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My workplace is getting renovated. I'm excited to see a young architecture firm take the weirdness that is our central library/farmers market building and integrate the spaces. There's a great focus on the social space and providing both a view of each other as well as areas for privacy. I'm looking forward particularly to the new reading room with fireplace and the public kitchen in the market! Also the two-way conversion of York Blvd out front as well as parking lanes that turn into places for farmers market vendor stalls in the summer.

The current 1980 building is a fabulous experiment in open concept and while being nice to be in has some flaws. Like being able to hear the children's department in the archives and staff quarters being, essentially, big cubicles added on to the peripheral as an after-thought. Or the fact that the first floor is presently large print, circulation, children's dept., conference rooms and a hallway. People generally expect books and computers when they walk into a library these days.

Preliminary work has already begun.

Rendering: Hamilton Farmers Market / Central Library Renovation from Raise the Hammer on Vimeo.


Nov. 3rd, 2008 02:42 pm
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We were donated a buncha photos at work today. We've got everything from Tommy Douglas, father of Canadian socialized health care and grandfather of Keifer Sutherland, to Robert Goulet so far.

All the images are numerically index not by subject. So we get to go through every negative, slide and print. It's like Christmas came early!!

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Today we found a book from our rare books collection. A copy of the "Nazi Primer" which is essentially like The Cub Book for the Hitler Youth. Written in English and published in 1938 (ours is an original) It's horrendously racist, as one might expect and goes into some sickening detail. Profiling people and their behaviours by the shapes of their skulls, for instance. Sitting alone in the work room on a rainy day, reading what felt like a forbidden text felt pretty neat. Luckily the HPL central branch was constructed in the 1980s and looks more like a set from Logan's Run than musty old British library. But the experience left me thinking about the human desire to put things into order. To categorize and understand the world by generalizing more complex systems. In this case culture, lineage and biological superiority. It's not that I didn't understand Hitler before... but having this authentic experience with a genuine article helped me to realize that this really happened.

This evening after the library I took no less than three forms of public transit to reunite myself with my viola chez [ profile] jgrizz et [ profile] grimmlok. I had left it in Jon's trunk last weekend. The visit was short as I was basically there on business. But not inappropriately Shawn and I played Brothers in Arms on their XBox 360 and shot up some Nazis pretty intensely. A funny coincidence really completing my WWII theme throughout the day. It's awfully nice that we can afford to simulate these things in 3D graphics for fun.

Tomorrow I get to organize the rare books collection at work so Nazi Primer and others don't go missing again. I actually find this pretty exciting.


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