Vladimir Putin

Vickery Bowles, City Librarian at Toronto Public Library (TPL)

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Debate in a Complex World

Topic:  Debate in a Complex World

For more than a century, public libraries have been a democratizing force in the modern world, supporting a civil society and helping people learn about the world in all its complexity. Today, with so many challenges to freedom of speech – in libraries, political and government forums, on university campuses – it is imperative that we continue to have open, uncensored discourse and listen to, respect and learn from each others’ perspectives.

Vickery Bowles is the City Librarian at Toronto Public Library (TPL), which delivers services through a network of 100 branches and online channels. She believes passionately in the difference public libraries make in the lives of individuals, in communities and cities. Vickery is currently working to advance TPL’s new strategic plan and its digital strategies that support new service models, digital literacy, workforce development, the customer experience, and innovation.

Vickery is the Board Chair for the Urban Libraries Council (ULC) based in Washington, D.C., a member of the Canadian Urban Libraries Council (CULC), and the Toronto Region Board of Trade Smart Cities Working Group.

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