I Can Show you the World

Have a magic carpet? No? My neither. But, that’s okay! BECAUSE, if he gets his way, designer Noah Ortmann wants you to be able to log a journey throughout Toronto via the Toronto Public Library’s passport program. Now that the Big Smoke is home to 100 public library branches (!), Ortmann has created this whimsical way of exploring the city’s plethora of branches, as well as encouraging patrons to investigate the 100 unique neighbourhoods that define them, all while collecting passport stamps in the terribly cute TPL Passport.

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I love this idea, not just because it engages patrons with branches, neighbourhoods, and geography, but also because I think it’s a great way for parents and children to explore the wonders of a city and its library’s collection, all while playing a game!

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Nyet Nyet Soviet

Be sure to check out the pretty spectacular reading map I created for my Reader’s Advisory class this summer semester. It’s called baBOOKsha, and I based it around one of my favourite travelogues, Jonathan Dimbleby’s Russia: A Journey to the Heart of a Land and its People, which was given to me by my aunt prior to my trip to the Motherland in May 2010. Enjoy!

The Specialist of Libraries

I’m currently enrolled in a Special Libraries course at UWO, which focuses on libraries that are beyond Public, Academic and those found within schools. What I’ve learned is that there are numerous ways Special Libraries can manifest themselves. And, oh man, look at this one people.com posted today. Hint: it features CATS!

DIY Generation

I live in a DIY generation. I think it maybe started with the Home&Garden Network (since re-dubbed HGTV), but suddenly, everyone was a weekend interior decorator, landscaper, carpenter, general contractor, wedding planner, pastry chef, etc., etc., etc. So, why not also be a librarian?

One of my favourite news outlets, VICE, just published an intriguing article about the rise of DIY Libraries. These niche spaces are attempting to recapture the social aspects of books, emphasize “the power of the collective over the power of cash,” and celebrate the physicality of books in a world that is seeing traditional libraries move away from harbouring large print collections.

After reading this article, I assisted a customer at the shop in which I work, who was looking to purchase a gift for her father. She was looking for a wooden bird that he could use to decorate the sign for the DIY library he was busy establishing at his cottage. Retired and looking for a summer hobby, he decided to create a space that could be shared and enjoyed by all of his Muskoka neighbours, proving that DIY libraries are not merely the pets of NYC hipsters.

It sort of made me want to start one of my own.