Before the Internet came along, the Information Superhighway ran straight through the local library. These days, the library seems to have been by-passed, with information of every type literally at our fingertips. Andrea Copeland wants to change that. She leads the Center for Personal and Community Heritage Informatics in the Department of Library and Information Science of the School of Informatics and Computing, IUPUI.
Dr. Copeland believes that, while mobile devices have enabled individuals to document their daily experiences more extensively than ever before, this rich collection of information is largely in the hands of corporate entities, such as Facebook, and there is no assurance that this information will be preserved for the future. "For the most part," she says, "memory organizations are not involved in the process of collecting and preserving born digital information generated in this everyday digital context from individuals or communities of individuals."
To address this issue, she has been developing CHIME: Community History in Motion -- Everywhere! The idea is to redirect the flow of information from our smart phones back to the local library, where the information can be archived and curated as a community resource.
CHIME is envisioned as a series of programs, which will be promoted through local library branches. The programs will encourage individuals to document their communities, their heritage, and community issues they care about using their smart phones. Images, video, and text will be uploaded to a central website, where the items will be tagged with metadata, archived, and curated into collections by the local library branches.
The first proposed CHIME project is designed to document the growing bicycle culture in Indianapolis. The project hopes to solicit input from all perspectives about the bicycle lanes and trails that have been built in the city. The bicycle infrastructure has benefited some groups, but others are unhappy about the impact the bike lanes have had on traffic, and the lack of input neighborhoods have had. The project hopes to capture the differing views, and create smart phone apps that allow citizens to document the positive and negative aspects of the changes.