OISE Library Tours – Fall 2022

Are you new to OISE? Or are you a returning OISE student who’s just begun in-person learning? Join us for a 30-minute tour of the OISE Library! We’ll show you our collections, introduce you to our study spaces, and answer questions about library services. 

Sign up to attend a tour at the links below: 

Meet us on the ground floor of the OISE Library at the tour start time. See you then! 

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Commemorate Pride Month with OISE Library


When we think of the word “pride”, it is usually associated with queer history and the Stonewall riots in America. Canada however has its own rich history and turning points in the obstacles that led to the eventual celebration of rights and freedoms for the queer community. In 1971, over 100 people gathered around parliament hill for Canada’s first Gay Liberation Protest. People came from all over Ontario and Quebec, especially Toronto and Montreal. The people presented a petition to the government which listed demands for equal rights and protections. In the years that followed, the movement gained momentum. The Bathhouse Raids that took place in 1981 in Toronto proved to be a turning point in the relationship between Toronto police and the queer community as unnecessary arrests led to charges being dropped and training programs being implemented for police. Still, the progress did not end there as incidents that took place in the years that followed, such as the GLAD Day Bookshop Raid and Montreals Katakombes Bar Raids, proved the struggle for equality was ongoing.

Pride Month is a time when we celebrate the diversity of the LGBTQ+ communities. It is a time for healing and a reminder of the importance of living out loud and everyone being their authentic selves. In the month of June, we celebrate being proud of the various identities that exist, however it is something we should be doing year-round. Despite the many victories and growing acceptance of the community, there is still a lot that we must do as any hard-fought rights and freedoms can be taken away.

To help you get started with that work OISE Library has put together a selection of books and films that explore that LGBTQ+ experience from a widespread diversity of perspectives. We encourage all staff, students, faculty and community members to learn from and take with you to your classrooms these resources that encompass a rich LGBTQIA2S+ history and their many cultural contributions.


Struggling to select keywords in your LGBTQ studies research? The following tips might prove useful to you:

  • Using initials such as “LGBT” or “LGBTQIA” as search terms might not give the results you are seeking in the library catalog or available databases due to some scholarship focusing on specific identity groups as opposed to a spectrum of identities.
  • The above initials have been used since the 1990s and reflect the naming conventions of the decades that follow, though the order and the acronym change often.
  • Keep in mind while searching that several terms and subject classifications utilized in academic literature may differ from the language that is used in everyday language and/or activist movements.
  • To enhance your search through the library database(s), ensure you are using Boolean Operators to structure your search terms and maximize results. For example, if your research is based on laws that protect LGBTQ people from discrimination, you might search “legal status” AND “lesbian” OR “bisexual” OR “transgender”.
  • Historic terms which are offensive, outdated or inaccurate may need to be used as search terms. We understand that some of the subject headings are going to be challenging, however it may be important to use these terms, i.e. “homosexual”, “transvestite”, which were concurrent at the time to find historically contemporaneous research.

Example Searches:

  • “gender identity” AND “Canada” AND “cultural norms”
  • “LGBT*” AND “marches” OR “political movements” OR “legal rights”
  • “LGBT*” AND “violence” OR “bullying” OR “discrimination”

Additional resources to support your research:

An Ally’s Guide to Terminology: Talking About LGBTQ People & Equality

PFLAG National Glossary of Terms

Global Terms and Glossary from the Digital Transgender Archive



Children’s Literature

Curriculum Resources


Being Gay Coming Out in the 21st Century Charlotte Angel and Kyle Boyd

Born This Way Shaun Kadlec and Deb Tullmann

Someone Like Me Sean Horlor, Steve J. Adams, Teri Snelgrove, and Shirley Vercruysse

Love, Scott Laurie Marie Wayne and Annette Clarke


Check out the recent book display Display Your Pride at OISE Library located in the Children’s Literature Collection!

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Asian Heritage Month – May 2022

The Government of Canada officially declared May as Asian Heritage Month exactly 20 years ago in 2002. This was following the appointment of Senator Vivienne Poy in Canada who proposed a motion to acknowledge Asian Heritage in Canada, something the federal government failed to do. Since then, Asian Heritage Month continues to recognize the achievements, experiences, and contributions of those who make up the Asian diasporas in Canada.

Since the late 1700’s, immigrants of distinct communities from the Asian continent have made a home in Canada. They brought and continue to bring rich cultural heritage representing a myriad of languages, cultures, and religious traditions. In every aspect of life, the diverse and growing community of Asian Canadians have contributed to their communities in numerous ways. Thus, Asian Heritage Month offers us an opportunity to be mindful of and acknowledge the valuable contributions, sacrifices, sufferings, injustices, and victories Asian Canadians have and continue to experience so that we may honour the integral role they have played.

Now more than ever, Asian Heritage Month also carries an opportunity to reflect on the last couple years in the COVID-19 pandemic as hate crimes against Asian Canadians have risen. According to Statistics Canada, it was reported in July 2020 that many minority communities have been subjected to an increase in harassment due to the intersection of their perceived racialization and the threat of pandemic. These racialized attacks have nearly tripled, especially amongst Chinese, Korean, and Southeast Asian individuals. This year’s theme for Asian Heritage Month is “Continuing a Legacy of Greatness” which reminds us of the importance of coming together as a community to highlight Asian cultures, heritage, and identities and prevent anti-Asian racism and discrimination from taking form.

Canadians of Asian heritage have added a great deal to the social and cultural fabric of our country, and this month gives us the opportunity to explore the incredible diversity of Asian voices and perspectives. The OISE community will find a rich array of works in the library’s collection that highlight Asian stories, authors, and research covering topics of immigration, identity, love, and family. OISE Library remains committed to strengthen our equity and inclusion efforts and encourages the OISE community to explore the prepared lists of items below:

Children’s Books:

Written and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki They Say Blue (2018) follows a young girl as she contemplates colours in the known and the unknown, in the immediate world and the world beyond what she can see.

Written by Hana Chieri Uegaki and illustrated by Qin Leng Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin (2014) serves as a celebration of music and performing arts, multicultural studies and the importance of intergenerational relationships.

Written by Ibitihaj Muhammad The Proudest Blue (2019) is a vibrantly illustrated story that follows two sisters on one’s first day of hijab.

Written by Loretta Seto Mooncakes (2013) is the lyrical story of a young girl who shares the special celebration of the Chinese Moon Festival with her parents. 

Kao Kalia Yang’s A Map into the World (2019) follows a young Hmong girl who settles into her new home, and as the seasons change, so does the world around her.

In A Different Pond (2017) graphic novelist Thi Bui and acclaimed poet Bao Phi deliver a powerful, honest glimpse into a relationship between father and son – and between cultures, old and new.


Drawing on archival and ethnographic research in Canada and the Philippines from 1880 to 2017, Bayanihan and Belonging, written by Alison Marshall, aims to understand the role of religion within present-day Filipino Canadian communities.

In the novel Seven (2020) Farzana Doctor breaks open the taboo subject of khatna (female genital mutilation/cutting) in the Dawoodi Bohra community. Doctor celebrates family and kinship while also making a space for dissent and activism and Seven illustrates a tension between positive and negative community rituals.

Written by Tania Das Gupta Twice Migrated, Twice Displaced (2021) explores the lives of Gulf South Asians who arrived in the Greater Toronto Area from India and Pakistan via Persian Gulf countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century (2022) written by Kim Fu offers a collection of short stories that blurs the boundaries of the real and fantastic, offering intricate and surprising insights into human nature.

Written by Susan Chuang Asian Families in Canada and United States: Implications for Mental Health and Well-Being (2021) focuses on immigrant families of East Asian, Southeast Asian, South Asian, and West Asian ancestry in North America.


Set in 1980’s Sri Lanka Swimming in the Monsoon Sea (2005) by Shyam Selvadurai follows fourteen-year-old Amrith who is caught up in the life of the cheerful, well-to-do household in which he is being raised by his vibrant Auntie Bundle and kindly Uncle Lucky.

Catherine Hernandez’ novel Scarborough (2017) offers a raw yet empathetic glimpse into a troubled community that locates its dignity in unexpected places: a neighbourhood that refuses to be undone.

Written by Vivek Shraya God Loves Hair (2010) is a collection of 21 short stories following a tender, intellectual, and curious child who navigates complex realms of sexuality, gender, racial politics, religion, and belonging.

The Subtweet (2020) written by Vivek Shraya, follows the trajectory of a friendship between two musicians from its formation to its catastrophic demise. Neela and Rukmini are two women living in present-day Toronto, trying to carve out niches for themselves in the crowded and competitive world of the arts.

Kai Cheng Thom’s A Place Called No Homeland (2017) is a debut collection of poems that are written with tenderness as they tell stories of the marginalized, children of the diaspora, queer and transgender communities, and survivors of abuse.

Nidhi Chanani’s Pashmina (2017) is a graphic novel about an Indian American high school girl who wants to know more about her family history.


I Hope We Choose Love (2019) from Kim Cheng Thom is a collection of personal essays and prose poems that proposes heartfelt solutions on the topics of violence, complicity, family, vengeance, and forgiveness. 

We Have Always Been Here (2019) is a compelling coming of age memoir that recounts the childhood of author Samra Habib as an Ahmadi Muslim in Pakistan and the threats she faced from Islamic extremists. 

Chop Suey Nation (2018) documents author Ann Hui’s journey across Canada to answer two questions: Why is there a Chinese restaurant in every small town? And who are the families who run them?

Featuring original essays by a collection of writers from around the world The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives (2018) is an indictment of closing our doors, and a powerful look at what it means to be forced to leave home and find a place of refuge.


Have You Eaten (2020) is a candid short that follows filmmaker Lina Li and her mother who engage in an intimate conversation about immigration to Canada, misunderstandings, barriers to communicating, love and the taste of home.

Highway to Heaven (2020) is short symphonic documentary that offers a glimpse into the unique religious co-existence found along No. 5 Road in Richmond, British Columbia.

Because We Are Girls (2019) follows a conservative Indo-Canadian family in small-town British Columbia who must come to terms with a devastating secret: three sisters were sexually abused by an older relative beginning in their childhood years.

Becoming Labrador (2018) follows a group of Filipino workers having recently landed in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, travelling halfway around the world for jobs they hope will offer their families new opportunities and a better life.

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Earth Day 2022 – The Role of Higher Education

The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) community is dedicated (in it’s role as a leading faculty of education) to addressing the climate crisis and furthering sustainability and climate action in the education context. Over the past year, OISE has developed a Sustainability & Climate Action Plan and launched the Sustainability & Climate Action Network. As a member of the OISE community, the OISE Library is committed to advancing climate action through various activities including promoting access to resources that support climate action initiatives and highlight the influence of teaching, research, and advocacy to address the climate crisis.

In this post we highlight just a few of many e-books and articles that address the role higher education plays in promoting sustainability knowledge and initiatives that create climate solutions.


Education and Climate Change: The Role of Universities (2021 e-book) edited by Fernando M. Reimers, is an open access volume that examines the field of climate change education and highlights past efforts that have failed to sustain effective academic change on a large scale. The book also focuses on the participation of university students and faculty in fostering partnerships with schools and adult education institutions as a viable approach to contributing progressive curricula about climate change. Through several case studies, this approach of developing innovative curriculum is exemplified as the foundation and characteristics of the programs implemented in local contexts is presented and illustrated over the course of several chapters.

University Initiatives in Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation (2019 e-book) edited by Walter Leal Filho and Rafael Leal-Arcas examines the role that higher education institutions play in addressing climate change mitigation and challenges to adaptation. This book offers lessons learned from climate change research, education, studies, and projects in the context of universities across the globe which in turn have promoted new ideas and experiences that have resulted in successful initiatives and best practices.


Turtle Island (North America) Indigenous Higher Education Institutions and Environmental Sustainability Education (2021 article) by Kelsey Leonard investigates Indigenous sustainability education program offerings throughout North America. This article offers a comparative analysis of programming across Indigenous Higher Education Institutions and presents findings that emphasize the significance of environmental and sustainability education program design as presented in Indigenous Higher Education Institutions. The findings also support the importance of Indigenous controlled institutions to centering Indigenous Knowledge in higher education which offers a distinctive approach to climate action.

Assessing climate solutions and taking climate leadership: how can universities prepare their students for challenging times? (2022 article) by P. Molthan-Hill and L. Blaj-Ward initiates discourse surrounding the importance of redesigning university learning to create space where students can address the challenges of climate activism in a way that is personal and meaningful to society. This article refers to the limited number of studies that are currently available to illustrate the importance of climate learning and leadership while drawing on the tools, approaches, and strategies made applicable to curricula to conduct meaningful learning and impact beyond the classroom.

The effect of information source on higher education students’ sustainability knowledge (2021 article) by Jessica Ostrow Michael and Adam Zwickle presents a study of undergraduate students attending Michigan State University assessing their knowledge of environmental sustainability and where their learning source on the topic originated from. The findings suggest that the knowledge students garnered on the topic of sustainability and environmental education at the secondary and post-secondary level had a positive influence on their approach to sustainability knowledge. These findings were drawn in comparison to the limited knowledge students gained from their parents regarding the environment.

Further research support

For assistance finding additional titles related to the role of higher education in promoting climate action (or any other topic!), we welcome all students, faculty, and staff members to drop into the Zoom Reference Hours to speak with one of our librarians or graduate student assistants. Additional research support is also available through one-on-one research consultations. Information for all our research services is located on the Reference and Research Services page.

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OISE Library PhD Workshop Series

We’re excited to announce our upcoming series of workshops for OISE doctoral students! These workshops are tailored to the PhD experience: we’ll help you leverage library resources and tools to find gaps in the literature, strategically prepare for your comps, and take the next step towards publication (+ much more!). 

You can find detailed descriptions of each workshop and register here: 

• March 9: Ask the Library Anything: How can we help with your PhD?
• March 23: Joining the Scholarly Conversation: Finding the Gap and Situating your Work
• April 6: Citation Practice as a Springboard: Beyond Keyword Searching 
April 20: Citation Management as Comps Support: Exploring and Leveraging Zotero 
                   (To be rescheduled! Stay tuned)
• May 4: Getting Published: Taking Your Research to the Next Stage 

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