Notes from an SLA session – Open Data in Chicago

Open Data in Chicago (Weds, 7/18 10-11:30am)

“Chicago has recently launched major government transparency efforts.  Learn more about open data initiatives in the Windy City, particularly the work of the Metro Chicago Information Center.”

Virginia Carlson from Urban Rubrics talked about the competition.  (For some reason, the URL doesn’t seem to be working.) Below are some of her favorite entries.  Here are some articles and videos about the contest.

Transitsocial – a unique and new place to search public transportation and socialize.

Spothero – efficiently connects parking demand and parking supply. We allow parking spot owners to earn income by renting their spot when it’s unoccupied.

Trailblaze Chicago – records and anonymously reports your bicycle tracks, allowing you to vote for new paths simply by carrying your phone while you bike.

Ifindit Chicago – Android app that is designed to help low income and homeless Chicago residents connect with critical resources such as medical clinics, food pantries, shelters etc.

Mi parque little village – is a bilingual participatory placemaking web and smartphone application that helps residents of the community contribute and share their vision for the future of Little Village’s new parks.

Chicago Recycle Helper – a website that helps consumers find recycling drop-off locations for items ranging from bras to umbrellas.

Techno finder wifi finder – an application for finding public technology locations in the city of Chicago.

Chicago Lobbyists – is a web based app that is an open data, open government, and open source project intended to improve the transparency of interactions between the City of Chicago and lobbyists and their clients.

Look at cook – Cook county budgets

More people using more data. Technologists are helping communities.  Hackers and coders are meeting with community members.  This system breaks down internal silos of local government.  There are some concers with open data and data curation.  For example, the “Are you safe” crime data in SF is not part of the Chicago contest.  She is not sure how they got the data.  People might have poor views of a neighborhood based on old or bad data.

Funding priorities.  Open data gov movement at local state and fed government, but defunding is going on.  Some other projects that were mentioned were:

American Community Survey from the Census Bureau and

Why the open data govt movement is a joke

National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership NNIP


Scholarly Communication: Not Just for Scholars Anymore

I am going to be presenting this at the Internet Librarian International Conference in London on October 30, 2012.

Day One, Track B, Session number B104 (14.45 – 15.30)

The Session title is The New Scholar. Here is the abstract (and a link to the .ppt) for my presentation.

Scholarly Communication: Not Just for Scholars Anymore

Over the last year, there has been a great deal of discussion concerning the Open Access (OA) of publicly funded research. The push for OA has come from a variety of organizations such as the Wellcome Trust (, the World Bank (, and from academic mathematicians ( In the United States, the National Institutes of Health has been a leader by implementing an OA mandate for their publicly funded research. However, there has been pushback from several publishers on the mandates, and some scholars do not see a need for radical change in the system. I contend that the culture of scientific disciplines and scientific publishing are slow to change because of the entrenched academic reward system for publishing articles in a “prestigious” journal. Administrators often find it easier to evaluate the quality of the container instead of evaluating the quality of individual articles. With this background, I would like to address two main topics in this presentation. 1) I will present research that shows that scientists who publish in OA sources have greater worldwide impact in their field. Once scholars understand this, then they will support OA with more enthusiasm. 2) I will present some methods librarians can use to discuss scholarly communication issues with higher level academic administrators. If tenure and promotion policy documents are modified to encourage local scholars to support OA publishing, then the rest of the world can benefit from the research.

[Note: This material is based on a presentation given at Internet Librarian International 2012 organized by:
Information Today, Inc., 143 Old Marlton Pike, Medford NJ 08055 U.S.A., Phone 1 (609) 654-6266.

Taking the MOOC Google Searching Class

From July 10-19th.