Monday, October 30, 2017

Just Getting Started by Todd Babiak - Book Report #206

I am an active member (user?) of the Edmonton Public Library.  Whenever I go down a literary rabbit hole, the library has been there to provide me with books to satisfy my curiosity.

Lately, I've been interested in history: Canadian and local history in particular.

And what could be a better read than the history of the Edmonton Public Library itself?

Babiak did a terrific job of blending local history to that of EPL.

In the early days of Edmonton, we were punching above our weight in the pursuit of a library but since Calgary had built a Carnegie funded branch, Edmonton felt it needed one too.  But, interestingly, the Carnegie group had many strings attached to any money gifted to build a library.  This did not make the "founders" happy so they went it alone to build the Strathcona branch.

This was in the times when Edmonton and Strathcona were two separate towns.  How can Strathcona have one and not Edmonton, the capital city?  Edmonton's own library was rushed into being in a space above a liquor store and meat shop.

You see?  This is actually quite interesting.

I was captivated by the book.  The writing was crisp and never lacked a sense of humour.

It was a terrific read that coloured in part of Edmonton's past for me.  I enjoyed learning about the library that I love so much.

Todd Babiak -

Edmonton Public Library -

Todd Babiak

Edmonton's own Carnegie Library - Demolished in 1968

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