Knight Blog

The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Videos explore the role of libraries in communities & visions for the future

March 7, 2012, 11 a.m., Posted by Elizabeth R. Miller



Ever wonder what libraries will look like in the future? And how they’re partnering with people in their communities to address information needs?

During a Knight conference exploring the role of libraries in the digital world, we interviewed library directors from eight communities - Philadelphia, St. Paul, Macon, Charlotte, Miami, Akron, San Jose and Detroit - to ask these questions and more.

Hear what library directors from these communities say are their biggest successes and listen to insights in how they’re addressing challenges.

In these videos, library directors also share what projects they’ve developed to help better serve their communities. The Free Library of Philadelphia, for example, was able to involve itself more deeply in communities by creating hot spots in areas with limited digital access.

Charlotte hosts entrepreneur competition to address community issues

March 7, 2012, 9:55 a.m., Posted by Susan Patterson

Meet Julie Jones, a second-grade teacher with a big idea. She was the winner at the first annual social entrepreneur competition, organized by Charlotte's Social Venture Partners and supported by Knight Foundation. Eighty-two organizations applied. Twenty finalists were selected, and then 40 volunteer coaches worked with the 2012 class to hone their messages and their 3-minute TED talk-like presentations. All were terrific, but Julie especially so.

Her idea: a grub composting program that uses a bioconversion process to divert food waste from our landfills while producing protein-rich chicken and fish feed. 

And how did she come to this idea? By watching her students dump food in the cafeteria trash cans each day.

JumpStart invests in Akron start up

March 6, 2012, 4:11 p.m., Posted by Jennifer Thomas

JumpStart has invested $250,000 in an Akron-based company that uses an adhesive pad to dissipate heat generated in computers and electronics. The adhesive was inspired by the properties of the footpads of geckos, the small lizards that are able to climb walls. JumpStart, in part funded by Knight Foundation, has invested $2.75 million in Akron-based companies.

The news was featured in the Saturday edition of the Akron Beacon Journal in an article "Gecko feet inspire startup business, attract money." 

Last month, Knight Foundation announced a $1 million grant to Jumpstart to support an effort to bring a new model for engaging residents in fostering entrepreneurship to 20 cities across the country.