We sent out a brief, fun survey about libraries to all of the nominees running in the 2017 Edmonton civic election to help you get to better know your candidates.
These are the answers that Kirsten Goa from Ward 8 sent back to us.
1. What is your favourite library memory or experience?
Visiting the Stanley Milner downtown was always an exciting adventure for me as a kid. It was a special trip, as we took the bus downtown (we didn't have a car until I was 10 or so) and we got to see the iguana that lived there as well as the train!
Sometimes we got chocolate milk at the Woodwards food floor and I remember blowing bubbles in it until it almost spilled over.
Taking my own kids when they were little was a great adventure. With three (and then five) little ones, it was a major expedition to walk the few blocks over to the Strathcona library. We had to get them each their own library card, they wanted to take out so many books! I'd fill the bottom of our stroller.
One year my son Theo (3 or 4 years old) won a t-shirt with the Summer Reading Club—it was an adult small—he really loved that shirt and wore it for many years.
2. What is your favourite book, movie or song right now?
Welcome to Your World: How the Built Environment Shapes Our Lives by Sarah Williams Goldhagan
3. What magazines, newspapers, blogs, Twitter accounts and/or podcasts do you follow?
A few favourites but there are so many more: The New Yorker, CityLab, Strong Towns, Invisible City (podcast), Rebecca Solnit, Brene Brown, George Lakoff, Elise Stolte at the Journal, Taproot, Edmonton Quotient, Walkable Edmonton, Walkcast...
4. Which fictional character do you most relate to and why?
Hermione Granger—I do my homework! I also sincerely wish I had a time-turner.
5. What is one book you think everyone should read and why?
If Women Counted by Marilyn Waring
You can also watch the NFB film.
Understanding the way our macroeconomic system is structured explains a lot about what is happening in our world. She clearly illustrates how we have set up our economy for militarization, environmental degradation and the invisibility of care-giving and subsistence labour. Knowing that this system is less than 70 years old, also makes it clear that we can change it and that it's not written in stone.
6. What book is on your nightstand (or on your eReader or tablet) right now?
There's never just one—it's always a stack...
- Welcome to Your World: How the Built Environment Shapes Our Lives — Sarah Williams Goldhagan
- Something Unremembered — Della Dennis (my mom!)
- The Human City — Joel Kotkin
- The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine — Alexander McCall Smith
- Where We Want to Live — Ryan Gravel
- Dark Age Ahead — Jane Jacobs
- The Sweet Spot — Christine Carter
- Cities and Gender — Helen Jarvis et.al.
- The Smart Growth Manual — Andres Duany
- Creating Child Friendly Cities — Brendan Glesson and Neil Sipe
- Redesigning the American Dream — Dolores Hayden
- Gender & Planning — Fainstein and Servon
- Streetfight — Janette Sadik-Khan
- Don't Think of an Elephant — George Lakeoff
- Collaborating with the Enemy: How to Work with People You Don’t Agree with or Like or Trust — Adam Kahane
7. Election Day (October 16) is also Boss' Day. Who was your very first boss and what was your job? What was one important lesson you learned from them?
Kai at Bateman's IGA (which became Wild Earth grocery). He was tough, and private, but loved his work and knew everyone in the neighbourhood.
The importance of really knowing the community you serve is something I learned in part from him.
8. What role do you see EPL playing in a thriving and vibrant Edmonton?
Libraries are essential public spaces that bring people together across truly diverse experiences and perspectives.
We have lost a lot of our public spaces over the years and this makes libraries that much more important. They are community hubs that also create a culture of learning, creativity and innovation.
I see EPL as the natural place to bring together a wide variety of people, perspectives and experiences so that we can have the conversations we need to have about how our communities are evolving and changing. They are an important place for creating the shared vision for what Edmonton can become.
The library is one of the most inclusive places in our city. It was always one of the only places I could go when my kids were little, and it's still a place my kids all rely on to find both entertainment and education. It's often been a place where we meet people who aren't like us and where every demographic is represented. There are very few other institutions where this happens. This is something we need to work to support and enhance in our libraries and help share with other public institutions.
Libraries are an essential connection point for public engagement, social cohesion and innovation.