RedbeltWatch: July 2010

I use Redbelt as a proxy for “crappy U.S. movies the library bought too many of.” I see copies in every branch, including Gerrard/Ashdale and Beaches (and Jones, and Reference, and Yorkville, and Wychwood).

Copy of ‘Redbelt’ from Beaches
Two copies of ‘Redbelt’ from Gerrard/Ashdale

But yes, they do have Adoration, “a film by/un film de Atom Egoyan.”

‘Adoration’ case from Beaches

Actually, the packaging on both look pretty similar, doesn’t it?


Shelving unit

Yesterday’s puff piece in the Star about just how healthy (indeed fabulous) Ontario’s libraries are struck me as a bit much – especially because I agree with the premise. And really, wasn’t there a source outside the demimonde of library administratrixen that Lynda Hurt could have canvassed?

But it was Tara Walton’s file photo (file, I emphasize) that took the cake.

Jane Pyper pulls a Tim Winton book off a shelf, or slides it into that same shelf

This is sort of like a picture of Jimmy Carterin booties – touring a nuclear plant.

Mags 2 Buy

I have asked around and determined it is functionally impossible to suggest a new magazine subscription to the library. Payment of subscriptions is centralized; so are receipt and distribution of anything that isn’t quick-turnaround, like a newsweekly. But to a large extent, branches decide what magazines they’re getting. For most neighbourhood branches, they have sole discretion; I expect it is only at district branches that headquarters meddles.

I was told I’d have to determine which branch suits the title best, then go there and make a case. As if! For the love of God, why is it so hard to make suggestions to the library?

I give up. Here’s what the library needs:

  • U.K. and Italian Wired: Two magazines distinct from each other and from U.S. Wired, though a few articles from the latter make it into the other two. I’ve held both of these in my hands and they are not fly-by-night operations. They’re gonna be around for a while.

    U.K. and Italian ‘Wired’ covers

    The Italian version is especially important because I am tired of the assumption that every reader of a third-language periodical at TPL is a pensioner from the old country. I know College St. has changed a lot, but on many occasions I have walked down there and heard people younger than me actually speaking Italian. Give them something to read. College/Grace branch is a logical location.

    For the U.K. edition, how about Deer Park?

    But really, why not just accept that College/Grace is more or less near what passes for the technology hubs of this town and put all three editions there?

  • Mr. Bret Easton Ellis on ‘Fantastic Man’ cover Fantastic Man: This alternative men’s fashion magazine is already an institution and is a big fish in a small pond. I don’t see any men’s fashion magazines at the library at all, not even Arena Homme+. It would inevitably end up in the pile of dog-eared magazines at Yorkville, though on the grounds of basic æsthetic suitability belongs at Gladstone, which has an absolutely pathetic magazine selection.

  • Monocle: Northern District has the sole subscription, which, as of last month, hasn’t even started yet. This one also belongs at Gladstone. Expensive, because subscribers are treated as investors and pay much more than single-copy purchasers. (I could have given the library my old back issues. But I got so tired of the thing I got rid of them. This does not mean the library shouldn’t subscribe.)

  • Also, circulating copies of dull graphic-design magazines like Communication Arts. Eye circulates but that one doesn’t, which makes next to no sense.

Now, don’t try to tell me I’m too late on these things, or that these periodicals are too marginal. I saw a hideously-typeset notice at Riverdale branch that it would soon be subscribing not only to Spacing but to Dandyhorse. Plus the library got on the Muslim Girl bandwagon early, and look how that turned out.