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Bringing Open Data Home Through Public Libraries

A parent who is searching for quality daycare; a sister who wants to convince city council to support a new park; a neighbor writing a grant for a school; a small business who would benefit from using local transportation data. What do these people have in common?

1. Open data can help answer their questions.

2. Your library can provide them with the training they need to do so.

 

Local, state and federal governments are releasing data - the public's data - in new ways. They're making it open, accessible and reusable. Organizations with large budgets and individuals with advanced technical skills will know how to find and use this information to their advantage. They're creating new tools and advocating for their causes. But what about everyone else?

 

Last year, our two states - California and Washington - won a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to address this issue. By empowering librarians with the knowledge to find and use this data, and creating tools for libraries to teach everyone in their community to find and use this data, we hope to build the foundation for communities in which everyone - not just a select few who are already knowledgeable and skilled - shares in the benefit and promise of open data.

 

Our team of librarians and open data advocates has now created a curriculum that libraries can use to help their communities find, use and improve open data. We're looking for a diverse set of up to 20 libraries in California and Washington that would like to try the curriculum as a cohort this coming winter and help us improve it. We'll also provide a Train-the-Trainer for all beta testers in January 2018. Funding is available for a limited number of libraries that may need financial support to pilot the curriculum.

 

Interested?  Apply here by November 1, 2017. (Link will open a google form).

 

Questions, please contact us!  

California: Anne Neville, anne.neville@library.ca.gov

Washington: Will Saunders, will.saunders@ocio.ca.gov

(Our team will also be CLA and WLA in November. We’re happy to meet-up and talk there!)