SXSW Interactive 2014

Creating a Gig Library with Strategic Partnerships

A year ago, the 4th Floor of the Chattanooga Downtown Public Library was a forgotten 14,000 square foot storage facility in the middle of the “Gig City’s” otherwise thriving, vibrant downtown. Today, teens are checking out a 3D printer during a break from their summer code camp. Tonight, a community of designers will host their quarterly meeting in the space. Tomorrow, a technology start-up called Engage 3D will be on the 4th Floor continuing work on their latest gigabit app. The panel will discuss how the public library was transformed into a vital community forum through engagement with the public and through the development of thoughtful public-private partnerships. We’ll explore how a responsive library can be a business incubator, maker space, and education lab in order to fulfill community needs. Library staff and Engage 3D will present Dev Dev: Summer of Code as one case study modelling successful collaboration between a startup business and a public institution.

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  1. How can the public library evolve to meet the demands of a smart, connected city?
  2. What services does a public library provide when information is abundant, but tools are scarce?
  3. How do strategic partnerships help public institutions become agile and flexible in times of rapid change?
  4. What role does the public play in shaping the library of the future, and what are some strategies for engaging them?
  5. How can critical computer science and computational thinking skills be taught outside of traditional school settings, and what is the library’s role in this venture?



Cindy Fisher, librarian, UT Libraries

Meta Information:

  • Tags: design
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Dual
  • Track: Smart Transportation and Cities
  • Track 2
  • Level: Intermediate
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