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

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    News Challenge to explore role of libraries in the digital age

    Aug. 25, 2014, 2:07 p.m., Posted by John Bracken

    Photo illustration made with images from Flickr users Thomas Hawk and Sourabh Rath.

    On Sept. 10, we’re opening the next News Challenge, on libraries. Our 12th News Challenge, it will build upon the 19 projects we funded with $3.47 million in June through the News Challenge that sought ideas to strengthen the Internet. That work, conversations such as the ones we recently had at the Aspen Institute this month and longstanding initiatives such as the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy have affirmed for us the centrality of libraries for building and maintaining an informed citizenry.

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    "Share your inspiration for Knight News Challenge: Libraries" by John Bracken on Knight Blog

    We’re hoping to hear ideas for leveraging the assets that libraries have built: physical spaces open to anyone; professional staff trained in how to seek, retrieve and share information; and a legacy of aiding new readers, new entrepreneurs and new Americans. In recent years we’ve seen libraries leverage the Internet and digital approaches for education, entrepreneurship, the arts and “making.” In a digital age we see libraries--public, university, archival, virtual--as key for improving Americans’ ability to know about and to be involved with what takes place around them.

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    Engaged Communities

    Study tour gets street-level view of how Copenhagen reinvented itself

    Aug. 25, 2014, 12:39 p.m., Posted by Andrew Sherry

    A cyclist rides through downtown Copenhagen. Photographer: Torbjörn Larsson/Knight Foundation.

    Riding bikes through an unfamiliar city may be the easy part. Taking home lessons learned will take skill.

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    "Does placemaking help democracy?" by Andrew Sherry, Aug. 29 on Knight Blog

    Thirty-four city officials and community leaders from nine U.S. cities have embarked on a five-day study tour of Copenhagen, Denmark, considered one of the world’s most livable cities for its pedestrian-friendly downtown, network of bike trails, ubiquitous urban green spaces and abundant public transportation.

    The tour, organized by 8-80 Cities and supported by Knight Foundation, will also cross the Oresund Bridge to Malmö, Sweden, a port city that reinvented itself as a hi-tech hub after losing its shipbuilding industry in the 1990s, winning back double the 50,000 jobs it lost.

    The participants include mayors, city council members, urban planners, engineers, leaders of community organizations and more from Akron, Ohio; Charlotte, N.C., Columbus, Ga.; Detroit; Lexington, Ky.; Macon, Ga.; Miami; San Jose, Calif., and St. Paul, Minn. They are viewed as civic innovators for leading potentially high-impact work in their communities, all cities where John S. and James L. Knight once owned newspapers. Knight Foundation and 8-80 Cities staff are also on the tour. 8-80 is dedicated to helping make cities livable for people from 8 to 80 by promoting walking, biking and public transit.

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    Hear the signature sounds of jazz greats Jamal, Shearing and Peterson

    Aug. 25, 2014, 11:02 a.m., Posted by kbalcerek

    Left to right: Ahmad Jamal, George Shearing and Oscar Peterson. The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art will pay tribute to jazz piano greats Ahmad Jamal, George Shearing and Oscar Peterson next month. Preforming on September 5th at 6 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. in the museum lobby,...

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