A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘toronto public library

[URBAN NOTE] Five Toronto links: TTC, Davenport Triangle homeless, Parkdale, HQ2, Kanopy

  • Steve Munro takes a look at his blog at the long history of the TTC promising to tackle crowding.
  • Shawn Micallef takes issue with the anti-homeless shelter NIMBYism in the Davenport Triangle, i.e. the northeastern Annex, over at the Toronto Star.
  • Samantha Edwards at NOW Toronto notes the rent strike of some tenants at Parkdale’s 1251 King Street West against Nuspor Investments.
  • Toronto may be on the shortlist for Amazon’s HQ2, but there are good reasons why it is not likely to win it. The Globe and Mail reports.
  • Toronto Life highlighted ten noteworthy films available via the new Toronto Public Library Kanopy service.
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[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • First, a new blog. The Buzz…About Books, official blog of the Toronto Public Library’s Book Buzz, has interesting book-related posts. I liked this one from last December, noting the most popular books in dozens of neighbourhoods according to TPL stats.
  • Centauri Dreams celebrates the life and achievements, as a writer and as a dreamer, of Ursula K Le Guin.
  • D-Brief notes that yesterday was NASA’s Day of Remembrance for lost astronauts, and takes a close look at the Columbia disaster 15 years ago.
  • Hornet Stories notes a recent interview with Tonya Harding, famous again thanks to I, Tonya, that takes a look at some of her more controversial opinions. (Is the pro-Trump enough to prevent her from being some sort of camp icon, I wonder?)
  • JSTOR Daily links to a paper examining the import of artificial intelligence victories in board games, like Go, over human players. Of course simple iterations are able to overcome human-style intelligence, so long as you go through enough iterations at least.
  • Language Hat notes how many languages, and dialects of languages, can survive in far-removed immigrant enclaves. Greek in Ohio is used as one example.
  • Marginal Revolution imagines, through the person of an athlete, what it would be like for someone to know all the data that is to be known about them. (I think it could be empowering.)
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw shares his sad thoughts about how, in an age of instant and potentially overwhelming digital outrage in a polarizing era, he resorts to self-censorship.
  • The Planetary Society Blog explores the work of scientists who are assembling a guidebook indicating what the spectra of Earth-like worlds, at different stages of their history and orbiting different stars, will look like.
  • Drew Rowsome takes a look at how #metoo is revealing sexual harassment and assault everywhere, among gay and straight, in Ontario and abroad.
  • Ilya Somin at the Volokh Conspiracy demonstrates that the anti-immigration policies of Trump show the man is uninterested, as some would have it, in deregulation.
  • Understanding Society examines the question of how organizations can ensure that their members will act in compliance with stated organizational values.
  • Window on Eurasia s the ongoing emigration of ethnic Russians from the North Caucasus, a massive and–I suspect–irreversible migration.

[NEWS] Five culture links: archeology in Canada, Baker Boy, Threads, Ukrainian churches, Kanopy

  • Archeology in Canada is starting to take a leading role in the reconciliation process with First Nations. The Globe and Mail reports.
  • Baker Boy, an Australian Aborigine rapper from the Milingimbi community, is becoming a star with his raps in his native Yolngu Matha language. (Touring with 50 Cent is an achievement.) Australia’s SBS carries the story.
  • Threads, the infamous 1984 British film depicting the aftermath of nuclear war, is coming to Blu-ray. VICE’s Motherboard reports.
  • Andrei Fert writes at Open Democracy about how, after the appalling refusal of a priest in a Moscow-aligned Ukrainian Orthodox church to preside over the burial of a toddler baptized into a Kyiv-aligned church, that whole denomination is coming into disrepute.
  • blogTO notes the introduction, by the Toronto Public Library, of a new video streaming service, Kanopy, offering more than thirty thousand movies free to members.

[URBAN NOTE] Five Toronto links: the Toronto Public Library, Hanlan’s, parks, and Montréal laneways

  • blogTO notes that the Toronto Reference Library will be holding a huge sale again next week.
  • Inside Toronto profiles Sephora Hussein, new collection head of the Merril Collection.
  • Michael Lyons writes about the importance of the newly-reopened Hanlan’s beach on the Toronto Islands.
  • Jake Tobin Garrett argues at Torontoist for the importance of the proposed Rail Deck Park.
  • Emily Macrae argues at Torontoist there is much Toronto can learn from the green–literally–laneways of Montréal.

[URBAN NOTE] “Toronto is making a big push to upgrade its libraries”

blogTO’s Derek Flack highlights the ongoing upgrading of not a few of the branches of the Toronto Public Library system.

Perhaps the most stunning of these upgrades is happening at the TPL’s Albion Branch, where architecture firm Perkins + Will have designed a stunning new building immediately adjacent to the existing branch that dates back to 1973.

By using the parking lot as the site of the replacement, it was possible to keep the original branch in operation throughout the construction process, which is entering its final stage. The new building is expected to open in fall of this year.

When it does, it’ll feature a far more robust computer area, a technology centre complete with a 3-D printer, a specially designed kids area, and a social space being dubbed the “urban living room.”

Similar upgrades are coming to another branch that’s seen better days. The Raymond Moriyama-designed North York Central branch is still a stunning building with its seven storey atrium, but being the second busiest branch in the system, it was deemed a priority to upgrade its features and some of the finer points of the design.

The list goes on. No less than seven branches are currently undergoing renovation efforts, including Agincourt, Eglinton Square, Runnymede, St. Clair/Silverthorn, and Wychwood. In each case, the goal is the same: to modify the existing space to serve more as a community hub rather than merely a quiet place to study or read.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 25, 2017 at 9:00 pm

[LINK] “Bringing the Chinese Canadian Archive into view”

Spacing Toronto’s Arlene Chan profiles the exciting introduction to the public via the Toronto Public Library of an archive of Chinese Canadian history over the past century and more.

On Dominion Day, 1923, Canadians were in a celebratory mood. But those good feelings didn’t extend into any Chinatown. July 1 came to be regarded by the Chinese in Canada as “humiliation day.” The Chinese Immigration Act, known commonly as the Chinese Exclusion Act, banned virtually all Chinese immigration for the next 24 years. It stood as the most severe legislation of the more than a hundred anti-Chinese policies of the day. The successively increased head tax of $50 (1885), $100 (1900), and $500 (1903) failed to deter immigration, as intended, at a time when the vision for the country was a ‘white Canada.’

My mother, Jean Lumb, nee Toy Jin Wong, was three years old on that infamous day, but almost a year would elapse before a government bureaucrat photographed her for this official document. After all, the Chinese Exclusion Act not only halted immigration; it also required that all Chinese, whether born in Canada (as my mother was) or abroad, to register for an identification card within one year of the passage of the new law.

The card looks uninteresting in itself – a document that lived for decades in a shoebox. But in a recent interview for Ming Pao Daily News, a former employee of the now defunct Shing Wah Daily News, once the largest Chinese newspaper in North America, commented that the need to pass on and preserve this history to future generations is more urgent than ever. The connections to our past are fast fading with the loss of our elders.

Such documents will now be shared, thanks to a new initiative of the Toronto Public Library. The mandate of the Chinese Canadian Archive — which will be launched officially at a reception this evening (Tuesday) at the Toronto Reference Library – is to collect, preserve, store, and provide access for researchers and the general public.

“This archival program is a great opportunity to properly accommodate our family’s precious historic material that our children will not want to keep,” says Nelson Wong, whose father, W.C. Wong, was a prominent leader in Chinatown.

Mavis Chu Lew Garland, who grew up in Chinatown, wants others to know that her “half-Chinese family also existed in Toronto.” Garland’s sizeable donation of documents and photos reveals the extent to which her family honoured its Chinese heritage. “The items will now be available to be shared with whoever is interested in the Chinese culture, and in the people who valued them.”

Written by Randy McDonald

November 30, 2016 at 2:00 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Toronto library finds savings, misses council’s target”

David Rider of the Toronto Star writes about the Toronto Public Library faced with cuts. Past a certain point, we’re going to have to find ways to pay for the nice things we need.

Toronto’s bustling library system is the latest agency to say it can’t make city council’s directive to cut 2.6 per cent of its spending without hurting services to Torontonians.

At a meeting this week, chief librarian Vickery Bowles presented the library board with 2 per cent in proposed “efficiencies,” through increased revenue from space rentals plus lower spending, thanks to technological innovations including fine payments at self-checkout terminals.

The $3.529 million in savings includes eliminating 8.7 full-time staff positions. To hit the target approved by city council at the urging of Mayor John Tory, the library would have to cut a further $1.077 million.

Unavoidable costs for negotiated salary increases plus improved services — including expanded Sunday hours at some branches — boost the library’s 2017 operating budget request to $178.8 million, or 0.9 per cent over this year’s budget.

“If TPL is required to find equivalent savings to meet the (council-directed) target, the Library would then need to implement service reductions,” Bowles wrote in her report, adding she’ll continue hunting for efficiencies.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 29, 2016 at 6:45 pm