Did you notice? Recently, people in Toronto have been showing their love and support for public libraries over the past month. Library lovers of all ages and backgrounds took to social media to express the importance of Toronto’s Public Libraries and libraries everywhere.

The movement reminded me of all the times public libraries were important to me. I joined in with posting my personal story.

I was born and raised in this city and grew up with Toronto Public Libraries. As a young child, getting my very own library card felt like a big kid responsibility. It taught me to to take care of something and respect the given time I had with any cherished book.  Adding my name to “the list” and waiting for a popular novel to come in was so exciting! We were taught patience was always rewarded and worth it. As a student the library was a place for peaceful studies and countless hours of research. The Reference Library downtown was a go-to for many harder to find articles and rare book editions. Then, the libraries (including Lillian H. Smith and Locke branches) became more of a community gathering place when I became a mom. I’d take my kids for special events & reading programs and had opportunities to meet with visiting authors. Even as an adult I was fortunate to meet Kevin Kwan, author of Crazy Rich Asians, and listen in on an interview he did with Lainey at a branch uptown! It also became a place for my friends and I as artists and makers where we were embraced for our crafts and given space to connect with the public. On my travels, I also seek out landmark libraries to visit — it’s a great place to explore in big cities and free!

On the streets, people have been spotted wearing and toting limited edition “I’m Library People” merchandise to remind us all that the Toronto Public Library system continues to be relevant and needed.

The limited edition collection includes the classic “I’m Library People” tee (for adults and kids), as well as reusable totes and notebooks (both new this year). Each item from the “I’m Library People” product line includes a donation to the Foundation, which raises funds for many diverse Library programs and services (that are not otherwise funded by the government). Examples include programs that introduce children to the joy of reading, helping newcomer students succeed in school, teaching digital technologies to job-seekers and bringing the Library to house-bound seniors.

Great gift idea for the holidays too! More info at www.tplfoundation.ca

Here are a few familiar faces and friends who took to instagram to share…