Announcing the Field Project Awards

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

The following libraries will lead projects in 2019 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 contribute details about their work back to Civic Switchboard, informing case studies that will become part of the Civic Switchboard Guide.

aerial view of farmland

BI281 Aerial View of Farmland. Photo by Charles Tilford, CC-BY-NC-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/51159953@N00/266505247


Alaska State Library, Juneau, AK

in partnership with Office of the Governor, Office of Management & Budget

State of Alaska Data Ecosystem Mapping and Analysis Project

This project will create a statewide ecosystem map initially from survey data and then convene stakeholders to analyze the ecosystem, identify missing connections or perspectives, deficient resources and infrastructures, other gaps and weaknesses, as well as strengths and opportunities. Participants will then brainstorm ideas for strengthening the ecosystem and develop a roadmap of projects that would increase the release, visibility, and use of State of Alaska data.

Funded at the $9,000 level.


Charlotte Mecklenburg Public Library, Charlotte, NC

in partnership with UNC Charlotte Urban Institute

Charlotte Mecklenburg Civic Data Literacy Project

The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and UNC Charlotte Urban Institute will partner to create a Civic Data Nerds United Council to connect various players in the civic data ecosystem and to help inform data literacy efforts. To inform the development of the Council, we will build out the civic data ecosystem map for Mecklenburg County that we began at the Civic Switchboard workshop in Atlanta. This Council will be used to brainstorm, facilitate and support other components of the overall project. The first council initiative will be the creation of a master open data portal to house data sets from local municipalities, businesses and non‐profits.

Funded at the $3,000 level.


Fondren Library, Rice University, Houston, TX

in partnership with Kinder Institute for Urban Research, Rice University

Data Literacy Training for Non-Profit Organizations

Kinder and Fondren will partner to offer data literacy workshops and accompanying online learning materials for nonprofits in the Houston area. Workshops will focus on the fundamentals of finding, analyzing, and interpreting data, using Kinder’s Houston Community Data Connections (HCDC) website as a case study and tool. To host workshops at sites convenient for nonprofits, the project will work with larger nonprofits and public libraries in various neighborhoods.

Funded at the $3,000 level.


Pioneer Library System, Ontario County, NY

in partnership with Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Ontario County, Council of Alcoholism & Addiction of the Finger Lakes, and Finger Lakes Prevention Resources Center Community

Creating a County Wide Substance Use Data Ecosystem Map

The project will convene members of the Ontario County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition for a facilitated data ecosystem-mapping event. The event will include representatives from community organizations who collect, communicate, access, or fund the collection of data related to substance use in Ontario County. We hope that by visualizing the connections and gaps in the existing data infrastructure relating to substance use, we can help this community of practitioners to build on and expand current data sharing practices.

Funded at the $3,000 level.


Providence Public Library, Providence, RI

in partnership with NEXMAP, Chibitronics, Wonderful Idea Company

Telling Local Data Stories with Paper and Electronics: A Maker-based Design Project for Providence Public Library Data Navigators Program for Teens

This project will make connections between Providence Public Library’s data literacy, coding, and Makerspace projects by creating teen-focused workshops to create local data stories. Content for this project will be built on the data research and curation done by teens in the TeenSquad programs; in this way we will be leveraging essential interest-driven work as a primary resource for our collaboration and presentation. This project will also engage stakeholders to raise awareness about open data and PPL’s commitment to data literacy for all.

Funded at the $9,000 level.


Queens Borough Public Library, Queens, NY

in partnership with Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics, NY Immigration Coalition partners, Center for Integration & Advancement of New Americans, Cidadão Global, DSI International, Inc., Haitian Americans United for Progress, Inc., Polonians Organized to Minister to Our Community

Data Counts at QBPL

The project will train a cohort of library staff to provide open data workshops in hard to count census tracts on a regular basis; develop a community trainer program in collaboration with the New York City Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics (MODA) to increase public engagement with the NYC Open Data portal; and engage with partners from the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) on the role that data plays in allocating funding and apportioning political representation.

Funded at the $9,000 level.


Robert L. Bogomolny Library at the University of Baltimore, Baltimore, MD

in partnership with Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance at the Jacob France Institute

Exploring the Baltimore Regional Study Archives and the Baltimore Vital Signs Open Data to Improve Quality of Life in Baltimore Neighborhoods

The purpose of this collaboration is to create scaffolded learning experiences to better understand how to access both archival materials as well as open data to empower everyone who cares about neighborhoods to effectively “tell their story”. This project will convene community members in a workshop with tailored resources from the Baltimore Regional Study Archives and the Baltimore Vital Signs report. Workshop outreach will be geared towards neighborhood leaders and their neighborhoods. The project will also train librarians, faculty, students and community members on BNIA and BRSA resources and how to incorporate the materials into lessons and course research. Outcomes will be showcased at the annual Baltimore Data workshop held every year in July.

Funded at the $9,000 level.


St Paul Public Library, St Paul, MN

in partnership with City of St Paul’s Office of Technology and Communications

Sunshine Saint Paul: Shining Light on Your Civic Data

The project will Increase awareness of the civic data available on the City of Saint Paul’s Open Information portal and create opportunities for both connected and disconnected residents to understand and engage more deeply with data that is especially relevant to their community. We will hold a series of Panel Discussions and Community Conversations that include: interactive data literacy education; a discussion of civic data by local experts and data intermediaries, with special attention to data justice and bias; an overview of the city’s open information portal, how to use it, how the information is collected, privacy issues, and how to suggest new datasets; the opportunity for the public to discuss how civic data is or could be collected and used and have their questions answered. We also will create a tool for families to learn about the Open Information portal outside of these events

Funded at the $3,000 level.


Western New York Library Resources Council, Western NY

in partnership with Butler Library at SUNY Buffalo State, Buffalo, NY and the Western New York Open

Open Civic Data Project

The project will develop an environmental scan of the region to identify where open data resources reside and how academic and public libraries can partner with municipal governments and community organizations to make the data more visible. In addition to the three team member organizations, there will be participation from municipal governments, community organizations (under the umbrella of the Partnership for the Public Good) and, local groups specifically involved in open civic data initiatives (such as Open Buffalo, ITBuffalo, InfoTech, and others). The resulting database and white paper report issued will be shared broadly in the region, for use by policy makers, educators, community support organizers and others in addressing strengths and weaknesses of open civic data and the issues surrounding access and use of open civic data.

Funded at the $3,000 level.