Friday, August 04, 2006

Things I like about Ottawa - Thing #1

My obsession with the Toronto Public Library is well known - and infectious.

I’ll try not to gush too much in this space - but honestly - it is maybe the best use of our tax dollars. Ever.

One can log onto the Library’s website, electronically search through zillions of book, CD, DVD, and video titles and place a hold on desired items. Then the library, free of charge, will send it to your closest branch. An automatic message calls you to let you know when your item is ready for pickup.

I reserved so many titles that I started to get three calls a day. I actually stopped saying "hello" when I answered the phone in anticipation of the "pause….hello….this is the Toronto Public Library, you have one or more items on hold..." message.

In any case, I enjoyed many, many free movies, sampled new musicians, and even listened to books on tape on my walk to work.

Unfortunately, the secret of the Toronto Public Library is out. Way out.

After asking about ten people whether they know that Stevie Wonder song that goes: "you can feel it all over, you can feel it all over," accompanied by my little dance, I found my answer:

Sir Duke.

I googled the title, found out the CD it was on, and put a hold on it.

Number 156th in the waiting line to get the CD.

I waited. And I waited. Winter ended. I waited. Spring ended. I waited. Got a job. Still waiting. Moved. No Sir Duke.

The third thing I did when I got to Ottawa (after finding the grocery store and place to buy chocolate croissants) was sign up for a library card.

This morning I put a hold on the "Songs in the Key of Life" CD.

This afternoon, a mere 6 hours later, I’m listening to Sir Duke.

Sure there are fatal digital skippy bits from over-use. But it’s all mine (for 3 weeks with allowance for one renew).


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