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People who live and work in Hartford needed access to information and documents on a wide variety of important issues affecting the city, some of which is difficult or impossible to find elsewhere. They also needed access to city, state, and federal data broken down by Hartford neighborhood. And they needed one central gateway through which all of this information and data could be easily accessed.
The Hartford Public Library created HartfordInfo.org, a gateway to a wide variety of information, documents, data, maps, and videos on topics such as education, economic development, arts and culture, public safety, housing, neighborhoods, transportation, families, youth and children and others. There are now over 6,000 reports, articles, data sets, maps, and videos on the site. Some of the material on the site is unique to HartfordInfo.org and is not available electronically anywhere else. Documents and data have been obtained from a variety of City of Hartford and State of Connecticut departments, as well as other sources. HartfordInfo.org is the only source of U.S. Census data organized by Hartford neighborhood. Through negotiated agreements, selected articles from local newspapers have been added to the site. Videos of many of the Library’s community programs are also available on HartfordInfo.org. The Library is a member of the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP), a collaborative effort by the Urban Institute and local partners aimed at furthering the development and use of neighborhood-level information systems such as Hartfordinfo.org in local policymaking and community building.
Use of HartfordInfo.org has increased steadily since its inception in 2004. The site is now used by 12,000 – 15,000 people monthly and receives well over 1 million hits in an average month. Users of the site include high school and college students and teachers, neighborhood residents, journalists, elected officials, government staff, small and large businesses, non-profit organizations, foundations and funding agencies, and others.