Calgary

Who provides the content?

Being in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies, journalism and media issues have snuck into library school curriculum. So it peaked my interest to learn that Postmedia has puchased most of Sun media and now both Calgary newspapers are owned by the same company. This is particularly odd because these papers have traditionally run a sort of competition with each other and have made their political and target market niches.

I was particularly interested to see their goals: “We need this scale, and of course time, to be able to compete with the giant foreignowned, digital-only companies like Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter, etc.” (sic; Friend, 2014). It seems odd, maybe just because journalism and media studies is not by forte, for news outlets to be competing with these corporations because I see  newspapers as content creators and disseminators of information; As a user I see social media and search engines as access points and rather than content creators so it seems unusual for media to think of themselves as social media and search engine competitors.

In my information policy course, we have talked about this in regards to net neutrality and the shift from infrastructure providers to content providers in the telecommunication/entertainment industry. In the future, apparently, journalism will no longer be content providers but telecommunication will? I’m curious to see how that pans out.

References:

Friend, D. (2014, Oct 7). Postmedia’s mega deal. Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved from http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/business/Postmedias-mega-deal-278360611.html

Another example of community initiatives that get people talking!

Photo-6-25-2014-10-59-30-AMImage from Blame Betty, my favourite store in Calgary

In addition to the mini-beautification of a bus stop, now there is also benches that have been distributed around Calgary. I particularly like how the media is taking hold of these ‘feel good stories’. I have a hard time keeping up with news because the predilection of media towards negative news stories is just too much to do on a daily basis. Being informed about what is going on in your community is very important, but when you’ve read about the nth murder this month, it’s easy to fall into the perception that your city is a bad place. This example does a good job of reminding people to get engaged in their communities and that a few number of people are still able to make a big difference.

Robots in the library?!?

NY-DF818_ROBOTS_DV_20140929165906I love the idea of having robots around that curious library users would be able to interact with and learn about how they work. Makerspaces often have a focus on building circuitry and coding that creates outputs and robotics are a more elaborate example of an output. I hope demystifying these machines will allow users to see themselves as capable of innovation in technology.

Robots have a hefty price tag, but Canadian libraries could team up with organizations like First Robotics Canada to have local robotics experts create something that is a little less flashy but is easy for instruction.

I was involved in a robots event last year and it was a treat to see children playing with robots that had been created by real people in the community. Western Canadian Robotics Society and Protospace are great Calgary community groups to get involved with if you’re in Calgary and are interested in robotics.

Fantastic Community Initiative in Calgary

busstop1

Photo by Candace Ward for Metro

I love this brilliant idea, by unknown sources, to have a mini-beautification of a neighbourhood bus stop. I would love to see this idea take off around Calgary. Little Free Libraries are another way to add some fun and literacy to your community, but as someone who has spent a lot of time in Calgary bus stops, I think they sorely need some spirit lifting initiatives like this!