have just read the open letter from Sharon Zajdman and would take this opportunity to spell out a few facts of life for her. The Côte Saint-Luc Library stands out among city libraries and it is supported almost entirely by taxpayers as a place to borrow and obtain books, records and films for use in our homes. And even after what I feel are minor changes, the Library is an example of a prime service. Every so often, as is the case in most well-administered communities, services must be reviewed and updates implemented as necessary. For those of us who use the library, and I take out an average of 3 books a week when in Côte Saint Luc, the cutting off of a few hours on week-ends, particularly in the evening when very few citizens but many staff could be found on hand, the decision to curtail some hours was no surprise. I would have thought it should have been done several years ago.

Ms. Zajdman feels that the library is for people with nowhere to go. That is not the object of a library. Regrettably, there may be the odd person who has spent the week-end evening sitting around at the library, but at what cost? Additionally, Ms. Zajdman errs when she refers to the A.C.C. as having cost $22 million when in fact the total was less than $17 million, of which the city paid only one-third.


If a person has nowhere to go on Saturday or Sunday evening, he/she could always go to the A.C.C. to sit around in the unattended library reading room there, or maybe catch swimmers or basketball players in action.As for those who have been laid off, yes, it is unfortunate and the timing might not be the best, but they were temporary workers and had to know there was always the possibility that their positions would be eliminated. I have made some inquiries and learned that the anticipated saving is about a quarter of a million dollars and that other necessary compressions have also taken place in other municipal government areas. Hopefully none should adversely affect the terrific public service rendered by Côte Saint-Luc’s managers, staff and elected officials. At a time when many costs are rising and revenues are not necessarily keeping up with the times, even with some cuts, a mild increase in our property taxes had to be implemented.


Would Ms. Zajdman have preferred that all our residents pay more in their property taxes instead of acting responsibly as they did?

 

 


Local residents Sklar and Chandler present unique exhibits at our library

Two District 2 residents currently have some interesting exhibitions at the Côte Saint-Luc Eleanor London Public Library. I have been to see them a few times already and would recommend you do the same.

Stanley Sklar’s Three Dimensional Art


Stanley Sklar, who resides on Mackle Road, is presenting a lovely display of three dimensional art. Stanley has been involved in the arts his entire life. Whether it be through painting, studying, or a career as an award winning fashion designer. This culminated in his newest art form. His 3D sculptures engage the audience. Meticulous attention to detail; from the hand-crafted bricks, worn stairs, to the people who inhabit each neighbourhood, makes this art unique. Stanley is keen on sharing his knowledge and vast experience with students as a teacher at the Cummings Centre. It can be viewed in the fiction section of the library.

SklarSchwartzs
Stanley’s passion for art began at an early age. He was an award winning fashion designer and studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T.) in New York and at Ecole Contoir Caponi in Montreal. He then pursued his studies in Fine Arts at Ecole Des Beaux Arts . Stanley also taught the art of draping at the former Saidye Bronfman Centre.
Throughout his career he always continued painting and evolving as an artist, working often on glass. Fascinated by reflections that light cast on his images, he continued creating three-dimensional architectural sculptures. This culminated in his latest art form. His imagination transforms his houses into homes. Meticulous attention to detail; from the hand-crafted bricks, worn stairs, to the people that inhabit each neighbourhood,makes this art unique. These sculptures are encased in clear lucite boxes. They may be displayed free standing or hung on a wall.


This art may be purchased or commissioned to capture everlasting memories of your home to be shared for generations.
“I retired from my career in the fashion industry three years ago and I decided to focus on my art full-time,” he said. “I am being called by people to do these type of architectural sculptures of their homes and businesses. I did one of St. Viateur Bagel. The owners not only bought and displayed it, but they have now moved it to their new location in Laval. A lot of my work has been showcased in galleries. As a Côte Saint-Luc resident this is my first time doing so at the library and the response has been wonderful.”

Sklar3Recently Stanley was contacted by noted sculpture artist Shalom Bloom, whose magnificent work will be part of our revitalized Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park in 2017. He wants Stanley to work with him on that project.


See  http://www.stanleysklar.net/about.html and this YouTube video.

David Chandler

David Chandler resides on Sir Walter Scott Avenue. His exhibit runs until January 31 and is titled "Antique Maps from the Holy Land to New France.” It can be viewed in the Community Art Space section of the library.The exposition consists of 56 maps printed between the late 16th and late 19th centuries that depict either the Holy Land and surrounding areas, or early North America (including Montreal). In the 1980s David began using antique maps as aids while teaching history and geography classes. Since this time, David’s collection has grown to include thousands of maps from all parts of the world.

Lotter - Nouvelle France

David is a retired teacher. He spent 32 years at Rosemere High School as a geography, history and economics teacher, as well as doing clean-up duty in several other subjects. “I began using using reproduction antique maps in my classes in the 1980s and in 1987 I began openly buying and selling them by becoming an antique map dealer under the name Ptolémée Plus Antique Maps,” he told me. “Although maps are often found in used book stores and antique shops. Ptolémée Plus is the only company dealing exclusively in antique maps. My interest in maps has been life-long: when I was aged 14 and knowing nobody upon arriving in a new town I undertook to draw a map of the place using my bicycle. I also host a group of map/history aficionados known as Café cartographique , which I hope to bring to the library in January.”

Photo 2 (12)

 


Canada’s pre-eminent wildlife sculptor presenting his work at the Côte Saint-Luc library art gallery

An exhibit of wildlife sculptures from District 2 resident Shalom Bloom will be on display at the Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library’s Art Gallery from November 5, 2015 to January 17, 2016.
 
The exhibit opens with a vernissage on November 5 at 7 pm.
 
Bloom is considered to be one of Canada’s pre-eminent wildlife sculptors. His work has been commissioned by the Civil Aviation Organization headquarters in Montreal, and is on display on the grounds of the Museum of Nature in Ottawa, and at museums and corporate buildings worldwide.
ShalomRams2
A Shalom Bloom sculpture.
Just as fascinating as his art is his story. Bloom, who today is an active 88-year old living in Côte Saint-Luc, only started working on his sculptures at age 50, during a successful career building his own businesses. He was CEO of Arlington Sports, the South African Diamond Company and a restaurant chain. He devoted most of his time to pursue his art starting in 1995.
 
He stumbled across his talent by accident when his children were working with plasticine modeling clay and asked for his help.
 
“The minute I got my hands on the wax, it changed my life,” Bloom said. “All my inner thoughts, philosophies, and my yearnings and doubts came out in the wax. I became the master and wax because my tool.”
 
Bloom credits his wife, Roslyn, for pushing him and encouraging him in his new life.
 
“She not only discovered me but encouraged me throughout,” Bloom said.
 
Bloom says there was once incident in particular that convinced him to get into art more seriously.
 
“One day my secretary was standing at the door of my office with her 5-year old son,” Bloom said. “The boy was standing there just staring at the life-size sculpture of a sleeping cub next to my desk. Then he ran to the sculpture, gave it a hug and kiss, and then shyly turned back. I thought to myself that if I’m able to evoke that kind of reaction from a child, then I should enter it seriously.”
 
For many years, Bloom worked from his studios and the garage at his Hampstead home. Bloom says that often after dinner, children on the street would sit at the driveway and watch as he worked. He would explain what he was doing and even let his young audience add little pieces of wax so they could feel like they contributed.
 
“On many occasions, someone would be driving down my street, would glance at my garage and then stop the car so suddenly that the brakes would screech,” said Bloom. “They thought they saw a real life-size bull in the garage.”
 
Bloom doesn’t regret giving up his business life for life as an artist.
 
“A businessman achieves success with his head and tongue, while an artist creates with his heart and hands, providing something that outlasts material wealth,” Bloom said. “Each human being is like a mine and you must dig all the time to find the vein of talent that is hidden. Once you find it, it can lead to endless beauty and interesting directions—changing your life forever.”
 
The Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library is located at 5851 Cavendish Blvd. and is open from 10 am to 10 pm except on statutory holidays. For more information, call the library at 514-485-6900 or visit www.csllibrary.org.

CSL library launches Jewish heritage program series

This October, the Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Library is kicking off a series of programs focusing on Jewish heritage and culture, including workshops, lectures, music, theatre, and literature. 
 
Library members and non-members alike are invited to participate in the series and explore their family and cultural history.
 
The series begins with a concert of traditional Sephardic music by the Opus Prize-winning Ensemble séfarade et mediterranéen on Thursday, October 8. The following week on Wednesday, October 14, the library will present Portrait of a People, the latest production by Aviva Ravel’s Performance Playreading Ensemble. The show melds dramatic and comedic stories, legends, and poems portraying the culture of the Jewish people from Biblical times to the present. Tickets for both the concert and playreading are available for sale now at the library.
 
In partnership with District 2 resident Stanley Diamond of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Montreal, the library is offering a genealogy lecture and workshop designed to help you begin discovering your family’s unique stories. The lecture will take place Thursday, October 15 at 2 pm, and is free and open to the public. The workshop is onThursday, October 29 at 2 pm and requires registration and payment in advance ($5 for library members; $7 for non-members).
 
The program series culminates with the library’s annual Côte Saint-Luc Reads literary event on Thursday, October 22 at 6:30 pm. Each year, library staff choose one book to engage CSL residents and foster a reading culture in the city. This year’s selection is Between Gods, Alison Pick’s remarkable memoir about discovering her family’s hidden Jewish history and reclaiming an identity and religion that she had not known before. Alison Pick will speak about her book and engage with readers at this free event.

As the city councillor responsible for Library and Culture, I am very pleased  with this news.
 
For more information about these events and programs, visit csllibrary.org or contact the library’s Programs Department at 514-485-6900, ext. 4205.

Oliver Jones helps launch public piano program at Rembrandt Park

Jazz legend Oliver Jones performed a few songs to help inaugurate the first public piano in the City of Côte Saint-Luc on June 29 at Rembrandt Park in District 2. What a wonderful occasion and a proud moment for me as the councillor for the area and for the portfolio of Library and Culture. The weather was nice and we had a fantastic turnout not only from the public, but local and mainstream media - Global TV, CBC and CTV. Here is the Global TV report.
 
The piano will be available to the public all summer from around 8:30 am to 10 pm. It will be covered with a tarp every evening. Rembrandt Park is located on Rembrandt Ave. near Kildare Rd. 
 
“Côte Saint-Luc is eager to launch the pilot project this summer and gives passers-by the opportunity to try out the new outdoor piano,” Mayor Anthony Housefather said. “We’re also proud to have a local resident – who also happens to be a jazz legend – help us inaugurate it.”
 
Public pianos have sprung up around the world in the last few years. Côte Saint-Luc decided to launch this pilot project when resident Louise Silverman donated her late mother’s piano.
 
OliverJonesPiano
The legendary Oliver Jones helps us launch our public piano program.
A few months ago Rembrandt Avenue resident Phil Matlin approached me about the idea. I immediately approached our Director of Library Services Janine West, Manager of Cultural Development Danielle Bélanger, Associate City Manager Nadia Di Furia. and Director of Public Works Beatrice Newman. Once the first piano donation was in play we were ready to go.
 
The public piano movement started with the ‘Play Me, I'm Yours’ initiative in the United States. This is a wonderful program that affords us all a chance to people-watch or even sing and dance while someone is playing.”
 
We are indeed seeking the donation of more pianos. Each of them will be decorated. Let Danielle know at 514-485-6900, ext. 4205 if you have a lead.
 
We are all very proud to have an icon like Oliver Jones living in our community. He has helped inaugurate public piano programs elsewhere in the city and what a thrill it was for the audience to watch him perform a few tunes.
 
Our city manager Tanya Abramovitch has always wanted to turn Rembrandt into a "culture park." The back of the chalet is uniquely designed with a semi circle of stairs which people can sit on very comfortably. It was the perfect venue for Oliver Jones as there was not bad seat in the house.