International Art of Storytelling – Canada 2009
In November 2008, library administration visited the Toronto Public Library, Canada. This visit offered a look inside one of the largest library systems in North America, with 99 branches and 11 million items loaned annually. During the visit, they toured 10 branches; met with librarians and administrative staff and saw Toronto’s interesting and unique collections. Unlike the Miami-Dade System, which is comprised of a main library and individual branches, the Toronto system is comprised of research and reference and district and neighborhood libraries. The visitors also had the opportunity to see Toronto’s capital building and renovation projects as well as to learn about their early literacy program.
A second visit occurred in February 2009, where staff had the opportunity to share information on programming, outreach and storytelling techniques, and perform at the Toronto Festival of Storytelling.
The Toronto exchange proved to be very successful, having a positive impact on libraries’ staff, administrators, and most importantly patrons. Some of the initiatives observed in Toronto have since been implemented at the Miami-Dade Public Library.