Mesh/UserResearch/07 March 2013

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Notes about Library access -

Update on Open Data Day-

Some computers are dedicated for specific use. Mostly something to do job related. Time limit for computer use is 1 hour. Never seen anyone satisfied with the hour.

Fruitvale- teens are need of computers.

81st Avenue:

  • Video editing, music editing.
  • Oral history grant.
  • Video camera’s where people can go to record their stories.

Unity Council - one stop center. on Broadway.

Lao Family- center that provides services. Got one-stop money..

How can we share with the library with human resources. Working out liability. A type of mentoring system to address the digital divide. OaklandWiki got a grant to help digitize the documents in Oakland History.


  • Tonya has not done more with YouthRadio yet.
  • Tony - Get Connected Oakland. Called a guy a couple of times. He called back last week. Some of the guys sold "Get Connected" to the mayor. The guys who helped the city launch it. Stayed after to write grant applications. Was there actually a real organization? It never really existed. They didn’t finish their website. They didn’t get any grants. Stopped persisting.
  • Jenny:
    • Urban Strategies Council. Next Friday
    • LOL - Jenn Mai, SOL (community garden food justice). She emailed this morning.
    • Youth Movement Records - no direct contact.
  • Dennis- Met Shawn Pae from Oakland Digital. Office on Harrison. Knows MC Hammer. See pics of him with celebrities. It’s not his full time job. Works for the city. He said he was going to come. Sent an email saying he has a meeting and may be later. Inspire with billboards.
    • Having a contest for local artists to design the best billboard for Oakland. Need judges. April 18th to grade student
    • Another project is to help people start small businesses.

Met aso with Assets- bridge digital divide for seniors. Wasn’t sure they are still doing the program. Run through the city. They are launching a thing about helping seniors to have access to computers. Will follow-up to see if the program is still out there.


  • Tony: We have to attack this job on the ground.
  • Evan: State passed a law. That everyone had to be certified. They need to use the computer, take the test..and print it out. Some of them would get confirmation of certification on their phones.
  • When it comes to to engaging people about city council..via SMS. You can sign up for Twitter via SMS. It could be useful for people in teh community to use it in a mindful way to specific accounts that tweet about something useful to people on the ground.
  • Putting together the Hub -- how come the communities aren’t taking advantage of the computer giveaway at Oakland Exchange West.
  • Use MESH for these down scale communities.
  • Thinking about a proposal that we can write to get donated routers.
  • Evan - reiterate that people do have access beyond computers. Focus on being on the ground. Surveying the community not just.
  • Dennis suggest we come up with a report on the landscape of Digital Divide and come up an assessment of what’s needed. It would be a good resource and a repository of open data.

Next meeting:

Tuesday, March 19th. 7 pm.

NOTE- you can go to the OpenOakland meeting at 6:30 and mingle.. but we will start our meeting at 7 pm, sharp!

Jenny’s notes:

  • Add questions re: quantitative data - eg; How many clients have you served in the past 12 months?


Ivan, Tonya, Dennis, Jenny, John, MarkB


  • From Open Data Day:
    • Updated info on Oakland Public Library oakwiki pages.
    • Search 'open data day' on oaklandwiki
  • Dan Kolb interested in doing advocacy work with the community to train city council and community members on how to use the technology effectively
  • Get Connected! Oakland launched through Oakland Technology West (whom we've connected with), principally writing grant applications - but remained mostly a PR front
  • Oakland Technology West
    • they have mad machines / resources
    • we should visit them!
  • Spike from Urban Strategies Council said we could possibly come out and interview next Friday
  • Shawn Pay from Oakland Digital - non-profit on Harrison - Inspire program to build billboards for Oakland
  • Close to a visit with Youth Radio
  • Assets - for seniors - had a grant to bridge the DD for low-income seniors


  • Mentoring system at libraries
  • Ivan shares a story of food service workers who had to get certified some years ago, and they all came to the libraries to take the test and print their certifications
  • Only one hour per user at a machine at the public libraries
    • Kids figure a way out (eg; memorizing their family members' numbers)
  • Tweeting geographically / contextually relevant info to those with SMS-only phones
  • How could we help entrepreneurs write business plans / create internet presence?
  • Oakland Public Library
    • Ask each reference desk about their resources
    • Who do you direct people to for services?
  • People with disabilities!
  • Tracking the funding
    • Tracking eg; Comcast - specific fees and taxes that are supposed to go to digital divide
  • How many staff do you have devoted to this specifically?
  • research Media Alliance
  • Ready Set Go - based on the Youth Radio model - to train youth in
    • 81st St Library (grant from Dell)

Ideas for Future

  • Use research / survey feedback to create a report that documents the landscape of DD efforts
  • Can be anecdotal and still be useful!
  • Toward a deliverable for the OO DD group
  • Gather quantitative data as well

Next Meeting

  • 3/19 - Tuesday - at 7pm (Open Oakland meeting starts at 6:30)