The first day of each month is a theme day for members of City Daily Photo, and for September, the theme is Library. It was chosen by Susan Kelly, who blogs from Jinan in China. You can see how other photobloggers are interpreting the theme here.
The Ottawa Public Library has thirty three branches (and bookmobile service) spread over the city, both in urban and rural areas, a legacy of the amalgamation of the cities and townships of the former region of Carleton into one city. The OPL is the largest bilingual library system in North America, at least in terms of English and French. I'm focusing on two branches. The Sunnyside branch is in Old Ottawa South, just off the Bank Street Bridge, and it's the branch I'm at most often, since it's close to home. Out front there are flower beds- by August, sunflowers are dominating them. The building itself dates back to the 1950s, and used local Nepean sandstone in some of its construction, reflecting the look of Southminster United Church, which stands across the road.
The Main branch of the system is downtown. There was a Carnegie library at this spot originally. In the 1970s, someone lost their mind and decided to tear it down and replace it with this. To be fair, it was the Seventies, and that whole era was a bad time for architecture. There are plans under discussion for a new central library.
Inside, this mosaic panel catches my eye when I go in. It's set on the side of a staircase going up to a reading area above the main floor, and consists of numerous coloured irregular tiles- and the odd letter, number, or symbol, as you can see in the second shot. This panel appears to be removable, so if this branch ends up taking up new digs, there's no problem at all in taking it along.
This is the reading area taken from above- I took this back in the winter while there was a Human Library event going on in here. It featured people from various walks of life chatting about their lives and professions with those members of the public who have signed up. I've done this sort of thing in a different context during Nuit Blanche festivals here.
I finish with this- the one remaining element of the Carnegie era library still incorporated into the Main branch. It's a stained glass window with authors like Shakespeare, Dickens, Scott, Tennyson, and more incorporated into its glasswork. It hangs above the reading area.