The City of Palo Alto, Calif. and mobile workspace-finding app LiquidSpace have teamed up for an exciting step in public co-working. The Palo Alto City Library will make rooms available on LiquidSpace in a 3-month pilot. This is the first instance I can find in the U.S. of a public facility using a location-aware mobile app to reduce its unused capacity.
Co-working is the new normal, and city governments could drive lots of high-tech productivity if they make their latent space available to flexible, remote workers. Palo Alto is an obvious place to start, but every city in the world should start thinking like this.
The partnership began this week. Two of the library’s study rooms, with room for around 10 people, are available on LiquidSpace, a free iPhone app that lists available workspaces in business centers, hotels, offices or co-working spaces. During the pilot, the library will assess whether it will benefit the public, as well as the library itself. If so, it will work with other city departments to expand the program to other facilities.
We like the looks of this. Coffee & Power, another remote working story we’re watching, has figured out how to make a win-win out of helping private spaces open up to remote workers. LiquidSpace is doing a civic service by pushing municipal governments to open their doors to co-workers, too.
If you want to learn more about this topic, Phil Shapiro wrote a cool post about co-working in public libraries in PCWorld.
Do you work remotely? Share your experiences in the comments.