CACTUS Welcomes First Public-Library Member: Sioux Lookout

Sioulx Lookout.jpg

CACTUS has been exploring partnerships to host community-media centres, in the wake of the gradual collapse of the cable community television system.

Simultaneously, public libraries across Canada have been re-examining their roles in the digital age. Many, realizing that it's not 'just about books', have been exploring 'maker spaces' to bring families and clients back to libraries. Since the 1990s, libraries have hosted CAP sites or "Community-Access Portals" to enable broadband Internet access but many are taking their roles one step farther now with 'maker spaces'. Instead of offering passive resources, the maker space can be host to puppet-making workshops, hack labs, audio-visual production, or 3D printing.

CACTUS sees an obvious overlap between the traditional media literacy training mandate of community TV channels and public libraries, and so are many libraries, due to outreach CACTUS has been doing thanks to a Trillium Foundation grant. CACTUS was able to meet with many public libraries and explore this convergence at the Ontario Library Association's Superconference in January of 2015, and is excited to welcome Sioulx Lookout as its first public library member. Sioux Lookout has begun streaming community-generated audio-visual content from its web site.