From Sidewalk Toronto:
If you still think of libraries as musty, quiet places filled with books and little else, then you likely haven’t been to one in quite some time. In cities around the world, as free public spaces become rarer, libraries have become critical pieces of what writer Eric Klinenberg calls “social infrastructure.” Families go there to play or do homework; seniors to take classes or send a vital fax; teenagers to hang out. And in the digital era, libraries are stepping up to provide critical digital infrastructure — free internet, access to software, digital literacy training — too.
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.
Hat Tip: LorcanD