The Edmonton Public Library has 17 locations. (It hasn’t had bookmobiles since 1995, though).

Before this week I had been to two, Strathcona and the downtown one. Now I have been to four.

eplGO is a one-room public library inside the engineering library on campus. It was added at the end of the recent renovations. It seems to contain mostly new paperback fiction attractively displayed, with a small section on stuff related to careers and job-searching. When I was there, there was one employee re-shelving, an automatic checkout machine, and a box to drop off returns. And my returns got recorded into the system that same day, which makes it very handy – and it will be even handier when I’m biking. It’s also possible to have public library holds delivered there, so I might try that next winter. (Not embarrassing ones!)

Idylwylde is a branch library in the north end of the Bonnie Doon mall parking lot, in the same building as a Health Unit. While it was being renovated last year the library was somewhere in the mall, but I never got around to visiting it then. From the outside, I noticed a wall of big windows that had the word for Library written across them in many languages, and I could vaguely see books through the windows. It turned out that there were shelves of manga and other graphic novels attached across the inside of the glass – an appealing presentation. There was a gas fireplace and armchairs, computer carrels, a bigger teen section than small-children’s section, a staff-picks display and a 1-week-borrowing display but no other theme displays or new-books section that I could see. I took a picture but my home internet is misbehaving and the tethering connection is insufficient.

The Kingston Frontenac Public Libraries also has 17 branches, because it doesn’t just cover the small city but the whole county, some of which is quite rural or on islands. Some of the branches are tiny and open as little as four hours a week. The last year I lived there, I started a project to visit all the branches, but I only got to four or five. So I think I will do it here instead.

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