What amazing things happening in libraries should be amplified? That is one of the questions posed by the Knight Foundation as they begin preparations for their first 2016 News Challenge. Share your thoughts by August 1st using the Twitter hashtag #newschallenge to help form the next challenge.
Other questions to ponder include:
- What new ways could libraries connect to outside partners, institutions, or audiences?
- How should libraries prioritize their resources?
- Whose work in libraries should the Knight Foundation know about?
- What will libraries look like in 10, 20, or 50 years?
- What challenges does your library face adapting to the digital age?
After the success and great response from the library community to the first library-focused News Challenge last year, the Knight Foundation decided to focus on library innovation for 2016. The Knight Foundation has a mission of “supporting transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts.” The News Challenge is one of several initiatives used to promote these causes through foundation grants. Since 1971, the foundation has awarded funding to over 180 library-related projects, including the Digital Public Library of America.
In 2014, the foundation launched the first News Challenge focused on libraries. They asked participants, “How might we leverage libraries as a platform to build more knowledgeable communities?” Over 690 entries were submitted from which emerged forty-two semi-finalists with twenty-two winning projects eligible for the shared $3 million in funding.
Projects that won 2014 News Challenge funding ranged from improving online learning to privacy workshops. One other winning project was to create a digital platform designed specifically for low-bandwidth environments in order to expand access in developing areas of the world. Fourteen projects were awarded $35,000 in prototype funding for training on design and innovation methodology.
The specific question for the 2016 News Challenge will be announced in March followed by a call for ideas. Winners will be presented at the ALA annual conference in Orlando next summer. Check out the Knight Foundation Blog to learn more about the News Challenge and to watch for future developments for this upcoming funding opportunity.