Civic Technology 101 for Libraries


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Online maps, budget apps, open data portals, even your library's website: in small towns and large cities alike, civic technology improves the relationship between people and their government. Civic technologist volunteers and government tech personnel are now bringing the innovations of Silicon Valley to bear on the challenges and day-to-day matters of Main Street. Libraries, as respected community institutions, should represent the needs of their patrons when governments plan community technology initiatives. Libraries can also help train their patrons to take full advantage of these same initiatives.

Originally presented January 16, 2020.

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of this on-demand webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Confidently describe the concept of civic technology and cite three examples to their colleagues and partners;
  • Identify resources available for local civic technologists in their library, their city/county government, and their communities; and
  • Demonstrate their use of a federal/state (or regional/local if available) data portal to find data about their community.

Who Should Attend

This on-demand webinar is intended for all public library staff, with no technical knowledge required. The content will be suitable for library programming specialists, as well as library computer programming specialists, as well as anyone interested in exploring the opportunities for their library to lead in this area.


Jim CranerJim Craner has been part of The Galecia Group team for ten years, helping libraries and consortia build data-driven apps, maps, and websites. Before joining Galecia, Jim spent a decade serving nonprofit and community organizations across the U.S. as a technology consultant and circuit rider. His community service includes a year as an Americorps volunteer, a year as a Code for America Fellow, and several years as a board member of his local library district.


Anne Neville-BonillaAnne Neville-Bonilla is director of the California Research Bureau. As director, Anne and her team developed non-partisan, independent research for the Legislature and Governor. As part of the California State Library’s senior staff, she also leads a two-year John S. and James L. Knight Foundation grant to support open data in public libraries. Prior to joining the State Library, she directed the State Broadband Initiative at the National Telecommunications & Information Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce. At NTIA, she was responsible for the National Broadband Map, grants to states to support the emerging digital economy, and a number of research activities..

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This on-demand webinar is closed captioned in English (United States).

If you have a physical or communication need that may affect your access to this on-demand webinar, please contact us at or 800-545-2433 ext. 5PLA (5752) prior to registering so we can attempt to provide appropriate accommodations.

Tech Requirements

To play this on-demand webinar you should use a browser with native HTML5 support. Please use the most up-to-date version available of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Edge. A fast Internet connection and computer is recommended.


This webinar is presented by the Public Library Association (PLA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA).

If you have questions or problems accessing a recording, send a message to or call 800-545-2433 ext. 5PLA (5752).

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