During the month of October, libraries and library partners across Canada raise awareness of the value created by the library resources and services. At the time of my childhood, I perceived libraries as book storage space that I could easily visit from time to time. Over the years, much has changed in terms of my perception of libraries as well as in terms of services offered by libraries. Today, libraries actively engage in the community, provide educational programs, promote cultural awareness and support freedom of expression. “The World at Your Fingertips” was the name of one of the campaigns launched for Canadian Library Month (CLM) which closely reflects my perception of what libraries stand for. In 2018, the selected theme for CLM celebration is “A Visit Will Get You Thinking” which is why I decided to go on a little library spree:
Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library (Toronto)
Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library is the largest repository of publicly accessible rare books and manuscripts in Canada. The collection of rare books presented in the library includes pieces from around the world. That said, the strength of the library is in the field of British, European and Canadian literature, philosophy, theology, political science and the history of science and medicine.
Thomas Fishes Rare Books Library has a remarkable collection of books with some notable pieces being Nurenberg Chronicle (1493), Shakespeare’s First Folio (1623), and Newton’s Principia (1687). In April 2018, the library acquired its 15 millionth item. The newest addition to the library’s collection, Caxton Cicero by William Caxton, is in fact the oldest English – language book in Canada.
In order to marvel at the library’s collection and have access to the books, you will need to purchase a day pass. If you are travelling to Toronto, trip to Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library is certainly a great day activity. If Toronto is not your home base, you can access some of the library’s catalogue and audio records over the internet.
What the visit to Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library got me thinking about?
Vancouver Public Library
Vancouver’s largest library looks like modern- day Colosseum with a secret garden located at the rooftop level. In addition to its profound book collection, numerous meeting rooms, diverse educational programs and theatre, the library facilitates digital literacy programs and provides fee-free access to recording studios and editing equipment. Vancouver is a very dynamic and diverse city so the opportunity to learn and use the technology that promotes the idea of being seen and connected really fits the community making library services relevant and valuable.
What my visit to Vancouver Public Library got me thinking about? The tradition of storytelling will last as long as the world does. Storytelling has started as verbal narration of real and imaginative events to one’s own community. Many things have changed overtime but we still communicate via stories today. That said, our communication mediums and audience reach have been expanded far beyond … I am very happy to see how relevant and resourceful Vancouver Public Library is in terms of inspiring, enabling and promoting storytelling. Being an aspiring storyteller, I should certainly make use of the valuable resources that my taxes get me free access to.