Sunday, 31 July 2011

Toronto Public Library in the News

The new mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, was elected last October on getting the 'gravy' out of the city budgets.  He is having some 'challenges' trying to find it. He has stated that the city must find savings to cover a $774 million budget shortfall.

Last week, Mayor Ford's brother, Doug who is a city councillor, stated that there were more public libraries than Tim Hortons in his ward. (This was found to be incorrect). He also indicated that he would cut a library branch "in a heartbeat". (According to the Ontario Public Libraries Act, the municipal council cannot ask the library board to cut a specific service or location, only decrease the municipal grant.)

Respected author Margaret Atwood came forward to defend Toronto Public Library via Twitter.  She asked the community to sign a petition to oppose library cuts. Here is Councillor Ford's response:
"Well, good luck to Margaret Atwood, I don't even know her. If she could walk by me I wouldn't even have a clue who she is," Ford told reporters on Tuesday. "But she's not down here, she's not dealing with the problems, and if she did, tell her to go run in the next election and get democratically elected and we'd be more than happy to sit down and listen to Margaret Atwood."  The next day, he tempered his additional comments: “What I was saying is, everyone knows who Margaret Atwood is. But if she were to come up to 98% of the people, they wouldn’t know who she was. But I think she’s a great writer and I look forward to her input. And saying that, we have to look for $774-million and we have to look at efficiencies right across the board.”

On Friday, the Executive Committee of Toronto Council listened to 20 hours straight of public delegations on the budget.  The most impassioned appeals came from those supporting the library. No decisions on the cuts for the 2012 budget have been made.

The Toronto Public Library is the busiest public library system in North America.  Canadian libraries have not had the massive cuts of many U.S. and U.K. libraries.  However, future cuts cannot be discounted in Ontario and the rest of Canada.

Have your libraries been affected by budget cuts?

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Film Festivals

Film Festivals are a great way to find out what may be the next great movie.  Many enthusiastic movie goers (and library patrons!) are in the loop. 

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) has announced some of its lineup for September 2011.

The U2 documentary, "From the Sky Down" opens the Festival.

Other highlights for the 11-day event include Brad Pitt's baseball tale "Moneyball;" George Clooney's political saga "The Ides of March;" Jennifer Garner, Hugh Jackman and Olivia Wilde's comic story "Butter;" and Keira Knightley's Sigmund Freud-Carl Jung drama "A Dangerous Method," with Viggo Mortensen and Michael Fassbender.

Since I am working an hour away from Toronto, many people from my community attend.  One of my former libraries, the Ajax Public Library, offers a film series in conjunction with its Friends group which features highlights from the past year's TIFF.

Do you attend Film Festivals?

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Viewing Map - Bend it Like Beckham

I was introduced to Reading Maps while teaching a course on Readers' Advisory.  The charting of additional titles to find out more about a book read was compelling, but daunting to someone like me who is not so detailled oriented.

However, when preparing my viewers' advisory presentation for the Ontario Library Association Conference, I did look at a Viewer's Map for a Bend it like Beckam.

With the assistance of my Viewers' Advisory Bible, VideoHound's Golden Movie Retriever, I was able to locate a couple of  topic lists.

Bend It Like Beckam Viewing Map

 ¡Female Bonding           

Calendar Girls             
First Wives Club            
Thelma and Louise  
Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood  

Culture Clash 
The Namesake
My Beautiful Laundrette    
My Big Fat Greek Wedding    
Bride and Prejudice
This technique can be applied to a wide range of movies.  I would be interested to hear from others who have used this technique or have just tried it now!

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Will and Kate

I decided to spend Canada Day on Parliament Hill to see Will and Kate (with only 100,000 + of my closest friends).  It was certainly worth it despite the crowds, the heat, the sun and the peeling skin.  Canada has welcomed the new Royal Couple in a 'royal' way.

When I got back to work, I decided to put a short list on my library's readers'/viewers' advisory blog of some of our new British television/movie DVDs and noticed that the Will and Kate wedding DVD has already arrived on our shelves.  We have many Anglophiles in my community, so it should fly off the shelves like all our other British DVDs.

Did your library buy the Will and Kate wedding DVD?

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

The last movie in the Harry Potter franchise will have its World Premier in London on Thursday with North American and U.K. openings on July 15.  The books and movies have attracted viewers of all ages which is great for viewers' advisory suggestions.

Will your library have any special celebrations to mark the end?