Exploring Data Worlds at the Public Library

Data literacy is new to the world of libraries and its meaning is still open to negotiation. Although many have advocated for the education of a data-literate population, there is little consensus on what such educational programs should look like, particularly in the context of informal learning at the public library.

The “Exploring Data Worlds at the Public Library” project (2017-2020) investigated youth data literacy in the context of technology-supported programs for young people at the public library. The project aimed to increase awareness of the unique data literacy needs of youth as well as develop strategies for training youth librarians so they can empower young people in our data-driven world.

By addressing gaps in the capacity of libraries to support the public’s knowledge, skills, and practices surrounding data, the project contributed to IMLS’s priority of building the social and technical infrastructure of libraries nationwide, and to the development of the National Digital Platform—the “combination of software applications, social and technical infrastructure, and staff expertise that provide library content and services to all users in the USA” (IMLS). This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The project’s grant number is RE-31-16-0079-16.

New Youth Data Literacy Project: Data Literacy with, for, and by Youth: Exploring How Teens Co-Design After-School Programs as Sites of Critical Data Practice. 2020-2022. Principal Investigators: Leanne Bowler, Irene Lopatovska, Mark Rosin (Pratt Institute). NSF Award #2005608.

For more information, visit the project website: https://sites.google.com/pratt.edu/data-activism-for-youth/home