Monday, August 29, 2011

Who cares about libraries?

“People have preconceptions about libraries, and many of them are just inaccurate,” says Ken Haycock, emeritus professor of the University of British Columbia’s library science school. “The reality is that use is increasing, in foot traffic and in circulation.”

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Libraries are eccentric, changing and vital public spaces

He hasn’t said so explicitly, but Doug Ford seems to dislike libraries. The Toronto city councillor has lately made disparaging–and inaccurate–remarks about his city’s library system, which faces possible funding cuts and closures. By suggesting Toronto has too many branches, and then crowing that he would vote to shut down some “in a heartbeat,” Mr. Ford has offended bibliophiles everywhere. And Margaret Atwood is not amused.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The man who killed bookstores

Vancouver Sun: 2011 August 2

All right, coppers. You’ve got me. I did it. I killed Borders.

Not all by myself, of course. I had some help. A guy can’t kill a 399-store chain of bookstores and put 10,700 people out of work all by himself.

But I grew up Catholic, so if there’s guilt to be assigned, lay it on me. I’m used to it.

Yes, I sometimes buy books at I’ll buy ’em at Costco or Target, too, if they’re cheap enough. I get a lot of books from the library. I haven’t bought a Kindle or a Nook or another ereader yet, but I’m thinking about it. I borrowed an iPad and used it to read the e-version of Edmund Morris’s Colonel Roosevelt.

In the fight for better literacy, comic books are teachers’ secret weapon

This Magazine: 2011 August 2

On a cold mid-February afternoon under overcast skies, a school bell rings. The halls of Toronto’s Agnes Macphail Public School flood with children dressed in puffy jackets and schoolbags. Although a swift exodus befalls most schools at day’s end, Agnes Macphail still pulses with high-pitch chatter. Students linger in the foyer while others flock towards the school’s library. Amidst the rows of bookcases and computers, a group of students, ranging from grade six to eight, sit around tables as they talk animatedly and await the start of their book-club meeting.