Alexandria Co-working Network welcomes Phoenix Public Library
The newest location in Arizona State University’s Alexandria Co-working Network opens its doors today as the Phoenix Public Library launches the hive @ central at Burton Barr Central Library.
The Alexandria Co-Working Network is an ASU initiative that brings people together in collaboration spaces in public libraries across Arizona, creating a statewide network of places for people to connect, collaborate and find valuable resources. The network supports the entrepreneurs, inventors, problem-solvers and small-business owners across the Valley who need help to advance their ideas but don’t currently have access to the necessary tools.
“This partnership connects entrepreneurs with people and resources to help turn ideas into thriving business ventures,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “Forward-thinking cities must have numerous co-working services to successfully advance and broaden our economy.”
ASU, the Phoenix Public Library and the City of Phoenix will officially open the hive @ central in a 2 p.m. ceremony today. The ceremony will feature tours of the space as well as remarks by local dignitaries, including Mayor Stanton, ASU Senior Vice President Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan, Phoenix Councilman Daniel T. Valenzuela and Phoenix Councilman Michael Nowakowski.
“hive @ central advances our efforts to create an ecosystem that supports entrepreneurship and innovation, by providing the physical and intellectual space to explore ideas,” said Councilman Valenzuela. “We are taking control of our own economic future through entrepreneurship – by nurturing these individual job creators and offering access to experts from ASU, and other partners. This is a key component to our overall mission to make Phoenix THE place to be for entrepreneurs and the creative class.”
The Phoenix Public Library is the third Arizona library to join the Alexandria Co-Working Network, which is led by ASU’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group. In 2013, the Scottsdale Public Library launched the Eureka Loft at the Scottsdale Civic Center Library, and the Mesa Public Library opened THINKspot at its Red Mountain Branch.
The Alexandria Co-working Network is named after the world’s first great library in Alexandria, Egypt, which was established in the third century B.C. The library at Alexandria, and the other libraries in antiquity that followed it, were not just about books; in essence, they were society’s first co-working spaces and knowledge hubs. The Alexandria Co-working Network is designed to help the modern library offer similar collaboration spaces with an emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship.
The Alexandria Co-working Network’s collaboration spaces, which are free and open to the public during normal library hours, combine elements of co-working spaces with library services and ASU startup resources in one place where innovators, entrepreneurs and others can gather to share ideas and work together. Local library staff act as champions, offering information resources to their community of innovators.
“The Alexandria Co-working Network leverages the many entrepreneurship resources of ASU to support innovators outside of the traditional startup spaces in Arizona,” said Gordon McConnell, assistant vice president for innovation, entrepreneurship and venture acceleration at ASU. “We’re delighted with what’s been accomplished in the libraries so far, and we look forward to continuing to expand to other communities throughout Arizona.”
The next Alexandria Co-working Network location will open in late January in Goodyear, at the city’s new library near Bullard Avenue and Van Buren Street.