Friday, Friday…

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:

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…

Happy weekending!



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2 responses to “Friday, Friday…

  1. Jane

    Ah, I love libraries… and I loved this one even before the renovations. It looks swanky and all (and I loved the article you linked to), but tell me: does the Bloor-Gladstone still smell the same? Does it still smell like dusty old books?

  2. TPL is a fantastic system. I have done many a paper within the walls of those libraries…with a cup of coffee beside me and internet radio playing thru my headphones (yay Free WiFi!)

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