Tuesday, May 28, 2013
#22 West Point Grey Branch
West Point Grey Branch
4480 West 10th Avenue
This library was the final branch I visited on a disappointing three library day. "Three libraries in one day?" you ask, "What are you? A crazy person?". As though the very existence of this blog hadn't convinced you of that fact already.
But before I get into why I went to three libraries in one day, some background information.
This may count as vaguely surprising (to people who have internet stalked me) based on the fact that my internet presence related to comics is decidedly "indie"/"alternative" in nature, but I'm actually a rather big fan of X-Men comics. The cartoon came on TV about a year after I originally moved to Canada, and I really loved watching it. My love extended to a series of books aimed at kids that "novelised" older X-Men stories, and eventually to my reading the actual comics (and their spinoffs) themselves. Throughout the '90s I scoured back issue bins until I completed a full run of Excalibur, and read lots of issues of Uncanny, X-Men, Generation X, and more.
And while I haven't bought a new X-Men comic in years, I have read issues through collections borrowed from libraries. I've also read a lot of the Essential X-Men collections, huge thick black and white books that reprinted 20-30 issues of older comics. Despite the "Claremontisms" I enjoyed the stories and characters enough to keep reading. Plus part of me was always at least a little excited when I read a comic that I'd only ever seen referenced before.
So I've read ten volumes of Essential X-Men (comprising almost two hundred issues of the main series, and countless annuals and crossovers), the seven volumes of New Mutants Classic that are out (over fifty issues of that series), and at some point I want to read all those volumes of Essential X-Factor as well (if I can find them cheap somewhere...). Or rather, I've almost read ten volumes of Essential X-Men. I'm halfway through volume ten, and am up to the X-Tinction Agenda crossover (and all the crossovers happening in the later volumes are one of the reasons I want to read X-Factor, and wish there were more New Mutants collections). But, as I said before, these collections are in black and white, and I discovered that the VPL had the X-Tinction Agenda hardcover that collected all of these stories in colour. That's the one I want to read!
So I looked up where the copies were, and one day, after having lunch with some friends nearby, I went to a branch of the library to find the copy that was supposedly on the shelves. I couldn't find it. I asked a librarian if they could help me. They couldn't find it, and it's currently in the system as "trace", meaning they're trying to find it before it's listed as "missing". The librarian did let me know that there was another copy at a nearby library, so I hopped on a bus and head over there.
Of course you know where this story is going, that copy was missing as well. Now I generally think it's pretty shitty to steal books from libraries (steal from Chapters instead!), but the fact that two of the three copies of this book have been stolen from the library is both weird and super frustrating. This isn't exactly a classic of modern literature. Plus thieves have forced me to ask for a book called X-Tinction Agenda twice. Twice! That's not a book I ever want to have to admit to anyone that I'm reading (please ignore this blog post), let alone two librarians in one day. Oh well, I've got a hold on the last remaining copy, and hopefully it shows up.
Meanwhile, I headed off to this branch later in the day to...well, have something to write about for this blog. I'd gone past it on the bus loads of times as it's fairly near to UBC. It seems fine inside, but I guess I couldn't really get much enthusiasm up. I looked at the books and graphic novels and DVDs, removed a volume of The Unwritten from the kids section (shelvers, please look at what you're putting in that section, not every comic is suitable for kids), and left. Not that exciting really.