A semi-local library adventure

So many things changed when I moved back to my home town some 18 months ago. I expected differences. Any move to a new city will cause all sorts of changes, but moving to a place with less than one-tenth the population of the city to which your accustomed will only intensify the required adjustment.

One of the bigger changes, though admittedly of comparatively little importance, is that my CD borrowing from the library has dropped to less than one-tenth the amount it once was. It makes sense given the population difference. There just isn’t the money to stock a library to the same levels in a smaller city. So my eyes went wandering. I looked into nearby cities and their universities. Earlier this week I finally took the plunge. I laid down $33 for a one year membership with the St. Catharines Public Library. I feel silly paying for a library card when I already have one for free, but the selection! Oh, the selection! I’ve yet to reserve anything, but I thought I’d go look through the available CDs. I learned in Ottawa that all the most popular CDs will rarely appear in the library branch. Rather, they’re reserved, often with more than a hundred people waiting.

As a result, I was impressed that I came away from that first visit with eight CDs:

  • John Coltrane — Interstellar Space
  • John Coltrane — Soultrane
  • Miles Davis — A Tribute to Jack Johnson
  • Miles Davis — Aura
  • Miles Davis — Miles to Go
  • Bill Bruford’s Earthworks — A Part, and Yet Apart
  • Herbie Hancock — Empyrean Isles
  • Janine Jansen — Inventions & Partita

And I stopped looking at that point because the borrowing limit for CDs is ten, and I didn’t want things getting out of hand.

The only fly in the ointment, and I feel petty even mentioning it, is the St. Catharines Public Library does not subscribe to the on-line version of the Oxford English Dictionary. A personal subscription is $295 per year, which is not going to happen. No city I’ve lived in has had a library subscription. I checked and was excited to see that the Toronto Public Library has a subscription. The problem is that getting a Toronto Public library card as a non-resident costs a reasonable $30, but rather than annually, it must be renewed every three months. That removes it from the realm of reasonable, for me. In case you’re wondering, yes I would go to Toronto once a year and pay the fee for a library card just to get access to the OED subscription! As it is, $120 makes me hesitate, and having to go four times a year is a definite deal-breaker.

As far as the CDs go, I think this is going to work out just fine, thank you!

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