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Seven pilot sites join national digital library project with Knight Foundation funding
Source: Philanthropy Journal  ·  Oct. 12, 2012  ·  Excerpt

The Digital Public Library of America-a groundbreaking project that will make content in our nation's archives and special collections digital, searchable and freely available-will launch pilot projects in seven states with $1 million in funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

State libraries and regional digital library collaboratives in Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, South Carolina and Utah will be the first to participate as "service" hubs in the pilot effort.

Users will ultimately be able to search across these local collections, finding information on a topic-like the Civil War or the Great Depression-via records from throughout the country. Organizers will also test ways to engage communities in creating content for the archives, whether through adding context and tags to digital records, or bringing in items to scan and record.

"Libraries and archives contain vast repositories of their community's everyday history, a rich past with local and national resonance. Digitizing, categorizing and sharing these cultural assets electronically helps libraries in their evolution from information storehouses into dynamic hubs using history to create content and engage the community," said George Martinez, director of information technology at Knight Foundation.

The funding is part of Knight Foundation's Library Initiative, which helps libraries achieve their mission of being places for personal fulfillment, content creation and community engagement.

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Our take
Building meaningful partnerships in the community is crucial to the success of nearly any foundation or nonprofit organization. The Knight Foundation's involvement with the Digital Public Library of America provides a clear connection of this principle to results. While not every nonprofit will be able to offer $1 million in funding, the value of finding viable projects through productive relationships can't be overstated.

Compass Pointe can help your organization establish partnerships by answering these and other questions:

  • What groups in my community have projects with high potential or relevance to my organization, and how is information like this obtained?
  • How can my organization begin a formal outreach program to identify potential partnerships, and what resources are required to properly network?
  • Contact Compass Pointe now


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