For six years eChicago has
brought campus and community together to talk
about critical issues facing all of us. eChicago
comes out of community informatics. It asks how
local communities and social institutions use
computers and the internet, especially in Black,
Latino, and lower income communities. It’s about
ending digital divides and seeing how the
community can use cyberpower to end racism and
poverty. The public library is the number one
institution providing free computer access in
the community, so we care about the past,
present and future of the public library. And
eChicago always links Chicago’s inner city with
the suburbs, and with city, county, and state
government. It’s about a more digital and
more democratic Chicagoland.
Below are conference documents,
information on the conference organizers, and
presentation, audio and video files from each
session. The Twitter feed archive captures the
virtual discussion that took place shortly before,
during and after the event.
eChicago is organized by the
Community Informatics Research Lab at the Graduate School of Library &
Information Science, University of Illinois
at Urbana-Champaign. The Lab is co-directed by
Drs. Abdul Alkalimat and Kate Williams. Other
conference staff this year from the Lab and School
included Shameem Ahmed, Haixia Cao, Patti Grove,
Adrian Kok, Noah Lenstra, Ping Li, Quiyuan Liu,
Aysha Marsh, Abigail Sackmann, Diana Stroud, Brian
Zelip and Kang Zhao.
Chicago Public Library: Empowering citizens
Chicago Public Library has
many old friends and a new director. What
do we need to know about its history in order to
guarantee its future? Joyce speaks from
her dual identity as the first IT director of
CPL and then a scholar of the library’s history.
Towards the digital transformation of Chicago's
This session focusses on the
hardest hit suburbs. Does the suburban
municipality have Internet connectivity and use
policies and programs? Where are the digital
divides between Chicago and the suburbs, or
inside the suburbs? Where do we go?
Public Policy and the Information Revolution in
What are the current policies
for high speed internet connectivity? Given
budget crises will there still be funding to end
the digital divide? What best practices are
there in Illinois? What are the next
Workshop: How to build a local community wiki
What is the digital footprint
of the community? How can all digital info of a
community be aggregated? How can someone upload
new info? This session will explain how to
start a wiki and ways to keep it going.
How have they worked so far?
eChicago as global network: China and Chinese
China is a rising power and
it’s here in Chicago and Illinois. How is
Beijing “informatizing” its communities?
What do various digital connections between
China and the US look like? How is the
history of Chinese Chicago part of the future?
Chicago hip hop, the digital hustle & social
regarding the hip hop community, outside of
actual cultural performance, have existed since
at least the early 1980s. These discussions have
become more frequent and widespread, especially
as generations who've grown up with hip hop
mature, and as universities, political campaigns
and business models increasingly look to them
for engagement and profit. This session explores
a bottom-up approach to technology and
networking by featuring four hip hop artists
from Chicago who are leading best practices
using new digital tools for community building
and social consciousness.
Workshop: Digital tools for cultural heritage
People around the world are
using technology to share and to stay connected
to cultural heritage. New ways to search for
roots and share culture emerge online. This
workshop discusses simple social and technical
procedures you can use to get involved in
community and family history digitization.
Topics covered include: basic digitization,
using Omeka (http://www.omeka.org)
to build digital libraries and museums,
organizing communities around digital cultural
heritage, and using digital cultural heritage in
face-to-face settings, such as school assemblies
or family reunions. The workshop's theme is:
Everyone can do something now to contribute to
the construction of universal designs for
sharing local and family histories online.
Corporate clouds blow away. eChicago
2011 tweets were not archived immediately
following the event, then they disappeared. This
year the virtual discussion via Twitter has been
archived via Storify. As the conversation
continues to expand so will the archive.