Friday, February 12, 2010

I Love the Toronto Public Libraries

Yes, it's true, I absolutely love TPL. But I'm beginning to think TPL doesn't love me back. Is waiting months for a copy of Obelisk, Neil Pearson's book about the groundbreaking Paris-based publisher of the early work of some of the great modernists - and reams of pornography some of them wrote - a sign that TPL doesn't care? Why won't TPL circulate such important-to-literary-history works as Samuel Putnam's Paris Was Our Mistress? Why can't I check out Lethbridge U prof Craig Monk's still new book on American writers of the Lost Generation? Why can't I get my hands on The Expatriates by Ishbel Ross unless I sit in the Reference Library and read it? Why can't I check out Ford Madox Ford's Return to Yesterday?

I understand that some books are just too valuable to place in circulation since, for one thing, it's unlikely they will be reprinted. But a book (Craig Monk's) from the U of Iowa Press published in 2008? Or what about British historian Simon Kitson's excellently reviewed The Hunt for Nazi Spies: Fighting Espionage in Vichy France? It's just been published! But can't leave the Reference Library.

There are few things sadder than unrequited love. TPL, please don't break my heart.

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