Was happy to contribute to this pandemic-focused episode of the British Library’s Anything But Silent podcast (starting at 8:00):
Libraries under lockdown
“Amid the pandemic, we hear from the British Library team ensuring crucial documents are delivered to public health services, a library that has exchanged books for food parcels, and a bridal studio, supported by our Business and IP Centre, who pivoted to ‘something new’ when the crisis hit.”
“Pam Ryan is the Director for Service Development & Innovation at the Toronto Public Library (TPL), the World’s largest urban public library system, featuring 100 branches, close to 1 million cardholders, and 10 million items that can be checked out. Today Pam tells us how the TPL is changing in the 21st Century to provide Torontonians access to digital innovation hubs, checking out arduino kits, and even offering space for community groups to organize and host events. She also shares a few stories on how the TPL has stepped-up during the COVID-19 lockdown to help foodbanks and those who do not have access to the Internet.“
“The Toronto Public Library (TPL) has been at the forefront of this trend. From creating “innovation hubs” in its branches that provide access to cutting-edge technologies, to partnering with organizations around the city to start a conversation around responsible data use, to spearheading new models of learning, Toronto’s branch libraries are innovating and responding to the needs of the communities they serve. To learn more about the library’s successes — and where it could be headed in the future — we sat down to talk to one of the people at its helm: Pam Ryan, TPL’s Director of Service Development & Innovation.”
“As new and emerging technology are implemented, there is a lack of discussion about how to help the public keep pace with rapid digital transformation and to understand the impact the changes will have on people, and society as a whole. This program will demonstrate how libraries are helping residents embrace digital tools, understand its impacts, and establish a digital culture within the community. The program will explore how libraries’ build internal staff capacity to become more technologically adept so they can help their residents become more productive digital citizens. The program will then examine how libraries develop programs and services about the digital landscape. Specifically, the program will demonstrate how libraries engage residents about digital tools, provide information about those tools, and build people’s skills to make them digitally literate.”
Great event serving as part of this year’s OLA Digital Odyssey: Digital Literacy and City-Building: Open Data and its role in Civic Health and Urban Planning
“On this moderated panel, panelists will share their thoughts on the intersections of digital literacy and city building, drawing on their expertise in urban planning, librarianship, inclusion and technology“.
“Our digital world holds many challenges as illustrated by Cambridge Analytica, issues related to the local Sidewalk Toronto initiative, the smart cities challenge happening in Canada and differences between our urban and rural communities. This diverse panel will speak to the current state of our digital community and where we need to go.”
Moderator: Jury Konga, Open Knowledge Canada
Teresa Scassa, Canada Research Chair, Information Law and Policy University of Ottawa
Suneel Jethani, Open Data Engagement Manager and Research Fellow, Digital Design and Innovation
State Government of Victoria, Australia and University of Melbourne
Connie McCutcheon, President of MISA Ontario, and Open Data Project lead for the Niagara Region and Niagaraopendata.ca Administrator.
Alex Miller, President and Founder, Esri Canada
Pam Ryan, Director, Service Development and Innovation, Toronto Public Library
In May, I’ll be on the Digital literacy for all: How can libraries help panel at RightsCon Toronto where this year’s program explores innovation policy in Canada, free expression and protection of global journalism, gender diversity and digital inclusion, encryption and cybersecurity, and other topics relevant to keeping the internet free, open, and secure worldwide.
And in June, at ALA 2018 in New Orleans, I’m participating on the panel: Evidence Based Library and Information Practice is… helping to introduce the techniques and framework of evidence based library and information practice (EBLIP) and offering examples from my practice.