On a + note

Iconic….really Kitty? #30: 2012

Posted in on a + note by flickfancy on September 3, 2012

The last few months I have been running into the word “iconic” a lot i.e. the iconic Margaret Atwood, the iconic VPL, and the iconic To Kill a Mockingbird.

So, of course over Sunday brunch last weekend  I had to apply the word to Libraryland and ask my brunch mates what they thought  make a public library “iconic”?

They were not short on opinions. Here is what they told me:

►”It’s all about the architecture”… like the great restored Carnegies such as Owen Sound & North Grey Union Public Library connected to the Tom Thompson Art Gallery and the spectacular Hespeler Public Library wrapped in glass; and of course they referred to Seattle Public and Vancouver Public downtown libraries. I had to agree with them, architecture can certainly make a library iconic.

►”It’s all due to the libraries age”… like the mighty GPL – the first public library in Ontario (Yah, this maybe a bit of flatter on the part of my brunch mates! Naturally I agreed!  lol)

►and finally they referenced great marketing…they spoke eloquently of the universally recognized library lions at NYPL and the three John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Awards  awarded to the Calgary Public Library. And again I had to agree with their choices.

However, by the end of brunch, there was unanimous agreement that what really makes a public library iconic is the staff. It is staff (and all that goes into a great staff) that makes a library iconic, memorable, beloved and yes, ultimately well supported!

So, who would be on my list of iconic public libraries? I am sure I have forgotten many, but in alphabetical order I would humbly suggest:

●Cuyahoga County Public Library http://www.cuyahogalibrary.org/

●Edmonton Public Library http://www.epl.ca/

●Halifax Public Library http://www.halifaxpubliclibraries.ca/

●Naperville Public Library http://www.naperville-lib.org/

●Schaumburg Township District Library   http://www.stdl.org

●Surry Public Library   http://www.surreylibraries.ca/

●Topeka Shawnee County Public Library http://tscpl.org/

Iconic means many different things to many different people, but for six library lovers brunching in Guelph Ontario in early fall 2012, there seems to be a thread of commonality that is reflective of all libraries; architecture, age, marketing and especially its staff, resulting in an “iconic” public facility.

Have a great week….its almost pumpkin and fall mum season here in central Ontario.

Kitty Pope                                                                                          #30 September 2012



One Response to 'Iconic….really Kitty? #30: 2012'

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  1. Wow, how wonderful that you think the Naperville Public Library is iconic! We’re lucky to be located in a town that values library services and we really work to meet those expectations. Alas,we don’t have lion statues but we do have Dr. Seuss sculptures. Hope you have great fall color this year!
    Susan Greenwood
    Naperville Public Library

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