Toronto Library’s Inaugural Digital Innovation Hub

What if, when you were a kid, you had had access to 3D printers, digital DJing stations, 27-inch iMacs and brand-new Surface tablets? Would you be in a different career or doing a different degree than you are today? Maybe, maybe not. But now, with this new initiative by the Toronto Library system, today’s kids don’t have to wait to find out.

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This past Monday, I attended the launch of the library’s Digital Innovation Hub, a program through which card holders can sign out devices including tablets, 3D printers, and cameras for use every day. With the option to attend classes, meetups and structured activities, people of all ages will now have access to technology they otherwise might not be able to use! Check it out:

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The kids loved 3D modelling! At this rate, these kids will be working at Pixar in no time. One of them even used Photoshop to make a tribute to Toronto’s most (in)famous politician…

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My personal favourite device showcased today was the Lytro, a camera that lets you focus and refocus your image endlessly! I could try to explain…but check it out for yourself! Just click on the part of the image you want to be in focus, it’s that easy.

The camera’s touch-sensitive body responds to the most intuitive gestures and supports many features of a regular digital camera, including ISO sensitivity and zoom.

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I am so proud of our library for taking on this initiative and making technology accessible. It’s so important for us to share the tech love around so that we can all move forward into this ever-evolving era of digitalization, together. We are all learners, but we can all teach each other something. We are all separate people, but we are fighting the same battles. We are a big city, but we are a community. If you are a tech lover in Toronto, I strongly recommend you come out to the Reference Library’s monthly meetups – the next one is this coming Monday, February 10! It features Loretta Faveri, artist and founder of Sonic Wear, a company that uses wearable tech to turn movement into music. I can’t wait to see how they do it!

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