Canadian Urban Libraries Council/Conseil des Bibliothèques Urba

CULC in The News

CULC/CBUC STUDY TOUR POST NO. 3

Well it began and it has been awesome. If this makes one person jealous then great, all 19 of us will be pleased. As ED I hoped for one “big win” per day. When on Day One somebody says it was already worth every nickel you know things can only get worse. But so far they have not.

I am going to get to perhaps the best first – at least from my perspective – we arrived at the Black Diamond on Monday morning to meet our tour guide and none other than world-renowned Architect Morten Schmidt appeared. We knew that Morten was joining us in the afternoon. Did we think we would be spending a day with this man – no way. He was as humble, interesting, and entertaining a person as you could ever want to meet and wait until you see the pictures and the presentations. Morten now has Canadian Groupies! He even took a band of those willing to step out of Susy’s tightly choreographed plan and went and saw one of his other daring projects called “The Crystal.” See Flickr account.

Some more random thoughts worth sharing:

  • Flickr- having some troubles. So far the only upload is by Ken Roberts of HPL (using the trip to do some HPL promotion too – I think I saw him doing some Hamilton promotion and library card sign ups in the airport today)
  • Black Diamond – let’s just use WOW!! Pictures tell the story.
  • Help. Architects and Architect Wannabe/Should-Bes (AAW/SB) may be hijacking the tour. Who knew that finding a cantilevered petrol station in a beach town north of Kobenhavn was part of the tour? It is when famed architect Arne Jacobsen designed it. We also tried to find his house, but failed. Another example would be a pilgrimage to the base of the “Twisted Torso” building designed by Santiago Calatrava.
  • Copenhagen’s Main Branch was cool. Lots of nuggets to be seen and emulated. Neat rock band set-up (not Wii) where folks can jam wearing headphones.
  • Malmö – their darling library – 300,000 people and a spectacle that every library lover needs to see. It has been widely known for some time about the power of this place, but it defied expectations. I would not exaggerate to say the 19 folks on the tour took more than 5,000 pics here alone.
  • Sleeping CEOs. Nobody is saying they are not leaders, but when more than one, at some point in the day, commandeered the back seat for a power nap, you have to know it is the “norm” for folks in this position. There might be some shots on Flickr or maybe you will need to wait until somebody else offers up names.
  • Pods of windmills. We took a 10 km bridge tunnel to Sweden and there was a symmetrical pod of at least 50 windmills out in the bay on the Swedish side. Lots of controvsy about these in Ontario for sure, but as a sight in the Baltic sea they were just beautiful performance art.

Final thought for this posting. Is it us or is it them? Our bus driver crunched a $100k Mercedes as he was moving out to make a turn. Pretty certain we heard and possibly learned some Danish profanity. We have photos. We were running late to see a library that has doubled it's open hours through staff-less automation, so the driver dealt with it all in less than 10 minutes. That earned him a tip.

Tags: