When Leticia Davolli arrived in Canada four years ago, the Toronto Reference Library was one her favourite local neighbourhood haunts. She had heard about the library from friends and colleagues while attending ESL classes in the Yonge and Bloor area. As a recently arrived newcomer, the Toronto Reference Library was Leticia's key to connecting with friends and family back home in Brazil, where she would use the library's computers to email her loved ones.
After a short hiatus from the library, Leticia stumbled upon her local neighbourhood branch and rediscovered her love for Toronto's public libraries. She was so enthralled with this newfound love that she dedicated a post on her blog, Para minha mãe, to extolling the virtues of Toronto's public libraries.
This week we sat down with Leticia to talk to her about why she loves the library so much and why she decided to rekindle this old flame.
Melanie: Hi Leticia. Thanks for taking the time out to chat with me today. So, how long have you been in Canada?
Leticia: I've been in Canada four years. I immigrated from Brazil.
Melanie: How long after your arrival in Canada did you decide to visit a Toronto Public Library branch?
Leticia: Not long after. I was attending ESL classes in the Yonge and Bloor area, and my classmates told me about the Reference library. Everybody knew about it. I would usually go there to check my email.
Melanie: Do your remember your first visit to a Toronto Public Library branch?
Leticia: Yes! I had a good first impression. But I was a little intimidated by the Reference library because it was so big and impersonal! I felt a little lost.
Melanie: What prompted you the first time to visit the library?
Leticia: I was studying English in the area, and I had heard about it from someone else. All my classmates were going there.
Melanie: In your blog post you mentioned that you had stopped using the library for some time. Why?
Leticia: I started attending UofT and George Brown, and so I would just end up using the university and college campus libraries more often. Other than email, I didn't really think about using the Reference library as a place where I could borrow books. I had this totally wrong notion that the library only had outdated books, so it lost its appeal.
Melanie: Yikes! Well I'm sure you realized by now that there are a lot of really cool things to borrow from the library. What was it that brought you back in to the library? How did you rediscover all the great resources it has to offer?
Leticia: I reconnected with the library through my local neighbourhood branch, Deer Park, after talking to a friend who had mentioned that she stopped buying books and only ever borrowed things she needs from the library. After our conversation I decided to pay a visit to my local neighbourhood branch. When I walked in again, for the first time in years, I was amazed at some of the treasures I found!
Melanie: What is it that you love so much about the library?
Leticia: Wow! Where do I start!? First of all, you have some amazing titles in your collection! On my first visit back I found titles like Change by Design by Tim Brown; Blog Inc. by Joy Cho; and The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. Also, you have a great holds reservation system and great borrowing privileges. I still can't believe that I'm allowed to borrow up to 50 items on my library card! You also have amazing magazines available for borrowing. And it's all free!
Melanie: What is your most memorable visit to the library?
Leticia: I'd have to say my most memorable visit to the library was definitely when I first visited my neighbourhood branch and reconnected with the library. When I first walked in, not only was I amazed at what the library had to offer, but I also felt bad that I had not been enjoying it to its full potential. One thing's for sure - I've rediscovered this marvelous treasure, and I don't plan on letting it go ever again! The library reminds me how lucky I am to live in Toronto!
Melanie: Leticia, thanks again for your time! Before we go, do you have any favourite titles you'd like to recommend, particularly to people who are new to Toronto Public Library?
Leticia: Yes! These are some of my favourite titles:
Have you reconnected with the library recently? Do you have any memorable library stories that you'd like to share? Let us know!