Think Libraries Are Just About Books?
Westport, CT — Think libraries are just about books? On the contrary, the transformed Library of the 21st Century could be the center-point to restoring the face-to-face connection and sense of community that many people and communities are lacking today.
So, how do they transform? Elizabeth Ball, President and Creative Director of TFI Envision, Inc., had a front seat to an intriguing program that answers this when she was asked recently to serve as a one of six Judge-Mentors for the “EXCITE Transformation For Libraries” Core Program.
The program, developed by Jeanine Esposito of Innovation Builders, in partnership with the Connecticut State Library and with the support of an IMLS Laura Bush 21st Century Library Program Grant, helps manifest the important role Libraries can play as community-connectors and as sources for 21st Century skills. To date, Innovation Builders has coached more than 20 library teams through the EXCITE Transformation For Libraries Core Program. Unlike anything that the participating Librarians have ever experienced, it is run like a start-up incubator over 6 months of hands-on, real-world learning and 6 months of implementing innovative programs.
From the first day, teams are immediately immersed in an intensive 3-Day Bootcamp where they learn how to collaborate with staff, build empathy with community members, partners and stakeholders, iteratively design programs, services and spaces, how to use storytelling and start-up tools to engage targets and make their ideas real and sustainable.
This session is followed by real world conversations and design sessions with their community, staff & partners and 2 more in-person collaborative sessions – all coached remotely by Innovation Builders. The final session ends with an EXCITE Pitch Session where Library teams pitch their “Community Connections” programs (bringing people together at their libraries to connect, share and collaborate in a meaningful way) to a panel of judge-mentors from the worlds of Libraries, Business, Education and Design, receiving seed grants to implement.
“Early on, Jeanine understood that knowing how to innovate, not just solve problems, were critical skills for everyone to succeed in the 21st Century. Her background of bringing transformation to global Fortune 200 companies as innovation went from a little known concept to a core capability is the foundation for this program. Being able to see each Library team collaborate and develop uniquely suited, actionable concepts for their libraries and communities is truly inspiring. I was delighted to be a witness to this transformative process.” said Ball.
With the continued support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, CSL and Innovation Builders will be bringing EXCITE Transformation For Libraries to Libraries across the country at least through 2020.
For more information, go to: http://www.innovationbuilders.org/