Vote – Adobe Youth Voices Awards Finalists 2015

Check out the finalists and simply click the “Vote” button for your favorite media pieces. You hold the power to decide the Audience Award winner and your participation helps students worldwide receive Adobe software, hardware, and a donation towards a charity of their choice.  Feel free to vote for multiple projects on your personal mobile devices, tablets, desktops, and laptops. Don’t forget to support your top picks by sharing them on your social channels. Winners announced on June 22, 2015.

Vote here.

Meet Director of Digital Engagement Kendee Yamaguchi

KYamaguchiAfter an extensive interview process, the City of Seattle has a new Director of Digital Engagement: Kendee Yamaguchi.

Kendee brings with her a very impressive resume, having worked in federal and state government. Kendee has worked at the White House in the Office of Public Liaison, engaging communities on a national level;  served as a cabinet member of a state agency advising on policies and programs for diverse communities and a staff member for the Legislature. Prior to her career in government, she worked as a television executive for one of the world’s largest entertainment networks, and as an attorney.

She says that she is excited by what lies ahead in the future, “Seattle is a vibrant city and there are so many opportunities.” Working together to find solutions is at the cornerstone of Kendee’s philosophy, “Being innovative and continuing to build partnerships allows us to leverage our talent and resources to strengthen the ties our communities have with government.”

She’s also a strong supporter of community technology and digital equity.

“Ensuring all our residents have access to information, technology and government services is critical,” she said. “We serve as a bridge for many communities and our daily work allows for engagement in civic participation, employment, lifelong learning and access to essential services.”

Kendee considers herself a lifelong learner. Her hobbies include biking, triathlons, yoga and making art.

Our Digital Engagement organization includes the Citywide Web Team, Seattle Channel, Community Technology, and Cable and Broadband teams.

Google grant: Wi-Fi ‘hotspot’ devices available at The Seattle Public Library

hotspot145x110The Seattle Public Library has given Seattle residents another good reason to have a Library card.

Thanks to a $225,000 grant from Google, anyone with a Library card can now check out Wi-Fi hotspot devices to use at home.

“You simply check them out as you would any book, CD or DVD,” said Marcellus Turner, city librarian.

Mayor Ed Murray joined Turner, Google Seattle Site Director Clyde McQueen, and FareStart graduate Jason Mattingly at the Central Library Monday, May 18, to launch the program.

“Broadband is becoming a necessity to be successful in today’s world,” said Murray. “Whether applying for a job, completing a homework assignment or paying a bill, you need access to the Internet. Thanks to the Library’s partnership with Google, this new initiative will help hundreds of Seattle families check out their own Wi-Fi hotspot.”

A 2014 city of Seattle Information Technology Access and Adoption report revealed that over 90,000 Seattle residents lacked Internet access at home. When household income dropped to under $20,000, approximately 57 percent reported having no access.

“Loaning mobile hotspots to people living without broadband access is another way The Seattle Public Library is taking our mission beyond the walls of our libraries and directly to our patrons where they are,” Turner said.

The Seattle Public Library currently provides more than 800 Internet computers across 27 locations, which are heavily used. Each location also offers free Wi-Fi.

“Far too many Seattle residents do not have regular access to the Internet, and as a result find themselves excluded from a wealth of education, employment and community resources,” McQueen said.

Mattingly said the mobile hotspots will be particularly helpful to students and job seekers who cannot afford a data plan or Internet service. “The mobile hotspots will make a big difference in many people’s lives,” said Mattingly, who relied on Library computers to find a job when he was a student at FareStart. Mattingly is still an active Library user and is excited about the hotspot program.

The Library’s grant from Google not only covers an initial pilot for 150 Wi-Fi hotspots, but 75 laptops bundled with hotspots that are expected to be available for checkout in late July. The grant also covers outreach work so the Library can introduce hotspots and laptops to populations with the greatest need for these services, particularly immigrants and refugees. That effort will get underway this summer as well, and will include an education component.

“This innovative program to loan hotspots and Wi-Fi-enabled devices is a simple, effective way to help those who need broadband and technology the most,” McQueen said. “With this donation, Google hopes to give some of the most underserved in our city a way to bridge the tech divide.”

For more information, Ask a Librarian or call 206-386-4636.

For more information contact:

Andra Addison, communications director


Easy access to technology resources for your lab

We have launched a new tool for you to use in managing your lab. This Resource Library is a repository for community-contributed materials related to technology learning and running public technology learning centers. Arranged by topic areas, you will find resources and tools for computer skills curriculum, technology resource management, evaluating the success of your programs, and more.  There is also an opportunity for you to contribute items that you have found useful in running your lab.  Visit the virtual Resource Library  here.


Seattle part of White House’s new Police Data Initiative

policingmap-v2Seattle Police Department already utilizes open data.  Now, President Obama has announced the Police Data Initiative, based on recommendations from his Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

Seattle is one of 21 communities currently participating in the federal Police Data Initiative.

The recommendations cover policy, oversight, technology, social media, community policing, crime reduction, training, education, and officer wellness and safety. There is also significant emphasis on the potential of data and technology to improve policing outcomes and foster community trust.

Through this effort, local police departments and other participants are responding first to Task Force recommendations within two streams of work: using open data to increase transparency, build community trust, and support innovation, plus better using technology, such as early warning systems, to identify problems, increase internal accountability, and decrease inappropriate uses of force.

Nationwide, all 21 police departments participating have committed to release a combined total of 101 data sets that have not been released to the public. The types of data include uses of force, police pedestrian and vehicle stops, officer involved shootings and more, helping the communities gain visibility into key information on police/citizen encounters.

For more information on the federal police data initiative, visit If you want to see how Seattle Police Department currently utilizes open data, visit

See more here.

In-house vs Cloud Server

Deciding if you want an in-house or cloud server can be complicated when deciding which is best for you or your organization.

Cloud servers normally have an advantage when it comes to startup cost or ease of deploying certain technologies on a large scale.  Most cloud providers don’t charge you extra for upgrading the hardware to current models, but if you weigh your cost over the course of a few years,  things can add up.  In most cases, you are responsible for the software and sometimes also the operation.

If you have large amounts of data, don’t need to access files remotely, or have custom applications, it is best to host them locally thru your own in-house server.  There will be a higher startup cost because you have to purchase everything, but you can use the hardware for much longer than recommended, which allows you to save money.  One way to reduce the startup cost is to finance the hardware purchase.

You should identify how your organization will handle:

  • Email or Exchange (email, calendaring, collaboration)
  • File share (storing your data)
  • Printer service (users can print directly if it’s a small organization)
  • Custom Applications (special programs)
  • Internet (with cloud you still need Internet at your organization’s office)
  • Who will manage all of the above?
    • Hardware along with replacements
    • Software along with upgrades and configurations needs

Once you know how your organization will handle the above, you can then evaluate which type of server you like, Cloud or In-House.  The good thing about both technologies is that they are interchangeable. You can even elect to have a hybrid of both worlds.