What's the need?
Data is often available but with barriers to use. Barriers include (but are not limited to) finding, obtaining, understanding, aggregating, applying, and contextualizing data.
Data providers and intermediaries need insight from users to help prioritize open datasets and tool development.
Why the library?
Your library has always helped to make existing information more usable and useful to its communities.
Library workers are uniquely positioned to know, communicate, and advocate for the information needs of their communities.
Library workers have expertise around the user experience of digital information. How do users prefer to search? To browse? To evaluate results for relevance? To download and use digital content?
What your library can do:
Author data user guides for specific datasets or on broader topics.
Create views of data that meet specific needs, for user groups, social justice organizations. One example might be creating analog presentations of data for communities that are non-digital.
Partner with civic data initiatives to gather user feedback for improved services
Pittsburgh, PA: Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center's Data User Guides
Somerville, MA: Tufts’s Hirsch Health Science Library guide, Health Data and Statistics
Durham, NC: Duke University Library's guide, US Economic Data, see "Local areas" for treatment of regional civic data
Boston, MA: Cataloguing Open Data: Open Data to Open Knowledge
Resources you can use:
Robinson, P., & Mather, L. W. (2017). Open Data Community Maturity: Libraries as Civic Infomediaries. Journal of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association, volume 28.