On my maiden voyage addressing the board, I didn’t expect absolutely nothing to happen. I certainly didn’t expect the board to be baffled into stupefaction by its own procedures, which board secretary (“Administrative Coordinator, City Librarian’s Office”) Nancy Marshall insisted I follow.

I expected to be ignored, an active choice. I didn’t expect nothing to happen.

Further: I am in the top percentile of civilians who follow the minutiæ of the library. Yet I had Janet Davis tell me, in that quiet tone she adopts that cannot help but sound condescending, that the circulation budget was restored in Raymond Cho’s successful motion at Council. It was? I have no explanation as to how I did not know this fact. If it is.

I expected TTC levels of feigned interest. (And TTC-like deployment of procedure to nullify my contribution.) But I didn’t expect nothing.

Barring calamity, though, I am going to outlive the hacks, pikers, ringers, and lobbyists – and the Mr. Magoo manqué – now seat-filling the board. Of course they’re going to stonewall me to the extent possible. (And, because it’s a public institution, I’ll be able to prove it.) Here’s a shocker, though: I’ve decided to kill them with kindness.

When the Toronto Transit Commission were being dicks, I decided there were enough transit fans out there to arrange a tour of the unique design of subway stations. Thus was born the TTC Type & Tile Tour, held across consecutive Sundays to quite a bit of acclaim. In fact, the other week a chick walked up to me in the subway and asked me to put on another tour.

I will. But this time, we’ll tour the library.

Pre-announcing the
Sue-Ann Levy Memorial Library Crawl

Are you a leftard? A right-wing asshole? Does it vary by the day? Are you neither? Well, come one, come all to a whirlwind tour of signature Toronto Public Library branches.

We’ll wait till the snow melts a little, and you’ll need a handful of tokens or a TTC pass, but expect krazy mixed-up shit like:

  • A tour of the first eight feet of depth of the Hariri Pontarini–designed Pape/Danforth branch

  • Tripling, in one fell swoop, the occupancy of the superdelightful Todmorden Room

  • A tragic tale of RFID Gone Wrong at the oldest branch in the city, Yorkville

  • A quiet interlude in the contemplation tank at Gladstone, assuming it hasn’t been deemed a safety hazard again, which it obviously isn’t

  • Flat-out fandom at the sight of renovation done right at Runnymede

First attendee to set off an alarm walking into a branch gets a vintage library copycard loaded with five Canadian dollars.

If all goes well, we can do the same thing a month later in another corner of the city. Say, hasn’t Northern Elms been in the news lately? I daresay it could use a dozen people showing up at once. Or we could just do the Bookmobile. I promise you that would be the highlight of your week.

Don’t worry, TPL!

You’ll have plenty of notice to fill the affected branches with security guards and worried “femwriters” transfixed with deer-in-headlights expressions. But you can’t keep us out. If you’re smart, you’ll come along. Why wouldn’t you? You’re invited. Everybody is.

Are you Sue-Ann Levy?

You can come too! We can trade hamentaschen recipes and dish! dish! dish! about what’s wrong with Pride.