People ask how it is I do so many interesting things, and my answer is always the same: “That’s nothing. You should see what my friends are doing.” When you surround yourself with inspiring people, it is difficult not to be inspired yourself.

In the summer of 2016 I took part in the Cycling for Libraries bike tour in southern Ontario with an avid international group of librarians and book enthusiasts. That is where I met Janet Joy Wilson (@jsquaredink) also based here in Toronto. Getting to know her has been an adventure. She is a real ball of energy, a community builder with a big imagination, and an even bigger heart. She is larger than life, and sometimes even pops up on my tv!

Among many other things, she is co-founder and artistic director of The Reading Line, a small grassroots organization that puts on local bike rides in Toronto that she helps organize every summer. The event is a lot of fun, and highly participative: we jump on our bikes and ride between various public spaces as a group, where we stop to hear speakers and authors read. What a great way to get people together exploring our city and its storytellers, while also promoting independent booksellers in the city. And this books-and-bikes event is free for participants! Amazing.

Here is a great video about the 2018 ride. If you look closely you may even see me among the cyclists/audience.

Anyone who has met Janet Joy (our host of the event and narrator in the video) knows she has a wealth of ideas constantly bubbling up. How does she do it? She actively uses her imagination, fuelled by constant reading and talking with people from diverse backgrounds. She doesn’t just stick with her area of expertise, but branches out into all sorts of areas. I can relate! This is how we start to see connections between disparate things–like books and bikes!–and start to build new initiatives and knowledge where they did not previously exist. It is this imagination that helps drive innovation.

The Reading Line has made themselves available if other communities want to learn about creating this type of event. I encourage you–especially my public library friends–to check it out and reach out to them. And if you are in Toronto, I hope you’ll join me in riding at this year’s event!


This blog may be new, but I have been blogging for a very long time. From the outside, it may just look like someone sharing their ideas or promoting themselves; however, from the inside, there is a whole lot more going on with a blog.

Some of the benefits I personally get from blogging:

  • A blog provides me a space to work out my thoughts and opinions. It helps me develop my personal/professional philosophy around work and profession
  • I become more aware of what is happening in my industries and the larger world. As I monitor more sources, I can see the larger context and changes happening.
  • I become more engaged with my profession and the subject areas I work in. Monitoring sources and seeing what is happening, I start to think about how they affect what I am doing.
  • By engaging more, I am connecting more with people. There was a time when bloggers were so rare, many of us knew each other and developed a camaraderie of sorts. We responded to each others’ posts–either with our own posts or in the comments. We met in blogger meet-ups whenever more than a couple of us were in the same place. That may not happen quite as much today, but we still look to other bloggers for opinions, the latest news, and hot topics to bounce off. What you don’t see here is the feed of headlines from other bloggers I get on the back end of the LexBlog blogging platform. What a great idea.
  • This ultimately becomes a creative outlet, allowing me to explore ideas in a somewhat low-risk way. I throw out a rough idea, see what responses are, and polish that concept until it gradually becomes a jewel.
  • Putting ideas out into the blogosphere can have influence. A lot of influence if a lot of people read those ideas.

It’s fascinating how much benefit we can get from blogging, and none of it is explicit until you set out to try it yourself on a regular basis.

What questions do you have about blogging? What favourite blogs do you read? Let me know in the comments.

I’ve been part of the Toronto podcasting community since early days, but my own listening is not always consistent. One of my goals for 2019 is to do more podcast listening especially in the legal, knowledge management, information management and technology areas.

What are you listening to? What are your favourites?

Here are a few of mine, to start:

Building NewLaw – probably the one I listen to the most. Natalie Worsfold and Peter Aprile, founders of Counter Tax Lawyers in Toronto, have developed this terrific format of deep discussion on law firm business transformation into a substantial must-listen show. It is the first (and possibly the only) podcast I know of that can be counted toward professional development (CPD) credit for members of Law Societies across Canada.

The Geek in Review – Many of us in the legal field are familiar with the Three Geeks and a Law Blog–essential reading! The more recent addition of The Geek in Review podcast with Greg Lambert and Marlene Gebauer for the legal information profession has been a much-needed addition to the scene.

Lawyerist Podcast – This one hasn’t been on my radar until recently, but it is quickly becoming a favourite. The discussions are broad, relaxed and interesting. Lawyerist is a platform and community for small law firm lawyers, with free as well as premium content. They won my heart by interviewing Natalie Worsfold of Counter Tax and the Building NewLaw podcast. I see they also recently interviewed Mary Juetten who I’ve been doing a bit of work with.

Thinking Like a Lawyer – hosted by Above the Law‘s Elie Mystal and Joe Patrice on the Legal Talk Network of podcasts. Includes some good discussion before getting into the interviews.

Law Technology Now – also on the Legal Talk Network, originally hosted by Monica Bay and Bob Ambrogi, this show now has a number of hosts. It has been running since at least 2007 and has included many leading thinkers I’m familiar with in this space.

Evolving KM – Another newer podcast, focussing on knowledge management and hosted by Amy Monaghan and Gwyn McAlpine. I’m glad to see ILTA has shared so much audio content. But I don’t know if they completely get the concept of podcasting, given that all of their podcasts are loaded into one feed instead of separated out with separate feeds. It seems they assume most people are going to listen to individual episodes from the website, which negates the portability of the podcast format. That being said, I enjoyed the most recent episode with Kathleen Hogan, one of my knowledge management cohort here in Toronto.

Matters: A podcast from Clio – Newest addition to the list, also hosted on the Legal Talk Network. They’ve only had a few episodes to date, but it looks promising. I’ve quietly been watching what practice management software company Clio has done over the years, and (disclaimer!) have even been a speaker at their big conference Clio Cloud Conference (ClioCon). They do a lot of things right in this field, including sharing what they know and enabling others in their community to share what they know.


Screenshot of Welcome! podcast website for episode 145 October 2018
Welcome! podcast episode 145

I keep getting asked when I’m going to start podcasting. It’s always on my radar. And I make a great guest! Here is the last time I guested–on Karim Kanji’s Welcome! podcast, episode 145, we gave the running commentary on Toronto election night back in October 2018. It was live-streamed, and now broken up into about 4 videos as well as available in audio. If you are interested in Toronto, its culture and politics, I encourage you to check out Karim Kanji’s Welcome! podcast. He gets some amazing guests and is using this communication format to be a real city builder.

What podcasts are you listening to? (Not necessarily work-related). What do you like about them? Are there any that break away from the radio talkshow/host-and-guest interview format?

It has been years since I blogged. And I miss it. I spend far too much time expounding on things via Facebook, and having my thoughts locked away on that platform. Time to get back to my own pages.

When I first started blogging, I was a law firm library manager. I talked about things related to library, to legal information and research, to social media, and to more personal subjects.

In January 2008, I left the law firm and started working as an independent information professional, specializing in knowledge management and information management. The past decade has been very interesting, sometimes stressful, and never dull. I have developed specialties in areas such as taxonomy building, user-centred design, and records management. I have conducted reviews of libraries and their services. I’ve had lots of success, and some failures along the way, too. It’s hard to believe 11 years have already passed in this “new” role.

A continual learner, I’m always taking courses, attending seminars and webinars, reading, and talking to people about what they are doing.  I have also been on a number of personal journeys, both physical and emotional. Some I have written about, others not so much.

Through it all, I have tried to take a step back and see what lessons I can take away. The one piece missing is sharing what I have learned. That is where blogging comes in. I’m starting to feel the urge to work aloud, share what I am learning, and hope others will play along and share your ideas as well.

This blog is going to be pretty informal. I may pick specific themes and explore them. Or I may take two or three ideas and find a way to pull them together. Topics may be professional, or may be more personal. I’m going to aim at a nice mix of the two (wish me luck!).

I first started blogging in 2004 on Blogger, a “hot” new platform not yet owned by Google! But I think maybe it’s time to leave the old blog there as a time capsule of sorts, and start fresh. I was excited, therefore, when Kevin O’Keefe suggested I come along to the LexBlog network. I have known Kevin for many years since my early blogging days, and this seems like a good fit.  Some of you may recall I was a founding member as well of the blog. My heart is still with Slaw although I haven’t blogged there in a while. My intention is to quietly start writing here, and then get back to making contributions to as well. I don’t like duplicating content, but may point out posts as I go along.

How does that sound?