Saturday, August 16, 2014

288. Public Library / Bibliotheque Publique, North Bay, Ontario, Canada

This library began as a Carnegie library in 1914, but I was not able to clearly identify the older part of the building, although I walked all the way around the outside. The sign in front (see first picture below) says "Welcome Visitors. We have free Wi-Fi and computer access." Very nice. The other side of the sign says "Traveling? Borrow a GPS."

This is another library that provides "living room" settings for browsers and readers. This is also the first truly bilingual library I've visited. My high school French was almost up to the task of matching French to English signs, and it was fun to try. Roman = Fiction; Primieres Lectures = First Readers;

One thing that struck me was the number of signs. In addition to the ones on the outside signboard, here are some I copied:
* The library reserves the right to check bags, briefcases...
* Children may not be alone in the library if under 10 years old: It's the law.
* You must present your card... (Where I work, we are often asked for, and grant, exceptions, with ID.)
* Due to the sensitivity of public and staff please do not wear scents. (As this was in the AV section on the lower level, it seems that it might be too late if someone came in highly scented.)

Perhaps my favorite sign was a display of pictures found in returned books, with the question "Did you leave one of these pictures in your book?"

Other things I noticed: This library lends cake pans, and has a collection that would rival the collection in the Osage, Iowa, Public Library. The summer reading club is for ages 6 to 10, a narrower range than I usually see. The Dewey Decimal labels on non-fiction books appear to be all handwritten. "Speed Read" books are similar to rental books in my home library, but they circulate for one week and the overdue fine is $1.00 a day; ours are a flat 25 cents a day and the patron can keep it ... forever, I guess!

I saw about a dozen public computers and noticed that each computer has a name rather than a number: Tennyson, Orwell, Swift. The microfilm reader is named Minnie. Wouldn't it be more fun to say "Orwell needs to be rebooted," rather than referring to SV-10, for example?

The most striking feature of the AV collection was the number of TV series DVDs. I actually counted about 50 5-foot shelves of them; that's ten five-foot sections, each five shelves high. You name a TV show, they probably have it.

They also already had a display of Robin Williams' movies.

I chatted with a staff person who told me that her daughter has a MLS degree and works upstairs; which TV show does that conjure?*

For more about this library, have a look at

8/13/2014, car

I parked and entered the library here.

In my effort to spot remnants of the original Carnegie library, I walked around to this side--
and I'm still not sure. Maybe where the chimney is?
*All In the Family, of course.

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