An article in the Toronto Star today told the story of Catherine Raine and her mission to visit - and write about on her blog - every one of the 99 branches of the city of Toronto Public Library system.
The article is here and Catherine's blog is here. It's really good.
Now, Toronto has all the problems of any big city but the library system is fantastic. My family and I use the library all the time. Our local is Beaches Branch:
The building was renovated a few years ago and it's terrific, right on Kew Gardens Park, a great place to do some research or just sit and read a book.
But the thing that makes the Toronto Library system so good is that I can go online and order any book (or CD or DVD) in the whole system and have it delivered to my local branch.
I grew up in a small, mostly english town in Quebec called Greenfield Park and the library was an old house on Chruchill Street. It had narrow, rickety stairs and the science fiction books I loved were shelved in what was the attic. Isaac Asimov should know how many fears I had to overcome to go get those books by myself.
Now, Greenfield Park has been incorporated into the city of Longueil and has a very nice library branch. It's still on Churchill, across the street from the old haunted house.
So, what's library system in your town like?