Library of Things We Can Learn from Each Other

September 26, 2019 – January 31, 2020

Library of Things We Can Learn from Each Other is an evolving, temporary collection of community insights. The participatory project welcomes into circulation skills and knowledge from community members on a broad range of topics, from the everyday and instructional to abstract and conceptual. Embracing non-expert and experience based knowledge, practical, theoretical or intuitive understandings, the content of the library reflects the interests of the people who contribute to it and celebrates the unique assets each person brings to the community. In addition to the circulating collection, the Library of Things We Can Learn from Each Other contains reference material and a reading room for public use and functions as a site to browse, borrow, lend and connect.

In The Press Etobicoke’s Lakeshore Arts launches knowledge-sharing community project

How to Participate

Lend: what practical skill, niche interest or theoretical understanding can you teach someone else about? Come by the library to submit your thing we can learn from into the public collection of items on loan to the community. 

You can also review and fulfill existing requests for knowledge from community members. If you can’t make it into the physical library but would like to enter an insight into the collection, please fill out this form to submit. 

Borrow: Scan the selection of community knowledge in the library to find a topic you would like to learn more about or put in a request with the curatorial team who will coordinate the loan! If there is a subject you would like to learn about that doesn’t appear in the community offering, submit a public request either in person or online using this form.

Browse: You don’t have to lend or borrow to enjoy the library. We have a reading room and reference books on site for you to peruse at your leisure. 

Free School

The Library of Things We Can Learn from Each Other will also be hosting free school sessions that invite community members to share their skills in a group setting.

Past Free School Events

Structural Engineering for Non-structural Engineers with Rebecca Pringlemeir
Saturday, January 25, 1 – 2 pm | 2422 Lake Shore Blvd West

Structural Engineering for non-structural Engineers will be a down to earth presentation answering some of the following questions: What does a structural engineer do? How are they different than civil engineers and architects? What are the main concepts that they work with? How do I know if I need one to look at my building?
Structural Engineering for non-structural Engineers will include time for questions and discussion, so be sure to come prepared with questions for facilitator Rebecca Pringlemeir.

Rebecca Pringlemeir P.Eng, works for a Canadian engineering firm CIMA+ where she is an Associate Partner and the Manager of Structural Engineering / Infrastructure, and local Mom and longtime Mimico resident.  Rebecca has 22 year experience as a structural engineer with a specialty in your water and wastewater systems in Southern Ontario. Her projects include water tanks, waste water tanks, water and waste water treatment buildings and facilities.

How to Care for House Plants with Jackie’s Jungles
Wednesday, January 29, 7 – 8:30 pm | 2422 Lake Shore Blvd West

How to Care for Houseplants with Jackie’s Jungles will focus on how to identify the right plant for you and your space, how to select plants and where to buy, how to curate a plant in the right pot, how to water and maintain, how to integrate plants into your home long term, how to propagate and modify your plant and how to identify and take care of pests. This Free School session will also include an optional plant swap: participants are encouraged to bring a rooted plant from their house to exchange with others in attendance.

How to Take the Perfect Selfie with Eleanor Maim 
Thursday, November 28, 7 – 8 pm | 2422 Lake Shore Blvd West

What does your camera roll look like? Probably sandwiched somewhere between dank memes, random screenshots and your last meal out, you’ll find a series of pictures of your straining, struggling face desperately trying to find the right angle, the ideal lighting, the appropriate expression. And perhaps, if you’re lucky, you caught the perfect picture somewhere between snap eight and 10,000. Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

In How To Take the Perfect Selfie, you’ll receive all the necessary skills required to hone your selfie game and properly edit that mug with tips sourced from the best bloggers, makeup artists and influences across Instagram. Get ready to pout, tilt and work that face like you never have before.

The purpose of this project is to explore the idea of expression and tailored image in the age of social media. While presented in a mocking style, students will walk away with actual tools they can use when taking their own selfies but overall, the intention is to highlight an obsession with online validation and confront self-absorbed tendencies that Internet culture has instilled in all of us, from the most active to the seemingly reluctant participant.

Sewing Basics 101 with Kim Dayman 
Saturday, November 30, 1 – 3 pm | 2422 Lake Shore Blvd West

Whether it’s hand sewing or using a sewing machine there are some basic principles and tips that will help you when embarking on sewing projects. Come learn with teacher Kim Dayman, who has taught sewing and fashion classes for over a decade. Get hands-on advice and coaching, test out a sewing machine for the first time and get some helpful handouts. Can cover utilitarian sewing projects like hemming, buttons and mending or more decorative items like home décor, fashion and accessories. Great opportunity for all skill levels! Bring any projects you want help on, basic beginner supplies (fabric, needles etc.) will be provided. Limited tools and equipment will be available for use during the session. 

Kim Dayman has been teaching and facilitating art classes and projects for all ages in a variety of artistic media for the past 20 years. A graduate of OCADU she has a BFA with a major in printmaking and a minor in material art and design. She started sewing at the age of 12 with help from her grandmother and by 18 was making her own clothes and could fix a sewing machine (this was before youtube!). She was the resident fashion and fabric instructor at the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga for 6 years and while she doesn’t sew as much these days as she’d like, she loves passing on her passion for D.I.Y. projects and empowering people to become makers themselves.

Urban Foraging + Learning to Identify Wild Vegetables with Monika Muelman 
Thursday, December 5, 7 – 9 pm | 2422 Lake Shore Blvd West

We often get lost in the packaging in our ever-growing world full of preservatives. But where does the food really come from? In the summer months, many of us garden and grow vegetables in our backyards.

What is foraging? Foraging is the act of finding and gathering or harvesting wild foods.

“Wild” is a relative term – we can find foods just about anywhere: in parks, backyards, front yards, farmlands, pastures, woods, mountainsides. 

We came from a long line of foragers.

“least one conclusion remains unchanged: we have come from a long lineage of opportunistic foragers, and for millions of years both the natural diet and the foraging strategies of hominids resembled those of their primate ancestors”

“Diminishing returns in gathering and hunting led to a gradual extension of incipient cultivation present in many foraging societies, and foraging and agriculture commonly coexisted for very long periods of time”

In this foraging workshop, we will cover: where to begin, dos & don’ts and ‘try this’ (what’s in the GTA, wild & edible)

Monika Muelman is a local South Etobicoke resident and owner of the shop The Healing Muse, a boutique specialty gift herbal shop, aroma bar, eco hub, gardeners community, seed library, community garden, sprout nursery and the source for everything green and healthy.

Kulintang with Pantayo 
Wednesday, December 11, 7 – 9 pm | 2422 Lake Shore Blvd West

KuliVersity is an introduction to the history, contemporary practice, and performance of Kulintang, instrumental music grounded in the traditions of the Maguindanaoan & T’boli peoples of the Philippines. Participants will focus on learning the basics of practicing Kulintang in the context of Filipino-Diasporia. This Free School session with Pantayo will include an opening performance, historical context, Q&A, and hands-on workshop.

Pantayo is an all-women lo-fi R&B gong punk queer collective based in Toronto. They combine percussive metallophones and drums from kulintang traditions of Southern Philippines and synth-based electro grooves.

Interested in hosting your own free school session? Submit your idea below.

Free School sessions are open to anyone who is interested to host on any topic (barring subjects that are hateful or harmful). No previous facilitation experience is required and facilitators will receive a small honorarium for their time, as well as a small material fee if appropriate. If you’re interested in hosting a Free School session please submit an application here.

UPDATE: We are no longer accepting applications to host Free School sessions as part of the Library of Things We Can Learn from Each Other, but we are exploring the possibility of continuing this event series beyond the scope of the project. As such, we are still accepting proposals to be considered for potential future programming.

Contact our curator Jacqui at 416-201-7093 or with questions or to submit to the library!