On the weekend, I went to Ottawa with some classmates to visit a few libraries. What better way to feel inspired about librarianship than to actually visit some of the most beautiful and interesting libraries in the country? I’m lucky that Montreal is so close to Ottawa, but I’m sure anyone could find some interesting libraries within driving distance.
We started with the Library of Parliament, which is absolutely gorgeous, and one of the librarians gave us a full tour, including the less than glamourous but still interesting basement stacks.
After lunch, we visited the library at the National Gallery of Canada, which is less impressive architecturally but fascinating from an information perspective (especially for my classmate Rosanne, who has a special interest in art history). The librarian who showed us around even gave us a whole stack of meticulously designed pamphlets advertising past exhibitions.
Finally, we were shown around the Ottawa Public Library. More than one of the librarians expressed frustration with the lagging plans for a new facility, and indeed, the building was far from photogenic. We did, however, meet a number of librarians from different departments, each with a unque perspective on the roles of the library, and we left with our bags full of promotional materials for the library so we could learn more about the programs they offer.
This was a great opportunity, and I highly recommend organizing this kind of trip. Feel free to let me know about experiences you’ve had touring libraries, and for more photos, click the ones above to find my Flickr stream.