Located inside East York Community Recreation Centre, Todmorden Room is the smallest branch of the 98. With a maximum capacity of 33 people, the modest size of this facility gave it extra charm, a welcome throw-back to a friendlier, slower era before automated check-out desks and big city anonymity.
The main desk of Todmorden Room was directly in front of the entrance, and my husband Stewart was struck by how the librarian greeted each incoming patron by name. Even though there were only eight people in the library (including two staff members), we kept tripping over each other as we moved up and down the two short aisles.
The only multilingual resource I noticed was a Spanish learning kit with a CD, and the ESL collection had fourteen books (hardly the fault of library with so little space to spare).
As at Woodside Square and Bridlewood, the romance genre was well-represented at Todmorden Room, and it included a couple of titles that caught my fancy: “Kidnapped by the Cowboy” and “Outback Boss, City Bride.” I hope the city bride and the cowboy’s love hostage brought their feminist theory texts with them to the countryside.
As I exited the room, I noticed a cream-coloured locker beside the check-out desk, possibly a hand-me-down from the gym down the hall. I liked how the library seemed to be a well-integrated part of the community centre, which also offered swimming and martial arts classes. The librarian told me that families often coordinate their trips to the library around activities at the centre. Way to go, plucky Todmorden Room!
(Note: the text of this post dates to my first visit in 2009, but the photos were taken in 2012)