|Posted on July 13, 2013|
Gates Foundation Awards $1 Million for Library Innovation Partnership
The Chicago Public Library has announced a $1 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in support of a partnership to create a new model for innovation, experimentation, and decision-making within libraries.
Awarded to the Chicago Public Library Foundation through the Gates Foundation's Global Libraries initiative, the grant will fund a partnership between CPL and the Aarhus Public Libraries system in Denmark, which will work with design firm IDEO to rethink the mix of services and programs offered by libraries and the role they play in a rapidly changing world. To that end, IDEO will work with library staff to evaluate current challenges and formulate response to those challenges that better serve their communities.
The results of the collaboration will be presented at an international libraries conference in Chicago in June 2014. A toolkit detailing potential projects and design methods as well as measurement tools that can be used to test new ideas quickly will be made available six months after the conference, CPL commissioner Brian Bannon told Library Journal.
"This grant gives us the opportunity to tap into the design thinking process that IDEO has used to help hundreds of organizations innovate and grow," said Bannon. "Now more than ever, libraries and librarians need such tools to help them identify and address their users' rapidly evolving needs, through flexible, nimble, and responsive decision making and program design."