Nevada Receives Grant to Empower Communities with Data


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Mary Woods
Public Information Officer
- February 09, 2016

Carson City, NV –The Nevada State Library, Archives and Public Records Division has been named a winner of the Knight News Challenge on Data grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and will receive $93,000 as part of Nevada’s award for the “Data Equity for Main Street” project.

Nevada submitted its entry for consideration in partnership with the California State Library and the State of Washington’s Technology agency. Together they plan to develop training curriculum to teach librarians how to help patrons find and use public data. Public information data bases are readily available but can be daunting for an untrained researcher to locate. Community groups or individuals can benefit from using public data – such as community health outcomes, school quality indicators, or local and state budgets – to apply for grants or as supporting information to advocate for community improvements.

“We’re thrilled that our idea was selected to develop into a pilot program,” said Daphne DeLeon, Nevada State Librarian. “Knowing how to find and use information is empowering. Lots of data and research is available to the public, but knowing what’s out there, how to find it, and how to make it relevant to a particular cause or purpose…that’s the gap we want Libraries to help fill.”

“In this advancing electronic age, libraries are positioning themselves as a key resource to help their communities improve its digital literacy. I’m proud our Nevada State Library is leading the charge to make that happen,” said Patrick Cates, Department of Administration Director.

Nevada was one of only 17 award winners from over 1,000 applicants. The total grant amount is $470,000 and will be shared with California and Washington over the next two years to collaboratively develop the pilot program and sub-grant to participating libraries to help them implement the new training. This was the first time Nevada applied for this grant.

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About the Nevada State Library, Archives and Public Records
http://nsla.nv.gov/
The State Library, Archives and Public Records is the institutional memory of the state and is responsible for preserving and developing the state's most valuable assets: its heritage, the collective product of its people, resources, business endeavors, and government. The State Library a full range of information services including: reference, research materials, and support services; library planning and development; and services designed for citizens with disabilities. The State Archives preserves Nevada’s historical government records. The Imaging and Preservation Services program provides record conversion services and the State Records Management program provides consultation, training and records center services to Nevada government. The State Mail Services provides mail services for state agencies.

About the Knight Foundation
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation promotes journalism excellence world-wide and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight Brothers once owned newspapers. The Knight News Challenge on Data is funding breakthrough ideas that make data work for individuals and communities.

About the Data Equity for Main Street Project
The Data Equity for Main Street Project is the result of a unique partnership between the California State Library, the Nevada State Library, and the State of Washington’s technology agency, WaTech, formed to look at ways to increase the use of open data by citizens. This work resulted in a collaborative grant proposal, “Data Equity for Main Street: Bringing Open Data Home Through Local Libraries” for the Knight News Challenge on Data grant. Over two years, the project will develop open educational resources and provide grants to libraries to try out these new tools in their communities.