Contactless services inside branches – effective June 14


As of June 14, 2021, there will be contactless services inside most branches, with capacity limits in place. This means:

  • Holds can be picked up on shelves and checked out at self-checkout stations.
  • Borrowed items can be returned via book drops anytime.
  • Access to PCs, Chromebooks, and printing, where these are available.
  • Hours of operation remain the same, except at Osgoode.
  • Mask-wearing remains mandatory inside, and outside in line.

For more details, go to Current Branch Services.

You are here

Lecture alert: a little classical music CPR from Alex Ross


Love or hate the New Yorker, whose arch tone is an acquired taste, the venerable magazine does host one of classical music's liveliest critics. Alex Ross, whose immensely readable books include The Rest Is Noise and, more recently, Listen to This, will be giving a talk at the National Arts Centre on February 13. 

Ross, who is all of 43 or so, takes the stuffing out of classical music pretensions and lends fresh ears to music for all tastes. (The subject of his talk is a genre-crossing look at descending bass lines and their link to expressions of sadness across nearly 1,000 years of music history.) He is brilliant at explaining the virtues of Radiohead to the blue-rinse set and the pleasures of Stockhausen to the cooler-than-thou rock crowd. In a 2004 manifesto, of sorts, on how classical music can live on, he named the iPod as its unlikely saviour:

On the iPod, music is freed from all fatuous self-definitions and delusions of significance. There are no record jackets depicting bombastic Alpine scenes or celebrity conductors with a family resemblance to Rudolf Hess. Instead, music is music. (Read the full article.)