Yesterday I dropped off posters at the Parkdale Library for our Mozilla Service Week event which will take place on Monday September 14th from 2 - 6pm. The Parkdale Library is a really lively branch, with about 10 computer stations that the neighbourhood folks use constantly. Parkdale is the oldest Toronto neighbourhood and though it has a reputation for being a "bad" neighbourhood, it's been heavily gentrified in the past 6 years or so. There's still a lot of people here who live below the poverty line though, and for whom the digital gap is a very real thing. It's also a neighbourhood full of recent immigrants who depend on the library for connections to learning english, finding work, accessing resources for new Canadians, and keeping in touch with family and friends in their home countries.
When I first moved to Parkdale in early 2001, I relied heavily on access to their computers for my internet needs since I didn't have a computer. It was always a stampede to get in the door and sign up for a time slot when the library opened its doors in the morning. They've recently undergone some renovations and now have added wireless as well as a few more stations. The Parkdale librarians are super friendly and encouraging of community (and noise, in a library!) and the building itself is used often for local activities and grassroots festivals. I'm excited that 8 years since arriving here, I'm in a position to give something back to this vibrant place.
Our event involves a table set up near the computers - "Ask a Geek" - where we can field questions about anything that will help improve their interactions with the web. I believe there will be lots of people interested in picking our brains. Of course, I'm also bringing lots of Mozilla swag to draw people over to the table and to use as ice-breakers :)
Anyone in Toronto who wants to participate - please come on by.
Details about this and other Toronto events HERE