Culture in Transit Named A Knight News Challenge Winner

by Davis Erin Anderson, Community Engagement Manager, METRO

New York City’s libraries and archives will soon have an opportunity to share their community’s history online with a new project from METRO, Queens Library, and Brooklyn Public Library. As announced at ALA Midwinter last Friday, this project, “Culture in Transit,” received funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as a winner of the News Challenge on Libraries, an initiative that seeks to leverage libraries as a platform to build more knowledgeable communities.

20150202_CultureInTransit.jpgCulture in Transit will bring a mobile scanning toolkit to libraries, archives, museums, and the communities they serve. Digitized materials will be shared with the public through local digital archives and also through the Digital Public Library of America.

Culture in Transit is one of twenty-two projects to win the Knight News Challenge. Together, the winners will actualize a range of ideas from digital platforms that improve access to information in developing countries to a business innovation boot camp that supports local entrepreneurs. The winners will collectively receive $3 million in funding.

METRO is proud to partner with the Queens Library and the Brooklyn Public Library on this project. Both institutions bring expertise in engaging communities through digital initiatives of their own. Queens Library hosts the Queens Memory Project, which hosts scanning days at branches where members of the public have brought photos, ephemera, and stories to share on the project's website. Brooklyn Public Library maintains the Brooklyn Collection, a repository of research materials and archival documents including historic Brooklyn maps, photographs, ephemera, prints and the full run of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

For more information about the Knight News Challenge, visit and follow #newschallenge on Twitter. Get regular updates on Culture in Transit via Twitter at @DigitizeNYC.