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Work in The Flow

Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library, FL

Problem Statement

Work In The Flow connects people using public library spaces. Many people already work in our libraries, but are working independently — some to the point of isolation. Work In The Flow seeks to connect individuals to an integrated support system to help them achieve more than they could do alone. Those who choose to Work In The Flow are able to recognize and connect with one another, leading to helpful feedback, skill-sharing and meaningful professional relationships.

Innovation

2016_Innovations_WorkforceAndEconomic_WorkFlow_1.jpgWork In The Flow promotes libraries as business resource centers and co-working spaces, connecting workers in two ways:

  1. A physical presence that visually identifies participating workers in the library (tent cards that indicate how and why they would like to co-work), which helps them to connect by sharing special skills and project information; and
  2. A virtual presence through a listserv and online platform where discussions are archived, searchable and accessible to users. This platform also provides the opportunity to connect with other users, such as potential mentors, coaches, co-founders, or sources for capital or business matchmaking.

Progress

Work In The Flow was launched in 12 diverse library locations across Hillsborough County. Participants are meeting in person as well as sharing resources through the program’s listserv. Topics discussed thus far have included sharing events, swapping articles, and trading recommendations for favorite productivity software. Work In The Flow participants themselves differ greatly in career type, experience level and skill sets, bringing together individuals who might not otherwise have crossed paths. As the Work In The Flow community grows in number, so too does its knowledge base and ability to connect participants to relevant and helpful resources and people.