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The Alexandria Co-working Network, developed by Arizona State University (ASU), brings people together in collaboration spaces in public libraries, creating a network of places for people to connect, collaborate and find valuable resources. Launched in May of 2013, Alexandria Co-working Network is designed as a hub and spoke between the activities of the ASU and the public library system. The objective is to help designated libraries in Arizona and beyond offer innovation, entrepreneurship and collaboration spaces through both a physical and a virtual network that supports the creation of new innovations and aids economic development through the creation of new startup companies. Libraries in the network create open collaboration spaces in their facilities, where innovators and entrepreneurs can find collaborators and mentors. In this environment they also get access to fully equipped working spaces, library fact-finding services, and physical and digital library resources. Through the Network, ASU offers entrepreneurial education, training to library staff, access to a distributed mentor pool and most importantly a platform, in which libraries can use to serve the entrepreneurial community. Since the launch of the network, ASU has jointly opened four locations within Arizona (Scottsdale, Mesa, Phoenix, and Goodyear) and these spaces have reported success in serving the community, making impact upon the local economy, and attracting new constituents to libraries. In the near future, the Network will expand to other states, with current discussions underway in several libraries.
View the full case study at: http://universityeda.org/value-to-members/best-practice-sharing/awards-of-excellence/2014-awards-of-excellence/awards-of-excellence-2014-finalists/alexandria-co-working-network/