Open data in public libraries: Gauging activities and supporting ambitions

Paper by Kaitlin Fender Throgmorton, Bree Norlander and Carole L. Palmer: “As the open data movement grows, public libraries must assess if and how to invest resources in this new service area. This paper reports on a recent survey on open data in public libraries across Washington state, conducted by the Open Data Literacy project (ODL) in collaboration with the Washington State Library. Results document interests and activity in open data across small, medium, and large libraries in relation to traditional library services and priorities. Libraries are particularly active in open data through reference services and are beginning to release their own library data to the public. While capacity and resource challenges hinder progress for some, many libraries, large and small, are making progress on new initiatives, including strategic collaborations with local government agencies. Overall, the level and range of activity suggest that Washington state public libraries of all sizes recognize the value of open data for their communities, with a groundswell of libraries moving beyond ambition to action as they develop new services through evolution and innovation….(More)”.