October 25, 2014

Chattanooga Library Board Responds to Audit’s Allegations

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Last week the board of the Chattanooga Public Library (TN) responded to a city audit released in late August, which criticized Library Director and LJ librarian of the year Corinne Hill and top staffers for receiving excess travel reimbursements (since repaid), and stated that two employees have been reported to the state for suspected fraud for taking paid speaking and consultant jobs on library time.

Making Room for Innovation

ATTRACTION ABOUNDS At top, the 4th Floor Maker space with its 3-D printing lab was a highlight of the night at the 2013 
Tennessee Library Association annual conference held in the library space; the Labrary storefront (bottom) likewise attracted passers-by into its experimental area to see how future library design might look. 
4th floor photo by Mary Barnett; Labrary photo courtesy of Jennifer Koerberber

Two library service prototyping spaces, in two very different places, have a remarkable amount in common. Nate Hill runs and operates the 4th Floor in Chattanooga, a large public library loft space operating as a flexible community makerspace and event space. Jeff Goldenson co-ran and operated Labrary, a 37-day design experiment occupying a vacant storefront in Cambridge.

Up Close: Bright Lights, Gig City in Chattanooga | Library by Design

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For Chattanooga, having a gigabit-per-second connection means an opportunity to attract new business. The city is even sponsoring a competition in which entrepreneurs with winning ideas receive financial incentives to move to Chattanooga. Similarly, Director Corinne Hill, along with CPL’s new assistant director for technology and digital initiatives Nate Hill, hopes to turn the library into a creative hub that will include a competitive art and technology residency program, drawing cutting-edge talent to the library and its community.