Canadian Urban Libraries Council/Conseil des Bibliothèques Urba

CULC in The News

CULC/CBUC STUDY TOUR POST NO. 1

The Study Tour particpants are gathering in Copenhagen on a glorious Autumn Scandanavian Day. Tomorrow is the final day of the summer season at the world famous Tivoli Gardens and the first official day/evening of the Tour. Most are arriving tomorrow, but those with travel issues came a day early. Thank you Air Canada and their partner union for agreeing to terms earlier this week or many of us might be in Canada still.

From where I am staying tonight (Marriott Copenhagen) I overlook the Tivoli Amusement Park on one side and from this Internet station I can see the shipping channel and the container ships on the Baltic Sea. I can also see the spectacular BELLA SKY Hotel which is an architectural marvel. I couldn't resist an early peak (okay my room was three hours late being ready) and walked down the wharf and had my first look at the stunning Black Diamond – the Danish National Library. I can also see a 10 kayak/person game of “kayak-polo”. Also what I thought was a sculpture in the harbour is in fact a public swimming area. The jumping/diving board looks like the prow of a ship.

Maureen Barry (Burlington PL) has graciously offered to become an international mule. CULC/CBUC ED Jefferson Gilbert's best planning left a two hour gap between his departure and the new CULC/CBUC swag bags fresh from the printer. Luckly Maureen had extra room in her bag - sounds to me like she is planning a little shopping over here. Turns out that she is also carrying an unnamed 905 CEOs Euro Pass who made the mistake of leaving it on her desk before she left. I see a reciprocal card agreement being negotiated over that save. Thanks to my Associate Jennifer Marriott, who without a car, is figuring out how to do all this today while still finalizing some lunch and dinner details at the back end.

Checked out the first stop hotel and they are ready for us (though the back story will probably arrive back in Canada before the delegation does). Have not yet tracked down former CULC/CBUC Chair Jeff Barber who pre-tripped before the Study Tour to assist the Greek people with some of their economic issues. Greg Hayton is also in town already. I am sure he has done the Danish Design Institute and I hope the Louisiana Museum of Art which is 50 miles outside of town.

Early Urban Observations:

  • Any Cities considering bike lanes need to come and see how seamless they are here in CPH; bikes everywhere; few helmets in sight and fewer “cyclists” bent on using paths to pretend they are at the Tour of Italy or France. Also note, as I write Canadian Clara Hughes may win the ICU 140K+ women's race across town. Lots of riders are in the hotel, not sure about Canadian delegation. The town is cylce crazy this week. Very cool.
  • Mix of old and new. Here is a city much, much older than anything we have in Canada and they have beautifully justaposing traditional Modern Architecture side by side with their history. They seem to be supporting each other quite nicely and I am told with minimal conflict.
  • Vancouver figured it out, but not sure who else. Catherine Biss and I each paid the equivalent of $7.50 and waited 3 minutes (they come every ten minutes) and took a train from the Airport (the International one) right to the downtown station. I walked to my hotel which was 3 blocks; Catherine was less sure, but I suspct instead of a $60 cab it was less than $10. BTW - the train terminal is below the Arrivals level - less than 200M in total walking.e
  • No. 13 above the Danish Design Institute caught my eye immediately. I am paraphrasing, but what it said was "Libraries need to change and transform to stay relavant". 13 is an unfortunate number, because we have 19 people here from CULC/CBUC and Canadian libraries look at what other parts of the world have done.

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