Coworking at the Public Library

Coworking is a modern work innovation where people in various creative professions share a common work space, synergizing their talents and making best use of fixed-cost resources. Here is a portrait of how coworking might develop in public library spaces as public libraries transform themselves in coming years. Architects, take notice. Do you work as a computer programmer, writer, editor, animator, or graphic designer? Would you like a free desk to do work at your public library? What's the catch? The catch is that you need to contribute 10 or 20 percent of your time to serving the public in some way. --- Full blog post at


did you read that article? to the bottom?
I can't stand philosophers. Big Dreamers.
such as:

An ideal librarian would also be very outgoing, have a nuanced understanding of the human mind, be cognizant of the many dimensions of social and political issues, have a deep understanding of power structures in society, and be engaged in one or more community service initiatives outside of the library.

really? do I need to comment?

why not also a chef, a sculptor, a wizard, a magical elf?

First he says, "On any given day, 20 or 30 or 50 coworkers would be spending part of their day sharing their expertise with the public." Next, "Coworkers would need to apply for a limited number of coworking spots at each library. They might serve a term of six months."

So if coworkers devote 10% of their time to the library, and we have 50 coworkers each day, then the library might need 1,000 tables where the would work on their coworking projects. And don't criticize my math because it's not one of the requirements of being a good librarian. I can really jam on the nose harp.

To put it simply, if a coworker wants to share a work space in the library for 3 hours a week, she must devote about a half hour (or as little as 18 minutes) of sharing her expertise with the public. And some librarian needs to coordinate this. 50 coworker volunteers for 30 minutes each. I dare you to assign that job to someone who won't kill you.

And PLEASE, can we stop using the word CONVERSATIONS about everything. It's the new buzzword for doing nothing. "Our library enables conversation." And then we shush you if you talk too loud. If your library is doing its job, then your collection is the "convenor of conversations."

We have a coworking program at my library, called a Jelly -

It's similar to the article, except we don't require the coworkers to contribute back to the public at all - we're just encouraging people to use a resource they're already paying for with their taxes.

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