Ethan Zuckerman, Director of MIT Center for Civic Media, spoke with D&S came to ask, what constitutes a civic act (voting, protesting, volunteering for a social cause, etc.)? This is such an interesting question in the digital world. There are many factors involved in why we decide to perform a civic act, such as the cost it will take for the individual, efficacy of the act, and the sense of duty one feels to perform the act. So, if we want more civic engagement, we need to ask how do we reduce cost and increase effectiveness of their engagement (this is much more complicated than I am making it sound in this short post).
Ethan talked about the idea of thinking about “voice” as the beginning of the biography of action. Twitter gives a lot more people the opportunity to have a voice. So, might there be more people feeling empowered with a voice? Where could that lead us?
Libraries are growing in their role as creating a voice for the local community. Self-publishing through the library and opportunities for the capturing of oral history feed directly into this idea of individuals having a bigger voice than may have been possible in the past.
Libraries already grow the voice of their communities through makerspaces, hackathons, and information/computer literacy trainings. In the digital world, how else can libraries help amplify the voices of their communities?