The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Mar 01, 2011

Community Information Toolkit provides tools to build stronger communities through information

Posted by Dale Peskin

Cross-posted from

The conversation about building stronger communities through information moves from breakfast to the day's opening panel. As the developers of Knight's Community Information Toolkit described a valuable resource to drive action, I finished coffee with a community leader who has started to put the tools to work.

The Black Hills Knowledge Network provides vital information about working, citizenship, schools, government and tourism in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The recipient of a $205,000 matching grant from Knight, the Knowledge Network is building a community information ecosystem similar to the one described in the session about assessing and empowering your community.

The Knowledge Network has tapped a traditional community resource ' the Rapid City Public Library ' to gather and organize news and information throughout the black Hills and South Dakota.

'It's a vital link,' explained Regina Jahr, the executive director of the Black Hills Area Community Foundation. Ms. Jahr is now developing links with other community resources.

Building on the skills that of librarians ' once the guides to research, data and sourcing in newsrooms across the U.S. -- Knight is holding a follow-up conference with librarians following today's MLS sessions.

Starting as a wiki, The Knowledge Network is expanding as a more sophisticated resources for the Black Hills. 'The learning curve has been meteoric,' Ms. Jahr said.

A post from the 2011 Media Learning Seminar. At Knight Foundation's Media Learning Seminar, community and place-based foundation leaders meet with journalism and technology experts to explore the topic of community information needs. Follow the event on Twitter at #infoneeds and @knightfdn.

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