100 Libraries

"A library is also a place where love begins." – Rudolfo Anaya

017 Bayview Library

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Bayview Library was founded in 1966 by a motion of the North York Public Library System. It was placed in a rented facility, and has expanded and contracted in the space, as needed or mandated. It is part of the Bayview Village Mall, making it the only branch to be physically located in a retail facility. The Branch was refurbished along with the entire mall in 1998, and underwent renovations as recently as 2003. This Branch is largely a neighbourhood library, and therefore has a small collection, including best sellers lists and a small collection in Chinese, Korean and French.

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The space itself is whimsical, decorated to match the upscale retail located at Bayview Village. The installations and art within the branch are very modern, and look forward to a more avant garde vision of the Pubilc Library. Upon my visit, the study areas were filled with users of all walks of life, using the various resources, such as the periodical collection and the Children’s Collection. It should be noted that while the Library is physically located in the Mall, it is not accessible through any mall entrances, and has a separate entry. One cannot help but feel a sense of transience for the Branch, since it is planning on undergoing a move to a facility in the Besarion neighbourhood. Visit this unique branch while its still here, people!

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016 Centennial Library

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The Centennial Library was opened by the North York Public Library in 1966, and was brought into amalgamation with the Toronto Public Library in 1999. The Branch itself was renovated in 1997, and its hours were increased in 2010. Although this is a community library, it is surprisingly large, and it has very poignant and interesting features. Let’s dive in!

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The Branch serves a large community of new immigrants to the country. Thus, the Collection features very extensive multilingual holdings. These include holdings in Russian, French, Hebrew, Korean, Spanish and Tagalog. There is also a multilingual audiovisual collection. The Branch also collaborates with the local YMCA to bring newcomer resources to the Library. This includes free English Classes and an onsite settlement worker. Everyday at 12 PM, a settlement worker mans a desk to provide their resources to the community.

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The Branch also has a few notable programming options, including a knitting club and a Youth Ambassadors Club.

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015 Pleasant View Library

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(apologies for the lack of photographs, my phone died right after I took the exterior photos)

Pleasant View Library is a neighbourhood library in the North York Region, which was opened in 1975. Originally, it was part of the North York Public Library system until amalgamation of the Metropolitan Toronto System and the North York System added multiple branches. It was retrofitted in 1995.

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This Branch is located near a vibrant Chinese-Canadian community, especially in the Van Horne area. In response to the community, the Library has a large print collection in both Chinese and French. The Library also offers the usual non-print holdings, such as Pedometer Lending and Audiobooks.

The building itself, does not appear to be particularly remarkable, as its non-descript brick exterior is meant to match the community centre it is near. Though the exterior of the building sits non-offensively in the neighbourhood, the interior treats patrons to a whimsical and somewhat unusual space. The Children’s section in particular includes whimsical arched frames of animals, in characteristically 90’s kitschy painted columns.

Perhaps the most interesting features of this Library may be the fact that as a neighbourhood library, it features an auditorium and a kitchen. The auditorium is very large, and can hold up to 170 audience members. Auditoriums are rare amongst non-district libraries, and the Branch conducts much of its programming for the community here. Kitchens are also a feature of a bygone era, as these are certainly not essential or installed regularly in many other branches.