Teaching and Learning in a Net-Centric World

First Week at Riverdale Little Free Library

The Little Free Library has survived its first week- no vandalism, lots of borrowers and depositors, collection growing and 12 new DVDs videos (thanks to Rocky and Eric). The back birdhouse suite is still vacant (I hope I won’t have to remove the No Magpies Need Apply sign) and the building survived its first rain. The children’s collection is a bit sparse but, all in all,  a great week – Thanks to all the patrons.

Two problems to overcome:Little Free Library Sign

First as the Chief Librarian, I get first choice at all deposits. That means I have started 4 books and finished none! It so tempting! The one I’m furthest along is by Heather Robertson and is a biography of Joe Tyrell (think guy who they named the Drumheller dinosaur museum after). He worked for the Geological Survey of Canada and was the first white man to accurately map, survey and prospect the lands east of the Hudson’s Bay in the later part of the 19th Century. One trip he took the train to Edmonton, then down the Athabasca to Ft Chip then through and over a variety of rivers in unexplored tundra to VERY nearly starving, drowning and freezing while paddling 750 miles down Hudson Bay to Ft Churchhill.   The second book is set on a sailboat in False Creek in Vancouver – same place my good friend and sailing buddy Jon moors his boat Whai Wari (Why Worry). Great books but, I must get a handle on this promiscuous reading! (Note: – both books should be available for circulation hopefully sometime in the next few weeks)

Second, every librarian (especially a Chief Librarian) has to be able to organize the collection. I’ve become a bit dissatisfied with the current random disorder. Of course I considered both Library of Congress and Dewey Decimal, but soon realized that I guy who can’t keep his underwear separated from his socks, has little hope of being anywhere near that systematic. I also thought about organizing by height (fits shelves better) or thickness (good for reader time availability) or chronological order of deposit, but discarded these as not being nearly academic enough for 93St! Eventually, I rearranged them into fiction and non-fiction, which seems to work, but I am now have of start a fifth book to ascertain which of the two it is.

Finally a minor miracle at the Library yesterday. Assistant Librarian and Head of Library Aesthetics, Susan spent part of the day trying to figure how she could get a copy of Harper Lee’s new Book – Go Set a Watchman. The book was assigned by her book club. I must say that, like the Chief Librarian, she is quite cheap and tries to avoid buying things if possible. She first checked the Public Library and found they have 97 copies in the system (good) but 587 reserves (bad). She then phoned the Whee Book Inn on Whyte Ave. – no copies in stock. Of course Mr. Amazon would deliver it if but the book club is in less than 2 weeks and she is not a fast reader. So it looked like a trip to Audrey’s Bookstore was required, when miraculously a copy (in excellent collection) appeared that very day in the Little Free Library.

As I stated earlier a great week at the Library!

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  1. Jo Ann Hammond-Meiers Jo Ann Hammond-Meiers
    September 6, 2015    

    How very exciting!!! There is definitely an advantage of having the free library in Riverdale, supported by you, Terry, and Susan and others. Everything costs money or time to run it, even if it is “free”. The sorting the books by any strategy and system can be daunting. Wishing you all the best. I will keep you in mind as I’ve been slowly letting go of some of my books and my son’s books from his childhood. He is now 22 and in second year of graduate school. I’ve been slowly selling the books for close to 3 to 5 cents on the dollar to used book stores, but some books they don’t even take. It is mainly the emotional transference from old memories to creating new possibilities for the books. The transition points from hear to where and to whom. Where should the various books land? I’m sure others get attached to memories and books. Books are precious, even if “free”. But I also believe in life-time shifts, generosity, and what else is possible. I see this library as an amazing place for the Riverdale community connection. Riverdale’s engaging and caring reputation already precedes the idea that people will help with the new library’s growth. Where is this library located?

  2. Lorna Thomas Lorna Thomas
    September 6, 2015    

    Congratulations on a successful first week. I’ve been away but look forward to watching g the books. And DVD’s, come and go. I’ll add a few books when I decide which ones I can bear to part with. Well done Andersons.

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