Lets put the two together: an IC and Coworking space.
What is an IC?
Wait, let me start from the beginning. I’m getting ahead of myself.
Ever been helped by a librarian in your life, in a public library or through your academic career in college or high school? Maybe you are in a profession that uses librarians. They can be found in law firms and hospitals helping doctors and attorneys and even in the government helping everyone find the information they need. Yes, even in this “Google era” Librarians are more needed than ever before, to help find the RIGHT information and not a lot of it.
My new concept would be to add a live person to the co-working amenities available to the tenants. I call it an “information concierge”. Someone with a library degree, like an MLS, would be on site at one of the properties of a co-worker company. The “IC” would be exclusive on-site in person to the tenants of that specific office space and virtual to all the other tenants in the same companies spaces around the area.
For example: Hire a librarian and set that person up in a permanent office at your co working space. The “IC” would be there on a regular workday schedule, 9-5 for the physical tenants. The “IC” would also be available virtually by phone or computer to all the other tenants in the same co-worker company spaces around that one office they are set up in.
The “IC” would help all the tenants with their projects or research that they would need to be doing to complete their work in the city they are visiting. It could be a day, a week or a regular renter on a monthly basis. The “IC” could help the clients with any of the traditional library duties, borrow books, buy articles or research reports, assist them with whatever their needs would be.
So, let’s make this happen. Hire a librarian or an “IC”!!!
Since my idea is a new one it can be tweaked to fit several different situations.
The basic Librarian model that I see this working as is the “public librarian” model. When you go into a public library, you don’t give the librarian money to find a book or information for you, the salary of the librarian is paid by the state or county where the library is located and the librarian’s knowledge and services are free to the patrons.
So in my model, the IC services would be free to the clients or tenants who rent out your space. That person’s services would be part of the buildings or space amenities.
But, I would have the services be free up to a point. if the tenant is using the IC services and knowledge heavily like 2-3 hours, then the IC could start charging the person and their company maybe 10 dollars an hour, and if the IC ordered anything for them, like a book or reports or articles, they would also have to pay those prices.
This would all be upfront in a document the tenants sign when they rent your spaces, whether they use the IC or not, they sign it as an understanding, and if they have any questions, they can ask the IC about the guidelines.
So, I challenge you in your personal Co working “sandbox” to talk to an information specialist in your area. Most cities or regions in the U.S., have library associations you can reach out to. Be the first realty group to make this happen and start a trend.
In my case, I am trying to make this model work in the DC area, with, I imagine, a more diverse cross section of people looking for information, although my years of experience is mostly in legal research and working with and for attorneys.
Michael Timpani, MLS
Feel free to reach out to me about this article and my idea.