Civic Data Ambassadors

Civic Data, Education

A six-week online course geared towards librarians that taught the basics of working with urban open data.

In collaboration with Rahul Bhargava

The Civic Data Ambassador program was a six-week online course that taught the basics of exploring and analyzing open civic data to public librarians for a variety of use cases.

Man on left in purple shirt, woman on right with green shirt, both standing in front of black background. Title words in front of them that read: "what are data?"

Principal Investigators

Catherine D’Ignazio and Eric Gordon


Librarians from Boston and beyond accessed learning material and completed activities online for approximately two hours a week.


70 librarians registered for the six-week program and 30 librarians completed it to earn a Civic Data Ambassador certificate (pictured). Over the six-week course, librarians learned key data literacy lessons, including how data is collected by the city, how to find and use data on the city’s Open Data Portal, and how to connect that data to real-world uses and problems that they often encounter.

Upon completion of the six week course, thirty librarians received a certificate signed by the Mayor of Boston that recognized them as a ‘Civic Data Ambassador.’


Emerson College Engagement Lab, City of Boston



Boston, MA


City of Boston