Randomness in Ottawa

I'm sitting in a motel room in downtown Ottawa, having arrived safe and sound earlier today.  Here's some random thoughts on my trip so far…

– my absolute favourite part of flying is take-off and landing during that brief window of time when you're able to see the city you're at from above with everything below you identifiable but on that “Lego Little People” scale.  I will refrain from making some faux-deep observation about how it reminds you that we're all ants, scurrying about.  (Ooops, too late.)

– you know an area that always gets overlooked when libraries are designed?  Bathrooms.  The Ottawa airport and many others have great bathrooms – infrared sensors on everything, no-touch entrances (ie. no doors that you have to push or pull open), hourly inspection logs, lots of urinals and stalls, etc.  I'll always remember the story of a European businessman who bought a failing gas station chain.  The biggest single investment he made after the purchase was completely upgrading the bathrooms across the entire chain.  Soon the company was at its highest profit level ever!  Of course there are differences between providing comfortable rest spots for travelers and library patrons.  But if we're really competing with places like Chapters, inviting bathrooms needs to be part of the equation. 

– I was able to go for supper and later, dessert with a few friends from FIMS and it was nice to catch up with everybody and hear their thoughts on libraries, being new librarians and what's happened with fellow colleagues that I've lost touch with.

– I would say that Ottawa is home to the most librarians per capita in the country by a far margin. 

– apparently 98% of these Ottawa librarians went to FIMS.

– that reminds me, I haven't updated the “Spirit of Librarianship” page for a couple semesters.  (Er, anybody at FIMS who's reading this happen to know the winners and/or nominees in the past couple semesters?)

– the FIMS triple cohort in the fall of 2007 which I'm sure I heard was going to be a “one time only” intake has apparently happened again this fall. 

– is somebody updating the stats on the ratio of new librarians being pumped out to librarians that will be retiring in the next few years? I hope that balance isn't being thrown completely out of whack, especially with these triple cohorts and ANOTHER library school supposedly coming to Ottawa in the near future.

– so far, being in Ottawa during an election campaign is like…being in Regina during an election campaign.  Not much to compare since I've only been here for a bit but I would give Ottawa the edge in lawn signs.

–  this is my third time in Ottawa, once with my folks when I was younger, a couple years ago for the CLA conference when I drove a vanload of FIMS students up and now this trip.  It's a weird sort of deja vu, being here for a library conference, staying in the same area (in the same “budget” price point although I've upgraded from youth hostel to “hotel that appears to come with a free hooker with any room booked” according to one of the FIMS colleagues who came here tonight to pick me up) and planning to wander past many of the same attractions as last time.

– just a bit more on that “free hooker at the hotel” thing.  That's an exaggeration but I did look in a nearby window when we were leaving and saw two elderly people sitting at a desk in their room playing cards.  With a bottle of vodka and a bottle of water between them!

– with all that said, I don't know if I'll ever reach a place in life where I'm comfortable paying more than $100 a night for a room (this place was $90 but I'm obviously paying for the proximity to downtown rather than the ambiance.)  When I went to a CanCopy conference way back in 2000, they put us up at the Westin Harbour Castle in TO.  I had to ask and then, when I heard the rooms were $350/night, bean to wonder if I could somehow go check into a hostel and get paid the difference?  

I guess that's about it for now.  Good night!

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: