Projects at METRO are shaped by common themes. But they take very different formats. Projects are a way that METRO innovates and addresses needs in the library and archives fields as they grow and change.
Below you can find a list of projects that METRO staff and partners have been involved in over recent years. Most center around professional development, digital solutions, and community archiving.
If you have an idea for a project, please reach out! We can be reached by email at [email protected]o.org.
METRO’s mission is to provide support, assistance, and even inspiration to our colleagues and friends in the library field. A walk through our recent projects is the perfect way to get to know our work.
Culture In Transit
Culture in Transit was a partnership between the Metropolitan New York Library Council, the Brooklyn Public Library, and Queens Library that brought mobile scanning equipment to smaller libraries, archives, museums, and the communities they serve.
The project offered library patrons and cultural heritage institutions an opportunity to create digital copies of their materials using state-of-the-art equipment. Digitized materials were shared with the public through local digital archives and also through the Digital Public Library of America. Culture in Transit was one of twenty-two projects to win the Knight Foundation’s Knight News Challenge on Libraries in 2014.
The Culture in Transit Toolkit is an outcome of the Culture in Transit project. It is intended to serve as a resource for other organizations interested in initiating mobile digitization services. All or parts of the Toolkit can be used and adapted as needed. Included in the Toolkit are resources for organizing and executing community engagement events; implementing and offering a mobile digitization service to small cultural heritage institutions; and providing advice, comments, and considerations on equipment used for digitization, with emphasis on mobile digitization kits.
Find the toolkit at https://mnylc.github.io/cit-toolkit/.
Data Privacy Project
The Digital Privacy and Data Literacy Project (or “Data Privacy Project”) teaches NYC library staff how information travels and is shared online, what risks users commonly encounter online, and how libraries can better protect patron privacy. Its trainings help support libraries’ increasing role in empowering their communities in a digital world. Funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the project is led by a team of library professionals, researchers, tech experts, and community activists interested in the impact of technological advances on everyone, especially the most vulnerable populations in the U.S.
The Innovative Internship program (2013-15) funded 14 internships for enrolled graduate students, recent graduates, or individuals in career transition at a METRO member institution. Each internship required at least 120 hours of work over the course of a semester on an innovative project within libraries, archives, and museums.
We launched the Keeping Collections project to ensure the sustainability and accessibility of New York State’s archival collections as part of the New York State Archives Documentary Heritage Program. Keeping Collections provides a variety of free and affordable services to any not-for-profit organization in the metropolitan New York area that collects, maintains, and provides access to archival materials.
Working in conjunction with AudioVisual Preservation Solutions and the Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York, Keeping Collections works to improve the collection, preservation, and availability of records of historical importance, including those of New York’s under-documented communities.
More Podcast, Less Process was a podcast featuring interviews with archivists, librarians, preservationists, technologists, and information professionals about interesting work and projects within and involving archives, special collections, and cultural heritage. Topics include appraisal and acquisition, arrangement and description, reference, outreach and education, collection management, physical and digital preservation, and infrastructure technology.
Find more information at http://keepingcollections.org/.
Library Bytegeist is a podcast featuring audio stories from the libraries, archives, and museums of New York City (and beyond!). Over the course of 14 episodes during its first season, Library Bytegeist covered topics ranging from smart cities to love letters to Tor relays to people watching pornography in public libraries. Currently on a production break, Library Bytegeist will return in 2018. It was born out of Molly Schwartz’s project for the METRO Fellowship. You can read a bit more about the history of Library Bytegeist and subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud, or wherever you get your podcasts.
The myMETRO Researchers program gave individual METRO members an opportunity to grow their research skills in a supportive environment. Three cohorts formed teams to investigate, report, and present on library-related research topics of their choosing.
National Digital Stewardship Residency
We worked in partnership with the Brooklyn Historical Society on a $498,135 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services as part of the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program.
With BHS, we implemented the National Digital Stewardship Residency program in New York City for two years. The NDSR-NY program continued to develop and refine a sustainable, extensible model for postgraduate residencies combining advanced digital stewardship training and experiential learning.
METRO hosted its first class of residents from 2014-2015 and its second class from 2015-2016.
Preserve This Podcast
Preserve This Podcast, an Andrew W. Mellon grant-funded awareness campaign (2018-2020), educated independent podcast producers to protect their work against the threats of digital decay, according to digital audio file issues long known to professional archivists, technology obsolescence, digital file decay, file mismanagement, and more. The team produced a zine workbook, a 5-part podcast series, a series of traveling workshops, and online resources. The goal for all was to promote preservation strategies in an approachable, affordable way. A full assessment of project is available for reference.
The METRO Fellowship
The METRO Fellowship (2016-17) aimed to address cross-institutional challenges amongst METRO member institutions. Real-world problems of practice were submitted by METRO members, and fellowship applicants submitted project proposals that would seek creative solutions to these challenges. Three fellows were matched with participating institutions and worked on projects involving born-digital archiving, linked data, and a community media studio.