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Jump to: navigation, search -- Beyond Books: News, Literacy and Democracy and America's Libraries

Cambridge, Mass. (Boston), April 6-7, 2011 at the MIT Center for Future Civic Media


As "Beyond Books" gets started on Wednesday, we asked the 90 people what is the best possible outcome the could envision. Here is what the table spokespeople said. We missed the first table's comments; we'll add them later.

  • Developing experimental models that can be taken back into communities and tested. Cyclical, or multually dependent relationships between the fields, bringing in the idea from Peter shane's video about healthy information communities.
  • Concerned about how you fund these kinds of things. This can't be all volunteer work, there need to be jobs in these new roles. How can these partnerships help communities go beyond their traditional roles, as we see traditional media cutbacks. How do we make sure lights still get shone on government activities -- equitable access needed even in rural reas.
  • Different ideas -- find the best way to open resources to communities in order to improve the commnity, encourage civic engagement and give voice to community members.
  • To build a framework for matching the needs and resources of community journalists and public libraries at the community level. We need access to each other so they can share concerns and gain understanding of each other the way things are now and engaged.
  • We wanted to foster a discussion fo what it is that jouranalists and libraries are collecting about their communities and push what we do out from our comfortable envelopes we've been living in. We are both about community access to information. Collect what is unique to the community, hosting community databases and preserving that data.
  • Hoping to come up with specific ideas for collaborative projects for journalists and libraries, clearly ideas in practice, and create some sort of founding document that would help us establisih a common purposes, shared interest, getting to some standards or guidelines for collaboration between the professions.
  • The role of libraries in facilitating civic and civil dialog, including media and journalism. Especially where so many news organizations aren't doing as much reporting, citizens wanted to. Libraries can provide tools, facilitation, critical thinking skills, what citizens need to report credibly and share information. Outcome woudl be a network to share this dialog and stories about new models and collaboratives.
  • We are hoping to find a way to discover community needs that can be filled by journalists and librarians working together.
  • Best outcome would be workable models for how to implement collaboration between librarians and journalists. How to engage at the community level and bring the community in. How to synthesize to produce real results through facilitation. Goal a participatory democracy that includes citizens and journalists in libraries. How do we make civic engagement "hot . . . the cool thing . . .the fascinating thing to do." What do we need to listen to each other. Not enough conversations with young people, who go somewhere else for information. Libraries and journalists have helpful resources, but you don't know. Need motivators to create engagement.
  • We want to find some viable model for the future, to identify some best practices or trends that will be helpful -- what kind of info ecosystem do we want and how do we move to one which is accessible and inclusive.
  • A best outcome is to find effective models for adaptation in a changing environment and how to involve and engage the community at large in solving problems, not just librarians and journalists. We need to be able to identity what our common problems and missions are so we can learn how to support each other. And so we can also learn how our missions and priorities diverge. Don't want to hold onto hammers and screwdrivers to fix the problem. Develop sustainability models.
  • We think the preconceptions about librarians and journalists need to be changed. We need to capture the local information that nobody else is finding. Broaden our audience and identify strategies so we can be more inclusive in getting people involved. Finally, identify policies that should be in place to protect our community spaces so the conversation is inclusive of all ideas.
  • We're about empowering individuals that we're about looking at individuals who can improve systems, things around them that can support them. The flow of relevation, actionable information and ideas. Meaningful stuff. We're talking about "thinking infrastructure" and making sense and constantly remaking sense. Empowering individuals as the starting point.
  • A long list of many things heard already. Among the best possible outcomes -- something tangible and lasting in the form of next steps. Ways to bridge professional gaps perceived between librarians and journalists that aren't necessarily real. How to better articular our value in a world that is skeptical. Ways to thoughtfully balance between preservation and creation of information. Start to think about whether libraries and journalists can work together to create catalyst at the community level.
  • Do we have a common understanding about what dialog and deliberation is? Do we all have the same definition?