One of the better aspects of living here is having the venerable Vancouver Public Library as part of our community.
Not only does it provide literature to the masses, but it also acts as a refuge for the homeless. I've always found the service to be excellent and in all this time, I've never found a librarian to be rude or terse, which says something great.
There's so much talk about trendy restaurants and the scenic beauty of Vancouver, but what about our library?
In a study by done the Heinrich Heine University in Dusseldorf, the Vancouver and Montreal public-library systems were rated as the Number 1 libraries in the world. They beat the public libraries of New York, Boston, London, Los Angeles, and Toronto.
According to the study, the researchers analyzed the services provided by the libraries and the digital and physical spaces among 31 major centres.
Subsquently, I discovered that 94 percent of Vancouver residents are happy to support the libraries with their tax dollars. It is the third largest library system in Canada and 62 percent of people say they wouldn't read books if they didn't have the library.
The VPL was founded in 1869. The first branch established was the one in Kitsilano in 1927.
The central branch is a nine-storey building with more than 348,000 square feet and, apparently, 700 parking stalls.
To have such a massive institution well-run and well-serviced is a huge task and I think it's time we gave a pat on the back to all the hard-working librarians from top to bottom.
Next time if you want to read Henry James, you know where to go. And you can donate your old books to the VPL.