We are excited to announce the Civic Switchboard 2020 Field Project Awards!

The following libraries will lead projects in 2020 that will increase their capacity as a key participant in their local civic data ecosystem. In each awarded project, the library will be working with one or more local community data partner organizations, and its proposed work demonstrated a commitment to understanding and engaging its local civic data ecosystem. The awardees will also attend a Civic Switchboard workshop and contribute details about their work to inform case studies that will become part of the Civic Switchboard Guide.

Burlington, VT - Fletcher Free Library

In partnership with City of Burlington - IT department, Code for BTV

The BTV Share Data Project

The project will build awareness of the City of Burlington’s data publication efforts through data literacy workshops at the Fletcher Free Library. The project will design a two-part workshop sequence that overviews the City Open Data Portal and provides instruction on data manipulation and analysis. The workshops will be open to the public with particular emphasis on training for community non-profit organizations. The project will also explore ways that the Fletcher Public Library can help to build data publication capacity among non-profit partners in Burlington so that they can contribute data to the City Open Data Portal.

Durham, NC - The School of Library and Information Sciences Library at North Carolina Central University (NCCU)

In partnership with DataWorks and The County of Durham

Hacking into History: Discovering Racial Covenants in Durham’s Property Deeds.

The project will organize and host two community data-centric workshops focused on exploring the history of racially restrictive agreements contained in Durham’s property deed records. Through this work, the project will create a publicly accessible, transcribed collection of racially restricted property deeds that can be shared both physically and digitally as an ongoing tool and educational resource. The project aims to inform community members about the history of exclusionary zoning restrictions in Durham, to provide context for the city’s current affordable housing crisis, and to empower community participation in translation efforts and analysis of legacy documentation, turning handwritten documentation into human and machine-readable “data.”

Chicago, IL - The University of Chicago Library’s Center for Digital Scholarship

In partnership with DataMade and The University of Chicago Law Library

Making a Case for Mediated Access: Engaging with Chicago Criminal Justice-Related Data

The project will design and host a forum on ethical, responsible, and accessible civic data in Chicago. The fall convening will focus on data collected through the Chicago Data Collaborative, which has gathered a comprehensive collection of records from Cook County’s criminal justice system. The forum will spark conversations around how data collected through the Chicago Data Collaborative can be made more accessible to organizations working to change the criminal justice system. Organizers also hope to bring communities that have been disproportionately impacted by oppressive policing and justice systems into the decision-making processes around data collection, governance and use.

Indianapolis, IN - Indianapolis Public Library

In partnership with The Polis Center at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis and WFYI Public Radio

Data and Drafts: A New Audience for Civic Data and Community Research.

The project will explore combining formal training for library workers with informal efforts to engage the public on data-based issues. During the grant period, the library will host “Data and Drafts” events, which are opportunities to explore Polis Center civic data research findings in a less formal, more social environment. Following each public gathering, the project team will conduct workshops for public library staff, drawing from the key information and findings highlighted during each gathering and exploring how civic data can be better integrated into public library service.

South Bend, IN - St. Joseph County Public Library

In partnership with City of South Bend and University of Notre Dame

South Bend Civic Data Community Partnership Project.

The project will conduct a needs assessment across local nonprofits to better understand what data skills they want to improve. The St. Joseph County Public Library will hire a civic data fellow to work with the project team to address gaps identified in the needs assessment and then prototype and assess library-city partnered programming. The project team will then work to create a sustainable, long-term plan for institutional data training and engagement across anchor institutions and onboarding more local partners.

Spokane, WA - Spokane Public Library

In partnership with Eastern Washington University Institute for Public Policy & Economic Analysis (EWU)

Grounding Open Data in a People-Centered Ecosystem

This project will make local civic data more usable by publishing open data through a newly-launched portal, and will add context to published data sets by collecting and sharing examples of community use. The project team will work to reach new data users, producers, and facilitators through ecosystem mapping workshops and doing data storytelling with community partners. The project team will also explore tactile and accessible data visualizations and mapping through workshops with students at a local school.