Libraries Here and Abroad

Submitted by Ann Moffat

ImageBiblioteca Joanina at the University of Coimbra, Portugal

The 300,000 books here are old and rare so it’s hands off except for approved scholars but a certain number of visitors are allowed in to the climate controlled space to see it.  What other library has its own bats to eat the bugs before they destroy the books?  Staff cover the beautiful study tables with heavy leather cloths at night to protect them from bat droppings.  Every morning the cloths are removed and cleaned.  Now that’s can’t be compared with emptying a bookdrop.




ImageHuntsville Public Library (Ontario)  

Huntsville has a population of only 18,000 yet they have had a library for 133 years.  The building hasn’t much to say architecturally (despite the Group-of-Seven mural) but I attended a discussion of the future of this library and the support and love for the service was evident.  They want the library to be the focal point for information, even extending services to the many tourists who stop there on their way to Algonquin Park.




ImageDwight Library (Muskoka, Ontario)

Dwight village has their library in the community centre.  Librarian Peggy Hurley certainly has WOM (word of mouth) marketing - all the cottagers rave about her selection of great summer reads and programmes for kids and adults.   The library is thoughtfully furnished, art and shelving reflecting the environment and life outdoors.