McDowell to deliver keynotes at STOREE and IMLS conferences

Kate McDowell
Kate McDowell, Associate Professor

Associate Professor Kate McDowell will deliver two keynotes on library data storytelling this month. 

On January 19, she will present "Goals, Motivations, Successes: Library (Data) Storytelling" at the Supporting Transparent & Open Research Engagement & Exchange (STOREE) conference at the University of British Columbia. The theme of the conference is "Storytelling for Information Professionals."

She will deliver the keynote, "Inspire, Advocate, Communicate: Library Data Storytelling," on January 23 at an invitation-only Institute of Museum and Library Services conference for state data coordinators. State data coordinators collect the requested data from local public libraries and provide it to the IMLS for its Public Libraries Survey, the institute’s definitive source on the state of public libraries in the U.S.

At both conferences, McDowell will discuss her work on the IMLS-funded Data Storytelling Toolkit for Librarians project. Participants will learn how to bring data stories to life for library advocacy of all types, "from sustaining the library to transforming its work." They will be able to use the toolkit to input data they already have from their libraries and generate data visualization and narrative structure options.

McDowell's storytelling research has involved training collaborations with advancement staff both at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the University of Illinois system; storytelling consulting work for multiple nonprofits, including the 50th anniversary of the statewide Prairie Rivers Network that protects Illinois water; and storytelling lectures for the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI). McDowell researches and publishes in the areas of storytelling at work, social justice storytelling, and what library storytelling can teach the information sciences about data storytelling. She holds both an MS and PhD in library and information science from Illinois.

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