save our libraries

Phoenix innovates traditional library model, integrates coworking

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“We want people to talk in here,” said Claudia León, business librarian at Burton Barr. “This is a unique kind of concept. It’s basically just a place for people to come in and network with other people. A discovery space.

Phoenix, which operates the library, partnered with Arizona State University to create the Hive. It’s part of ASU’s Alexandria Co-Working Network, a program named after the great Egyptian library, that aims to open collaborative spaces in public libraries throughout the state. Similar spaces have opened at libraries in Scottsdale and Mesa, and Goodyear expects to soon follow.

The city spent about $150,000 to create the space, with the money coming from its capital-improvement and library-operations budgets, a spokeswoman said.  Article:  New Phoenix library co-working space open for budding entrepreneurs

Why this is a big deal:

A recent study found that 90 percent of Americans would be upset if their local library closed, but when did you last visit yours? Libraries are facing closure everywhere. The model of the traditional library is facing extinction, but evolution happens, and guess what? What’s going on in Phoenix is a clear sign that even the old-school library model can evolve in new ways. Way to go Phoenix for empowering your community and encouraging collaboration in new ways. (And while I’m at it, kudos to Chattanooga, TN as well. They’re doing great things too.) Long live libraries.

The very existence of libraries affords the best evidence that we may yet have hope for the future of man. – T.S. Eliot

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