Funny story: the most tortuous of those long summer library weekends was the Gay Pride Weekend. I was stationed at a desk on the 5th floor, facing West-South-West onto the Westin Grand, where there was a hot gay pool party happening all afternoon. Lovely handsome shirtless young men lounging, dancing and living la dolce vita. And me, in my private thesis hell, one building (+ whole universe) away.
But I digress.
I continue to be impressed by the Vancouver Public Library. To the Vancouver newcomer, the VPL Central Branch is a really architecturally groovy building right downtown, easily accessible and with long opening hours. It's warm in winter, has a simply HUGE collection of all media, inclusive atmosphere (children, immigrants, people of all and no wealth, students, elderly, me), and best of all (as libraries should be)... IT'S FREE. I love that there still exists a community space of such large scale with a focus on education and accessibility which is also TOTALLY FREE. Can't overstate the importance of that.
In December I on-boarded by taking part in the Friends of the VPL Big Christmas Used Book Sale, at the main branch. It was a great way to spend a rainy winter afternoon, I met some interesting and kindred people and got to talk about books, and we all helped raise funds for the Library.
In January (having only volunteered once) I was invited to attend the annual Volunteer Appreciation Brunch. This was an especially memorable occasion for me, because I arrived to discover my good friends and fellow bilbiophiles, Adriana and Ann (both from UBC) in attendance. Turns out, they also knew each other! See what I mean about kindred spirits?
Fast forward to May. Adriana is coordinating the next book sale, Ann and I are board members, and we successfully attracted fellow UBC English Alum, Rebecca, onto the board. It is the highest privilege to be able to work with these excellent women.
Last Saturday I worked the Big Spring Used Book Sale all day. My voice was hoarse by the end of it, and I couldn't tell a quarter from a nickel (I was on the till for 5 hours). We sold simply THOUSANDS of books. I saw some excellent literary fiction cross my counter. Good time had by all.
|Photo borrowed from Twitter, taken by @LundgrenVanessa|
The other activity I have committed to in support of the Vancouver Public Library, is running the Scotiabank Charity Challenge Half Marathon in June. I am attempting to raise $200. Please assist me by clicking on the link! All donors will receive my eternal gratitude and a home-baked pie, or equivalent.