In Session With…Toronto Public Library
Published on: February 16 2017
What Is The Coolest Record You Own?
Typically an In Session With… features a band. This notable episode deviates from the formula to explore the Toronto Public Library’s fantastic vinyl collection. Verily: living on the 5th floor of the Toronto Reference Library is a sensational record collection. So let’s take it for a spin!
I’m joined by Beau Levitt a witty and bright librarian at the Reference Library who works in the Arts Department. He successfully pulled 3 distinct albums to play during this In Session. That can’t have been an easy task. An avid vinyl collector and blogger he’s written about Simon Reynolds’ book Retromania: Pop Culture’s Addiction to Its Own Past for the TPL.
(An aside: I met Beau through Darby Wheeler and Mike Wolde when they hosted a talk and screening of HBO’s Hip Hop Evolution at the Reference Library. There are all kinds of fantastic events happening at the Reference Library and other branches see for yourself on their website.)
And my other guest is Shawn William Clark a talented Toronto folk artist and one of the best human beings to talk vinyl. A passionate vinyl enthusiast with a deep appreciation for the ceremony vinyl demands. There’s something to be said for the slow process of withdrawing a record from its sleeve, the slow steady pace to gently place the needle down feels almost countercultural to our hectic world.
That slow pace…making tea in a Tassimo coffee world…is something I treasure in reading. Constantly checking I’m ecstatic to share the TPL! Toronto’s Public Library is magical…books, music, movies…comic books and yes…vinyl. Are you cereal? Indeed. We have an awesome library and if you don’t have a library card you’re letting an outstanding opportunity pass you by. The TPL is basically a bank that allows you to wisely invest in yourself. I’m a better man, a better Sammy because of the TPL. Thank you to all the TPL staff who make it happen.
Oh! Unfortunately you cannot check out the vinyl from the TPL however you are free to visit the Reference Library and sample the delicious music. Beau is actively cataloging the collection and you can see what is in the collection via TPL’s Discogs profile. With its mix of many styles and genres, the record collection reflects the wonderful diversity Toronto is known for; like this conversation this is only the start.
What a joy to check out these albums and talk about the TPL.
Photography by Alissa Santiago
In Session With Girth… is recorded live every Thursday at the Pacific Junction Hotel bar (234 King St E.) at 6:30 pm. Join Us!