Toronto Public Library Pilgrimage of 100 Branches

Library Blog Interview!

I was delighted to meet Vit Wagner, Publishing Reporter for the Toronto Star this afternoon. We spent half an hour at a café talking about my quest to visit and write about all 99 Toronto Public Libraries. Afterwards, there was even a photo session in front of Saint James Town Library, courtesy of Star Photographer, Tara Walton. After this experience, I am now no longer allowed to wail to my husband, “Nobody reads my blog!”

Update: and here it is – Burning through the branches.

7 replies on “Library Blog Interview!”

Today’s Star article led me here! Most interesting and only sorry I didn’t know about it earlier…must do some catching up. How does one go about finding blogs? Is there a general directory out there? Word of mouth? So much to read and so little time!

Hi, I read your interview in today’s Toronto Star. Your idea for a blog about libraries is truly, for lack of a better word (and of course, no pun is intended) “novel”. It’s great to read the insights of someone who synthesizes the entire library experience.

I wanted to respond to one part of your interview, in regard to TPL branches people have probably not thought of visiting, nor had the opportunity of visiting. I work at the Woodside Square branch, which as you mentioned looks quite sharp with its 2007 renovation and relocation. The Woodside Square library in fact has the highest circulation amongst all neighbourhood branches in Toronto. In fact, Woodside even beats multi-leveled District libraries such as Eatonville in frequent survey statistical analyses, and frequently comes within striking distance of other District libraries such as Malvern when it comes to holds placed and holds fulfillment. Another interesting note is our hours of operation have increased beyond that of some District branches. Our library collection, despite its size, can practically never stay on the shelf. It’s always a “fire sale” at Woodside!

A lot of people do know about Woodside Square branch, and we serve our extremely diverse and multicultural community well. You did mention we are busy, and I can concur with this. I find time to blink my eyes at home. If you want to fully engage in the Woodside experience, I would like to extend an invitation to you to come in on a Saturday. As mentioned in the Toronto Star “clearly the days of the disapproving librarian shushing visitors is over”. I can also agree with this statement as I am pretty sure the noise level of enthusiastic patrons has contributed to my tinnitus.

Woodside Square, for years has always been a statistical anomaly given its size and location, even when it was part of SPL (Scarborough Public Library) The latest statistics are available at any of the branches, I am sure if you inquired to see it, it would be shown to you by staff or the branch manager.

Woodside Square Library is what I would call “the little library that could!”.

Congrats … on your article. How exciting. I like your blog. I know what you mean… I am always wondering about who if any reads mine!

Hi Catherine,
I’ve been an occasional lurker in your library-oriented blog. Nice to see your quest getting some recognition. Carnegie funding was widespread – some Edinburgh libraries benefited too.

Good luck with your trek through all 99 TPL branches!

I did it several years ago, in one calendar year, and have repeated the cycle of visits at least once since then. It is an arduous, but mostly-enjoyable, task.

Best wishes,

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