Inclusive Data and Community Engagement: New Roles for Libraries to Shape Knowledge Creation and Use

This webinar occurred on March 24, 2021. The webinar recording, slides, and resources are located at the bottom of this page.

Instructors: Maria Garrido, Chris Rothschild

With the growing importance placed on data to drive policy, programs, and decision-making, the voices of community members the data is intended to represent become even more vital. There continue to be many groups marginalized and/or underrepresented in data, or whose voices and realities are lost in statistics. This significantly limits the ability for effective and inclusive policy design. Building upon the work public libraries have done in building community reading and digital literacy, there is a tremendous opportunity for libraries to increase the capacity of their communities to participate in the creation and use of data to better inform policy making and engage in civic action and dialogue. In this webinar, participants will take an in-depth look at the need for inclusive data and the role libraries could play in supporting it. Participants will learn tools for assessing marginalized voices in data, share insights from their experiences working with their communities, and begin creating plans to engage their communities to address social problems through getting better and more inclusive data.

This session is part of the RIPL Data Boot Camp Series. Each session includes a 90-minute live webinar and a 60-minute recorded follow-up lesson for anyone who is interested in learning more about the topic. The follow-up video will be available on this webpage on the date of the live webinar.


Maria Garrido is a Principal Research Scientist at the Technology & Social Change Group of the University of Washington’s Information School. Experienced in conducting multi-country studies that span diverse geographic regions, much of her research focuses on the appropriation of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to catalyze social change, specifically in communities facing social, political, and economic challenges. Keenly interested in the role of ICTs in social movements, youth employability, and skill development, Maria has worked closely with civil society organizations, NGOs, public libraries, and development funders to conduct participatory research that results in actionable recommendations for policy and practice. Recent examples of her research include the role of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in advancing youth employability in Colombia, the Philippines, and South Africa; employability of migrant women and e-skills in the European Union; and youth movements, ICTs, and the struggle for democracy in Egypt’s Arab Spring. Maria is currently leading a multi-year research effort focusing on the role of access to information in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). She holds a Ph.D. in Communications from the University of Washington and a Masters in International Relations from the University of Chicago.

Chris Rothschild is a Senior Research Scientist in the Technology & Social Change Group at the University of Washington Information School. His work centers on community information and knowledge systems and how varying approaches to and definitions of data can be incorporated into community and large-scale decision-making. Chris is also a Nippon Foundation Ocean Nexus Fellow, focusing on culturally appropriate tools and resources for local organizations to increase their agency and areas of participation in marine-related decision-making. Chris has used participatory practices and qualitative and quantitative methods to conduct research in over 20 countries. In addition to his research, Chris teaches study abroad courses in Tahiti and Ghana on traditional knowledge systems, oral traditions, and field research methods.




Recorded Follow-Up Lesson


Video 1: Introduction

Video 2: Live session overview

Video 3: Marginalized voices framework

Video 4: The role of libraries in creating inclusive data

Video 5: Implementation in your libraries

Video 6: Tools to engage communities in inclusive data

Slides & Handouts

Coming Soon