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Civic Hacking 2.0: IMLS Celebrates Civic Hacking

May 30, 2014 ET

By Justin Grimes
Statistician, IMLS

This weekend (May 31 – June 1, 2014) is National Day of Civic Hacking, during which people across the county will be coming together to use data and technology to help improve communities and the governments that serve them.

IMLS will be participating for the second year in a row along with other federal agencies. Last year we provided two datasets and saw some pretty impressive uses of our data from participants. This year IMLS will be providing three datasets:

1)      Museum Universe Data File: a recently updated dataset that contains descriptive information about over 35,000 museums in the United States including aquariums, arboretums, botanical gardens, art museums, children’s museums, general museums, historic houses and sites, history museums, nature centers, natural history and anthropology museums, planetariums, science and technology centers, specialized museums, and zoological parks.

2)      Public Library Survey (2011) data: the most recent data from our annual survey, which provides statistics on the status of public libraries in the United States. The data are collected from approximately 9,000 public libraries (with 17,000 individual public library outlets) and contains information about library visits, circulation, size of collections, public service hours, staffing, electronic resources, operating revenues and expenditures, and number of service outlets.

3)      Administrative Discretionary Grant Data: information about all discretionary grant recipients who were awarded funds by the Institute of Museum and Library Services from fiscal year 1996 through fiscal year 2013.

We at IMLS won’t be the only folks having fun. We also see that many libraries and museums around the county will be participating by hosting and sponsoring events or providing their own data and challenges. We applaud these libraries and museums for helping promote engagement and innovation within their local communities.

So I hope you attend an event. If you’re interested in using IMLS data for the National Day of Civic Hacking or if you are a library or museum participating in the National Day of Civic Hacking, please let us know! We would love to hear from you!

Can’t wait to see what people do this year! Happy civic hacking everybody!

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