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National Endowment for the Arts;
This report, Tech as Art: Supporting Artists Who Use Technology as a Creative Medium, presents findings from a field scan commissioned in 2019 by the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Ford Foundation and the Knight Foundation. The purpose of the scan was to more fully understand how artists are incorporating digital technologies in their creative work and to learn more about the current and prospective sources of support for these artistic practices. Funders reading the report then can make smarter decisions on how to enhance support for this field. The research is grounded in literature reviews, interviews, and group discussions with artists and practitioners across the United States.The report shares detailed findings; identifies challenges; and ends with recommendations for different stakeholder groups, including funders, arts practitioners, policymakers, and educators.
National League of Cities;
As Congress debates the President's proposed American Jobs Plan (AJP) and an infrastructure infusion, the National League of Cities (NLC) met with city leaders across the United States to ask one simple question: "What is your top infrastructure priority?" From the smallest to largest communities, every place has a story to tell, and Ready to Rebuild shows a range of transportation, water, broadband and workforce projects across the country from communities of all sizes. While projects are different, the message from local officials is the same: infrastructure is a job worth doing, but in most places, it's now beyond what the local government can handle on their own. Far worse, the perpetual waiting game in Washington means the risk and consequences are building up to an emergency spill over point. Most local governments know exactly what needs to be done to fix their infrastructure, but they simply can't afford it.
US Water Alliance;
Access to water and sanitation services should not hinge on background, geography, or how much money someone makes—but it often does. Studies show that between 2012 and 2019, local water bills increased 31 percent nationally, far outpacing inflation and the consumer price index. Historical declines in federal support for water infrastructure have made this trend even worse. Local officials and water utility leaders have had no choice but to raise local water and sewer rates to pay for the needed operation, capital, and maintenance costs. Without federal and state support, local water and wastewater rates have increasingly become unaffordable for millions of Americans, and utilities have operated with outdated billing systems and often struggled to enroll low-income residents into the modest assistance available.Financial stress incurred by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis has brought water affordability into sharp focus, and innovators have been seeking solutions to meet their communities' rising needs. The water and wastewater utilities in Louisville, Kentucky, provide one such case. Louisville shows how new, smarter solutions to bill relief are helping people in need while improving the utility-customer relationship by balancing care, bill assistance, and debt relief with needed revenue stability to maintain essential water systems. This case study explores key facets of the challenge, what Louisville achieved for its residents, and how the city's approach provides a model for other utilities to consider as they move forward. Sections discuss: How traditional customer assistance efforts have failed to meet customer needs, struggled with enrollment, and overlooked their fundamental purpose of guarding against revenue instability.What a modern, user-friendly approach to bill assistance looks like and how, combined with compassionate messaging, it can shift utility-customer payment and service relationship for the better.Why establishing innovative bill assistance options is especially wise given current and future federal funding opportunities to provide debt relief.Longer-term actions the federal government should prioritize to make safe, reliable water and wastewater service affordable for all.
International Forum for Democratic Studies;
Civil society organizations (CSOs) play a central role in addressing disinformation's growing impact on democracy. Given the vast scope of the global disinformation challenge, the landscape for CSOs working in this space has evolved rapidly in recent years. Established efforts to combat disinformation have incorporated the new challenges posed by social media into their agendas, while new initiatives have emerged to fill gaps in research, monitoring, and advocacy. The work of these organizations in the disinformation fight is critical for positively shaping policy making, improving platform responses, and enhancing citizen knowledge and engagement.Yet, CSOs face ongoing challenges in this complex and fast-changing field. How has civil society grown in its understanding and response to the digital disinformation challenge and what should be done to further empower this work?To acquire insights into these questions, this paper draws on two methods—a mapping exercise of civil society initiatives and a survey of leading CSOs working in this field. This approach reveals that CSOs bring a wide range of skill sets to the problem of digital disinformation. Some organizations focus on digital media literacy and education; others engage in advocacy and policy work. Another segment has developed expertise in fact-checking and verification. Other organizations have developed refined technical skills for extracting and analyzing data from social media platforms.This research yielded several clear observations about the state of CSO responses to disinformation and, in turn, suggests several recommendations for paths forward.
Transitioning to the Next Generation of Metadata synthesizes six years (2015-2020) of OCLC Research Library Partners Metadata Managers Focus Group discussions and what they may foretell for the "next generation of metadata." The firm belief that metadata underlies all discovery regardless of format, now and in the future, permeates all Focus Group discussions. Yet metadata is changing. Innovations in librarianship are exerting pressure on metadata management practices to evolve as librarians are required to provide metadata for far more resources of various types and to collaborate on institutional or multi-institutional projects with fewer staff. This report considers:Why is metadata changing?How is the creation process changing?How is the metadata itself changing?What impact will these changes have on future staffing requirements, and how can libraries prepare?This report proposes that transitioning to the next generation of metadata is an evolving process, intertwined with changing standards, infrastructures, and tools. Together, Focus Group members came to a common understanding of the challenges, shared possible approaches to address them, and inoculated these ideas into other communities that they interact with.
This report shares the CONTENTdm Linked Data Pilot project findings. In this pilot project, OCLC and five partner institutions investigated methods for—and the feasibility of—transforming metadata into linked data to improve the discoverability and management of digitized cultural materials.Transforming Metadata into Linked Data to Improve Digital Collection Discoverability shares the findings from the CONTENTdm Linked Data Pilot project. In this pilot project, OCLC partnered with five institutions that manage their digital collections with OCLC's CONTENTdm service to investigate methods for—and the feasibility of—transforming metadata into linked data to improve the discoverability and management of digitized cultural materials and their descriptions.Five institutions partnered with OCLC to collaborate on this Linked Data project, representing a diverse cross-section of different types of institutions:The Cleveland Public LibraryThe Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical GardensThe Minnesota Digital LibraryTemple University LibrariesUniversity of Miami LibrariesThe CONTENTdm Linked Data Pilot project is another stage in a growing body of linked data research and development that OCLC has undertaken over the past decade. The findings detailed in this report examine the benefits of working in a linked data environment, the potential to develop a shared data model, and the challenges facing efforts to transform metadata into linked data.
This article highlights community and stakeholder mobilization initiatives in the library and heritage sectors that help in the transition to the next generation of metadata. We draw from the Next Generation of Metadata round table discussions organized by OCLC Research in March 2021. In these discussions, we saw next generation metadata mobilization taking place along two trajectories: (1) transforming and publishing institutionally sourced metadata and (2) improving metadata already in the supply chain. The article provides context and scope from the round table conversations and highlights national initiatives taking place in both mobilization areas. The article then discusses the challenge of managing at multiple scales, as efforts of local, national and global scale gear up to connect with each other.
Benton Institute for Broadband & Society;
After a year of pandemic and crisis, the scale of our national digital divide is at last recognized by policymakers at all levels, with federal, state, and local governments making unprecedented commitments to narrow the divide.While most of the funds to address these challenges flow from the federal government, it is at the state, county, and local levels where remarkable innovation has developed.Particularly critical in this moment are state-level efforts to distribute federal funds and incubate local initiatives.Those states that have long-established programs for addressing rural broadband gaps offer a valuable history of lessons learned, both of what works and what doesn't. Through more than a decade of significant efforts and experimentation in broadband funding strategies, new innovations and trends have emerged that offer insights for other states that are developing new rural broadband funding programs or retooling existing programs.Given this rich set of data and experience, this paper describes the commonalities among many of the leading state rural broadband funding programs and recommends best practices.
This report presents the findings of a nationally representative, probability-based telephone survey of more than 1,000 parents of children ages three to 13, all with household incomes below the national median for families in the United States (i.e., $75,000). The survey was conducted in March and April of 2021: one year into the pandemic, and a crucial turning point. Parents could reflect on a full year of remote learning and pandemic parenting, and also look forward—thanks to the proliferation of vaccines—to their children's full and safe return to in-person schooling in the fall. But this survey goes beyond documenting families' challenges. We also uncover what parents feel they have learned through this pandemic year, from increased confidence in their ability to help their child with schoolwork to greater comfort communicating with teachers and developing a deeper understanding of their child's learning patterns. And we look ahead to the next school year, delving into what parents think schools' priorities should be for smoothing their children's transitions to, or back into, the classroom in the fall of 2021.
Kansas Health Institute;
With social distancing, reduced health care services and school building closings during the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increasing need for adequate internet access, which is required for telehealth, education, business and social activities. While information is available on areas with broadband coverage, households still might not have adequate internet access due to technical and infrastructure issues, or prohibitive costs.This brief examines variations in adequate internet access by geography, population characteristics, insurance coverage and other factors to better understand how each one impacts Kansans.
The Simons Foundation is pleased to present this copy of our 2020 annual report. Staying connected through Zoom, emails and conference calls, our grantees and scientists made groundbreaking advancements over the last year.
Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation;
Our world is becoming increasing Funesian in that we are perceiving and storing more and more information in the form of data. But, as with Funes, access to information is not the same as understanding. Are we also better at extracting meaning from all of this data? What does understanding rely on – is it only possible through sophisticated data-processing techniques or is something else required? This paper will briefly discuss three common pitfalls related to the challenge of extracting meaning from data.