The Role of Public Libraries in Improving Local Open Government Ecosystems


Project started on Oct. 24, 2013 (Completed)

CTG will bring together thought leaders from academia, government, and private and non-profit organizations through a national forum to explore the future role of public libraries as integral partners in local open government initiatives within the context of a community information ecosystem. CTG will work with an Advisory Committee of representatives from public libraries, local governments, and open government experts to develop an initial concept paper on the roles that public libraries can play in local open government ecosystems. 

State and local governments are exploring new ways to open their governments using technology to engage citizens, increase transparency and accountability. Such efforts provide new opportunities and challenges for public libraries as citizens turn to them for both access to and assistance in their interactions with government. Local open government efforts take place within defined geographically-bound communities that have an existing ecosystem of interrelated people, entities, practices, values, and information sources that supports community information needs. An open government initiative will impact and can be facilitated or impeded by a community’s information ecosystem. Libraries can have a critical influence on an ecosystem and the success of such an initiative. 

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The Forum is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through a 2013 Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program (LB21) grant.