The role of libraries in NEO's economic development

Submitted by Ed Morrison on Fri, 04/01/2005 - 11:22.

Yesterday, I traveled to Orrrville, OH to meet with a group of librarians from Wayne County. The question we explored: What s the role of libraries in the future of Northeast Ohio's economy.

During the industrial era, our economy generated enormous wealth. One of the legacy assets of this period is our extraordinary library system. (For example, Orville's library ranks sixth in the nation for a community its size.)

Now, we need to adjust the mission of our libraries to meet the needs of building a high performance innovation economy in Northeast Ohio. In this frame, libraries play some critical roles. At least three come to mind. First, they provide the civic spaces we need to build new habits of civic engagement. These habits are critical for our future competitiveness. Regions that know how to collaborate will learn faster. They will spot opportunities faster. And they will act faster.

Second, libraries provide important support for a critical economic development goal for our region: Every child should be able to read and comprehend well by the third grade.

Finally, libraries can operate as important nodes in a business development network. They provide businesses and entrepreneurs with quick, on-line access to business information. Further, in cooperation with our colleges and universities, they can provide important support networks.

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Revisit this post

  Wow--Thanks to Ed Morrison for putting it out there so succintly.  We will be measured:

 

Now, we need to adjust the mission of our libraries to meet the needs of building a high performance innovation economy in Northeast Ohio. In this frame, libraries play some critical roles. At least three come to mind.

First, they provide the civic spaces we need to build new habits of civic engagement. These habits are critical for our future competitiveness. Regions that know how to collaborate will learn faster. They will spot opportunities faster. And they will act faster.

Second, libraries provide important support for a critical economic development goal for our region: Every child should be able to read and comprehend well by the third grade.

Finally, libraries can operate as important nodes in a business development network. They provide businesses and entrepreneurs with quick, on-line access to business information. Further, in cooperation with our colleges and universities, they can provide important support networks.

Ed Morrison for County Commissioner?!

This is a good posting to revisit as Ed does surface perspectives, not seen elsewhere, that make good sense. I felt the same way after listening last week to Ed and a few other economic development types talking abut regionalism, on NPR... Ed had the most focused vision. Ed may be a good candidate for Cuyahoga County Commissioner, to replace Hagan... that would be so appropriate, but is he the right man for the job? I think, in many ways he is.

Disrupt IT

Now I feel better

  Other names are bandied about, but for once, it is heartening to hear a good proposal, not the SOS.  Ed Morrison, Ed Hauser...can we get one more Ed to round out the ballot? :) 

And, I meant to say S-u-c-c-i-n-c-t-l-y. *

*I did lose my sixth-grade spelling bee for getting cocky and adding too many ooooo's to kangaroo.

Feeling good

  I am so lucky to have a job where one minute, the frustration can be overwhelming--trying to communicate with someone from Liberia trying to apply for a job on line--but minutes later, so rewarding, when a fourth-grader comes in by herself and takes home two bags of books and magazines for her whole family and orders a book on how to identify the birds of Ohio.