ALA and the Data Storytelling Toolkit for Librarians

So ALA sent out their email to invite members to come to ALA Annual in Chicago this year, and they selected five sessions to highlight. Ours is one of them! 

As the US struggles with an onslaught of book banning like we have not seen in my lifetime, our project, the Data Storytelling Toolkit for Librarians, aims to get ahead of what we expect to come next: local battles over the existence of public and community college libraries. In fact, this battle has already begun, with some community college libraries in my state losing up to 2/3rds of their former staffing levels since the Covid-19 pandemic. We are right on time.

This concern about defending libraries launched my research on understanding data storytelling in librarianship, with a pilot project in 2019 funded by the Center for Social & Behavioral Science at the University of Illinois--an article on obstacles to library data storytelling is in press with Public Library Quarterly, likely to be published in summer 2023. With a larger team, we (Matt Turk and I, now with RA Xinhui Hu) extended the impact of the work to an IMLS LB-21 Planning Grant, now in its second year (due to some unavoidable health-related delays). Now we are working toward applying an LB-21 Implementation Grant. We hope to be in collaboration with the data teams at the Public Library Association and the Association for College and Research Libraries. If you haven't seen their work on Benchmark, check it out.

I'll be there with Zach Stier and representing Xinhui Hu, Matt Turk, and the entire 40-person Core Design Team--everybody is listed below, what a fabulous team! 

DSTL Advisory board: Dr. Sharon Comstock, Dr. Kyungwon Koh, Dr. Jill Naiman, Dr. Rachel Magee, Dr. Martin Wolske

Student Practicums and Independent Studies, spring 2022- spring 2023: Nikita Bangale, Elida Velado, Hem Kamdar, Jiho Park, Rafi Gil Diaz, Shuyi Liu, Sushama Shankar

The Core Design Team, 2022-2023: 

  • Aileen Ayala, Data Analyst, Denver Public Library

  • April Hernandez, Library Director, Goddard Public Library

  • Barratt Miller, Youth Services Librarian, Oregon City Public Library

  • Blair Solon, Assistant Professor, Collections Analysis Librarian, University of New


  • Chris Arends, Volunteer Coordinator, Josephine Community Library

  • Chris Guerra, State Data Coordinator and Project Specialist, Arizona State Library,

    Archives and Public Records

  • Chris Tina Smith, Library Supervisor,Corona Public Library

  • Cindy Romero, Library Services Manager, Glendora Public Library

  • Clare Varesio, Community Librarian, Santa Clara County Library District

  • Dalal Rahme, Data Services Librarian, American University of Beirut

  • Deb Robertson, Director, Kilgore Memorial Library

  • Eun Lee,Data Manager, San Francisco Public Library

  • Eva Nottage, Librarian, Watsonville Public Library

  • Evelyn Shapiro, Promotions Manager, Champaign Public Library

  • Flor Trillo, Systems Librarian, World Bank Group

  • Gena Parsons-Diamond, Program Officer, Association of College & Research Libraries

  • Heather Elliott, Marketing Specialist, NLLS

  • Jen Nelson, State Librarian, New Jersey State Library

  • Jennifer Billingsley, Department Head of Youth & Family Learning, Russell Library

  • Jennifer Songster, Senior Librarian, Automated Services Bureau, Long Beach Public


  • Jesika Brooks, Educational Technology Librarian, J. Drake Edens Library at Columbia


  • Katina Jones, Program Manager, Evalution & Assessment, Public Library


  • Kellee Forkenbrock, Public Services Librarian, North Liberty Library

  • Kim Horton, Senior Director of Communications, The Friends of the Saint Paul Public


  • Laura Huddleston, Associate Consultant, Fast Forward Libraries

  • Lauren Chambers, The Urbana Free Library

  • Lisa Cheby, Dr. Karin J. Duran and Richard Nupoll Education Librarian University Library | California State University, Northridge

  • Nan Carmack, Director, Library Development and Networking, The Library of Virginia

    and Old Dominion University

  • Patty Sumire McGowan, Cataloger and Metadata Librarian, Borough of Manhattan Community College

  • Rachel Lane, Program Associate, Center for Oral History

  • Rebecca Bryant, Senior Program Officer, OCLC Research

  • Robin Bishop

  • Ruth Slagle,Instruction Librarian, Jackson State Community College

  • Sam Suber, Electronic Resources Coordinator, Moraine Valley Community College

  • Sara Goek, Project Manager, Data and Research, Public Library Association

  • Science History Institute (Othmer Library)

  • Tricia Karlin, Collections and Technology Manager, Lawrence Public Library

  • Tyler Works, Data & Technology Librarian, Evanston Public Library

  • Veronica Palacios, Management Analyst, Covina Public Library

  • Zachary Stier, Director of Children's Library Services, Ericson Public Library 

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