A report just released by the Aspen Institute’s Dialogue on Public Libraries asks us again to reconsider how the library can serve communities in the 21st century. “Rising to the Challenge: Re-Envisioning Public Libraries” aims to capture the momentum and excitement of the innovations taking place in public libraries across the country, and the impact these are having on communities. The report asks: With all the new technologies and layered networks, what can be done beyond current advancements? The Dialogue on Public Libraries group is made up of 34 library field leaders, business executives, government officials, education experts, and community development visionaries. The group aims for more than just holding up great examples of libraries working well in the digital age. It wants to provide a catalyst for new thinking about libraries as platforms for learning, creativity, and innovation in communities, and for the creation of new networked forms of libraries.
Since 2013 the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’sScholarly Communicationsprogram has been making a series of grants to help diversify the body of primary source evidence available to, for example, activists, artists, researchers in humanities fields, community historians, genealogists, teachers, and students. These grants are designed to support and strengthen a body of archival practice called community-based archiving.
DonorsChoose has launched #ISeeMe, a campaign aimed at boosting the amount of culturally responsive materials in US classrooms. These include books written by authors of color or other resources featuring figures from diverse backgrounds.
Born in a Waldorf-inspired public charter school classroom in California, Cyber Civics meets a growing need to prepare middle school students to be ethical, safe, and wise digital citizens. The in-class program has three levels—Level 1: Digital Citizenship; Level 2:Information Literacy; and Level 3: Media Literacy for Positive Participation.