Friday, June 9, 2023

Aurora Public Library, Community’s Social & Cultural Hub

Books, books everywhere. That’s what I see first for every visit to our local Aurora Public Library; however, not always will I leave our library with a book in my hand. Books will continue to shape the interior look of our libraries, at least for some time, but the information and resources we seek today may not always result in a paper format. Libraries around the world continue to embrace applicable technologies to give us much broader access to information in digital formats, broader resources via Internet access and in some cases rental of technology equipment. So what’s next? Perhaps another way to affordable access to Internet via a concept called Borrow the Internet.

The Borrow the Internet concept is, “The two-year $175,000 program, funded through the Ontario Libraries Capacity Fund for Research and Innovation, allows clients to borrow a hotspot [device] with unlimited data for up to two weeks. Once they return the device, which looks similar to a wireless router, they can put their names on a wait list to borrow it again.” Source: Toronto Star March 5th, 2017.

Nevertheless, a local library also act as a community’s social and cultural hub. It’s a meeting place, group study place, gathering place for interest groups, sharing local stories place, for parents a place to bring their children to participate in art, craft and reading activities. There is more.

Like I said before, not always do I walk out of the Aurora Public Library with a book in my hand, but I do know that I always walk out with a little bit of knowledge in my head.

A long time ago, I took University of Toronto lecture sessions at the Aurora Public Library. The lectures were ranging from science, politics, economics to Aurora’s local nature. I remember the Lebovic room was packed with interested attendees, the majority being seniors, and somehow I was able to blend in [smiling]. David Tomlinson was one of the speakers, a landscape architect for the Aurora Community Arboretum and also an architect of the current Merlin’s Hollow English Garden.

The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, currently Federal Minister of Science, a medical geographer and scientist then, was another speaker presenting her book during those lectures. “In 2003, Duncan wrote a book about her expedition, entitled Hunting the 1918 Flu: One Scientist’s Search for a Killer Virus. Published by the University of Toronto Press, it details Duncan’s process and the expedition itself.” Source: Kristy Duncan, Wiki.

Last week during the frigid temperatures I dragged myself and my 9 year old out to photo shoot the old library that is currently undergoing demolition. We were already there so why not stop by the Aurora Public Library. We do that often. Spontaneity is sometimes more fun and our library is so resourceful that we rarely, again, walk out empty handed or “empty headed.” 

Aurora Public Library

“The blues tells a story in itself. It can make you happy or give you a feeling to swing.” ~ Jimmy Rushing

My always favourite place to visit is the Colleen Abbott Gallery on the second floor. That day when it was so cold outside, not sure what could have been better than warming up to Angela Durante Dukat’s intriguing photography exhibit and at the same time listening to blues by Glenn Marais in the background. Soon Angela’s exhibit will be succeeded by another photography exhibit and in the month of February Aurora is going to be a blues hub, “York Region’s only genuine Blues Festival where you’ll experience an upfront and intimate evening of Canada’s best live blues acts.

Aurora Public Library

And before we headed outside again. One more look.

Matthew, come back. See if you can recognize someone here,” I called for my 9 year old.

Look, do you recognize THEM? Is she from your class?” I asked.

I know her,” he replied with a smile on his face.

Aurora Public Library

“I remember that libraries were always quiet. Whispering was instructed. But now once in a while the silence is broken, whispers stop and music plays.”

Anna Lozyk Romeo
Aurora, ON

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