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Statement of Support for Ukraine | by deanderson
Metropolitan New York Library Councils adds our voice to the chorus of our colleagues and peers in the libraries, archives, and museums field to condemn the violence perpetrated by Russia as it continues its unprovoked war against Ukraine. We stand in solidarity with the Ukranians who must flee their homes or engage in unwanted violence while defending their homeland. Our thoughts are with the roughly 150,000 Ukranians who call New York City and Westchester County home. We continue to condemn acts of disinformation, particularly those that are being exemplified by Russian forces during this time. Democracy is possible only in the presence of strong libraries and a robust and ethical media industry. We stand alongside our members and our colleagues in seeking a more just world by committing each and every day to providing our friends and neighbors with access to high-quality, reliable, and trustworthy information. The future of our world depends on it.
Announcing METRO’s Equity in Action Grant Recipients | by mbakija
METRO is pleased to announce the recipients of funding from our 2021-2022 Equity in Action Grant Program. Each project focuses on themes of addressing systemic issues of racism and equity within the library system, uncovering histories of racialized communities, and providing access to previously unreported data. The grant period for this year’s projects spans from February through November 2022. The METRO Equity in Action Grant program aims to support member institutions by providing funding that assists with new and ongoing efforts to preserve our cultural history. We endeavor to fund digital projects that focus on anti-racist practices and marginalized communities. Rooted in community and collaboration, this program encourages partnerships between organizations in order to cultivate a mutual knowledge exchange that empowers both parties and creates a pipeline for access. Find out more about the program here: https://metro.org/grants/equity-in-action "At METRO, we strive to address diversity, equity, and inclusion issues with all of our work. The many exciting proposals we received for the Equity in Action program indicate that this will be an important annual funding opportunity for our members for years to come," said Nate Hill, METRO’s Executive Director. Find the grant recipients and project descriptions below: The Asian American Arts Centre & Pratt Institute’s Semantic Lab The Asian American Arts Centre in New York City (AAAC) and Pratt Institute’s Semantic Lab will work together to ensure continued online access to resources documenting AAAC’s work. The project team will digitize, describe through Wikidata records, and contribute AAAC’s full collection of approximately one hundred exhibition flyers to the open repository Wikimedia Commons. "Pratt Semantic Lab is thrilled to receive funding from METRO to partner with The Asian American Arts Centre and help preserve the digital archive of this important cultural grassroots organization. As we work to ensure the public access of this data for the future, we’re honored to help provide more visibility to Asian Americans and Asian American artists, especially in a time of increased discrimination and violence," said Cristina Pattueli, director of the Semantic Lab. CUNY Graduate Center & NYU Libraries CUNY Graduate Center and NYU Libraries will join forces to create an oral history collection that documents the stories of individuals and groups who are engaged in developing and implementing alternative library classification schemes or controlled vocabularies. In addition to creating a fully transcribed and cataloged oral history collection, the project team will produce an audio piece that synthesizes their work and that can be shared with wider audiences through broadcast, exhibits, and conferences. "I am humbled and honored by the opportunity to speak with the individuals and groups involved with this important work and to help create the collection. I hope our efforts will inspire new ways of collectively challenging oppressive systems in libraries and to cultivate greater support for groups who are engaged in this work," said Amanda Belantara, Instruction and Outreach Librarian at NYU. Lesbian Herstory Archives & The LGBT Community Center National History Archives The Lesbian Herstory Archives and the LGBT Community Center National History Archive will partner on a project to create a research guide to materials about Black Lesbians in each collection. The archive researcher entrusted with this task will survey, create metadata for, and digitize on an as-needed basis both organizations’ collections, which encompass a wide range of materials spanning the 1950s to the early 2000s. Materials to be processed include manuscripts, personal papers, correspondence, graphics, photographs, and ephemera from both individuals and relevant organizations. "This project will create a comprehensive online guide to materials by and about Black lesbians, collected by the Lesbian Herstory Archives and the LGBT Community Center National History Archives. The contents of these rich collections will reach a substantially broader audience by way of this information portal which will be linked to by the websites of both institutions," said Désirée Yael Vester (M.L.S), Caretaker, Librarian, and Archivist at Lesbian Herstory Archives. New York Public Radio New York Public Radio will implement a Field Recording Cataloging Project to describe approximately 1,278 MiniDiscs. This cataloging project will assist in the preservation of field recordings made by WNYC reporters whose ‘beats’ focused on underserved communities, communities of color, the homeless, health, the environment, social services, the police, and the courts. "This funding for cataloging will be an enormous help to our overall digitization project, providing the public with important highlights from our field recordings while making our assets more readily discoverable to producers in this critical area of news coverage and storytelling," said Andy Lanset, Director of Archives at New York Public Radio. ### Contact: Traci Mark, Program Manager - Equity, Archives & Media Preservation Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) firstname.lastname@example.org
Announcing the Launch of Digital Equity Research Center | by deanderson
The Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) is pleased to announce the launch of the Digital Equity Research Center (DERC), a new applied research center with a focus on working with communities to better understand and co-design meaningful responses to local digital equity challenges. DERC provides in-depth, high quality research and analysis to inform digital equity practitioners, policymakers, and philanthropic communities in New York City, Westchester County, and beyond. Toward this goal, DERC engages in community-based and participatory digital equity research to advance social, economic, and racial justice. DERC assumes digital inequality must include analyses of structural racism, economic injustice, and other forms of oppression in order to understand and address the root causes of the digital divide. Digital equity will not be achieved simply by distributing technology and internet access alone. Therefore, DERC uses critical theoretical insights along with participatory research methods to ensure those most impacted by the digital divide are included, whenever possible, in interventions to promote digital equity and social justice. "Along with METRO's Board of Directors, I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Colin Rhinesmith to METRO as the founder and director of the Digital Equity Research Center,” said Nate Hill, Executive Director of METRO. “From our grant programs to our digital services, the entire staff at METRO is committed to ensuring principles of equity and inclusion are embedded in all we do. The founding of DERC will enable us to deepen our work with colleagues and partners in the library and archives field and beyond in this important and crucial area of work." Dr. Colin Rhinesmith is the Founder and Director of the Digital Equity Research Center at METRO, a Senior Fellow with the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society, and a nationally-recognized expert in the digital equity field. Rhinesmith said, "I am incredibly privileged to have this opportunity to launch DERC at METRO, which works to strengthen the role of libraries as partners in solving problems. My hope is that our new Center will serve as a hub for community-based and participatory approaches to digital equity at a time when our federal government plans to award billions of dollars in funding to support digital equity in communities nationwide.” DERC is kicking off with a new research project that represents a partnership between METRO and Telos Learning, a research, design, and strategy firm focused on advancing educational justice and digital equity through institutional change and collective action. The project, led by Dr. Rhinesmith and Dr. Rafi Santo, Principal Researcher at Telos Learning, will develop a measurement framework and evaluative tools to assist digital inclusion coalitions in communities across the country. Santo said, “Community and place-based coalitions are critical to addressing historic disenfranchisement around digital technologies. We’re hoping to assist these groups with what they need to track challenges and successes in ways that advance their work.” While the public library field has benefited from a wide range of evaluation tools and frameworks over the years, the more recent rise of place-based digital inclusion coalitions has opened the door for additional conceptual frameworks, methodologies, and evaluative tools to effectively and holistically measure the outcomes and impacts of these coalition-based initiatives. The research aims to address this core need for a shared measurement framework to support digital equity ecosystems and represents a foundational initial phase in a larger effort to test, deploy, and determine the value of such a framework.
Introducing Abolitionist Futures: A PLSN Discussion Group | by deanderson
Want to learn more about prison abolition? Looking to explore the role of information in the prison industrial complex? Excited to discuss ways we can collectively offer resources to address violence caused by mass incarceration? Join the club (literally!). METRO is collaborating with Prison Library Support Network in 2022 to host Abolitionist Futures: A PLSN Discussion Group. There will be a rotating calendar of media resources for discussion, including: books (for kids and adults), podcasts, videos, zines, and more! This group will meet the 2nd Monday of each month at 7:30PM. While the group's facilitators (and host) are affiliated with libraries, you do not need to be a librarian, or information professional to attend this group. We will share our discussion calendar regularly through METRO and the PLSN listserv, so that folks can plan ahead to attend the months that sound interesting to them. See below for the materials we will be discussing to kick off the year! Monday, January 10 at 7:30pm Selected Searching for Justice spotlights from PBS News. Each video is 5-9 minutes long: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Optional: For girls with mothers in prison, summer camp offers support Business owners with records are haunted by the past How arrest records become invisible handcuffs Register for the January 10 meeting here. Monday, February 14 at 7:30pm Join us for a special Valentine's Day podcast discussion about love and romance behind bars. Ear Hustle episodes (45 minutes) can be listened to directly from the website, Spotify, or however you get your podcasts. For our discussion please listen to the following episodes Prime Real Estate Hold That Space I Want the Fairy Tale Optional: The Boom Boom Room * * note that this episode is about sex Register for the February 14 meeting here. Monday, March 14 at 7:30pm We will be discussing the realities of motherhood and pregnancy while incarcerated. Digitized issue of Tenacious Zine #5 Mothers Day issue Excerpt from Tenacious Issue 27 Tutwiler a Marshall Project/Frontline documentary (30 mins) The realities of Pregnancy and Mothering While Incarcerated (PDF article - recommended) Optional: Pregnant Behind Bars: What We Do and Don't Know About Pregnancy and Incarceration NPR Radio Interview (4 mins), Mothers leaving prison try reconnecting with family (7 minutes video) Register for the March 14 meeting here. Content for this announcement was provided by EmmaKarin Eriksson. Thanks, Emma!
Digital Equity Ecosystems Measurement Framework | by asherrick
New report introduces framework and tools to assist local coalitions working to advance digital inclusion, equity, and justice with their communities NEW YORK - The Digital Equity Research Center (DERC) at the Metropolitan New York Library Council is pleased to announce a new report, titled “Digital Equity Ecosystems Measurement Framework,” that was co-authored by Dr. Colin Rhinesmith, DERC Director and Dr. Rafi Santo, Principal Researcher at Telos Learning. The report presents findings from a participatory research project with thirty-two digital equity and digital justice coalition leaders from across the United States, who contributed their ideas to inform the Digital Equity Ecosystems Measurement (DEEM) framework. This initiative responds to a broader need within the digital equity field for conceptual frameworks and measurement tools to assist local coalitions in gathering data for planning, improvement, and advocacy purposes. "The DEEM framework offers practical guidance to local coalitions working to advance digital equity and justice with their communities,” said Nate Hill, Executive Director of METRO and a contributor to the DEEM project. “As the federal government releases billions of dollars of public funding to promote broadband access, availability, and use, this report offers practical insights to further support these large scale efforts.” Dr. Colin Rhinesmith is the Founder and Director of the Digital Equity Research Center at METRO, a Research Fellow with the Quello Center at Michigan State University, and a Senior Fellow with the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society. Rhinesmith said, "As we explain in the report, a clearly articulated, rigorous, and accessible framework to measure the efforts led by local coalitions can further support initiatives that promote universal broadband, deliver new opportunities, and strengthen digital equity ecosystems. My hope is that the DEEM framework, a joint effort with coalition leaders from across the country, will help to advance digital equity and justice working with their local communities.” Dr. Rafi Santo, Principal Researcher at Telos Learning and a co-author of the report, played a key role in the development of the measurement framework and evaluative tools found in the report. Santo said, “Community and place-based coalitions are critical to addressing historic disenfranchisement around digital technologies. What we found through our workshops is that local coalitions need tools to help them better assess the health of their coalitions, the strength of their members and the impact of their work in and with their communities.” The Digital Equity Ecosystems Measurement Framework report is supported with federal American Rescue Plan Act funds allocated to the New York State Library by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services. The report is available at https://metro.org/digital_equity_ecosystems For more information please contact: Colin Rhinesmith, Director, Digital Equity Research Center, Metropolitan New York Library Council, email@example.com
Goodbye, METRO Office | by nhill
The compounding crises of the pandemic have necessitated difficult changes across the library world, including here at METRO. We have decided to leave METRO’s midtown Manhattan headquarters behind, and transition to become a completely distributed, remote-first service agency. We made this decision because of a 22% reduction in library system funding from New York State and a loss of revenue from activities we used to hold in our space. While I share this news with a tinge of melancholy, I also see this as a moment of great opportunity for METRO and our membership. Without the overhead costs of rent and related infrastructure, METRO will be able to offer more and better services by delivering those services in new and innovative ways. Our new digital grant program, Equity in Action, will grow as we are able support applicants with more funding. You’ll see us invest more in Archipelago repository services, resource sharing programs, delivery services, and more. Look for METRO pop-up events as we emerge from the current public health crisis, and in addition to our growing digital workshops and symposia, you can expect METRO staff to bring training and programming opportunities directly to our member’s spaces as well. We’ve had some great times at 599 11th Ave. We’ve held some amazing classes, meetups, programs, symposia, and even parties in this space. We are grateful to all of you who have attended and who make our network so valuable. METRO is strong and resilient, and our departure from this space will keep us strong moving forward. In the coming weeks, we will be in touch with a list of furniture and equipment that we would like to make available to METRO member institutions. You’ll be responsible for moving any items you want from the space during regular business hours. In addition, we’ll invite all of you to a Zoom town hall event in the coming weeks where you can share your thoughts and dreams about how the new, distributed METRO can serve you all best.
New METRO website: test drive! | by nhill
Friends: Please have patience with us as we are completely rebuilding metro.org to support all of the services that we offer. Have a look around and check back often: many new things are coming!