One Week Library Experiment Starts Sunday

Photo of Lillian H. Smith branch via Wikimedia Commons

Yesterday was Daegan’s birthday. Yes, the “baby” from yesterday’s entry is now the age of majority in Ontario. Crazy how fast time passes.  He and Sage went to lunch and a movie while I was working but we had plans of our own for after I finished work. We’d go first to Canadian Blood Services to donate blood (his first time, I’ve done it a few times – sadly my having visited India resulted in a 1 year deferment due to possible malaria exposure – I can donate again in mid-November) and then we had a plan to go out to dinner. Given our timing, it didn’t really make sense for him to come all the way home (about 30 min by transit from where he already was and where we were going to give blood) and so I met him at the Toronto Reference Library.

When I got there I found him in the map section. He was poring over maps of the area near our neighbourhood looking for clues about its history. He’s recently discovered a place in the woods with a large cache of bottles and other items from the 1930’s and was looking both for clues as to what was there as well as possibly where he might find other cool things.  I got interested and before long we were both looking at maps and then over at the “Toronto Directory” books. These are volumes that go back 150+ years and generally come in two volumes. One volume is organized by name (business or person’s surname), and an accompanying volume lists by street address.  So we looked to see who lived at various places we had lived before. Then we tried to see what was in the old mall next to us back in the 60’s and 70’s when it was new. (Before that the area was mostly a horse race track.)  We had to drag ourselves out of there in time for our appointments because we were having so much fun. As we were walking out I thought to myself: “If all of my basic needs – food, shelter, healthcare, and transportation were covered, I wouldn’t need anything else – I’d be happy with that.”  I think it’s true. Now we’ve got an amazing library system as I’ve given you a taste of already, but I’m curious to see just how true this is.

And so, from Sunday onward for at least a week, I’ll be giving that a shot. Will the library meet all of my entertainment and informational needs? Let’s see!  But first a few parameters:

What I am avoiding using:

  • All streaming free or pay media that isn’t provided by the library (or shared from their YouTube channel)
  • No purchased books we own
  • No online news sources

What I’ll be exploring and using:

  • Any printed materials from the library
  • If I want news updates I can walk to the library and grab a newspaper
  • Any electronic materials loaned by the library (there are lots of sources from books to magazines to movies and music)
  • DVDs and CDs from the library are fair game for entertainment
  • I’ll try 3-4 library resources I don’t use. There are a lot of online and offline resources from special collections to musical instrument loans to various online offerings for language learning and training classes (both in person and online)

One cheat I’m allowing myself:

  • Our music collection – records, mostly. I play hours of music a day and use it to motivate myself for exercise and work. I’m not sure I could do without it entirely or live with 3-4 CDs for a few days.

I’ll still be posting and reading here but will be avoiding most current events as I want to see how getting that from the library.

Meanwhile, between now and Sunday – any comments? Do you think I missed anything in the list of parameters? Anything you want me to explore in particular? Let me know below.

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