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Love that Local Library


When was the last time you visited your local library? If the last book you checked out was by Robert Munsch, maybe it's time to go back.

It's easy to spend a fortune (or wish you had a fortune to spend) in the bookstore. It's also easy to forget that the massive Indigo down the street is not your only option. Want to read those books for free? (And I don't mean sitting on the floor in a corner of the store.) The answer should be obvious: go to the library.

But wait - there's more. In addition to an amazing breadth of reading material, what makes Toronto's library system particularly great are the unique qualities of each community library.

While you'll rarely find all the books you want stocked in your local library, you can order as many as you like using the online system. You'll receive a call when they come in, and then you can just skip on down to the library to claim your prize. (Trust me, ordering books can get addictive!)

However, it's worth spending some time at the individual locations around the city. Each library has its own specialty (at Bloor and Spadina it's Aboriginal studies, at College and Spadina it's kids books, at Yonge and Bloor it's the vast reference section).

The Runnymede library (located in Bloor West Village) is my favourite. It re-opened in June after some lengthy rennovations, and the new expansion allows for an impressive stocking of books, while the old architecture remains as lovely as ever.

Interestingly, Runnymede libarary was featured on a stamp in 1989, during a series focusing on Canadian architecture. (I stumbled upon that fact when re-visiting a stamp collection from my younger years.)

Okay, so there are more exciting things to do this summer than visit the library. But it seems to me that libraries have been forgotten with the take-over of huge bookstores. They're free, they're fun to use, and they celebrate the individual communities that make this city so great. What could be better that that?


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