why is the library important to me?

let me count the ways. by request, here is my latest paean to the library, the one that i entered in the contest with high hopes of lunch with madge.

While humans can adapt a rather colonial attitude to traveling, and display a gusto for exploring foreign shores, we can get a little complacent when it comes to our own neighborhoods. The library allows for the reverse learning process, as each branch tells the story of the neighborhood it occupies through its collection, services, and its physical structure. For this reason, no branch is expendable, as no Toronto neighborhood is expendable. Miraculously, each branch also serves as a connection to the next and the rest of the world, through the sophisticated and efficient hold system. I have personally learned that whether I move through the network, or the materials move to me, the relationship I have with the library is one of the most important relationships in my life, and Toronto would not be nearly as charming without it. I have learned a lot as a participant in the Yorkville play-reading group and as a volunteer for Leading to Reading at Annette Street and Parkdale, I have been humbled to perform my poetry in the atrium of the Reference Library for Diaspora Dialogues, I giggle when I think of the children’s bums that are cushioned by my patch in the crazy quilt at the Jones Branch, and I have knit a few scarves for Streetknit with the Junction friends that I made through my local branch. The library staff that I have had the pleasure to encounter are precious, and I embrace the challenge to read through the entire collection with the utmost privilege and gusto. Thank you for your time, literally and literally.

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