I just attended a webinar called Visualizing Civic Health: Maximizing Impact through Infographics which was disappointingly brief and based on ridiculously expensive datasets and hiring graphic teams and/or buying a graphics package.

Depsite it’s shortcomings for a zero-dollar-budget public librarian looking to spark conversation about my community’s civic health, I was inspired by the idea of the infographics.

Here’s an example from the webinar’s host, the National Conference on Citizenship:
Chicago’s Civic Health Index 2010(pdf)

And an example from

A collaboration between GOOD and Column Five Media.

I want to make some of these for my Geek the Library campaign. I think it would help people to see how library use has increased and other library stats, as well as community information. Advocacy for library services or just about anything goes down easier with great graphics. And I can see how hosting great infographics on our library site will increase our library’s web presence, as the webinar moderators mentioned.

So thank you NCoC. I can’t afford your $15,000 datasets, or your even more expensive infographics service, but you have inspired me nevertheless!


Data Cake

Best image ever for the differences between data, information, knowledge. ┬áThe library’s goal is KNOWLEDGE, often gained through sharing between diverse groups of people in the community–we all eat the cake together. ┬áThis is very different from the individual gathering data via the Internet, or wherever. And it’s why libraries, properly innovating, will never be irrelevant.

data cake
Image by EpicGraphic
Actually, to follow this metaphor to the end, knowledge would be the “end” product of eating this cake, after it’s all been digested. And Wisdom would be the fat stored on your hips–the digested and assimilated knowledge.