Friday, May 17, 2013
Brighouse (Main) Branch
7700 Minoru Gate
I went to the BCLA conference in Richmond last weekend. One of the things I did was tour the main branch of the Richmond Public Library. Yeah! More field trips!
The library was pretty cool, though thinking back on it I seem to remember it really lacking in natural light.
They had all these iPads in the kids area. They were on bendy stalk things so that they could be turned for motion stuff or so that this alien puzzle game could actually be used. In related news I have used an iPad once, when I briefly borrowed my mom's at Christmas time.
This was really cool! It's a DVD vending machine. You put in a request on their website, then put your card into the machine, and out pops the DVD in a case! It's a super good way of cutting down on the space a DVD collection would take up, but also means that you can't browse them as easily.
Also in this library was a pretty huge collection of Chinese books that apparently nobody that worked their could read. So I guess if you can speak Chinese you can probably guarantee yourself a job in Vancouver. They got around this problem by putting stickers on the covers of the books that said what genre/type of book they were, and then just putting the books of that type together in no particular order. That must be annoying to browse through... (The only thing on the spine stickers was the name of the collection, no additional information about the book.)
After the tour my friend and I were hanging out waiting for another friend, and I managed to read the final two volumes of Scalped by Jason Aaron, R. M. Guera, and others. It's probably one of my favourite graphic novel series of the last decade, just incredibly solid crime fiction set on an aboriginal reserve in the states. The final volume came out late last year, and I've been rereading them in order since I moved to Vancouver in January. The end of the series was good, though not exactly what I expected.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
1455 West 10th Avenue
While you can't see it in this photo this branch is actually in the same building as a fire station! Neat! I would have taken a picture if there had been any fire trucks outside, but alas on the day I visited there were none.
Instead you'll have to deal with some of the pictures that were on the side of the non-fiction shelves inside.
This one brings to the library patrons' attention the thin line between religion and mythology. I think it's kind of interesting that the mythology section is so much bigger.
This picture shows the type of things I tend to like reading about, and I've probably looked up dinosaurs, aliens, monsters, and submarines in encyclopedias before. Hell, I've probably read encyclopedias about many of those subjects. (And while I may never have read a submarine encyclopedia, I do have a book about Zeppelins on my shelf just waiting to be read.)
Also, I've just wasted like half an hour trying (and failing) to track down a sample in an electroswing mix (it's something Balkan I think, but beyond that I dunno....). So this seems like a good time to post this killer video that talks about sampling. Also, I have no idea what went wrong with the font.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
4515 Dunbar St.
So I just moved house! To a completely different part of town, so now I have a new local library that's just a few blocks away! It was even one I'd never been to before, so it made sense that I'd check it out as soon as possible!
The branch itself is fairly small, but it still had some neat stuff in it. One of which were these bookmarks that I saw inside books in the teen section. I'd actually heard about these before, as I'm a member of the BC Library Association Readers Advisory Interest Group (BCLA RAIG, go acronyms!), and they were brought up in the last meeting. I thought they were a really neat way to encourage dialogue between library patrons without them having to actually talk to each other.
In this case the book is a volume of Dengeki Daisy, which someone loves because of "The secret love of Teru and Daisy! Squeal!". Okay, so that's not a recommendation that I'm going to pay much attention to, but I'm generally going to ignore any of the Shojo Beat manga graphic novels anyway. Actually, I kind of want to read Honey and Clover, but that's about it.
Here's the other side of the bookmark, indicating that these are just for teen books (though the RAIG is discussing doing them for lots of different books in the library). I think it looks pretty good, though I probably would have aligned the text differently.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
3500 Blanshard Street
I went to another library in Victoria too! (This was actually the first one I went to, and basically the first thing I did in Victoria. Their libraries are far away from each other!)
This library is named after Emily Carr, a Canadian artist who's art I've seen in the Vancouver Art Gallery. I an't say I remember her art, so I guess it wasn't too impressed by it, but while in Victoria I did discover that she owned a monkey. Whaaat? That's crazy! There was a bronze statue or her downtown with the monkey perched on her shoulder, but I sadly didn't get a photo of it. Next time I guess. (This blog post has photos of the statue and the monkey.)
The library itself seemed fine, I guess nothing about it really stood out to me. Though the fact that I couldn't borrow any books was definitely one of the reasons for my feeling that way.
Next time! Back to Vancouver (I promise!).
Thursday, May 2, 2013
735 Broughton Street
So I went to Victoria (on Vancouver Island) last weekend to visit some friends, play in a Magic: The Gathering tournament, go to a robot burlesque show, and, because this is what I do now apparently, check out some of the libraries there.
What I discovered at the Central Branch was both awesome and depressing. The awesome part? They're participating in Free Comic Book Day! That's this Saturday (May 4th). FCBD is one of my favourite days of the year (along with Halloween) and I look forward to it every year. Even if I don't personally like the comics, I'm excited by the many other people who will get free comics they can read.
In addition to the library giving away free comics, they're also running a comic making workshop with an artist who'll be at the library throughout the day drawing! Awesome.
One of the libraries in Halifax (where I used to live until I moved to Vancouver for school) is also doing something for Free Comic Book Day, and I'm kind of jealous of my friends who get to go.
Okay, so why is this depressing? Libraries doing things is great right? Yes, it is, but the depressing part is that a classmate and I contacted the Vancouver Public Library about doing something for FCBD and were shot down. Booooo. Or maybe I'm just depressed by the photo I took showing the weird way books in Victoria are organized.
A Christmas books section? It's May! Why do they have this?
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
1277 Lynn Valley Rd, North Vancouver
Hey, remember when I posted about being half way through this project but that "there will be more delays and asides along the way"? Well this is one of them!
While this blog is "about" the Vancouver Public Library system it's important to remember that there are lots of other library systems nearby! Burnaby, Richmond, Surrey, and West Vancouver all have their own library systems. In fact there are more library systems in this area than the city I grew up in had branches.
Of course, some of this is because North Vancouver has two separate library systems. No, I'm not joking. There's a North Vancouver District Public Library system and a North Vancouver City Library system. They are entirely unrelated. "In the centre of the North Vancouver area lies the City of North Vancouver, which is a separate municipality having its own library system."
Well, that certainly clears everything up...
Anyway, I had heard about North Shore Writers Festival (an event I somehow managed to be the only attendee on a poorly publicised Facebook event page) and decided it would be a good time to head out into the wild North and try to find one of these libraries. So I grabbed a friend and dragged them off on a bus trip to somewhere. We eventually saw the library, got off the bus, and walked into the entrance to the building (see above photo). Sort of. We walked down a hallway with a glass wall that showed the library on the other side. Then we were outside again. Outside a different entrance (see below photo).
Okay, that's kind of weird. But whatever. We had arrived just in time for a talk by author Terry Fallis, who I'd never heard of before. (I hadn't actually bothered to look up what was going on at the festival or who was going to be there.) Thankfully he was a humourist who had written a book about a Canadian astronaut! (The next talk was by an author who'd written about a family member dying of cancer, and I'm kind of glad I missed that.)
Fallis talked about his writing process, how meeting an astronaut is pretty awe-inspiring and overwhelming (something I can relate to as I interviewed Chris Hadfield years ago, so cool!), and read a chapter from his book. It was surprisingly enjoyable for something we didn't even realize we'd be attending, even if my friend and I ended up standing in the back of a crowded room. I might actually check out some of his books next time I'm seeking some Canadiana to read. Here's a blog post written by a classmate who was there for her job or something.
Afterwards we checked out the library and it seemed to have a pretty good selection of stuff. It also had Playaway audio books, pre-recorded audio book players that I'd never seen before. They're pretty neat!
So overall this was totally a successful adventure, and I'm sure to check out other library systems before too long!
Thursday, April 25, 2013
1661 Napier Street
So a while ago, when I still had classes to go to and assignments to do, I submitted one of them as a PDF. This turned out to be not what the professor or the TA wanted and I was asked to resubmit as a Word file (while this may have been mentioned in class at some point it was not in the assignment requirements). Fine, easy right? Except my computer was broken. And I didn't actually save a version of the final assignment that wasn't a PDF. (I'm a super genius.)
So I headed off to this library to try to recreate the assignment and submit it as a Word file. Thankfully one of the computers became free soon after I got there, and after too much time I was able to recreate the assignment and resubmit it. (So much formatting...)
As for the library itself the address may say Napier Street, but it's really located off Commercial Drive. Looking at this on Google Maps it appear that at some point Napier Street was blocked off and replaced with a pedestrian walk way with a bunch of trees. Awesome! Except Google thinks you can still drive down that road. That's the second time on this blog that the all powerful Google has been wrong. Well, you know what that means? No webgods, no webmasters!
There are also these robots outside this library! Of course, they do raise a question: if the robot on the right is wearing clothes, does that mean that the one on the left is naked?