Public data can help libraries plan internally, enhance collections and services, and strengthen community partnerships. The Washington State Library provides data consultation to libraries statewide for a variety of purposes, including the following::

  • Strategic planning & community-centered service: Trying to pinpoint languages spoken in your community? Wondering which neighborhoods have the most trouble getting affordable home broadband? Want to show that your community could benefit from a workforce development grant? The State Library can help you use data from government, research, peer libraries and other public sources to inform planning, support service improvements and strengthen grant proposals.
  • Protecting patron data in practices and procurement. Do you know what data your vendors collect and hold about patrons and their library activities? Do your library's internal data management practices ensure that patron data is handled securely and discreetly? The State Library can review current data management practices, or help vet vendor proposals and data handling terms.
  • Data publishing and visualization: Use data to demonstrate your library's value to the community. The State Library can help you organize and publish data about your library's services and capture performance in maps, charts, dashboards and other visualization.
  • Reference and instruction: Data and algorithms play an expanding role in employment, health care and other areas of public life. Help patrons learn how data affects them, use public data to answer questions, strengthen digital skills and protect their own private data. The State Library can connect you to curriculum and other resources to host classes and programs, or fold data into collections and reference service.
  • Community leadership: Libraries use data and help people use online information every day, expertise that makes them valuable partners in broadband action teams, disaster response or local government open data publishing. The State Library can help you forge community partnerships and connect you to libraries engaged in similar work.

Contact Open Data Librarian Kathleen Sullivan with questions or a consultation request.



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Funded in part by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).