Using the Knowledge Network
Behind the Scenes
The BHKN grew out of several grants and initiatives. That is reflected in the broad content and different approaches. It is still experimental, like other community information initiatives around the country.
Because the site is still evolving, we are providing this overview. We also look forward to your comments.
If you'd like a more customized browsing experience, please sign up for an account at the upper right of the home screen. Within the next few months, we'll add more capabilities just for members, but for now, you will gain the ability to participate in members-only polls.
The main website menu links to major areas of content organized by key indicator (Community & History, Government & Citizenship, Work & Economy) and by Location.
The Right Bar
The right panel shows highlighted new material under Editor's Choice, news articles or resources recently added under Current Issues, social rankings like Most Commented or Most Viewed, and other resources that may be helpful.
Community & History, Government & Citizenship, Work & Economy
With more sections to come, each of these menu choices has a broad range of resources grouped under it. BHKN works with various organizations to set up ways to measure the health of a sector.
For instance, tracking unemployment rates over time might help measure how well job creation initiatives are working. Tracking how many high school graduates go on to college might show the results of efforts to improve graduation rates and literacy. These are illustrated with graphs, many of them interactive, so that people can look at the numbers in different ways.
These graphs have controls of various kinds that allow the viewer to change the data being graphed, or show additional information. We are using several graphing tools so the graphs vary a little. So far, people find them self-explanatory but please let us know if you run into trouble. We know improvement is important.
In the right column on each key indicator main page are Editor's Choice, Current Issues related to that indicator and other resources that shed light on the topic.
If you are interested in working on an advisory committee for the indicators portion of the site, please contact us.
At present, we are working with several communities and their libraries to provide information to BHKN. To make it convenient to look up information about your community, we've organized these sections under menu choice Location. We expect to add many new communities to this in the coming months.
The Resources section and some links within text link to lists of online articles using the Diigo bookmarking system. These lists are intended to help organize various online resources to allow the user to do some in-depth research on a particular topic. For instance, in Rapid City the 2012 funding program is a long-term and sometimes controversial topic; the Rapid City library has put together an extensive set of links of newspaper coverage in reverse chronological order.
Once you select one of these links, you will leave the BHKN website and move to the Diigo website. Help for using this site is available on the Diigo website.
ContentDM is a system used worldwide to hold and serve local library resources. On BHKN, the ContentDM system is used for selected documents in library collections that should be available widely but cannot be put into general circulation. Examples include historic photo albums or civic records.
Due to the unique interface within ContentDM, these collections are grouped under the menu choice Historic Documents under the Community & History menu. Once you select this menu choice, you will leave the BHKN website and move to the ContentDM website. Help for using this site is available on the ContentDM website.