Tag Archives: United States

the local public library

O'Fallon Public Library
Image via Wikipedia

This blog post was supposed to be about the loveliness that is Google Plus.  At the same time I’ve been wanting to write about my love affair with my local public library.

So why is this particular blog about the local public library?  Because I live in Toronto.  And Toronto is under attack from the current Mayor, Rob/Doug Ford.

However, this post won’t be about the politics.

I believe that even in today’s hyper-connected, always on, mobile and social society, that the local public library still provides massive value for all of us.


Seriously.  I still read books.  Old ones and new ones.  Fiction and business-focused books, too.  The great thing about borrowing a book is twofold:  If I don’t like it I don’t feel like I wasted $25 on a purchase.  I just return the book.  Second, the 2-4 week borrowing period allows me to focus on finishing the book before the late fees start accruing.  And please don’t tell me that books are dying and that tablets will rule the world.  That’s another blog post.  By the way, libraries offer more…

Magazines and Newspapers:

Oh yes!  I can browse through the latest (or oldest! Really any edition)  Men’s Health and figure out what exercises I should do to lose weight in 3 simple steps over 14 days.


Being able to borrow CDs from classic artists like Neil Young is priceless.  My library also has books on CD.  But wait for this one:  I can also use my computer to download audio files to listen to.  Amazing, I know.


Videos and DVDs.  I can catch up on all the popular TV shows of today as well as movies I’ve yet to watch or haven’t watched.

For The Kids:

Probably most important for me is what the library offers to me as a dad.  It’s by far and away one of my son’s favourite places to go and visit.  He loves to read and be read to.  And the library is FULL of kids books.  They also offer toys, a kids area and kids programming during the holidays and vacations.

So I like the library and everything that it has to offer.  Even the amazing people who work there.  For me, the local public library is part of my neighbourhood and community.  No matter how connected, social and mobile I am and become, I’ll still go into the library and hope to find my next good book.

5 Questions with Meghan Warby

Meghan Warby is the first community manager working within a provincial   government.  In the province of Ontario‘s Cabinet Office she guides Ministries in their digital communications, online outreach and social media strategies.

Previously, Meghan has been an agency-side communications consultant in government relations, corporate communications and digital strategies, at Hill & Knowlton & Argyle Communications.  A social media enthusiast, Meghan spent the winter of 2008 traveling across the United States to interview ‘pioneers’ in eAdvocacy to gauge the significant changes in communications between the 2004 and 2008 American federal elections. Blogging and tweeting as @withoutayard combines her love of music (nurtured at the Austin Music Foundation) & politics (expressed on two Election Predictor Blogs & as Vice Chair of the Churchill Society for the Advancement of Parliamentary Democracy).

What motivates you to do what you do on a daily basis?

I’ve always been passionate about civic engagement and studied political science, public policy, specifically cultural policy, for years. After working in the non-profit sector, Heritage Canada, and the consulting world, I knew that my work needed to include civic-minded values, technology and communications. Acting as Community Manager for the Province is a great balance of these three areas. As naive as it may sound, I strongly believe that citizens will become far more engaged with government if they have clear, updated, easy-to-access information online.

If you had 30 seconds to impart your wisdom on a classroom of soon-to-be graduates, what would you say?

Be humble, yet shameless. Take the opportunity of being labelled a ‘student’ to interview people you admire for your final dissertation. Glean invaluable information on their career path, habits, inspiration and experience. Make writing (real-life paper-version) thank-you notes part of your weekly routine.

In your opinion, what has been one of the most important technological developments over the past 12 months?

It’s certainly not Quora or Paper.li or any of the other tack-ons to existing systems or sites.  Honestly, I think that the massive political and social chance brought by the media’s use of WikiLeaks over the past year will prove to be the most important.

If you had a crystal ball, what would you say will be the most important technological development over the next 12 months?

Hopefully in the next 12 months we crack the mobile currency ‘nut’ to develop a comprehensive/centralized network that delivers international aid, encourages donors’ to offer micro-loans & tracks behaviour (health, lifestyle, spending, etc.) in developing countries.

Who is one of Canada’s tech stars and why?

Too many to name and the field is growing! Likely the biggest and best tech star of 2011 is plugging away right now in Ryerson’s DMZ lab. If I had to pick one, my Toronto-centric lefty-pinko paradigm would note the creator of Rocket Radar, Adam Schwabe.