So. After my crap experience at Shchuka, I decided to go where I knew I’d be wanted – TPL’s smallest branch, the Todmorden Room (TOD), located in a community centre at Pape and Torrens.

The place is the size of a bachelor apartment. It’s barely bigger than the bookmobile.

Circulation desk in cluttered corner

But like the bookmobile, it has nearly everything you need in a branch – everything except foreign-language books, which “didn’t move,”  librarian Linda said. We had a nice chat. I’ve never had a librarian tell me “Nice to meet you” before.

Paper chrysanthemum sits on top of bookshelf alongside NON-FICTION sign

Yes, they do interloans occasionally. The magazine selection isn’t great, but Todmorden has what could be the only DVD section in the city that isn’t completely picked over half an hour after opening. (How many feature DVDs did Shchuka have? I counted them: Three. Seriously, you call that a library?)

Todmorden’s oldest patron is over a century old and still walks there. Judging by the number of bins, the throughput of this branch is much larger than you’d expect. S. Walter Stewart branch is just down the road, but maybe people like it here more. I can see the reason. It seemed that Linda knew everybody who came in, and it wasn’t just a matter of recognizing a face. Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name.


2 thoughts on “Todmordenned

  1. I grew up across the street from the Todmorden Room; it was my local library until I was 9. I’m pretty sure that it’s bigger now than it was in the ’70s.

    It was quite a culture shock when we moved to Scarborough and my new local branch was the comparatively cavernous Albert Campbell.

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