Using Open Data to Inform Public Library Branch Services


This article describes the curation and use of open demographic data to inform public library services. A case study of census data curated for the Seattle Public Library (SPL) system is described. To understand the information needs of library branches, a set of SPL regional managers were interviewed, a set of use cases were created, and a prototype dashboard tool using open census data was developed to address the needs of two SPL regions. The utility of available open data to meet the needs of regional managers is reviewed, as well as the potential development of replicable data analysis tools for keeping public libraries aware of shifting neighborhood demographics.

Quick Facts


Publication Type

  • Academic Journal
  • Journal Article

Publication Date

  • 2020