CSMC, libraries and the new digital divide ...

Last night I attended my first meeting of the Columbus Social Media Café. Since arriving in Columbus In January, I’ve been trying to get to one of these social gatherings, but somehow every month some prior travel commitment got in the way.

Last night was different and although the group was smaller then the previous meet-ups (a 20 degree drop in temp during the afternoon didn’t help either) the conversation, ideas and sharing were great. Two mommy bloggers, who sat in front of me, stood out (perhaps because I started back in 2001 as a mommy blogger myself) along with the entertaining gal who is a self-proclaimed “beer wench” aka beer blogger, among the many not-for-profit bloggers and media enthusiasts in the groups and it occurred to me that this is a great space for libraries to be actively involved in as we strive to create and support a “thriving community where wisdom and knowledge prevails.”

Helping customers become more tech savvy seems like a natural fit for libraries especially as we face a new era of digital divide. It seems funny to say this, but it’s true. The original use of the term “digital divide” related to having access to the internet and digital information channels - clearly libraries have, and still do, served their communities in this capacity well. The “new digital divide” on the other hand refers to the ability to utilize technology and the new information channels smartly. In essence, I see it as this ...

Slide from one of my recent presentations

I see an educational role for libraries in every one of these, don't you?

PS: If you're in the Columbus area, be sure to join us for the next Social Media Cafe, June 24th. Location TBA soon on the blog.

PPS: and if you're into beer, check out The Beer Wench :)


Greg Schwartz said...

Helene, I'm wondering if you've considered going to Podcamp Ohio, which will be in Hilliard at the end of June:

It'll be my first podcamp. I'm very excited to meet a bunch of engaged social media folk. Should be fun.

Anonymous said...


Thank you so much for coming out to the meeting and for your participation. We've (CSMC) talked on several occassions about how our libraries seem like a natural fit for outreach and education opportunities. CML along with other local suburban systems have physical presence, a known mission around education and knowledge transfer, and generally staff which is open to new ideas for attracting the public.

I hope you're able to make it out to Comfest and that we see you at the next CSMC!