The 99-Branch Club

In a Same Planet, Different Worlds scenario, I only just discovered Catherine Raine, an American émigrée to Canada who has assigned herself the task of visiting all 99 Toronto Public Library branches. She’s up to 74 or 75 already over a two-year period.

Catherine describes her project thus:

My admiration for the TPL system started seven years ago when my husband Stewart and I immigrated to Canada. During my very first week in Toronto, I applied for a library card at Deer Park. By 2006, I had visited quite a few different branches before I decided it would be interesting to visit all of them. When I mentioned this idea to Stewart, he encouraged me to blog about it. Hesitant at first, I became more and more enthusiastic about describing the various branches. My first two posts in the fall of 2007 provided quite brief notes, but by January 2008 I was starting to write much fuller descriptions.

Now I’m in the process of fleshing out the earlier entries and making plans to visit the remaining 26 branches still unknown to me.

Catherine is unwittingly following in the footsteps of transit fans, some of whom take it upon themselves to visit all 69 subway stations on the same day. The phrases “every-station club” and “69-station club” (blog) have come to be used for these people.

Hence Catherine Raine is the founder of the 99-Branch Club. Somebody’s gotta do it.

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4 thoughts on “The 99-Branch Club

  1. It’s quite a head-trip to be an unwitting founder of a club! I haven’t had hordes of eager participants clamouring to join the 99-Branch Club, but I welcome the possibility.

  2. Lovers of Toronto Public Libraries will enjoy a book called The Incident Report, which is written by a TPL librarian, and is a fictional account of life on the business end of a library reference desk. Not just funny (but it is funny!) The Incident Report is a touching story with a surprise ending. The format is kind of weird, but once you get through the first few ‘reports’ it all makes sense. And it gives you a new respect for the women who man the desks, so to speak.

    McQuaid.

  3. What a great idea—sign me up!

    I set a similar goal for myself a few years back when I was still in high school, but I haven’t really been pursuing it much lately (I’m still just shy of a dozen branches). Rest assured, this is still something I’d like to pursue, and now I know there are others out there who do as well!

    P.S. love the blog, Joe!

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