Knight Awards Second Round of News Challenge Winners for Library Innovation

    by Ben DeJarnette
    June 23, 2016
    Photo by Barney Moss on Flickr and used here with Creative Commons license.

    In February, the Knight News Challenge on Libraries challenged innovators to develop new platforms, tools, and projects to support and strengthen 21st-century libraries. On Thursday, the Knight Foundation announced its 14 winners.

    “The winners show the potential of libraries to innovate and reinvent themselves in response to ever-evolving information needs,” said John Bracken, Knight Foundation vice president of media innovation, in a press release. “We hope they will inspire more innovation in the space and help highlight the many ways libraries can connect communities in the digital age.”

    "The winners show the potential of libraries to innovate and reinvent themselves in response to ever-evolving information needs."

    Five of the winning projects will receive investments of $150,000 or more, while nine others will receive $35,000 awards “to test early-stage ideas.” The winning project descriptions (excerpted from the press release) include:



    Improve Access to Knowledge and Empower Citizens: Amplify Libraries and Communities through Wikipedia | Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) | $250,000 | Making library resources more accessible to Wikipedia editors and engaging librarians as contributors to Wikipedia through a national training program that will include community outreach to increase local information literacy.

    Our Story: Content, Collections and Impact in Rural America | Historypin | $222,245 | Allowing libraries to show their impact on community well-being by measuring the effects of public library-led history, storytelling and local cultural heritage programs in three rural American communities.


    Storytellers Without Borders: Activating the Next Generation of Community Journalists Through Library Engagement | Dallas Public Library | $150,000 | Helping high school students connect with the Dallas Public Library through a training course on digital media and journalism that builds skills and grows their awareness of the community. The project partners with The Dallas Morning News to provide students with professional mentorship and online publication opportunities.

    TeleStory: Library-Based Video Visitation for Children of Incarcerated Parents | Brooklyn Public Library | $393,249 | Increasing childhood literacy by offering video story time and visitation services for children of incarcerated parents in the trusted space of public libraries.

    Visualizing Philanthropic Funding for Libraries | Foundation Center | $300,000 | Helping libraries find funding opportunities, increase understanding of funding sources, and track funding trends through a data visualization tool and capacity-building training.

    ATL Maps | Georgia State University| $35,000 | Enabling people to use multiple library collections to tell stories about their city through open source software that combines archival maps, geospatial data and multimedia pinpoints.

    Can I Fair Use It? Crowdsourcing Fair Use Knowledge | Harvard University | $35,000 | Enabling people to share information on questions of copyright and fair use by exploring existing gaps and opportunities, and testing a new approach for libraries to connect patrons with subject experts.

    Digging DEEP: A Digital Extension Education Portal for Community Growth | Pennsylvania State University | $35,000 | Connecting academic libraries to local community needs by developing a portal for information, research, resources and sharing.

    Free Library of Philadelphia Cultureshare | Free Library of Philadelphia | $35,000 | Advancing local engagement and strengthening community connection to untapped library collections and new work from local artists by introducing subscribers to librarian-curated digital content on a monthly basis.

    Future-Proofing Civic Data | Temple University | $35,000 | Exploring ways libraries can support preservation and long-term access to open civic data through community information portals such as OpenDataPhilly.

    Indigenous Digital Archive | The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture | $35,000 | Helping people more easily access and engage with mass digitized archival documents and photos through tools that enable people to annotate, tag and make searchable archival materials.

    Literacy, Art, Technology and Community | Storyscape | $35,000 | Increasing literacy and engaging communities by piloting StoryScape, an interactive learning platform that allows users to create visual stories about their communities with artwork from local artists, in public libraries.

    The People’s Media Collection | PhillyCAM | $35,000 | Offering media training in libraries through a program that engages community members to gather information about their communities and create broadcast content.

    Unlocking Film Libraries Through Discovery and Search | Dartmouth College | $35,000 | Making film and video housed in libraries more searchable and discoverable by testing software that will annotate speech, objects and actions in film.

    For more information about the winning projects, check out the full press release.

    Ben DeJarnette is the associate editor at MediaShift. He is also a freelance contributor for Pacific Standard, InvestigateWest, Men’s Journal, Runner’s World, Oregon Quarterly and others. He’s on Twitter[email protected]

    Tagged: idealab knight foundation knight news challenge libraries

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