May 23, 2022

Reimagining the Role of Libraries: Knight Foundation Officially Launches News Challenge For Libraries, Entries Now Accepted

We’ve posted “early” info about the Knight Foundation News Challenge twice since it was first announced on August 25th.

Today, the “Challenge” officially got underway and entries are now being accepted online.

From the Knight Foundation:

As libraries nationwide redefine their role in the digital age, the need for ideas that build on their potential to spark innovation and spread information is urgent. To answer this call, the Knight News Challenge on Libraries opens for applications today.

Winners will receive a share of $2.5 million [and will be announced at the beginning of 2015.]

Applicants can enter by completing a brief entry on by 5 p.m. Eastern Time Sept. 30 that answers the question:

How might we leverage libraries as a platform to build more knowledgeable communities?

The challenge aims to attract a broad range of ideas, not just from the library community but also from schools, businesses, journalists, designers, artists and others who believe in the transformational power of libraries.


Applicants are encouraged to submit their entries well in advance of the Sept. 30 deadline; early submissions will have the benefit of feedback from experts and others on the Open IDEO-powered platform.

The “inspiration phase” of the challenge opened on Sept. 2, inviting people to post ideas and discuss their vision for the future of libraries.

The challenge is open to anyone from anywhere; for-profits, nonprofits, government agencies and individuals are encouraged to apply.

Additional Info and Assistance

From the Director

John Bracken, Knight Foundation director for journalism and media innovation, shares some additional info and thoughts in this Knight Foundation Blog post. Here’s some of what he has to say.

As with every News Challenge, our theme is intentionally broad. We don’t have specific projects in mind, and there’s no formula for winning. We’re seeking innovative projects that help answer our challenge question; if you feel your idea fits, we welcome you to apply.


We’re also hosting information sessions over the next few weeks in Akron, Ohio; Charlotte, N.C.; Chicago; Miami; New York; Philadelphia; San Jose, Calif.; and St. Paul, Minn. We will share more information about those events as it becomes available, and you can sign up to receive our e-mail updates here.

You can reach us with questions @knightfdn or @jsb on Twitter using #newschallenge, or via e-mail at

Read the Complete Blog Post by John Bracken

A Comment from infoDOCKET Founder and Editor Gary Price:

We encourage all of you to participate in the Knight News Challenge. There is a lot of work to be done.

What makes this Challenge a bit more exciting to me is to have The Knight Foundation, “an organization supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts” take an interest in libraries, librarians, and our future. I do hope that after the Challenge is over that Knight and the library community can continue to work together.

The work, role, and “what’s important” to the journalist and librarian have many things in common including accuracy, credibility, access to info, and informing the public and learning from each other could do both professions a lot of good.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.