• wonderpens

      Such love and respect for all that you do! Librarians are sometimes underappreciated in this age of Google and technology, but so much of the programming and community building is so important to the fabric of our neighbourhoods.

  1. Peter

    I also love the TPL system. It is perhaps my favourite thing about Toronto (other than Wonder Pens, of course!).

    I have been lucky enough to visit all 100 branches of the TPL, several times over. And all by TTC. It is a great way to explore the city, and have a look into the many varied neighbourhoods that hide behind all of the main streets.

    You produced a great list of reads for the TPL, Liz. Well done!

    • wonderpens

      Wow, I’m impressed! I have been to a few more now, since I’ve given up keeping track, and I love seeing the differences in the older, historic libraries and some of the new modern ones. Maybe one day it’ll be a summer challenge for us and Caleb and the TTC – he loves the subway and the streetcars.

  2. Patricia

    Liz, love your ode to public libraries and your recommended reading list. I haven’t been to your wonderful store for some time, but your latest blog reminds me to get back to your store and to my local library.

    • wonderpens

      We’ll hope to see you soon! But if your travels don’t bring back into our neighbourhood, I’ll hope that you had time for a visit to your local library. There’s nothing like the library in fall πŸ™‚

      Thanks so much for reading!

  3. Ruth E. Martin

    For me, one of the highlights of Scriptus is its venue. Walking into the Toronto Reference Library last year for the first time was almost like a religious experience for me! What a tremendous resource, and a beautiful building to boot. Toronto is truly blessed in its library system. And my own little rural library ain’t bad, either! πŸ™‚ I’m definitely an habituΓ© there, and you’re right, it’s a wonderful feeling when the staff knows you by name!

    • wonderpens

      I attended a Book Sale at the Reference Library earlier this year, and got some real treasures! I truly love how the Reference Library and many branches are community and city meeting places for us. Unfortunately the Reference Library is more of a research library, and while I have spent some time there collecting books when I was a teacher, for example for a history unit, I haven’t spent as much time there since, as they don’t children’s programming etc. The Reference Library is beautiful though, and every time we go, Caleb asks to ride those glass elevators.
      At the cottage, we sometimes attend the children’s story time, and I think I love these tiny branches the most. These places that know my and Caleb’s name, where you don’t even need your library card to check things out!

  4. Pat

    Wow! Thank you for your post.

    I love the TPL system and miss it a lot since moving to Waterloo (where the city only has 3 library branches).

    I try to visit different library branches every time I go back to visit family. I use one of the Library Passports (http://www.torontolibrarypassport.com) to help me keep track and incentivize my exploring. I’ll definitely check out your reading recommendations

    On an unreleated note, I’m so thrilled to see that you’re starting to stock Tattly πŸ™‚ Those are so much fun to wear! Especially for Halloween πŸ˜€

    • wonderpens

      I know what you mean! I grew up in Hamilton and frequented the Hamilton-Wentworth libraries, which are actually excellent, but of course a city the size of Toronto has many more resources and programming available.

      I have seen the TPL Passports! Back when I tried to visit each of the branches, I kept all the receipts along with a map, meaning I borrowed something from every branch I visited. It was before I had a smart phone, so I used to have to look up the addresses ahead of time, and wrote down directions on my map. I don’t have it anymore, but maybe I will have to try one of these passports!

      Caleb is also thrilled with the tattoos. For a while he had a watch one on each wrist, and was completely delighted every time you asked him what time it was.

  5. Texas Leigh

    Liz, your love of libraries comes through in your essay. You are doing a wonderful job teaching Caleb the joy of books, reading, and libraries. Thank you for the superb book list. I’m passing on a link to your article to the dean of libraries at the University of Houston. She’ll enjoy reading it.

    • wonderpens

      Thank you so much for reading! And all the way from Texas, what a thrill.

      It’s so important to try and pass on a love of reading and community, and I can only hope Caleb will grow up to be the kind of human that is informed by stories and people. Beyond being a “responsible citizen” I think there’s something very integral to the idea of the human spirit that is transformed by a childhood of exploring other worlds through books and libraries and neighbourhoods of people.

  6. wonderpens

    Type was quite close to us when we were on the west end, just on the other side of Trinity Bellwoods! I have never been to the Forest Hill location, though.

    You absolutely must visit Eliot’s, at Yonge and Wellesley, which I hear is thinking of closing down! It’s a three floors of used books, full of charm, and I’m disappointed to hear of the possibility of closure. Back when Jon was working in the financial district, I used to visit Ben McNally when I was waiting for him to get off work, and it’s a very nice new book store, although I’m rarely in the area these days. Another favourite is She Said Boom, in Roncesvalles – I lived there when I first moved to Toronto and got my first teaching job.

    And, there is a brand new bookstore that just opened up near us in Leslieville, called Queen Books, which is beautiful inside.

    The more I think about it, the more I realize how fortunate our city is to have so many wonderful bookshops in so many neighbourhoods!

  7. Amy

    I spent a significant portion of my childhood going to the main Street branch everyday after school while both my parents worked, this brought back feels. Libraries are so important!

    • wonderpens

      They are! What a great resource for families and communities. The Main Street Branch was my first “home” branch after I moved to Toronto – a lot of good memories there for me, too!

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