Good libraries are community-minded, technologically-aware, devoted to increasing access to information, and interested in preserving the local cultural heritage. Good newspapers aggregate and curate information for their readers, prioritize the local population, and are the record of a place, a time, a citizenry. Both believe they must tell stories for everyone, not just themselves.
Libraries have experience with media production, and are already a known community resource. Supporting communication within their community falls within the library’s mandate to increase access to information. Building on the “maker” ethic, how can libraries help their communities make their own news, write their own stories, publish their own histories?
by Nell Taylor
Read/Write Library is a replicable project that uses local media to examine a region’s creative, political and intellectual interdependencies, creating a visible network of primary sources. We hope to make it available as an open source technical and theoretical template for other cities, borrowing models from library science, urban planning and social networks. Non-professional content receives more respect than in any previous era. By developing contextual and social features within a catalog, we can direct this sentiment at media that wasn’t valued in the cultural climate of its day. Using relative tags and non-hierarchical subject and keyword combinations helps hyperlocal or alternative perspectives compete in search engines alongside dominant historical records and fill in massive blindspots, and each entry is mapped and treated as a social object where users can share stories of the forgotten, marginalized or even still-active communities connected to these publications.
by Erik Swan and Michael Wilde
WTF is Big Data & Why Should I Care?Love that smartphone? Navigate with your GPS? Tweeting about this session? Everything other than brushing your teeth has is generating data. Every action we do generates data & a record of that action. According to a recent study by McKinsey, 15 out of 17 industry sectors in the US have more data stored per company than the Library of Congress. The sheer volume of data, driven by new devices & disparate data sources, requires a shift in how to capture & analyze information. If you could mine data generated by your audience, what questions might you ask? Improving your perspective on what users are doing or how they're interacting with you can yield some amazing returns. Analyzing big data can be as easy as surfing the web. We'll show some cool ways to ask questions, in realtime, to some fun data sources & get amazing answers. See how to turn data into information, information to knowledge & knowledge to action.
What happens when tens of thousands of archival photos are shared with open licenses, then mashed up with geolocation data and current photos? Or when app developers can freely utilize information and images from millions of books? On this panel, we'll explore the fundamental elements of Linked Open Data and discover how rapidly growing access to metadata within the world's libraries, archives and museums is opening exciting new possibilities for understanding our past, and may help in predicting our future. Our panelists will look into the technological underpinnings of Linked Open Data, demonstrate use cases and applications, and consider the possibilities of such data for scholarly research, preservation, commercial interests, and the future of cultural heritage data.
9th–13th March 2012