“Checking out the Toronto Reference Library’s massive vinyl-record collection is about as convenient as lugging a crate full of 12-inch singles to a party. To listen to any of the public institution’s more than 15,000 slabs of wax, visitors need a librarian at the fifth-floor info desk to retrieve whatever they’re looking for from rows of records cordoned off nearby. After filling out a form that asks for a name, address, and phone number, listeners can retreat, record in hand, to one of two cubicles that house a plastic turntable and headphones.” (via Thump)
“A young reader looking to atone for tearing a borrowed comic book has won over Toronto library staff – and many others online – with a handwritten apology note. The note, addressed to “Library” and signed by “Jackson,” explains in large blue writing that a page accidentally ripped after the book fell from the bunk where the child had fallen asleep reading. The boy then writes that he’s sorry and swears “it won’t happen again.” (via Global News)
“Toronto Public Library is crying foul over “unreasonably high” ebook prices that it says limit its titles as demand soars for virtual reading. The organization’s top executive, Vickery Bowles, said publishers charge vastly different prices to libraries than average consumers, and the ebooks come also with many usage restrictions. In an interview with the Star on Tuesday, the city librarian called the prices and conditions “unsustainable,” saying some publishers charge libraries $85 for an ebook while the average consumer gets the same title for only $15.99. “That puts a lot of pressure on our budget,” she said. “We need something that is more reasonable.” (via Toronto Star)
“The Toronto Public Library is ending a fledgling program to buy used books for its collection after authors complained that they were missing out on royalties and the pilot project proved disappointing, the city’s chief librarian said Tuesday. Launched Dec. 1, the initiative allowed Toronto residents to sell used books to the library for $5, provided the titles were on a list of in-demand adult fiction. The purpose of the program was to shorten hold times for readers and save money in a period of budget uncertainty. City Librarian Vickery Bowles acknowledged Tuesday that the project failed on both those counts in its short, four-month life span.” (via Toronto Star)
“For Toronto novelist and lawyer Robert Rotenberg, it’s what the city’s Reference Library doesn’t have that also makes it the perfect place to work on a novel. “I can’t do anything else there but write,” the man behind books such as Stranglehold, Old City Hall and Stray Bullets said Thursday in an interview on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning. “My clients can’t get to me, I can’t do laundry or make a salad. It’s quiet and it’s central.”( via CBC News)
“Janette Shipston Chan is pleased that her days as a stalker at the Toronto Reference Library are over. Not so long ago, the Toronto author spent much of her workday trying to track down essential research material she had used the previous day. “I would roam the floor to see if someone had it on the table,” said Shipston Chan. Those book stalking days are over, now that she’s one of the first local writers to get on board with the new Writers’ Room program at the downtown library.” (via Toronto Star)
“Toronto’s new city librarian hopes to propel the Toronto Public Library system into the future by leading its shift toward digital technology and pioneering new approaches to library service. The library board has appointed Vickery Bowles, currently director of collections management and citywide services, to the top job, effective Jan. 5.
“There are many opportunities ahead for advancing public library service for the 21st century,” Bowles, who has been working for the library for 32 years, said in a statement” (via Toronto Star)
“With hundreds of thousands of archival recordings and millions of pages of notated scores, the Toronto Public Library’s music collection should sing volumes about this city. Instead, it sings like a caged bird. That’s according to Michael Foderick, chair of the Toronto Public Library Board and author of a motion that last year directed staff to report back on the viability of creating a Toronto Music Library to house the bulk of the library’s music-related collections and programming. The motion asked library staff to explore the possibility of centralizing and promoting the library’s audio, video and written music collections, including music-related literature, under one roof.” (via Toronto Star)
“The Toronto Reference Library has long been a popular destination for those looking to enjoy the magic of books.
As of Monday, June 9, it became a place where people can print their own. The Reference Library is now home to an Espresso Book Machine, which allows people to print bound, professional-looking, out-of-print public domain materials or books of their own.” (via ourwinddsor)
“Want to create a unique figurine? Need a new smartphone case? Forget a pottery class or electronics store, just head to Toronto’s Reference Library. For about the cost of a Starbucks latte, you’ll be able to make customized objects like iPhone cases using one of two 3D printers that will be available as of Feb. 4. The machines are among a dozen new technologies featured in the branch’s Digital Innovation Hub, the first of three set to open in the GTA in 2014.” (via Toronto Star)