Knight Blog

The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

YOUMedia Miami builds upon the role libraries play as places of innovation and exploration

Feb. 19, 2012, 12:37 p.m., Posted by Elizabeth R. Miller

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As part of Knight Foundation’s weekend gathering of library leaders, the group toured a new project at Miami’s North Dade Regional Library aimed at teaching teens how to use technology to tell stories and engage with the world around them.

YOUMedia Miami builds on the role libraries play as places of innovation and exploration. The space is designed for high-school students to learn how to explore technology, mix music, design video games, create podcasts and produce films.

Workshops are available for high school students in digital photography, digital storytelling, animation and learning basic MAC skills. Adult mentors are available to help guide students as they work on new projects.

It’s already helping kids unleash their creativity and discover new ways to communicate and explore their community.

How libraries can track their impact in the digital age

Feb. 19, 2012, 9:06 a.m., Posted by Elizabeth R. Miller

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Seattle Central Library. Photo Credit: Flickr user Thomas Hawk.

Librarians from across the country are gathered this weekend in Miami to re-envision the future of the library in a digital world, as part of Knight Foundation’s Libraries Initiative.

And while libraries have become hubs for experimentation and learning in the digital age, they face a challenge: they don’t currently have a way to measure the impact that reflects that evolution, said Amy Webb, CEO, WebbMedia Group, who helped kick off the gathering Saturday night.

To solve that problem, Webbmedia Group released, for the first time, a toolkit offering new ways for libraries to measure community impact, helping them “go beyond just the measurement of book circulation and foot traffic,” Webb said.

The “Key Performance Indicator Toolkit” provides an overview of what metrics libraries should track in the digital age, how to track them, suggestions for sharing and measuring library content and recommendations for evaluating the impact of a library’s core digital services.

How a student news project helped make an impact through partnerships with local media

Feb. 19, 2012, 8:10 a.m., Posted by Alyssa Lenhoff and Tim Francisco

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TheNewsOutlet.org is a community media project in Ohio that  received funds from the Knight Community Information Challenge through the Raymond John Wean Foundation. Here, the co-directors talk about how the project has helped inform the local community by creating valuable partnerships with local media.

By Alyssa Lenhoff and Tim Francisco, co-directors, The News Outlet

In our third year, TheNewsOutlet.org has emerged from an experimental partnership between Youngstown State University’s journalism program and a local newspaper and public radio station, into a regional media collaboration. Today, our student journalists at three state universities, along with three newspapers and two radio stations are producing multi-platform investigative journalism that tackles the region’s most pressing issues.

Currently, The News Outlet collaborative has expanded to include student journalists from Youngstown State UniversityKent State University and The University of Akron. Our media partners include The Akron Beacon Journal, The Ravenna Record Courier and Akron’s Rubber City radio, in addition to “founding” partners the the Youngstown Vindicator and WYSU.FM.