I went to the library rally last week. I have never been to a union rally before. I suppose this makes me an outlier among library supporters, but what doesn’t.

(The last time I had anything to do with the union was the first day of the strike. So I guess I attended that rally, too. It was in the ostensible picket line at City Hall that I had an excruciating conversation with that former Boardmember and his editrix missus, who think I am some kind of fascist despite agreeing on essentially every single issue. With an attitude like that, they could be TPL management.)

Anyway. Mo was no more dysfluent than I expected, but errantly claimed the survival of the library is at stake. It manifestly is not. The library will survive. What’s at stake, on paper at present, is whether or not the library gets a 1.2%, 1.3%, or 1.5% budget increase or a 0.6% decrease.

I have trouble following the library budget. I read a lot of economics papers and I admit embarrassment at being confused by something as simple as a departmental budget. But I am. So when we were told that the first year’s operating costs for Fort York and Scarborough Civic Centre are being buried in another line-item in the city budget and not in the library budget, I was shocked that this kind of jiggery-pokery is going on but not shocked that I needed somebody else to inform me of it.

The union is organizing at a much grander scale than before, which in all likelihood will at least achieve the goal of increasing the budget by some small amount. But at the City Hall rally: Continue reading “Hush-hush”


What I can’t get an answer to

Here are some questions I can’t get an answer to.

  • What happened to Paris Is Burning and Winter Kept Us Warm, two titles I’ve put a lot of effort into

  • The question of the unwritten and laughable “criteria” for buying TV shows on DVD: Why does the library buy Star Trek in various instantiations, but not Space: 1999? The X-Files but not Twin Peaks? Marginal U.S. cable dramas (Mildred Pierce, Boss) but not Thirtysomething or Family? Battlestar Galactica but not its sequel, Caprica? (cf. Doctor Who/Torchwood)

  • How the library actually got copies of Paragraph 175 and Beyond Gay

  • Is TPL willing to cough up megabucks for the educational version of a documentary or just sit tight and wait for the retail version? (I think I know the answer: For NFB titles, maybe yes. Otherwise the library bides its time till the price drops, as happens with academic books from e.g. Routledge)

  • Why we can’t strike a Beguiling-like deal with Swipe Books

  • Replacing worn-out items with perennial demand, like Star Wars films

  • How to order a book series (in this case, Penguin Lines)

  • Why the library, despite telling me it never does so, buys single copies of anything (third languages excepted)

  • Should TPL buy the original Norwegian editions of Karl Ove Knausgård’s My Struggle and A Man in Love? (Answer: Yes. Also, there’s a blue-form saga behind the former)

  • When Criterion comes out with an allegedly superior pressing of an old movie like La cage aux folles, do we stick with the pressing we already have?

And, most pressingly of all, why management puts the screws to frontline employees who try to help me. (Four known cases so far.)