In Pittsburgh, our local situation has been unique in that both public and academic librarians work actively in close collaboration with other civic data publishers and users. Our librarians regularly partner with local governments, non-library intermediaries, civic organizations, student organizations, and data users in a variety of ways. They play a number of roles, including helping people discover civic information, building data literacy and technical skills, providing technical assistance in data management and documentation, creating feedback mechanisms to publishers, convening and hosting events, and connecting data users. Our experience shows that libraries and librarians should act as data intermediaries and play key roles in the continuing development of civic open data. Their expertise provides insights on a wide range of issues that affect both data publishers and users.
Many of our colleagues elsewhere, including librarians and other civic data intermediaries, have asked us how they can develop similar relationships and roles for librarians in their home communities. This guide is developed in response to this interest and expression of need.
The main text of the guide is authored by the Civic Switchboard project team:
Aaron Brenner, The University Library System at the University of Pittsburgh
Bob Gradeck, Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center
Toby Greenwalt, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Eleanor "Nora" Mattern, School of Computing and Information at the University of Pittsburgh
Liz Monk, Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center
Kathy Pettit, National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership
Eleanor Tutt, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Case studies include material authored by the featured parties; specific attribution is included with each case study text.