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The Role of Cuyahoga County Public Libraries in Regional Workforce Development January 2008

The Role of Cuyahoga County Public Libraries in Regional Workforce Development January 2008

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Discussion paper about the role of libraries in regional economic and workforce development accelerated by the adoption of Open Source Economic Development methods and techniques. Written by Betsey Merkel, Co-Founder and Director, I-Open

Copyright 2010 Betsey Merkel.

Copyright 2005-2014 I-Open. Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works. Institute for Open Economic Networks (I-Open), 2563 Kingston Road, Cleveland, OH 44118 USA Website: http://www.i-open.org
Discussion paper about the role of libraries in regional economic and workforce development accelerated by the adoption of Open Source Economic Development methods and techniques. Written by Betsey Merkel, Co-Founder and Director, I-Open

Copyright 2010 Betsey Merkel.

Copyright 2005-2014 I-Open. Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works. Institute for Open Economic Networks (I-Open), 2563 Kingston Road, Cleveland, OH 44118 USA Website: http://www.i-open.org

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Published by: Institute for Open Economic Networks (I-Open) on Jul 29, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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The Role of Cuyahoga County Public Librariesto Advance 21st Century Regional Workforce Development
Written by Betsey Merkel, Co-Founder and Director The Institute for Open Economic Networks (I-Open)January 2008 This document offers opening discussion points to understand the 21stCentury role of libraries to accelerate regional innovation in education,economic, and workforce development. The document includes suggestionsfor developing next steps to build open, innovation networks with theCuyahoga County Public Libraries embedded in those networks to accelerateentrepreneurship and regional prosperity.
The Situation
“Given the central role of the public library in so many communities, andits proven positive economic impact, why haven’t public libraries playeda more central role in community economic development?...In short,there is both a knowledge and resource gap between the role thatpublic libraries could play in enhancing local economic development,and the role they currently play.” - Christine Hamilton-Pennell, Founderand President, Growing Local Economies, Denver, Colorado There is a need for substantially higher levels of engagement, collaboration,and workforce development to ensure transformative change in NortheastOhio. The Cuyahoga County Public Library is uniquely positioned to be anintegral part of workforce development for a sustainable Northeast Ohio.From the State Science and Technology Institute’s Newsletter 11/7/2007:“On Tuesday, exactly one year before the U.S. goes to the polls tochoose its next president, the Brookings Institution launched a nationalcompetitiveness initiative titled Blueprint for American Prosperity:Unleashing the Potential of a Metropolitan Nation. The central premiseof the Blueprint is that the “health, vitality, and prosperity” of the major
© The Institute for Open Economic Networks (I-Open) 4415 Euclid Ave. Cleveland, OH 44113I-Open is a 501(c)3 economic development organization developing new practices and tools for Open Source De-velopment, a process for exponential growth in communities and regions.
 
cities and metropolitan areas in the U.S. will be the drivers of thecountry’s ability to compete globally and meet future economic, social,and environmental challenges.Metropolitan areas in the country are an engine of economic growth,educational attainment, and cultural creativity. Vice president anddirector of Brookings’ Metropolitan Policy Program Bruce Katz madethe case as to why the nation’s metro areas are critically important tothe nation’s well-being...and contended that the U.S. federalgovernment is out of step with the rapid changes affecting the newspatial geography of the changing economy. The leadership in othercountries – such as China, Germany and Spain – is utilizing their federalgovernments to make critical investments, strengthen connectivity andinfrastructure, and promote emerging technologies, compared to a U.S.federal government often seen as “strangely adrift,” Katz argued.Katz argued the U.S. federal government needs to lead where it canand must with priority issues for reform to boost innovation andproductivity in priority areas of urban school reform, attaining higherlevels of educational attainment, improving transportation linkagesbetween and within metro areas, increasing the supply of workforcehousing, and improving the energy efficiency of the nation’s housing.” Tuesday, November 6, 2007, The Cleveland Plain Dealer published 30 pagesof delinquent Cuyahoga County property tax payments, an early indicator of home owners on their way toward foreclosure. What is the role of Ohiolibraries to advance economic growth, educational attainment, and culturalcreativity in communities and regions?
Ohio Libraries and 21st Century Community and Workforce Development
Ohio’s libraries are an outstanding legacy treasure for all Ohioans. This robust,connected network of premier physical facilities offer all citizens convenient,local community access to skilled information science experts, high speedInternet, computers, diverse publications, multi media, and free parking.
© The Institute for Open Economic Networks (I-Open) 4415 Euclid Ave. Cleveland, OH 44113I-Open is a 501(c)3 economic development organization developing new practices and tools for Open Source De-velopment, a process for exponential growth in communities and regions.
 
Every Northeast Ohio community has access to a library. Libraries offer safe,neutral convening places for entrepreneurs, students, and civic leaders tomeet and work. Quality of access is an increasingly valuable and often scarceresource integral to enterprise building. These are fundamental qualities to thepreservation of democracy and civility and are now considered competitiveassets in building “attractor” communities and regions.How will communities and regions collaborate to leverage legacy assetsinvested in Ohio libraries to strengthen workforce and enterprise developmentin Northeast Ohio? This is a complex task in a new, and unaccustomedenvironment; certainly not a job for a single organization or county. Who willwe partner with? How will we proceed? What are our next steps?Our Ohio library system offers a set of services unique in the country key toworkforce and prosperity building in Ohio. By aligning, linking and leveraginglibrary services with the needs of every community’s regional workforce, wecan avoid fragmentation between talent, skills, new business, employers andpotential future employers.How we choose to identify, connect, and align Cuyahoga County PublicLibrary assets and the needs of the Northeast Ohio workforce are the firststeps toward ensuring a sustainable and transformative future for NortheastOhio.Community and workforce development must begin by teaching communities21st century skills, practices and tools needed to sustain local talent andaccelerate enterprise development. These skills, embedded in the practices and tools of Open Source EconomicDevelopment, rebuild our civic spaces and revitalize the community network infrastructure often absent today and essential to building and sustainingprosperity.
© The Institute for Open Economic Networks (I-Open) 4415 Euclid Ave. Cleveland, OH 44113I-Open is a 501(c)3 economic development organization developing new practices and tools for Open Source De-velopment, a process for exponential growth in communities and regions.

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