DATA Play 9 has arrived... playing with library data

DATA Play 9 kicked off to a great start, once again helped by the great venue provided by the STEM Hub at City College. There was a great buzz in the room and it was great to see lots of new faces getting to know each other and discussing ideas.

Tom Westrope from Plymouth City Council kicked off the day with an introduction to DATA Play 9 and an explanation on how the mini tasks would work and what prizes were up for grabs!

The first talk of the day was our keynote speaker, Dave Rowe from Libraries Hacked (@librarieshacked). Dave gave a presentation on the great work he’s been doing with library data. He talked about the data that is generated by libraries from the library catalogue to the people that use libraries. He then showed some ways this data can be used to analyse different areas of the city or to show how valuable libraries are to the community.

Next up was Mandy Macdonald (@mandy_macdonald), Strategic Lead for Plymouth Libraries at Plymouth City Council. Mandy gave us some context around libraries and talked about how their biggest challenge is the misconception people have about what a library is now. She explained how modern libraries are about providing information and digital and social inclusion and how they need quantitative and qualitative data to gain insight into how people are using Plymouth’s libraries.

How can we use technology and data to improve and measure the impact on people’s lives?

After a quick coffee break and a few snacks, we gathered to listen to the staff from Plymouth City Council’s library service (@plymlibraries). Claire Back (@calire) set out the challenges libraries face and posed the question; how can we use technology and data to improve and measure the impact on people’s lives? Laura Norman (@jannertraveller) then talked about Hello World (@HelloWorld_Plym), the libraries’ coding club for kids.

Everyone then had a chance to try some of the cool tech equipment the library service brought along and the kids from code club gave some great demos of the kit they play with at code club. Everyone also had a chance to explore and complete some of the mini tasks – all the kids have their eyes on the drone!

After a busy morning and great lunch, we regrouped to listen to Andy Wood talk about his project You Curate which was developed with DATA Play 6 funding. You Curate allows you to make your own museum experience. Everyone was trying it out on the big screen; it was great seeing what people put in their virtual galleries.

It was then time for another coffee break with more ‘speed DATAing’ and challenge exploration before the last talk of the day from Leigh Cooper (@leighcoopa). Leigh talked about how great and unique Plymouth is, boasting both green and blue spaces and how the Minecraft in Schools Project tried to capture this by merging the digital and real world. This project is part of a bigger project that Leigh and Lucy Knight (@Jargonautical) created with funding from DATA Play 4 where they investigated how green spaces modelled in Minecraft could increase engagement with the outdoors.

It’s been another great DATA Play, thanks to all those involved and we look forward to seeing you all at DATA Play 10!

26 October 2018

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