March 23, 2018

Darcy Glidden | Movers & Shakers 2005

One Noisy Librarian


When Darcy Glidden took a job as a library technician to pay for his coursework at the University of Toronto, he realized “librarianship was a cool career – no suit or tie, and I can be really loud.”

The loudness shows in his enthusiasm and the constant flow of ideas. In 2001, as branch manager at Oakville Public Library in Ontario, he produced “Spin the Web,” a consumer trade show that won Industry Canada’s Best Practices award by bringing computer companies, service providers, local schools, and government agencies together to answer the public’s technology questions.

He knows it’s not enough just to do imaginative things within your library; you also have to promote them. Since hardly anyone seemed to know Oakville Library’s expensive databases existed, Glidden created YO! Youth Online, which targeted secondary school students and their teachers with splashy classroom presentations. Database use increased by as much as 500%, with 96% of students saying they would use the databases for school assignments.

At Hamilton Public Library, at the request of the government agency serving “new Canadians,” he created the successful “Enjoy Summer Learning (ESL)” program, using popular topics like food, sports, and holidays to introduce students to Canadian ways.

The trick, says Glidden, is to go out on a limb once in a while. “This isn’t life or death. We provide information services. Do it with flair and humor. Have some fun.”



Current Position Branch Manager, Hamilton Public Library, ON

Degree Master of Information Studies, University of Toronto, 1998

Life Change Being a stay-at-home dad for 15 months made him believe “in a work/life balance and not taking yourself too seriously”