A year of Open Data

Open Data
Open data by CILIP Photos, on Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

State Library of Queensland supports open access to information and ideas as a key enabler for a strong, well-informed and innovative society. Open data is a key component in State Library’s Digital Strategy. If data is described as ‘open’, it means anyone can access, use or share it.

In the last year, State Library made substantial enhancements to our open data program, including making more open datasets available. Data from past Queensland Public Libraries Statistical Bulletins is just one example of the 32 open datasets that are available for anybody to download and use to create innovative and creative solutions to improve our community.

A wonderful example of the community using State Library open data comes from GovHack 2019 held on 6-8 September this year with events across Australia and New Zealand. State Library hosted an Indigenous Languages challenge, where we asked Queensland teams to innovate on the question, “how might we showcase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language materials?”. Using the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages word lists, the most popular State Library data set in 2018-2019 with 1,786 downloads, a Rockhampton team won first prize with My Place – an application using emerging technologies to promote participation in the preservation of valuable at-risk languages.

Close up of a cartoon sketch of a robot reading a book titled 'Machine Readable'
Open data by CILIP Photos, on Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

To build on last year’s success, the State Library Open Data Strategy Action Plan 2019-20 identifies activities to meet new goals alongside the 2019-20 data release schedule. Notable activities include convening a Collections as Data symposium, adding an open data briefing to staff inductions, releasing 9+ new datasets, and exploring opportunities to engage users in discovering, visualising, and reusing datasets. Explore the action plan and strategy in full on State Library’s Open Data webpage.

About the author
Rachel Merrick is Coordinator, Digital Library Initiatives, Content and Client Services, State Library of Queensland.