Several factors are lining up to make it a boom time for libraries in Canada. I was really hoping this would be about new dress code regulations for hot librarians, but it’s not. Bring back the tight hair buns and revealing chenille sweaters!! (The demise of literary snobbery? Haven’t you been reading?)
With the high cost of books and the demise of literary snobbery, readership is on the rise, write Shannon Proudfoot and Cassandra Drudi.
Business is booming at Canada’s major public libraries, which credit everything from the high price of buying books to social networking, a new social acceptance for frothy best-sellers and the Internet for the increase in use.
Toronto boasts the busiest public library system per capita in the world, with 1.2 million cardholders and 28.9 million items in 40 languages circulating each year. In Regina, 3,180 people are on the waiting list for Fearless Fourteen, the newest offering from romance-turned-crime writer Janet Evanovich. Halifax public libraries have 240 readers on a waiting list for Kathy Reichs’ newest forensic mystery, which won’t even be published until the end of the summer. And in Ottawa, 667 people are waiting to get their hands on one of 77 copies of Sophie Kinsella’s Remember Me?
“Everyone thinks the Internet has been the death of the public libraries and exactly the opposite is true,” says Grant Kaiser, director of marketing and development for Calgary Public Library. “We see more and more and more readership every year.”