The Toronto Public Library (TPL) is one of the largest public library systems in North America and the world's busiest urban library. It’s not only large, but also one of the most diverse and creative libraries as well. Branches offer not only books and magazines, but also loan out DVDs, CDs, pedometers for measuring your steps, and even time on a 3D printer! A full suite of online services is also available, with library users able to borrow eBooks, online magazines, stream music and movies, and make use of free accounts for online learning sites like lynda.com. Expanding to the online realm hasn’t diminished the importance of the brick-and-mortar locations by any means, with physical branches providing important services like mortgage workshops and even the occasional speed-dating night. New branches continue to be built, with the system as a whole adapting well as new neighborhoods blossom across the city. With winter approaching, why not task yourself with visiting all 100 branches of the good old TPL as fun winter activity? Designer Noah Ortmann has created The Toronto Library Passport to help you find each branch and record your experiences. It’s a beautiful document, featuring gorgeous typography. It also contains useful information like opening hours for each branch to ensure that you don’t encounter shut doors, along with a map. This would make a wonderful present for any lover of books, libraries, or the city. It’s also such a great idea that it would be nice to see this expanded to other city library systems. If you’re a fan of the TPL, please also consider donating to their foundation to help support this vital part of our city.
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