Posted by: bluesyemre | January 30, 2018

#Libraries as #innovation incubators (One way in which libraries are evolving their relevance is through the establishment of #co-working business incubators)


Traditional ways of library use might be declining, but not only are our libraries surviving, they’re thriving as they embrace new ways of meeting the information and knowledge needs of society.

As Emily Badger writes in CityLab, one way in which libraries are evolving their relevance is through the establishment of co-working business incubators. This isn’t actually a new idea—some 2,000 years ago the famous Alexandria library in Egypt was often home to the self-starters and self-employed of that era.

Badger contends that modern libraries “happen to have just about everything a 21st century innovator could need: Internet access, work space, reference materials, professional guidance,” and reveals that Arizona State University is set to establish a network of co-working business incubators inside public libraries.

Two articles in academic news service The Conversation also provide support for the evolution of libraries into spaces for innovation.

Crystle Martin, a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of California, Irvine, gives a number of examples of libraries that are now “offering programs in technology, career and college readiness and also in innovation and entrepreneurship – all 21st-century skills, essential for success in today’s economy.”

Marcus Foth, Professor in Urban Informatics at the Queensland University of Technology, argues that while highly specialised innovation centres are important, they don’t help everyday people to “stand up” as potential entrepreneurs. He advises that “This requires sandboxes, tinkering spaces, experimental and messy studios, garages and workshops where people from all walks of life come together to create and innovate.” He says that one of the best places for this to happen is libraries: “In so many ways, it is libraries that are leading the charge, evolving into spaces for incubation and innovation.”

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