Book details

Publication date: September 2013
Features: Approx. 100 B&W photographs, chronology, index
Keywords: Canadian History;Regional Interest
Subject(s): HISTORY / Canada / General, History, History / Alberta History, Urban Studies, Urban Studies / Edmonton, Area Studies, Area Studies / Alberta, Canadian History / Regional Interest, Canadian History;Regional Interest, Canadian History, Alberta History
Publisher(s): The University of Alberta Press, Edmonton Public Library

Todd Babiak. Todd Babiak is a best-selling novelist, an award-winning screenwriter and journalist, a producer, a consultant, and a popular keynote speaker. He is co-founder of a strategy company called Story Engine and has published five novels: Choke Hold (2000), The Garneau Block (2006), The Book of Stanley (2007), Toby: A Man (2010) and, most recently, Come Barbarians (2013). He lives in Edmonton.

Todd Babiak brings to life 100 storied years, beginning with the proud young Edmonton telling Andrew Carnegie that if he didn't like our vision of the library our city deserves, he could keep his money and we would go our way. Todd Babiak's style serves history well. -Tony Cashman

"Alberta novelist Todd Babiak documents the library as a focus of city life in Just Getting Started. It is a centenary profile of the Edmonton public system. Babiak is a gifted writer and his stories are compelling." Holly Doan, Blacklock's Reporter, Sept. 23, 2013 [Full review at:]

"A fabulously researched, well-told narration of the birth, growth and coming-of-age of Edmonton's magnificent public library system. Babiak's writing is luminescent as he captures the essence of the personalities and happenings that shaped the institution and the people it has served over 100 years.... Babiak doesn't gloss over the bumps along the journey, either, as he illuminates the people and challenges they faced...."  Lawrence Herzog, heritage writer, October 2013

"I don't have any connection to Edmonton personally but I do love Babiak's writing and he's brought the EPL's story to life through a series of stand-alone, yet interlinked chapters. The archival photos are wonderful and the story of the Library is really the story of a city.... [Just Getting Started is] filled with really interesting stories of the people of Edmonton and how the Library played a central role in the politics and development of the city. Todd Babiak is the perfect author for this book because he's a great writer...." [full review at]

"I've been reading Just Getting Started which is Todd Babiak and the Edmonton Public Library's book about the first 100 years of the Edmonton Public Library. It's basically like the library's birthday present, but it's also a present to the citizens of Edmonton. It's so wonderful to read a history of your own city told from the perspective of that city's library. An institution that has worked for over 100 years to strengthen the intellectual infrastructure of its city. ... The public library just might be the new public square, Babiak argues. A place where the same universe of information and technology and entertainment is available to anyone, no matter how much money they make or what type of job they have or what their politics are. Everyone gets access to the good stuff." Jason Lee Norman, November 20, 2013 [Full blog post at]

"It's a fascinating and instructive book, in part because the library turns out to be a lens through which you can see the entirety of the city, in good times and bad, at its most inspired as well as its most self-destructive." Michael Hingston, Edmonton Journal, October 18, 2013

Michael Hingston, Edmonton Journal

ISBNs: 9780888647290 978-0-88864-729-0 Title: just getting started