Today we welcome back Mary Barnett from Chattanooga Public Library to the site to talk about several truly awesome projects that are just getting started at the library and in the Chattanooga community this summer. Consider this a kick-off post to a fantastic ongoing series on the variety of innovative incubating programs Chattanooga PL has in the works! ~ Laura

by Mary Barnett

The Chattanooga Public Library is in a unique position to be innovative. On the one hand, having an award-winning and future-focused leadership team makes it possible on a daily basis by creating a vision and a culture that is adaptive and entrepreneurial, like a start-up. But we are also located in a city whose current transformation and tempo encourages innovation in a multitude of ways.  Chattanooga, a city with the fastest internet in the western hemisphere, actively seeks and supports start-ups and the risk-taking spirit needed to move our city forward. As the only public library in the country offering free access to high speed broadband, we have quickly become a solid and active community collaborator helping to answer the question:

What in the world do you do with a gigabit network?  And perhaps more importantly, how can a gig library in a gig city leverage that network to benefit the community?

To that end, the Mozilla Foundation and the National Science Foundation launched the Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund here (and Kansas City) in February to help answer that question and to encourage innovative pilot projects that use the gig as an education or workforce development platform.

The Mozilla fund launch team.

The Mozilla fund launch team.

As the kick off event’s host venue, it was especially sweet to have the fund’s incredible launch team and partners in our innovation space on the 4th floor including Ben Moskowitz from Mozilla, Bill Wallace from U.S. Ignite, Erwin Gianchandani from the National Science Foundation, Dennis Bega with the U.S. Dept. Of Education, Mark Berman with GENI project, David Wade with EPB and Leah Giliam with Mozilla’s NYC Hive Learning Network. How great that a public library is right in the center of a city’s most promising conversations about its own super-connected future. ​

Today, we couldn’t be prouder to announce that the Chattanooga Public Library is at the center of the fund’s first grant awards, announced this week. Along with several community partners and anchor institutions, the library will be helping pilot three exciting and innovative community education projects that use the awesome power of the city’s gig network:

  • Hyperaudio Hyperlocal, a content remixing curriculum that uses locally produced content from partners including the Library, the Hunter Museum of American Art, the Public Education Foundation, and the Chattanooga History Center
  • Adagio, a collaborative, cloud-based music education app to be piloted with the Library and a local public elementary school
  • Viditor, a new online video editor piloting at the Library’s teen center and at the art and design classes at Baylor School.

We can’t wait to share the progress with everyone at LAIP as the projects develop. Meanwhile you can read more about the fund and inaugural projects on the Mozilla Blog. It’s going to be a busy summer! 

Check out other posts about Chattanooga Public Library’s arts-incubating programs.

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