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Welcome to the seventh year of eChicago. From the start we asked: How are Chicago’s communities entering the digital age? Yet today we still face many digital divides and an ever-deepening inequality in all aspects of life.

We need jobs.
We need a school system that works.
We need library services.
We need a cultural awakening.
We need a new city...

...because the information revolution is redefining the game: how to get a job, what skills you need, what knowledge keeps you in the network, and more.

This event is about hearing everyone’s thoughts about how we can mobilize our communities to transform our institutions. Hearing what progress we’re making and what to do next.


The seventh annual eChicago conference took place on Friday/Saturday, April 26/27, 2013 at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Student Center East

Below are conference documents, information on the conference organizers, and presentation documentation from each session. The Twitter feed archive captures the virtual discussion that took place before, during and after the event.

1. Conference documents

2. Conference staff

3. Conference sessions

  1. Chicago Public Library: Dialogue with Michelle Frisque, Director of Library Technology
  2. CyberNavigators: Year 14, Going Strong
  3. K-12 and More: Education Up Close in 2013
  4. Dialogue & Deliberation in Chicago
  5. Genealogy, Libraries & Digital Technology
  6. Whose Schools? Public Education in Chicago
  7. Higher Education in the 21st Century
  8. Sankofa Poster Session and 4:45 Closing Remarks
  9. Is Gigabit a Reality Anytime Soon? Mark Ansboury, President/Founder, Gigabit Squared
  10. LocalWikis: Now on Five Continents
  11. Broadband 2009-2013: Achievements & Lessons
  12. LocalWikis: Live in the Midwest
  13. Broadband Research: Insights & Implications
  14. Sankofa: Summing up eChicago to achieve eChicago

4. Twitter archive


Conference documents


  1. Conference program
  2. Email blasts

Conference staff


eChicago is organized by the Community Informatics Research Lab at the Graduate School of Library & Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Conference staff this year included Lab co-directors Abdul Alkalimat and Kate Williams, and Shameem Ahmed, Rubayya Hoque, Noah Lenstra, Aysha Marsh, Laura Miller, Abigail Sackmann, Sufang Wang, and Brian Zelip.


Conference sessions


Session 1: Chicago Public Library: Dialogue with Michelle Frisque, Director of Library Technology

The public library is the information center of a city. We are in the midst of an information revolution, and to guide the library we have a new director and a new approach to the digital transformation of the library. What is the new approach?

Joe Hoereth, University of Illinois at Chicago, Welcome
Michelle Frisque, Chicago Public Library
Kate Williams, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Chair

video


Session 2: CyberNavigators: Year 14, Going Strong

When many people go to the library to get on line they need help, and as we all know in today's world help is hard to get. In the Chicago Public Library we have CyberNavigators, and then very recently, YOUMedia. Fourteen years into this innovation, what's going on?

Jaime Bravo, Chicago Public Library
Liv Hanson, Chicago Public Library
Sandra Goldfield, Chicago Public Library
Kameron Locke, Chicago Public Library
Sarah Tansley, Chicago Public Library
Brooke Bahnsen, Fremont Public Library, Chair

video


Session 3: K-12 and More: Education Up Close in 2013

Given the economic and social crisis facing all aspects of society how is it possible to educate our children and ourselves? How can a school succeed in a community where most people are facing hard times?

Paul Edlund, Microsoft Corporation
Greg Gaither, Woodlawn Juvenile Reentry Project/Illinois African American Juvenile Justice Institute
Brian Bell, Parkland College
David Finkel, Youth Technology Corps
Shameem Ahmed, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Chair

presentation slides:
Paul Edlund pdf

video


Session 4: Dialogue & Deliberation in Chicago

Democracy is far more than voting. What new ways are people deliberating on issues facing Chicago? Do new technologies help? How?

Maria Hadden, The Participatory Budgeting
Project Valerie F. Leonard, Lawndale Alliance
Tom Tresser, CivicLab and TIF Illumination Project
Norma Ramos, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chair

presentation slides:
Valerie F. Leonard pdf
Tom Tresser pdf

video


Session 5: Genealogy, Libraries & Digital Technology

Everyone is born into a family and hopes to share in the memory of a nuclear and extended family, and one or more local communities where we've lived. Who are today's genealogists? Does the library help? And digital tools? How?

Caron Primas Brennan, Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois
Paul D. Holmes, Afro-American Genealogical and Historical Society of Chicago
Dean Richardson, Genlighten.com
Noah Lenstra, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Chair

presentation slides:
Noah Lenstra pdf

video


Session 6: Whose Schools? Public Education in Chicago

The bridge used to be from school to work. What about in a "jobless recovery"? What education are young people getting and what do we and they need? Can we invent the future? What about technology?

Cecile Carroll, Blocks Together
Fred Klonsky, retired public school teacher
Linda Lenz, Catalyst Chicago
Chris D'Arpa, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Chair

video


Session 7: Higher Education in the 21st Century

How is higher education changing in this information revolution? Where's the a digital divide? Is a new hierarchy being formed? Is there a digital literacy standard for higher education?

Edward Valauskas, Dominican University, First Monday, and Chicago Botanic Garden
Nicole Cooke, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
Wlll Kent, Loyola University in Chicago
Laura Miller, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Chair

presentation slides:
Nicole Cooke pdf

video


Session 8: Sankofa Poster Session and 4:45 Closing Remarks

Sankofa is an Akan symbol of a bird with an egg. It means look back and evaluate the past in order to build the future. Graduate students and young scholars have done Sankofa: They have sized up past knowledge in order to shape the world around them. Some have gone into the field to collect data; others have used secondary sources. They all come from community informatics, library and information science, and social work. Engage them, ask them hard questions! They will take over the leadership of our institutions.

Chris D'Arpa, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
Adrian Kok, Dominican University
Noah Lenstra, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
Kate Williams, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
Abdul Alkalimat, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Chair

video


Session 9: Is Gigabit a Reality Anytime Soon? Mark Ansboury, President/Founder, Gigabit Squared

The information revolution is being driven by four main sources: the government, the private sector, higher education, and community based intelligence. The public-private sector collaboration is the emerging model for systemic transformation. How can this work? Our speaker will explain his efforts on the South Side and elsewhere.

Mark Ansboury, Gigabit Squared
Kate Williams, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Chair

video


Session 10: LocalWikis: Now on Five Continents

The bottom up aspect of the information revolution is based on three fundamental values: cyberdemocracy, collective intelligence, and information freedom. (see back cover) On a community level, the localwiki demonstrates all these values—now on five continents worldwide.

Philip Neustrom, LocalWiki
Brian Zelip, CU Wiki, ToledoWiki, and University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
Abdul Alkalimat, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Chair

presentation slides:
Brian Zelip pdf

video


Session 11: Broadband 2009-2013: Achievements & Lessons

The Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) is a three-year federal program of $7 billion to create a high speed internet backbone for the entire country, urban and rural. It's now wrapping up. What has been accomplished? How much of this is sustainable?

John L. Lewis, Northern Illinois University
Lubia Núñez-Montelongo, Instituto del Progresso Latino
Abigail Sackmann, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Chair

presentation slides:
John Lewis pdf

video


Session 12: LocalWikis: Live in the Midwest

After session 10 we now look ahead: How can we make localwikis everywhere rich and robust? They're a democratic takeover of community memory. Who needs to be included? Who might join in? Let's make a plan.

Rubayya Hoque, CUWiki and University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
Edward Vielmetti, ArborWiki
Abdul Alkalimat, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Chair

video


Session 13: Broadband Research: Insights & Implications

After session 11, now the researchers speak. What do we know now? What are the next innovations that we need? How fast do we need to be?

Adrian G. Brown, University of Illinois at Chicago
Karen Poncin, Western Illinois University
Kate Williams, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Chair

presentation slides:
Adrian Brown pdf
Karen Poncin pdf

video


Session 14: Sankofa: Summing up eChicago to achieve eChicago

As in session 8, we Sankofa here, looking back to sum up and make a way forward. What are our takeaways from eChicago 2013? Key points we all need to continue thinking about? How can eChicago 2014 make a difference. And what might eChicago actually look like across Chicagoland, and what steps are needed to implement it?

Abdul Alkalimat, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
Ron W. Bailey, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
Alejandro Luis Molina, Caja del Agua Studios and Puerto Rican Cultural Center
Ernie Sanders, Partnership for a Connected Illinois
Kate Williams, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Chair

video


Twitter archive


#eChicago 2013 tweets archive