Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.


***This is a draft of the Evokation I plan on submitting. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE comment on anything you feel could be improved. I am also soliciting collaborators, if anyone is interested in continueing the development of this idea. You can see an overview and links to the other sections below. THANKS!


Spark Library Partnership:

Information Access, for the Largest Number, at the Least Cost






Executive Summary

In order to realize the full potential of many of the initiatives put forth by the Evoke network and begin sparking real change, individuals on the ground need access to information. Libraries are key spaces in the public domain that offer free information resources and services to communities. This Evokation suggests that we begin constructing libraries - thousands of libraries - that are re-imagined to be more appropriate for the 21st century. To make this work economically, each physical structure becomes a partnership between a centralized funding agent and the local community. The overall strategy is intended to balance local culture with digital culture, which will provide the duel benefit of access to global information networks while preserving the unique attributes of each community. Instead of creating 10,000 clone libraries, we create a process that creates 10,000 different libraries - each as unique as the people that create them.

The plan of action called for by this Evokation is to:

Year 1 - assemble a multi-disciplinary team of strategists to create the design and economic formula necessary to create such libraries

Year 2 - develop a short term strategy for the construction of a number of prototype libraries in communities in Africa

Year 3 - begin answering grant requests from communities seeking libraries

Place: The Library

Libraries, by definition, are collections of sources, resources, and services AND the building in which these are housed. Additionally, libraries serve as a critical piece of the public domain; a symbolic space that accommodates our persistent desire for collectivity. The evolution of information technology, specifically the Internet, has allowed the idea of the library, which is rooted in free information sharing, to grow beyond its physical constraints and participate in the expanded field of information being created, organized, and shared online. full text

Challenge: The Digital Divide

It is easy to fall into the trap of believing global connectivity is here: the World Wide Web has made it possible for anyone, anywhere to access anything. In reality, however, that is not the case. In 2009 just over 25% of the world’s population were classified as Internet users, with conspicuously low percentages of Internet penetration in both Asia (19.4%) and Africa (6.8%). The EVOKE network itself is a useful example of the constrains posed by the digital divide, and reinforces the case for widespread proliferation of public libraries, which serve as key access points to the bank of online knowledge while simultaneously serving as agencies culture. full text

Idea: Spark Library Partnership

This section will outline a vision for a new type of library focused on staging a relationship between both the incredible array of resources available online and the physical building that embodies the local culture. The attempt will be to offer organized access to the greatest population, at the least cost. The basic tenants of the Spark Library Partnership are: 1) to provide zones of information access (e.g. libraries) that combine wide-spread knowledge sharing with local insight in an effort to trigger the discovery of solutions to immediate and compelling problems through 2) the establishment of structures that are a combination of standardized, technologically equipped cores and auto-constructed bodies. full text

Money: The First $1000

If this project were to receive funding I would propose using the first $1000 in attracting collaborators and advisors, establishing basic web presence, preliminary fund raising, and filing for 501c3 non-profit status in the United States. full text

Views: 94

Comment by A.V.Koshy on May 7, 2010 at 9:55am
you have kept it very real
i have only one suggestion
can you suggest what to do about info overlaod
i mean if the libraries offer not only resources but also data mining possibiltes in a much more refined way it would help
another thing - a lady here has suggested creative libraries as spaces for learning and play but she appeared and vanished
let me try and dig her out if she wrote to me
last thing
what about travelling libraries for inacessible places - inaccessible for internet or building i mean
they do it in africa in some places in camels
Comment by A.V.Koshy on May 7, 2010 at 10:06am
Comment by A.V.Koshy on May 7, 2010 at 10:08am
Comment by David Dewane on May 7, 2010 at 10:16am
A.V., Thanks for all your comments - I'd love a contact for that woman if you can find her. The weakest part of this is that it lacks collaborators.

Information overload seems to be the biggest threat when you have no means of finding what you're looking for (think Library of Babel...). We are getting better at filtering info all the time, but I take your comment to heart. Even if you think about EVOKE - there is a crazy amount of information and the real diamonds are hard to find.

Yes, travelling libraries are incredibly interesting and there is a slate of literature on the subject. Technology also radically rethinks the traveling library (wireless signal+google books + iPad=50,000,000 volume library)... Also there are the physical material circulation networks, which have a history and, I hope, a future. I could easily see these libraries being regional centers. Considering the scope of the challenge, it is probably the only way.
Comment by A.V.Koshy on May 7, 2010 at 10:23am
send her a message
i've given you the link to her post
she vanished
hope she emerges
Comment by Mita Williams on May 7, 2010 at 11:12am
We do have some librarian agents at Evoke. Try checking in on Fiacre
Comment by Julio Cesar Corona Ortega on May 7, 2010 at 11:18am
Wow, this is just amazing. And incredibly thorough, too. My hat is off to you, sir, this is precisely what the internet has needed for a very long time.

My only question is how you intend on managing the logistics of this? I understand you are planning on using some crowd sourcing for this project, and systems like that can be notoriously difficult to manage and monitor.
Comment by A.V.Koshy on May 7, 2010 at 11:57am
if he starts small and works on it it can be done julio
Comment by Julio Cesar Corona Ortega on May 7, 2010 at 11:58am
Oh, I know he can. I am just wondering what his plan of action is.
Comment by Turil Cronburg on May 7, 2010 at 12:29pm
Your vision seems strong and definitely valuable!

Unfortunately, I'm not getting a good picture of what it is that you are planning on actually doing from this summary. I even went into the linked pages but didn't see anything clear there, either (though I admit I was overwhelmed by a wh*** lot of information, and might have missed it). The basic tenets you offer in this main summary are confusing to me, and sound a lot like typical business babble meant to confuse and create a sense of authority, rather than clarify and give a sense of connection. I'm guessing you didn't intend that. :-)

I love the idea of combining global knowledge with local knowledge and creativity, which I do see you aiming for, and I'd love to know what you specifically plan to do to make that happen. For me to feel comfortable deciding if this is a project that is doable and likely to be successful, I'd need to know what the project you're thinking about looks like in the real world. Is the goal to be an organization that offers information and training for people who want to start these kinds of sparky libraries? Is the goal to actually build and run one physical library, with the hopes of being able to build more some day, or inspire others to follow your model? Something else? For example, you mention a website... what would be the primary function/s of the site?


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