Mark Gelsomino is the Planning Librarian: Planning and Board Support at the Ottawa Public Library. Mark holds an MiST (Master of Information Studies) from the University of Toronto’s iSchool. In Spring of 2014, the OPL will be opening Ottawa’s first fully public makerspace, the Imagine Space. As Project Lead, Mark has overseen the Space from initial research, to planning and now into its implementation phase. In his spare time, Mark sits as Co-Executive Director of the literacy based non-profit Librarians Without Borders International. LWB provides literacy materials, training and professional library services to underserviced populations, regardless of language, geography, race or religion.
Sarah Gelbard is an architectural theorist, independent scholar, and designer. Her research interests include representational theory; the bridging of theory and practice; and traditions of place-making in Jewish Diasporic philosophy and history. Accordingly, her critical urban art practice encourages the appropriation and appreciation of shared public space through tactical urbanism, interventions, installations, and writing. Sarah is a graduate of the Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism, a founding partner of Impromptu Playground, and co-director of yowLAB.
Michel Castagné is the Web Initiatives Librarian at the University of Ottawa. He is responsible for the design, development and management of library-related websites and web applications.
When civil war reached my home town I fled from Somalia 1991. Then I lived refugee camps between border Kenya and Somalia. Before the war I worked at livestock development and agriculture sector at University in Somalia because I studied Veterinary medicine. I came in Canada 1997 as a refugee sponsored by the Canadian government from refugee camp in Kenya.
When I came I went to school to improve my English. After a year I started to work at High tech Company as an assembler in Ottawa. I worked almost two years. Then I went to Algonquin College where I achieved my social work diploma. After I graduated I worked in various places, such as Ottawa Public library as a settlement counsellor for Newcomers for a year. Then I started working at Somali Centre for Family Services as a settlement program coordinator.
I started to learn French. But I did not become complete bilingual but I am half bilingual. I speak Italian.
I have worked for the OCDSB for over 15 years, and currently work at Viscount Alexander PS as Principal. My love of reading and books is something that I focused on as a teacher and continue to focus on with my school.