So… Here we are already. Friday! Made it. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve had a good week. I feel like I got some serious work done. I’ve had some fun, too.
I’m actually in Toronto at the moment. It’s a beautiful, crispy fall day here — warm in the sun, cool in the shade, with fresh-smelling air and trees just hinting at imminent colour-change.
Because I still have work to do, I’ve plunked myself down at the Bloor-Gladstone library — a big old edifice on Bloor St. near Dufferin. Because I grew up not far from here, this is one of the libraries where I used to come as a child. We used to come and hang out in the basement, where they stocked the kids books. Eventually, we graduated upstairs, to the ‘grown-up’ books.
I’m sitting upstairs now, but this ain’t the library of my youth. It’s been completely renovated — though I’m pleased to say, to amazing effect. In its new incarnation, the library is bright and airy. I am sitting in a giant, comfy chair equipped with a little lap-top sized table. All around me, people are busily working on their computers, reading, and generally sharing in the special kind of communal productivity one finds at a library.
Here’s a hilarious article from NOW Magazine (Toronto’s free weekly) about the renovations: http://www.nowtoronto.com/news/story.cfm?content=170827
And after working at a university library for so long, it’s interesting to be back at a public one. I’m fascinated by the diversity of this audience. I love that high school kids are doing homework, and old people are learning how to use the internet. There are lots of different faces here – all colours, all ages, all levels of income. All sharing a single space that’s dedicated to information.
It’s been interesting, too, to revisit a place that was once really familiar, only to find it completely changed. In many ways, of course, I have changed too. The young me who used to sit amongst the kids books is long gone. Who would of imagined, then, that I’d be a graduate student at Queen’s? Heck, the young me probably won’t even be able to fathom that I’d ever been in my mid-thirties, plunking out text on a laptop, accessing anything I want thanks to a crazy device called the Internet.
Yep, times have changed. I have too. It’s been interesting to hang out in a space that’s a physical embodiment of those changes…