One early evening at Jones I returned some items, chatted with my pal, then suddenly realized every single person who worked at the branch was right there behind the desk all at once. Seven of them.

I told them what I saw, and they all gave me exactly the same wry half-smile. We agreed telepathically that I wouldn’t take a picture.


Yelp twits

Did you know that twits on Yelp are now “reviewing” TPL branches? I didn’t. And in all fairness, the overwhelming theme is appreciation and outright love. Except:

  • Jones is too Chinese.

  • Gladstone is too loud. (It is!) So is High Park. (Is it?)

  • College/Shaw, while over-chilled in summer, is friendlier than Beaches and Palmerston. I thought I was the only one who visited such far-flung branches. I actually think CS is packed to the walls (self-checkout significantly worsened space management there) and is fundamentally unpleasant.

  • To my surprise, there weren’t any complaints about fistfighting or switchblade-wielding homeless at City Hall.

  • Queen/Saulter is a tad underwhelming inside. (Because they barely have two pennies to rub together and everything of remote interest goes out on hold or gets snatched up before it even hits the desk.)

  • Lillian H. Smith is “dirty.” (It is.)

  • Barbara Frum: “Yiddish collections can be found here… which are not really common in other libraries I[’ve] been to.”

  • The reason for being of Swansea is effectively questioned by the Millennials who use Yelp, which is enough to confirm the reason for being of Swansea.

What else got reviewed? Urban Affairs. Seated in a folding chair at a union meeting somewhere, Adam Chaleff-Freudenthaler shudders and chokes back a tear.

Reign of terror

My same acquaintance who was afraid to talk to me at a first branch is now afraid to talk to me at a second. And, before my very eyes, the head of the latter branch took my pal aside for a little chat after he dared to talk to me.

When people tell me library staff are getting the fuck out of the system because they can’t put up with their managers anymore, I believe them.

38 new Browseries

Best Bets used to be single-week-loan no-holds books at certain branches. The policy was changed – I could link you to the PDF, but why bother – and now they are simply no-holds books with three-week renewable loan periods.

Best Bets just got better: Three-week loan, renwable

Essentially, then, every Best Bets collection – I count 38 open today – is now a mini-Browsery, as the treatment of such materials is indistinguishable from those in the two extant Browseries. And as such they render those two Browseries’ books obsolete, though this news has not quite reached TRL.


Update (the next day): Without even having to ask the question, somebody at the desk at TRL told me the loan period of its Best Bets autoflipped to three weeks on July 1. So it’s just a question of ugly homegrown signage and covering up stickers with other stickers.