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44 contributions
675 ideas
675 final ideas
46 final ideas
46 final ideas
Announced!

Winners

Announcing the winners of the Knight News Challenge.

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Threatened by surveillance from corporations and governments, our right to access information is chilled. As stewards of information and providers of Internet access, librarians play a central role in meeting the information needs of communities and are in an obvious position to educate patrons about how to shield their privacy from surveillance threats. 

The Library Freedom Project is a partnership among policy experts at the American Civil Liberties Union, tech-activists at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and an IT librarian. By scaling up an existing project, we aim to bring anti-surveillance workshops to libraries across the country and create an online resource for librarians ready to fight for free speech and privacy.

Threatened by surveillance from corporations and governments, our right to access information is chilled. As stewards of information and providers of Internet access, librarians play a central role in meeting the information needs of communities and are in an obvious position to educate patrons about how to shield their privacy from surveillance threats. The Library Freedom Project is a partnership among policy experts at the American Civil Liberties Union, tech-activists at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and an IT librarian. By scaling up an existing project, we aim to bring anti-surveillance workshops to libraries across the country and create an online resource for librarians ready to fight for free speech and privacy.

Photo of Alison Macrina
33 64

Libraries leading the first national field trial of FCC-enabled TVWS networks with pilots in every state to foster innovative uses of this new open regional-scale wireless broadband capability. 

Using low cost TVWS gear, potentially any library can deploy multiple "satellite" library Wi-Fi hotspots at new sites in their community to expand access and convenience AND for additional purposes, especially in disaster response as readily re-deployable hotspots in damage zones OR to support civic/cultural activities OR to develop hubs for entrepreneurs at collaborative work spaces, other venues OR...

Proposes working with COSLA and individual state library chiefs to solicit, select and support 2 innovative TVWS projects in each state.

Libraries leading the first national field trial of FCC-enabled TVWS networks with pilots in every state to foster innovative uses of this new open regional-scale wireless broadband capability. Using low cost TVWS gear, potentially any library can deploy multiple "satellite" library Wi-Fi hotspots at new sites in their community to expand access and convenience AND for additional purposes, especially in disaster response as readily re-deployable hotspots in damage zones OR to support civic/cultural activities OR to develop hubs for entrepreneurs at collaborative work spaces, other venues OR... Proposes working with COSLA and individual state library chiefs to solicit, select and support 2 innovative TVWS projects in each state.

Photo of Don Means
27 38

Imagine walking into a school with row after row of empty shelves. This is the situation for millions of students around the world. At Library For All, we envision a world without barriers to knowledge. We see an opportunity to leverage mobile technology to provide the world’s poorest with access to quality books and educational resources. To achieve this goal, we have built a digital platform that works in low-bandwidth environments, making a vast library of culturally relevant and linguistically appropriate content available on any device accessible to those in developing countries. Every student deserves access to knowledge and the chance to learn, dream and aspire to lift themselves out of poverty.

Imagine walking into a school with row after row of empty shelves. This is the situation for millions of students around the world. At Library For All, we envision a world without barriers to knowledge. We see an opportunity to leverage mobile technology to provide the world’s poorest with access to quality books and educational resources. To achieve this goal, we have built a digital platform that works in low-bandwidth environments, making a vast library of culturally relevant and linguistically appropriate content available on any device accessible to those in developing countries. Every student deserves access to knowledge and the chance to learn, dream and aspire to lift themselves out of poverty.

Photo of Isabel Sheinman
23 35

Building upon its recent innovations in digitizing and crowdsourcing data from historical maps, The New York Public Library (NYPL) proposes to build the world’s first citywide directory and geo-search of historical places. The NYC Space/Time Directory will be a community-editable resource designed to facilitate digital wanderings through New York City across time periods. It will enable historians, journalists, genealogists, librarians, students, and app developers to link data and collections in spatial and historical context down to the neighborhood, block, or building -- all searchable in a Google Maps-like interface. The resulting platform will be 100% library/community-grown and open source.

Building upon its recent innovations in digitizing and crowdsourcing data from historical maps, The New York Public Library (NYPL) proposes to build the world’s first citywide directory and geo-search of historical places. The NYC Space/Time Directory will be a community-editable resource designed to facilitate digital wanderings through New York City across time periods. It will enable historians, journalists, genealogists, librarians, students, and app developers to link data and collections in spatial and historical context down to the neighborhood, block, or building -- all searchable in a Google Maps-like interface. The resulting platform will be 100% library/community-grown and open source.

Photo of Tony Marx
16 31

Taking scanners, cameras, and librarians’ expertise to smaller libraries, archives, and communities in the metropolitan region, Culture In Transit will help shine a light in the dark corners of some of the city’s richest cultural heritage collections. Under-resourced organizations and communities are often excluded from contributing to the nation’s digital cultural memory because they lack equipment and technical support. Proposed by Metropolitan New York Library Council, Empire State Digital Network, Brooklyn Public Library, & Queens Library, Culture In Transit will leverage NYC’s public transportation network to bring the labs to them — providing a model that can be replicated in the service of worldwide access to local treasures.

Taking scanners, cameras, and librarians’ expertise to smaller libraries, archives, and communities in the metropolitan region, Culture In Transit will help shine a light in the dark corners of some of the city’s richest cultural heritage collections. Under-resourced organizations and communities are often excluded from contributing to the nation’s digital cultural memory because they lack equipment and technical support. Proposed by Metropolitan New York Library Council, Empire State Digital Network, Brooklyn Public Library, & Queens Library, Culture In Transit will leverage NYC’s public transportation network to bring the labs to them — providing a model that can be replicated in the service of worldwide access to local treasures.

Photo of Jason Kucsma
13 34

Boston, like many cities, has published a collection of “Open Data.” From crime reports to maps to building permits to a list of urban farms, this data tells a story about government and city life. This rich source of information is not well cataloged and lacks crucial context necessary to promote use. Like books, historic texts, and other significant documents, this public knowledge must be stewarded by skilled archivists and librarians. By working with our vast network of public and academic research libraries, the City of Boston can help people access this information in a multitude of ways: to support research, to better understand their city, and to connect this new type of data and the traditional resources curated by our libraries.

Boston, like many cities, has published a collection of “Open Data.” From crime reports to maps to building permits to a list of urban farms, this data tells a story about government and city life. This rich source of information is not well cataloged and lacks crucial context necessary to promote use. Like books, historic texts, and other significant documents, this public knowledge must be stewarded by skilled archivists and librarians. By working with our vast network of public and academic research libraries, the City of Boston can help people access this information in a multitude of ways: to support research, to better understand their city, and to connect this new type of data and the traditional resources curated by our libraries.

Photo of Jascha Franklin-Hodge
11 19

We will leverage the reach of libraries and allow residents and visitors to central Appalachia to discover African American history through GPS-based mobile technologies (Clio) and several digital repositories. This grant will support our team of librarians, journalists, and historians as we record and share central Appalachia’s unique history from the Underground Railroad to the Civil War and the long struggle for civil rights. Our team will extend the reach of our libraries by using Marshall Digital Scholar and Clio, two existing technologies developed by faculty at Marshall University. Clio will allow us to curate the landscape and create entries that will reach people where they stand and connect them to the resources of area libraries.
We will leverage the reach of libraries and allow residents and visitors to central Appalachia to discover African American history through GPS-based mobile technologies (Clio) and several digital repositories. This grant will support our team of librarians, journalists, and historians as we record and share central Appalachia’s unique history from the Underground Railroad to the Civil War and the long struggle for civil rights. Our team will extend the reach of our libraries by using Marshall Digital Scholar and Clio, two existing technologies developed by faculty at Marshall University. Clio will allow us to curate the landscape and create entries that will reach people where they stand and connect them to the resources of area libraries.

We will leverage the reach of libraries and allow residents and visitors to central Appalachia to discover African American history through GPS-based mobile technologies (Clio) and several digital repositories. This grant will support our team of librarians, journalists, and historians as we record and share central Appalachia’s unique history from the Underground Railroad to the Civil War and the long struggle for civil rights. Our team will extend the reach of our libraries by using Marshall Digital Scholar and Clio, two existing technologies developed by faculty at Marshall University. Clio will allow us to curate the landscape and create entries that will reach people where they stand and connect them to the resources of area libraries.

Photo of Monica Brooks
11 12

Public libraries can expand the value we offer our communities by developing services and resources for patrons who want to acquire new life skills or expand their knowledge of a specific area.  Our idea is to create a personalized referral service run by librarians and using a set of online resources that can help people find learning opportunities that are tailored to their personal learning style and individual goals.  Modeled after the familiar readers' advisory service currently provided by many libraries, Your Next Skill essentially creates a “learning advisory” service that is easily accessible to anyone in the community.

Public libraries can expand the value we offer our communities by developing services and resources for patrons who want to acquire new life skills or expand their knowledge of a specific area. Our idea is to create a personalized referral service run by librarians and using a set of online resources that can help people find learning opportunities that are tailored to their personal learning style and individual goals. Modeled after the familiar readers' advisory service currently provided by many libraries, Your Next Skill essentially creates a “learning advisory” service that is easily accessible to anyone in the community.

Photo of Jennifer Yeung
8 57

Project Gutenberg (PG) offers 45,000 public domain ebooks, yet few libraries use this collection to serve their communities. Text quality varies greatly, metadata is all over the map, and it's difficult for users to contribute improvements.

We propose to use workflow and software tools developed and proven for open source software development- GitHub- to open up the PG corpus to maintenance and use by libraries and librarians.

The result- GITenberg- will include MARC records, covers, OPDS feeds and ebook files to facilitate library use. Version-controlled fork and merge workflow, combined with a change triggered back-end build environment will allow scaleable, distributed maintenance of the greatest works of our literary heritage.

Project Gutenberg (PG) offers 45,000 public domain ebooks, yet few libraries use this collection to serve their communities. Text quality varies greatly, metadata is all over the map, and it's difficult for users to contribute improvements. We propose to use workflow and software tools developed and proven for open source software development- GitHub- to open up the PG corpus to maintenance and use by libraries and librarians. The result- GITenberg- will include MARC records, covers, OPDS feeds and ebook files to facilitate library use. Version-controlled fork and merge workflow, combined with a change triggered back-end build environment will allow scaleable, distributed maintenance of the greatest works of our literary heritage.

Photo of GITenberg Project
8 37

Make It @ Your Library is working to champion the maker movement in libraries by introducing people to new tools and technologies while encouraging hands-on, community-centered learning. We began by curating a website of maker projects for librarians to implement in their communities, but there is more to be done. We want to build a system for sharing maker materials and tools with libraries nationally so staff can empower themselves with new styles of library service. We hope to alleviate people’s uncertainties about the maker movement and inspire excitement about bringing this type of content creation to the library – this all starts with proximity to these ideas and materials. We believe we can be the conduit for that proximity.

Make It @ Your Library is working to champion the maker movement in libraries by introducing people to new tools and technologies while encouraging hands-on, community-centered learning. We began by curating a website of maker projects for librarians to implement in their communities, but there is more to be done. We want to build a system for sharing maker materials and tools with libraries nationally so staff can empower themselves with new styles of library service. We hope to alleviate people’s uncertainties about the maker movement and inspire excitement about bringing this type of content creation to the library – this all starts with proximity to these ideas and materials. We believe we can be the conduit for that proximity.

Photo of Amy Killebrew
8 33

The popularity and demand for new media, digital content and video games provides the opportunity for libraries worldwide to reaffirm their mandate to facilitate access and ensure the preservation of materials while enabling critical reflection across the entire population. We aim to do research and implementation for a pilot project which brings small scale independent and community-oriented digital game and interactive media production into libraries. The challenge is to bring new media producers and library patrons together through an indie game aggregator, a digital asset repository and their related metadata systems.

The popularity and demand for new media, digital content and video games provides the opportunity for libraries worldwide to reaffirm their mandate to facilitate access and ensure the preservation of materials while enabling critical reflection across the entire population. We aim to do research and implementation for a pilot project which brings small scale independent and community-oriented digital game and interactive media production into libraries. The challenge is to bring new media producers and library patrons together through an indie game aggregator, a digital asset repository and their related metadata systems.

Photo of Olivier Charbonneau
7 19

Book a Nook is digital infrastructure to help libraries activate their network of physical spaces for diverse uses, reaching those who might otherwise rely on commercial space for meetings, activities, and learning. Via an application programming interface (API), a set of functions that allows programs to connect to web services such as Facebook and Meetup, it will permit users to discover and book library meeting spaces. Book a Nook becomes an API for the seamless discovery and sharing of library facilities. Users will gain access to much-needed public space, while libraries will become integrated into the social fabric in new ways, better supporting a wide range of activities happening in their communities.

Book a Nook is digital infrastructure to help libraries activate their network of physical spaces for diverse uses, reaching those who might otherwise rely on commercial space for meetings, activities, and learning. Via an application programming interface (API), a set of functions that allows programs to connect to web services such as Facebook and Meetup, it will permit users to discover and book library meeting spaces. Book a Nook becomes an API for the seamless discovery and sharing of library facilities. Users will gain access to much-needed public space, while libraries will become integrated into the social fabric in new ways, better supporting a wide range of activities happening in their communities.

Photo of Jessica Yurkofsky
6 17

The University of Missouri Libraries and the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute seek to create and test a sustainable preservation system for born-digital news content. In collaboration with the Missouri Press Association, JDNA will identify a representative sampling of newspapers in the state that will agree to the use of their digital content for a pilot study on preservation and research access. The Center for Research Libraries will assist with market research to promote the study with academic libraries. JDNA will partner with Newz Group of Columbia, MO, to gather this news content and, with Investigative Reporters and Editors, demonstrate the functions of IRE’s DocumentCloud news research platform most relevant to researchers.

The University of Missouri Libraries and the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute seek to create and test a sustainable preservation system for born-digital news content. In collaboration with the Missouri Press Association, JDNA will identify a representative sampling of newspapers in the state that will agree to the use of their digital content for a pilot study on preservation and research access. The Center for Research Libraries will assist with market research to promote the study with academic libraries. JDNA will partner with Newz Group of Columbia, MO, to gather this news content and, with Investigative Reporters and Editors, demonstrate the functions of IRE’s DocumentCloud news research platform most relevant to researchers.

Photo of Edward McCain
6 13

Online courses offer free access to useful content and knowledge, especially for those who don’t have easy access to other education opportunities. However, online learning can be impersonal and lonely. Particularly for newcomers to online learning, the lack of peer-support and face-to-face learning opportunities are often a barrier to successful participation. 

Peer 2 Peer University & Chicago Public Library will create an online and offline infrastructure to provide a real-world wrapper around online learning. We will combine the library’s familiar resources, P2PU’s experience in building online communities, and the peer support & feedback of fellow-learners, to support aspiring learners through a first online course of their choosing.

Online courses offer free access to useful content and knowledge, especially for those who don’t have easy access to other education opportunities. However, online learning can be impersonal and lonely. Particularly for newcomers to online learning, the lack of peer-support and face-to-face learning opportunities are often a barrier to successful participation. Peer 2 Peer University & Chicago Public Library will create an online and offline infrastructure to provide a real-world wrapper around online learning. We will combine the library’s familiar resources, P2PU’s experience in building online communities, and the peer support & feedback of fellow-learners, to support aspiring learners through a first online course of their choosing.

Photo of Carl Ruppin
6 20

101: Coworking at the Public Library provides freelancers, entrepreneurs and innovators a physical space to do collaborative and creative work. Currently coworking spaces in Miami-Dade may have too high a fee associated with their use and/or may not be available to all members of the community. The Miami-Dade Public Library System is ideally situated to offer coworking spaces to all members of the community.  These coworking spaces include conference rooms, high-speed Wi-Fi, electronic white boards, virtual conference rooms, and computers and laptops. The library’s diverse and eclectic population’s use of 101 creates a unique synergy to make the public library a valuable economic and creative contributor to the community.

101: Coworking at the Public Library provides freelancers, entrepreneurs and innovators a physical space to do collaborative and creative work. Currently coworking spaces in Miami-Dade may have too high a fee associated with their use and/or may not be available to all members of the community. The Miami-Dade Public Library System is ideally situated to offer coworking spaces to all members of the community. These coworking spaces include conference rooms, high-speed Wi-Fi, electronic white boards, virtual conference rooms, and computers and laptops. The library’s diverse and eclectic population’s use of 101 creates a unique synergy to make the public library a valuable economic and creative contributor to the community.

Photo of Miami-Dade Public Library System
3 4

The Internet Archive builds digital libraries of the future, vast online repositories of our human culture. This shouldn’t be the work of a single institution, but of countless citizens—experts in areas they care passionately about. Right now the tools to turn citizens into curators do not exist. We propose creating a new framework and  toolset that allows communities outside our institution to build digital libraries together, further democratizing access to all knowledge. These citizen-archivists would help build collections, enhance metadata and join like-minded communities in deciding what of our history gets archived and made accessible to everyone, forever, for free.

The Internet Archive builds digital libraries of the future, vast online repositories of our human culture. This shouldn’t be the work of a single institution, but of countless citizens—experts in areas they care passionately about. Right now the tools to turn citizens into curators do not exist. We propose creating a new framework and toolset that allows communities outside our institution to build digital libraries together, further democratizing access to all knowledge. These citizen-archivists would help build collections, enhance metadata and join like-minded communities in deciding what of our history gets archived and made accessible to everyone, forever, for free.

Photo of Alexis Rossi
3 45

Our goal is to make it easier for people to access city-wide services that help them lead healthy and productive lives. This project promotes the library as the first place to seek such help, and a key site of civic engagement through which a community can envision and shape its future. The Community Resource Lab builds on existing initiatives - in DC and around the world - to make it easier for data about community resources to be produced, shared, and used. Through the Lab, librarians will gain tools and training to help patrons find services. More importantly, library patrons, librarians, and community leaders will co-create more responsive and effective human service information systems.

Our goal is to make it easier for people to access city-wide services that help them lead healthy and productive lives. This project promotes the library as the first place to seek such help, and a key site of civic engagement through which a community can envision and shape its future. The Community Resource Lab builds on existing initiatives - in DC and around the world - to make it easier for data about community resources to be produced, shared, and used. Through the Lab, librarians will gain tools and training to help patrons find services. More importantly, library patrons, librarians, and community leaders will co-create more responsive and effective human service information systems.

Photo of Meaghan O&amp;#039;Connor
3 16

Full participation in society now requires being online. However, most people do not understand the privacy implications of our networked society, or know how to protect their information online. Public libraries have always championed privacy, with a deep appreciation for the link between privacy and intellectual freedom. In this spirit, San José Public Library will develop compelling, easy-to-use privacy literacy tools that empower individuals to make informed decisions about their online activity so they can benefit from and participate in our networked world. The Library will also organize a public dialogue that challenges people to learn about, explore, and engage in the essential question of privacy in the digital age.

Full participation in society now requires being online. However, most people do not understand the privacy implications of our networked society, or know how to protect their information online. Public libraries have always championed privacy, with a deep appreciation for the link between privacy and intellectual freedom. In this spirit, San José Public Library will develop compelling, easy-to-use privacy literacy tools that empower individuals to make informed decisions about their online activity so they can benefit from and participate in our networked world. The Library will also organize a public dialogue that challenges people to learn about, explore, and engage in the essential question of privacy in the digital age.

Photo of Kary Bloom
2 11

Libraries have discovered the benefits of open source software, but haven’t fully embraced open source hardware. There are two areas where open hardware can reimagine library operations: the replacement of existing vendor hardware, and the ability for libraries to make hardware that automates existing methods or enables new abilities. 

One example of how this could enable libraries to be more responsive to their communities’ needs is to build sensors that could provide librarians with a smart library. Simple and inexpensive sensors could collect data about building usage that is now invisible. Making the invisible explicit will allow librarians to make strategic decisions that create efficient and effective experiences for their patrons.
Libraries have discovered the benefits of open source software, but haven’t fully embraced open source hardware. There are two areas where open hardware can reimagine library operations: the replacement of existing vendor hardware, and the ability for libraries to make hardware that automates existing methods or enables new abilities. One example of how this could enable libraries to be more responsive to their communities’ needs is to build sensors that could provide librarians with a smart library. Simple and inexpensive sensors could collect data about building usage that is now invisible. Making the invisible explicit will allow librarians to make strategic decisions that create efficient and effective experiences for their patrons.

Libraries have discovered the benefits of open source software, but haven’t fully embraced open source hardware. There are two areas where open hardware can reimagine library operations: the replacement of existing vendor hardware, and the ability for libraries to make hardware that automates existing methods or enables new abilities. One example of how this could enable libraries to be more responsive to their communities’ needs is to build sensors that could provide librarians with a smart library. Simple and inexpensive sensors could collect data about building usage that is now invisible. Making the invisible explicit will allow librarians to make strategic decisions that create efficient and effective experiences for their patrons.

Photo of Jason Griffey
1 38

What if we could replicate the library’s book lending model for connecting people across neighborhoods? Rather than checking out a book, what if you could check out a skill & interact with local experts?
 
BklynShare is a new program that connects knowledge seekers with experts.
 
Each day, Brooklynites are creating new content, foods, goods and technology, and sharing their passions with others. Whether it’s fixing a bike, building an app, perfecting a resume or practicing English, everyone has a skill to learn or contribute. The library is already a familiar and safe destination for people of all ages and backgrounds to connect with knowledge and their community. Let’s extend the library’s role to bring out the expert in all of us.

What if we could replicate the library’s book lending model for connecting people across neighborhoods? Rather than checking out a book, what if you could check out a skill & interact with local experts? BklynShare is a new program that connects knowledge seekers with experts. Each day, Brooklynites are creating new content, foods, goods and technology, and sharing their passions with others. Whether it’s fixing a bike, building an app, perfecting a resume or practicing English, everyone has a skill to learn or contribute. The library is already a familiar and safe destination for people of all ages and backgrounds to connect with knowledge and their community. Let’s extend the library’s role to bring out the expert in all of us.

Photo of Michael Fieni
1 31

Kent State University Libraries would like to establish a Regional Business Information Bureau that could provide quality information to entrepreneurs and small business owners who could not otherwise afford access to these resources.  Clients could contact the Bureau directly or be referred by public libraries, Chambers of Commerce and economic development agencies.  Research consultations would be conducted by appointment in the bureau, e-mail, Skype or any relevant technology. This Bureau would also deliver various group seminars on Finance, Marketing or Information literacy concepts that would be taught by College of Business and Library faculty.  Eventually, these seminars could be adapted for online tutorials.

Kent State University Libraries would like to establish a Regional Business Information Bureau that could provide quality information to entrepreneurs and small business owners who could not otherwise afford access to these resources. Clients could contact the Bureau directly or be referred by public libraries, Chambers of Commerce and economic development agencies. Research consultations would be conducted by appointment in the bureau, e-mail, Skype or any relevant technology. This Bureau would also deliver various group seminars on Finance, Marketing or Information literacy concepts that would be taught by College of Business and Library faculty. Eventually, these seminars could be adapted for online tutorials.

Photo of Karen MacDonald
0 3