Archive for November, 2018

Why I Love The Library

Thursday, November 29th, 2018

As the “Illustrator or Writer or Innovator or Entrepreneur or Comic Artist – in – Residence” at the Toronto Public Library, we are privileged to have and to hold a platform to help empower each and every library patron who come through our doors .


It’s been five years since I was the second Entrepreneur-in-Residence in the Small Business Program thanks to the good grace and kind generosity of the late Norman G. Hinton who left a large legacy for the Library in 2009. His remarkable story can be found here. And I am thrilled to be accepted as a guest speaker each year.


This week I was part of the audience and as I scanned the learning theatre, I am reminded of the importance of our patron’s perspective. Our patrons are diverse and come from, at times, (very) modest neighbourhoods and other times not so modest. The entire world walks through those Library doors.


When did you last visit your local library? If it’s been awhile, you will be delightfully surprised to find that the Library has become a place for innovation, a place for story-telling, and a place for sharing knowledge. We have the Fabrication Studio, Digital Innovation Hubs, the Writers’ Room not to mention free access to digital software, hardware, iPads, equipment such as light therapy lamps, Museum and Arts Pass, musical instruments, book printing service and so much more.

You might also notice that the Library is a safe and warm place, a sanctuary where the hinges literally have come off to facilitate open doors as reflected in the official Mission Statement and “provides free and equitable access to services which meet the changing needs of Torontonians. The Library preserves and promotes universal access to a broad range of human knowledge, experience, information and ideas in a welcoming and supportive environment.”

Having a residency or being a guest speaker at the Library is a humbling honour. We are here to serve our patrons and be sensitive to their needs. It is their agenda we seek to help make successful and this requires a certain level of awareness, care, and compassion.

There is one thing that is not on loan from the Library and therefore, has no expiry date. When patrons leave the Library, they leave with a sense of dignity and dignity cannot be borrowed. At the Library, dignity is granted.