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Jordan Christine Eschler
Master's student
University of Washington
Seattle WA

As a Masters student in Information Management at the University > of Washington, I am currently writing my thesis on the evolving public > library mandate to act as a portal for eGovernment services. My work is > partially based on the finding in the US Impact > Survey<>that > consumption of local news is an important metric in eGovernment and > civic engagement in U.S. libraries (the Knight Digital Media Center has > posted > commentary< > />about > this finding). The consumption of local news ^S and the future of local > citizen journalism in public libraries ^S is one factor I am using to shape > my thesis research related to successful eGovernment programs in libraries. > > > I have also been involved in a program evaluation for the Knight Foundation > related to grant making in public > libraries<>, > and have studied issues around boundaries between engagement and > partisanship* *(regarding the matter of private grant making to publicly > supported institutions), as well as envisioning libraries as public-access > media centers (through programs to retrofit portions of library buildings as > spaces to inspire collaboration). > > > Finally, I believe that libraries offer rich information ecologies to foster > and preserve free digital information commons through the following > practices: (1) utilizing their spaces to promote collaboration and > partnerships among community organizations, which will strengthen the > digital information commons; (2) promoting digital literacy, most crucially > the five key > literacies< > es/>, > according to Howard Rheingold; and (3) revisiting the allocation of library > resources (digital, human, and otherwise) to address the changing mandate of > libraries as places where an informed citizenry can be nurtured. >