The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has announced the winners of the Knight News Challenge: Libraries, an initiative to identify ideas that leverage libraries as a platform on which to build more knowledgeable communities.
Twenty-two projects will receive grants totaling $3 million to develop approaches and tools across a range of themes, including digital rights and privacy; history and digital preservation; the maker movement, and open data. Eight of those projects were awarded grants ranging from $130,000 to $600,000; they include Chicago-based Online Learning @ The Public Library/Peer 2 Peer University, which was awarded $152,000 to organize in-person study groups for Chicago Public Library branch patrons interested in accessing and completing open online courses; Measure the Future/Evenly Distributed, which will receive $130,000 to help libraries better manage their buildings and public spaces; Open Data to Open Knowledge/City of Boston, which was awarded $475,000 to work with the Boston Public Library to turn the city's open data collection into an accessible resource; and Space/Time Directory/New York Public Library, which will receive $380,000 to work with local communities and technologists to turn historical maps and other library collections into an interactive directory that enables the exploration of the city across different eras.
In addition, fourteen projects received Prototype Fund awards of $35,000 each to take their projects from idea to demo over a six-month period. They include BklynShare/Brooklyn Public Library, which aims to enable people to learn new skills through a service that connects knowledge seekers with experts in their own neighborhood; Book a Nook/Harvard University metaLAB, which plans to activate public library spaces for community use with the help of software that streamlines the exploration and reservation of physical library spaces; and GITenberg/Project GITenberg, which will explore collaborative cataloging for Project Gutenberg e-books using the Web-based hosting service GitHub.
For a complete list of the winning projects, visit the Knight Foundation website.