Do Space, Omaha’s nonprofit tech library, recently won national recognition for its work in helping ease race and other social gaps in tech.
The Urban Libraries Council named Do Space as a Top 10 innovator in an annual contest that this year drew 260 submissions. Do Space won for the race and social equity category.
The Urban Libraries Council is a Washington, D.C.-based membership organization that includes some 150 libraries in North America. Do Space and the Lincoln City Libraries are the only participating libraries from Nebraska. The organization’s goal is to generate innovative ideas and promote the essential role libraries play in their communities.
“The library is the public equalizer,” said Urban Libraries Council spokesman Curtis Rogers.
Do Space was chosen for its women innovators program, which I wrote about earlier this year. Three Omaha women were given six-month fellowships that included a stipend and mentoring.
One built an app to help women CEOs. Another built a website to better connect people who want to work from home to jobs that let them do it. A third conducted a study about why women are so rare in tech. (Just one in four tech workers in Omaha is a woman).
Do Space was recognized earlier this month at the Urban Libraries Council annual celebration, held this year in Salt Lake City. The event highlights “leading practices,” Rogers said. Other categories included civic engagement, education and workforce development.
If you step inside Do Space, which sits on the southwest corner of 72nd and Dodge Streets at Omaha’s — lowercase c — crossroads, you wouldn’t be surprised that it won for the category it did. The people using it reflect a real cross-section of Omaha.