“I want to see technology used for good, but I’m fascinated by the possibilities for destruction!”
Joel Edmondson, CEO of Queensland’s QMusic network talks digital technology, music beyond entertainment, mysterious orchestras in the middle of the ocean, and the “nefarious, sulphuric beginning of life” in this week’s Marvellous, Electrical.
We’ll hear about innovation and equity, digital technology and social housing, and accessibility in the information age – from speakers like Rachel Thomson of Australia Post, Ishtar Vij of Google, and Laurie Patton of Internet Australia.
Right now we’re on the cusp of Trumpocalypse. Even if Donald J. doesn’t get to power, the US – and the world – will have to face the consequences of his campaign. The US election is the second scary vote in the English-speaking world this year, after Brexit – and look at how riven that’s left British culture and society.
There can be no greater challenge to a library service than a natural disaster – except perhaps that same disaster repeated.
That’s exactly what faced Carolyn Robertson and her team at Christchurch Libraries when, in September 2010 and again in February and June of this year, earthquakes struck their home city on New Zealand’s South Island.
Yet, as Carolyn explained to me recently, ‘In a way, the quakes have pushed us to further develop our community role. They’ve actually strengthened Christchurch Libraries’ vision of equity of access.’
I visited Carolyn, Christchurch City Libraries and Information Manager, at the city’s South Library earlier this year. It’s one of the liveliest and most modern I’ve seen in on literacy adventures throughout Northern Europe, the USA, and Australia as well as New Zealand.
The community has clearly taken to this bright, multipurpose space which includes a great café, children’s play area and an exceptional periodicals collection. The only evidence of the quakes is a display of letters from well-wishers around the world, which brightens one wall of the reading area.
Yet this lovely headquarters for the library service is actually a fallback space, taken up as the city’s principal library after the February quake put the Central Business District out of bounds.
In the days immediately following the disaster, the librarians of Christchurch demonstrated the importance of libraries as a community service in times of need – a vital message at a time of increasing financial austerity around the world.