14 projects win 2016 Knight News Challenge on Libraries

Above: Seattle Public Library, by Rem Koolhaas. Photo by Moody75 via Wikimedia Commons.

Today, Knight Foundation is announcing 14 winners of the 2016 Knight News Challenge on Libraries. Each winner will receive a share of $1.6 million to develop their project to answer the question: How might libraries serve 21st century information needs?

Launched in February, the challenge generated more than 600 proposals. The 14 winners are a mix of libraries, nonprofit organizations, academic institutions, small for-profit startups and museums. Five of the winners will receive awards ranging from $150,000 to $393,249. The other nine projects will receive $35,000 each to test their early- stage ideas.

This marks the second News Challenge on Libraries for Knight Foundation. The first, which launched in 2014, resulted in 17 projects all working to leverage libraries as a platform to build more knowledgeable communities.

We’re glad to see that the Knight News Challenge has helped the field to think about innovation within libraries. Going forward, we plan to explore more ways to spur institutional innovation in libraries in the coming year.

Chris Barr is director of media innovation and Nina Zenni is a media innovation associate at Knight Foundation. Email them [email protected] and [email protected]. Follow Chris on Twitter @heychrisbarr.

The winning projects, subject to final grant agreements, are:

Improve Access to Knowledge and Empower Citizens: Amplify Libraries and Communities through Wikipedia | Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) | $250,000 | Project leads: Sharon Streams and Merrilee Proffitt | Twitter: @oclc, @thinktower, @merrileeiam | Seattle

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 | Project leads: Jon Voss and Emily Gore | Twitter: @Historypin, @dpla, @jonvoss, @ncschistory | San Francisco

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 | Project leads: Jo Giudice and Tom Huang | Twitter: @dallaslibjo, @dallaslibrary, @tomthuang, @dallasnews | Dallas

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 | Project leads: Nicholas Higgins, Odette Larroche-Garcia, Nick Franklin and Story Bellows | Twitter: @BKLYNlibrary | New York

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 | Project leads: Amanda Dillon and Kate Tkacik | Twitter: @fdncenter, @katetkacik, @gobbledyquack | New York

Helping libraries find funding opportunities, increase understanding of funding sources, and track funding trends through a data visualization tool and capacity-building training.

The nine projects receiving $35,000 each to test ideas include:

ATL Maps | Georgia State University| $35,000 | Project leads: Brennan Collins and Megan Slemons | Twitter: @ATLStudies | Atlanta

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. Emory University is a partner on this project.

Can I Fair Use It? Crowdsourcing Fair Use Knowledge | Harvard University | $35,000 | Project leads: Kyle K. Courtney and Jack Cushman | Twitter: @HarvardLIL, @KyleKCourtney | Cambridge, Massachusetts

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 | Project leads: Rebecca Kate Miller, Lauren Reiter and Maria Kenney Burchill | Twitter: @psulibs, @rebeccakmiller, @mkburchill | State College, Pennsylvania.

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 | Project lead: Autumn McClintock | Twitter: @FreeLibrary | Philadelphia

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 | Project lead: Joe Lucia | Twitter: @TempleLibaries, @jplucia | Philadelphia

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 | Project lead: Anna Naruta-Moya and Daniel Moya | Twitter: @NativeDocs, @MNMF, @NMM_IndianArts, @AnnaNaruta | Santa Fe, New Mexico

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 | Project lead: Micah Eckhardt | Twitter: @storyscape_tech,  @micahrye | Cambridge, Massachusetts

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 | Project lead: Gretjen Clausing | Twitter:  @PhillyCAM | Philadelphia

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 | Project leads: Mark Williams and Lorenzo Torresani | Twitter: @dartmouth | Hanover, New Hampshire

Making film and video housed in libraries more searchable and discoverable by testing software that will annotate speech, objects and actions in film.

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