Thursday, June 27, 2013

#9 Hastings Branch

2674 East Hastings Street

The final Vancouver branch! So far north and east of everything else. However, since it was a really nice day when I went to visit this one I was able to go to some thrift stores at the top of Commercial Drive, and then walk the rest of the way to the library. I also visited a nearby trading card shop that had the biggest selection of old Magic: The Gathering packs I've seen in town.

They also had a huge amount of terrible old '90s trading cards based on super heroes and stuff. Of course they didn't have any of the cards I was looking for (old fantasy art trading cards for my friend), or they had them in sets, but not packs, which are way more fun.

However! Nearby (ish, at Renfrew and 1st) there was another card shop that I have no idea how it stays in business as they mostly seemed to stock old comics nobody wants and old trading cards. However, in addition to old hockey cards and Gen13 cards, they also had various fantasy art trading cards! Hurray! When the guy working there took the boxes down from up on the shelf they were on, they were _covered_ in dust. I don't think anyone's even looked at those in at least a decade.

Okay, so what does this have to do with a library? Well, nothing really (though I did look up how to get to that second shop in the library), but I don't have that much to say about this branch. I mean, it was nice, and I would gladly go here more frequently if it was anywhere near anything I ever went to. I walked in and just really liked the atmosphere, but am completely unable to tell you why. 

Which leads to what might be the reason as to why I've barely written about library services on this blog: reviewing libraries seems like homework. I mean, I'm not doing any courses right now, but I am in library school and writing about the various services offered in different branches sounds like an (unexciting) assignment I might have to do someday.

In other news...

I discovered recently that the Central Branch of the VPL has gotten rid of all of their reference desks, and replaced them with roving librarians. That seems so weird to me, and more or less means that I'm not really going to ask them for help. I mean, you can txt them or use the phone they've set up for that, but, uh, I'm unlikely to do either of those things. I generally only end up talking to librarians when I want a book that's missing anyway (ie. passively telling them it's been stolen). Still, I'm interested to see how this will work for the VPL.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

#20 Strathcona Branch

592 East Pender Street

So after the Carnegie Branch had almost no children's books, this branch was almost entirely kids books! That is more than likely because the branch is actually inside a school. When I visited it was during lunch time, and the library (and everywhere really) was filled with kids. Which was pretty cool. 

At the same time that meant that there wasn't really that much for me to check out library-wise, and it wasn't really a great place to just go and hang out. (For a variety of reasons...)

I did discover VPL's strategic plan for 2013-2015. Sure, it's just a bunch of buzzwords and stuff, but it looks nice at least? I do wonder how useful it is for library's to make videos like this to put online. I mean, less than 500 people have watched this in the more than two months it's been on youtube. 

Anyway, across the street from this library is the Chinese Community Library Services Association, which I didn't even know existed! Of course, their website is entirely in Chinese, so I have no idea what services they actually offer. They were open on the day I passed by and there seemed to be lots of books and some people inside, so that's neat!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

#2 Carnegie Branch

401 Main Street

Woah, have I really only done one update this entire month? I have been slacking like hell in June apparently. Anyway I went to visit this branch last week and for those that don't know, it's located in the Downtown East Side (DTES) of Vancouver, an area know as the poorest postal code in Canada. There are a large number of poor, homeless, and addicted people in this area, but that means that there are also lots of services available for them.

That includes a library! It's inside the Carnegie Centre, which offers a variety of services I'm not really familiar with other than the library. I do know that the library has the longest hours of any branch in town (10am-10pm every day of the week), and that they also suffer from a high theft rate. That might be why I don't remember seeing a graphic novel section in the library. Apparently you can find people outside blatantly selling DVDs stolen from the VPL. Also interesting was the fact that their children's section was the smallest I think I've seen in any library.

One neat thing was that the offered photocopies of daily newspaper crosswords and other puzzles. I'd dragged along a friend who told me that at the library they used to work at they had the crossword section of the newspaper go missing all the time until they'd started putting a theft deterrent sticker _on_ the crossword. That means that nobody could do the crossword! The system at Carnegie seems to make a whole lot more sense.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

#14 Marpole Branch

8386 Granville Street

This branch is so far south! I mean, I didn't even realize that the street numbers went up that high (68th) until a couple of months ago. So the only reason I ever came to this branch is because of this blog, and even then I had to send a hold there so I'd actually go. Thankfully the hold showed up and now I have some excellent terrible early '90s X-Men comics to read. Great!

The branch seemed to have a pretty good graphic novel section overall, but the most important thing was the thrift store right next store! I found an apparently never used copy of the board game Super Dungeon Explore for $5! I can't wait to play! After I finish putting together all the models that are inside. Gluing stuff....

One of the signs said that the library (and the neighbourhood I guess) was named after Richard Marpole. I was curious as to who he was, so I looked him up. Check out that beard!

Three libraries left!