Empowering Markham Public Library as a Hub for AI innovation

Impact & Background

Our Impact

ENGR Solutions partnered with Markham Public Library (MPL) to develop and implement a comprehensive AI Education “Train the Trainer” program. This initiative is transforming MPL into a leading center for AI education in the City of Markham, empowering librarians to confidently guide patrons through the complexities and possibilities of AI technology.

The Background

The City of Markham’s Digital Literacy Strategy highlighted the need to equip residents with essential digital skills. MPL recognized its potential role in fulfilling this need, but lacked the internal expertise to develop and deliver AI training effectively.

The challenge

  • Knowledge Gap: Librarians needed a comprehensive understanding of AI concepts, tools (like ChatGPT and Google Gemini), responsible AI principles, and the ethical implications of AI.
  • Trainer Development: MPL sought a program that would not only educate their staff but also empower them to become effective trainers for their colleagues and the community.

Assuaging AI Anxiety: Librarians needed to overcome any apprehension or uncertainty about AI to confidently teach and guide others.

Our Solution

  • Empowers 8 initial librarians as AI experts, ready to train their colleagues.
  • Provides a comprehensive curriculum covering AI fundamentals, tools, responsible AI practices, and ethical considerations.
  • Focuses on hands-on learning with real-world AI applications relevant to library services.

Builds a foundation for sustainable internal training, ensuring MPL’s AI expertise continues to grow.

our process & innovation

  • Consultation & Planning: A series of detailed consultations to ensure the program aligned with MPL’s unique goals, incorporating librarian feedback into the curriculum.
  • Lecture Seminars & Tutorial Workshops: A blended learning approach to provide both theoretical knowledge (through lectures) and practical hands-on experience (through workshops) with generative AI and LLMs.
  • Prompt Engineering & Design: Librarians gain expertise in crafting effective prompts to unlock the full potential of AI tools.

Measuring Success: Pre- and post-evaluations to gauge knowledge gains and to identify areas for further support.

    The Result

    • Confident & Knowledgeable Librarians: MPL staff gain a deep understanding of AI, alleviating anxieties and equipping them to educate others.
    • Successful Knowledge Transfer: The initial cohort of librarians are equipped to train their colleagues, extending the program’s reach throughout the library system.
    • Community Engagement: MPL further solidifies its place as the village square for AI & digital education, offering workshops and resources to empower residents and businesses.

    Human Impact

    • Markham Residents: Empowered with AI literacy to navigate the digital age, make informed decisions, and leverage AI tools in their personal and professional lives.
    • Local Businesses: Gain access to AI expertise and resources through MPL, enhancing their competitiveness and innovation.
    • MPL Librarians: Transformed into AI champions, driving technological advancement and community education.

    Optional Enhancement: ENGR Solutions is committed to further supporting MPL as it grows into Markham’s premier AI knowledge hub. We continue ongoing collaboration to develop community engagement initiatives, provide mentorship to trainers, and ensure that MPL remains at the forefront of AI education.