Strategic Planning

The BPL Compass

Kirstein Business Library & Innovation Center

by Michael Colford

Plans are being finalized to revitalize and expand the purpose of the popular Kirstein Business Library and create an exciting and dynamic Business Library & Innovation Center. Teens have flocked to the Teen Central Digital Maker Lab on the renovated second floor of the Johnson Building. The logical question that has followed is where can adults make use of 3D printers and high level software? The renovation originally called for a similar Digital Maker Space on the renovated Mezzanine level adjacent to the Community Learning Center. Instead, the BPL is following the lead of some innovative urban libraries in Pikes Peak and Chattanooga to combine their Business Research services with production and design spaces. This new renovation will incorporate these offerings with our Kirstein Business Library to create a collaborative, innovative space to serve jobseekers and entrepreneurs alike.

The purpose of the revitalized Kirstein Business Library & Innovation Center (KBLIC) is to provide an innovation-focused space for job-seekers, small business and start-ups, entrepreneurs and budding professionals; equipped with cutting-edge creation and production technology (hardware and software), as well as print and electronic resources in business research and career services, supported by a rich diversity of expertise and programs. Through strategic partnerships, the innovation center will serve as a public laboratory, an informal networking space and an educational facility with a focus on information, entrepreneurship, design, technology and creation. Equipment, expertise, programs. classes, events, conferences and meetings will be among the resources available to visitors. Program and educational development will emerge from library staff, community partners, and library users themselves. Moving beyond simply the consumption of information, the KBLIC will support the conception, production, connection, and sharing of knowledge and ideas by offering access to tools, instruction and community.

The KBLIC and the Rabb Lobby together will serve as a dynamic co-working and networking space with a coffee bar and a variety of seating options from workbars and cafe tables, to study tables and lounge seating. Frequent demonstrations, or “Maker Breaks” will stimulate creativity and learning in a casual setting.