Woodneath Story Center Concept MCPL

Woodneath Story Center
Steven V. Potter
Library Director and CEO
April 2014
What is Mid-Continent Public Library?
• One of the largest political subdivisions in
Missouri at 1,249 sq. miles and over
760,000 people
• Lends over 9 million items every year
Including books, eBooks, audiobooks,
• Provides access through 35 service outlets
including 4 co-located branches & a virtual
• Provides access to more online content
than every other library in Missouri …
The Need
• “Shoal Creek” is one of
the fastest growing areas
in the metro
• Neighboring locations
saw unsustainable
increases in activity
The Opportunity
• MCPL purchased a unique property in
2008 in the Shoal Creek area of the
• Three phase project:
• Library Center
• Site Restoration
• Adaptive Reuse of the Home
The Library Center
• The Woodneath Library Center opened
June 22, 2013.
– 3,000+ people came on opening day
– Those people checked out over 4,100
The Site Restoration
• MCPL undertook a
Master Planning
process with
Ochsner Hare &
• Discussion with
stakeholders (one
half day)
• A full day design
• The plan was
adopted by the
MCPL Library Board
Woodneath Story Center Vision
The Woodneath Story Center will celebrate the art of
story and its power to:
– help people communicate more effectively.
– connect and build community.
– preserve personal and cultural histories.
– develop creativity and self expression.
The Woodneath Story Center will serve as a place
where new storytellers, authors and creators will come
to experiment with the process of finding, shaping,
telling and sharing their story.
Three Components
Digital Storytelling
Film shorts, eBooks, digital book
reviews, and music.
Written Storytelling
Short stories, poems, fiction books,
memoirs, biographies, other nonfiction
works, poetry, and songs.
Oral Storytelling
Spoken stories and fables, family and/or
personal histories, spoken word poetry,
and songs.
Why A Story Center?
- Responds to a strategic goal concerning content creation.
- Addresses literacy using a more holistic approach.
- Develops a national model for progressive library service.
- Fills a market niche.
- Provides a cultural centerpiece for the Northland.
- Creates a regional resource for the arts and humanities.
Active participation in the local writers’ communities.
NaNoWriMo events grow each year at MCPL branches.
Partner in the metro wide digital storytelling initiative.
Partner in the MARC initiative to capture seniors’ stories.
Midwest Genealogy Center is primary regional institution
focused on preserving family histories.
Tell Me A Story program collects and archives regional oral
Past StoryCorps sponsor.
Activities, Assets & Needs
- Programming and events focused on storytelling arts
- Collaboration/program space
- Espresso Book Machine & Print on Demand
- Ebook publishing and distribution
- Technology lab featuring digital storytelling tools
- Recording Booth
- Archive of all stories produced at the Center
- Location
- Partnerships
- Accessibility
- Development, Publicity, Distribution
- Unique historic venue
- Strong partners to provide programming
- Identification of technology and assistance with program design
- Funding
Recent Milestones
- LSSD and Boys & Girls Clubs fieldtrips
Recruitment of the National Storytelling Network
Memoir workshop from The Writers Place
Leveraging online courses
Establishing the Woodneath Press
Negotiating with our first author
Story Center Timeline
June 2013:
- Woodneath Library Center opened.
- Helix Architecture + Design started preliminary work on the historic home.
July 2013 – December 2013
- Solidify Story Center partnership agreements.
- Design Story Center programming model.
January 2014 – August 2014
- Silent phase of the capital campaign.
- Renovation work on house begins.
- Launch Story Center programming model through the Woodneath Library
September 2014 – September 2015
- Work continues on the house.
- Public phase of the capital campaign.
- Story Center programming continues.
Fall 2015
- Tentative opening of Woodneath Story Center.
Thank You