May 20, 2022

Tennessee: Chattanooga Public Library Profiled in a New National Journal Article

Here’s a new article (approx. 1150 words) by Brian Resnick at National Journal titled, “The Library as We Know It Is Dead”.

It offers coverage about what Corinne Hill and her team at the Chattanooga Public Library are up to.

While what’s going on at the CPL might be well-known to some infoDOCKET readers, this article (with a very strong title) will share what Hill et al. are up to with a national/international audience who don’t follow the library space as closely as we do. National Journal is a well-known publication that focuses on government, politics, etc.

From the Article:

She [Hill] shifted around the library’s $5.7 million budget, making room for the 3-D printers and vinyl cutters, and started stocking the shelves with more popular titles. So instead of spending $10,000 for access to little-used academic journals, the library purchased makerbots (the 3-D printers) for around $2,000, a laser cutter for around $5,000, and a vinyl cutter for $3,000. With these moves, the library has rebranded itself as a coffee shop alternative/technology salon for the upwardly mobile. It even brews its own roast coffee, aptly named “shush.”

“With this space, what we’re trying to do is acknowledge that access to the commons is no longer a read-only environment,” says Meg Backus, who runs the library’s fourth floor.


Attendance is up 150 percent throughout the four-library system, Hill says. From 52,000 people in the first quarter of 2012 to 151,000 in the most recent. “Yeah, my circulation is up; they’re taking stuff out, but not at a 150 percent increase. So they are coming for other things. I love that they’re seeing the building as being more than the stuff that is in it.”

Direct to Full Text of National Journal Article

See Also: Chattanooga Public Library’s Director and Her Librarian “Dream Team” Profiled in New Article (August 11, 2013)
A 2500+ profile of Hill and key members of her team (with pics) from Chattanooga’s local newspaper.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.