Civic Switchboard 2020 Awardees

DataWorks NC   (Durham)
The Polis Center   (Indianapolis)


The Civic Switchboard program funded two NNIP Partners in 2020, DataWorks NC and The Polis Center. Learn more about their projects and local partnerships below!   For others interested in working with public or academic libraries, check out the Civic Switchboard guide.

Hacking into History: Discovering Racial Covenants in Durham’s Property Deeds.

Durham, NC - The School of Library and Information Sciences Library at North Carolina Central University (NCCU)
In partnership with DataWorks and The County of Durham

The project will organize and host two community data-centric workshops focused on exploring the history of racially restrictive agreements contained in Durham’s property deed records. Through this work, the project will create a publicly accessible, transcribed collection of racially restricted property deeds that can be shared both physically and digitally as an ongoing tool and educational resource. The project aims to inform community members about the history of exclusionary zoning restrictions in Durham, to provide context for the city’s current affordable housing crisis, and to empower community participation in translation efforts and analysis of legacy documentation, turning handwritten documentation into human and machine-readable “data.”

Data and Drafts: A New Audience for Civic Data and Community Research.

Indianapolis, IN - Indianapolis Public Library
In partnership with The Polis Center at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis and WFYI Public Radio

The project will explore combining formal training for library workers with informal efforts to engage the public on data-based issues. During the grant period, the library will host virtual “Data and Drafts” events, which are opportunities to explore Polis Center civic data research findings in a less formal, more social environment. Following each public gathering, the project team will engage in more depth with public library staff, drawing from the key information and findings highlighted during each gathering and exploring how civic data can be better integrated into public library service.

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