Professional Development

In the 'Uncategorized' Category...

Keeping Our Cool!

Thursday, April 16, 2015 1:56 pm

Let me start with having you listen to this TED talk entitled The Danger of a Single Story. It sets the tone for much of what was shared during the Winter Institute for Intercultural Communication (WIIC). During Spring Break, thanks to a scholarship from the WFU Office of Diversity and Inclusion, I was able to attend the WIIC which was held here in Winston Salem at the Embassy Suites Hotel. I enrolled in the 3-day course entitled, “Keeping Our Cool! Managing Cross Cultural Conflicts,” and taught by Donna Stringer. The primary objective of the workshop was to lead attendees through a process of understanding how our own culturally learned behaviors and perceptions can create cross-cultural misunderstandings and conflict.

During the session we took the Intercultural Conflict Style Inventory (ICSI) assessment to identify our preferred approach or style for resolving conflict. Knowing more about ourselves, our own preferred conflict style, aids in resolving disagreements, managing stress levels, more accurately interpreting the statements and actions of others, and more effectively communicating our interest to others. The institute was chunked full of high energy and thoroughly engaging conversations coupled with numerous opportunities for role playing, scenario writing and reviewing of case studies.

Of particular interest was the discussion around the two primary ways of handling conflict which was categorized as “direct” vs “indirect”. It was no real surprise to me that the assessment results indicated that I was direct. I want to get right at it. However my other indicator was right down the middle with “engagement” but like one hatch mark away from being “discussion.” I would love to have our leadership team and any interested others take this assessment. It was really eye opening to me. I have the ICSI pamphlet which describes the results, but not the actual assessment questionnaire used. Below is the chart that explains in greater detail.

A couple of statements that really resonated with me were; intent does not minimize impact. Because you didn’t mean anything by your words or actions, doesn’t mean that what the receiver felt was any less real. The second was; conflict is an opportunity for greater intimacy. I truly welcome the opportunity for more discussion. A brown bag lunch time would be super. Would you be up for this?

Carol’s View of ACRL

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 12:02 pm

A building at Portland State University

 

As a collections person, I found this conference rather thin on relevant programming, especially since I knew that Roz/Kyle/Kaeley would cover all the instruction angles. That said, the program committee did a good job of spreading the collections-focused sessions among the time slots so I had at least one relevant choice almost every time. I also took advantage of the chance to attend the occasional session outside of my niche, e.g., one on “Complexity and Contradiction in Green Architecture.”

Two presentations were respectively a denunciation and an apologia for DDA. Maybe when the virtual conference comes out I’ll watch them back-to-back and think of them as a debate. I tended to side with the DDA apologist. This fits my natural inclination, but she also used a CC-licensed photo from the ZSR Library Flickr photostream! Her point when showing this picture was that DDA would make libraries’ general collections more alike. Therefore, libraries will distinguish themselves by their special collections.

Miscellaneous Gleanings

On IPEDS statistical craziness: Mount Holyoke has over 600K e-books per ACRL’s definition and only 86 per IPEDS. (For painful detail, see this LibGuide and if you really want to go down the rabbit hole, follow the link to “Questions and Answers from IPEDS.”)

On Collection Development policies: A speaker expressed – with evident dismay – that 44% of ARLs don’t have a collection development policy.

DPLA can virtually reunite physically split collections. They cited a penmanship collection that is physically split between NYPL and the U. of Scranton.

The architecture speaker had learned in school that an optimal design moves water away from the building as quickly as possible. In the emerging green architecture ethos, you want the water to trickle down slowly and get filtered by plants along the way.

Bob Holley on self-published books. He named several categories where the library may want to acquire these works. For instance, local history, fringe perspectives (he cited anti-vaxxers as one example) and personal memoirs that are effectively primary sources.

The rest of this is about e-books

I attended a roundtable discussion on e-books. Nothing too groundbreaking, more like a group therapy session. It’s valuable to know that the challenges we face are also faced by others. NASIG got a name-check as an advocacy group for more library- and user-friendly e-books.

One speaker noted that 6 out of 7 students in a qualitative usability study had a stated preference for print. The speaker said that today’s college students got their early training and developed study habits in a print-centered environment. The preferences of college students may eventually change if K-12 education moves more toward e-books.

Sometimes students use print and e-formats of the same book in tandem. For instance, they may start with the e-book and move over to print for deep reading. Another university found that students used e-books for dip in, dip out reading to support writing papers. (At another conference, the researchers found the dip in, dip out behavior in print books as well.)

Images in e-books are sometimes missing due to permissions issues, so print is a more strongly preferred format for disciplines such as Art History, Theater and Architecture.

Over time, students got more selective about how much they print from e-books. For usability interviews, being guided around e-books made the participants more receptive of the format.

Look at usage of e-book titles that are deleted from the subscription and DDA programs. If there’s anything high use, we may want to buy a copy some other way. I already plan to apply this idea, although I’ll need to keep opportunity costs in mind. (This project may take a lot of time and yield just a few purchases, especially if the deletes are superseded editions.) These presenters found that deleted books had less use, on average, than the overall pool.

 

Lynn attends Online Learning Summit

Sunday, April 12, 2015 8:45 pm

Last week, I was lucky enough to attend an invitation-only summit on online learning, sponsored by Harvard, MIT, Stanford and the University of California at Berkeley. Drew Gilpin Faust, President of Harvard, and L. Rafael Reif, President of MIT, opened the symposium in person by speaking on a panel addressing how online learning is shaping the future of higher education on and off campus. This level of commitment to online learning in the most elite institutions of higher education is striking to me. The scope of the summit was broad – “challenges and opportunities higher education is facing in educating its residential students and a global community of learners” – so topics included MOOCs, blended learning, and “traditional” online courses and degree programs.

Harvard, MIT and Berkeley are founding members of edX and Stanford is a leading member of Coursera, so much of the conversation was around lessons learned with MOOCs. The popular press has largely left MOOCs behind but these leaders of higher ed continue to invest millions of dollars into the modality. Last year at our Future of Higher Education Symposium, I said that of the schools ranked above Wake Forest, only four had not joined the MOOC movement. I checked again, and it is now down to three: Washington University, St. Louis, UCLA and USC. Of course, as readers of this blog know, ZSRx is Wake Forest’s foray into the world of MOOCs and because our universe is so small, we are more like Harvard’s SPOCs (small, private, online courses) than MOOCs (massive, open, online courses). Only Kyle’s current RootsMOOC course with 3500 participants, might be considered a true MOOC. I found myself describing ZSRx to conference participants such as the Executive Director of HarvardX and the Vice Chancellor for Education at Oxford and they thought we were being strategic and savvy. It is our hope that the ZSRx course to come out in Spring 2016 on the history of Wake Forest will be a unifying learning experience for all Wake Foresters and heretofore skeptics will see the value of everyone learning together online.

But back to the Summit. Wednesday’s program was held at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences outside of Boston. I had never been in an auditorium where the seating was in couches!

In the opening panel with Faust, Reif, and US Under-Secretary of Education Ted Mitchell, moderator John Hockenberry asked whether MOOCs extend or dilute higher education. The answer was unanimously extend, with Faust speaking poignantly on the great hunger for learning across the globe and how it is incumbent on leading US universities to extend their reach to meet that need. In the process of doing so with MOOCs, much has been learned about teaching and learning and that knowledge is already enriching the residential experience on home campuses as well. Mitchell remarked that elite schools aside, market forces are already beginning to act on the business of higher education with a retreat in funding by the states and older students needing a more flexible and cost-effective model. Hockenberry asked the old bugaboo question about completion rates and Faust answered (correctly, in my opinion) that they are not troubling to her at all because they are completely different in intent and purpose from tuition-driven courses.

In the first plenary session, two dissimilar schools that pride themselves on engaged learning (Bryn Mawr and University of Michigan) took opposite directions with online learning. Neither chose wholly online degrees; Bryn Mawr chose blended learning and had the benefit of a Gates Foundation grant, and Michigan chose a $25 million engaged learning initiative that included an on-campus MOOC bringing together all segments on campus as well as many other programs that enhanced teaching with technology (and others that included no technology at all). Notably, the President of Bryn Mawr said the best thing she did was to tell faculty that she didn’t care if they tried the blended approach or not. This made it instantly popular! The plenary panelists agreed that what was really needed was a way to share digital materials. [Note: this was one of the ideas behind Unizin.]

A number of the breakout sessions were about blended learning. More than one person pointed out that technology was just the latest way to institute active learning in the classroom and the concept is not really new. Others said they are dropping high stakes testing (midterms and finals) and doing “chunk and test” instead, because students tend to rely on passive methods like lecture when studying for high stakes tests.

In a session about “spaces and places,” libraries were mentioned as space on campus that needed to be re-imagined (it is always amusing to hear people talk about libraries in this way, like we don’t already know this about ourselves). There was also talk of design of learning spaces, makerspaces, and the importance of spaces to encourage social learning from passive to active to productive to interactive.

In sessions about building community and improving engagement, I was happy to see talk of these topics in MOOCs as well as other forms of online learning. The desire for humans to be in the same space while learning was evidenced by the nearly spontaneous “meet up” phenomenon that has taken off in some MOOCs. Course organizers put up a Meet Up button without any further instruction, and people started self-organizing in major cities around the globe to get together while taking the same MOOC. This was seen as analogous to meeting up on the quad in residential environments.

I was very happy to attend this symposium and hope to go again next year. It will help us in our own online learning efforts at Wake Forest to keep current with these developments.

 

“Jumpstart Your Preparedness” workshop

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 3:48 pm

On Monday, January 26, 2015, most of the Safety and Security Team attended the workshop entitled “Jumpstart Your Preparedness” held at the High Point Museum. In addition to the attendees from ZSR, which included James Harper, Thomas Dowling, Meghan Webb, Craig Fansler and Mary Beth Lock, the workshop was attended by representatives from 20 other triad area cultural institutions, (museums and libraries) all of whom were interested in learning about increasing preparedness for the inevitable emergency. The morning’s conversation started with a recounting of the fire that took place in one of the historic buildings on Mendenhall Plantation in Jamestown, NC. The fire, (determined to be arson) took place during Thanksgiving week, while the director, Shawn Rogers, was out of town visiting family. The story he related was a gripping account. Both he and his assistant Shirley Haworth noted the importance of establishing relationships in advance with vendors who you can call on in an emergency. Their experience with the more nefarious workmen who show up the night of the event offering to assist with securing the property as a “service to the community” only to afterward submit a bill for services served as a lesson for us all.

The balance of the morning was spent discussing the services available through North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources and their “Connecting to Collections” IMLS grant. The grant has afforded creation of burn workshops which enable individuals to get boots on the ground training on how to recover from a fire in a cultural institution or library. They also discussed the importance of creating an Area Cultural Resources Emergency Network, or ACREN for our region. There is already an ACREN that exists on the coast of North Carolina, one in the Triangle, and one in the Mountains, but there isn’t one that serves the triad. At the end of the discussion, a sign up sheet was sent around to indicate who was interested in starting up such an entity. Several members of our Safety and Security Team signed up.

Following lunch, the group of us were invited to visit the site of the Mendenhall Plantation fire and see first hand the recovery after the fire. We had an opportunity to see the methods for removing soot with a soot sponge and learn of the additional plans on recovering the space while still honoring the age of the building. As it was mentioned, when you have such a situation in an historic building, you can’t just rip up the floorboards and lay down laminate. The workshop was very instructive and illustrated how much more there is to learn to be really prepared. There is yet more to do!

Adrienne Berney demonstrates how to use a chamber to remove smoke odor from books

Adrienne Berney demonstrates how to use a chamber to remove smoke odor from books

Meghan Webb and Mary Beth Lock "get their hands dirty" using a soot sponge. Not really though. We were wearing gloves!

Meghan Webb and Mary Beth Lock “get their hands dirty” using a soot sponge. Not really though. We were wearing gloves!

CurateGear 2015 by Tanya

Wednesday, January 14, 2015 12:51 pm

Rebecca and I again had the opportunity to attend UNC’s CurateGear last week, and the presentations were excellent. CurateGear provides an overview and technical demos of selected digital curation tools, but this year seems to be focused on broader issues and I found it much more useful.

Erika Farr reported on Emory’s use of Redbooth in her presentation “Measure for Measure: Tracking Effort in Born Digital Processing,” which enabled them to collect assessment data on how long it actually took staff to process digital files for the archives. Their numbers came down to 5MB per hour (18 files), not necessarily encouraging in regards to speed and effort, but there always needs to be a starting point.

Nancy McGovern (MIT) updated the group on Digital Preservation Management Tools. She has been involved for many years with the DP workshops, and they are expanding their repertoire to include Collection Management Workflows, Disaster Preparedness, and a Self-Assessment Audit. I also attended a NYPL session on providing research room access to electronic records with a stand-alone PC. As the speaker, Susan Malbury noted, archivists have been focusing on the ingest and preservation of electronic records, as opposed to researchers accessing them, but this will change in the future. Katherine Skinner spoke about MetaArchive, a cooperative network preserving digital records by following the LOCKSS concept. Angela Spinazze spoke about CollectionsSpace, an open-source platform to handle eclectic collections such as archaeological objects and botanical specimens. CollectionsSpace is now under the LYRASIS umbrella.

If anyone is interested, please see the CurateGear agenda as there are links to all of the presentations: http://ils.unc.edu/digccurr/curategear2015.html

The Multi-Cultural Classroom

Monday, January 12, 2015 11:24 am

On Friday Jan 9th, the TLC offered a series of 5 workshops on how to create an inclusive classroom. Hu, Amanda and Mary attended most of them and we’ve created a joint blog post.

Session 1. Teaching Inclusively: a Pedagogical Exploration
The first session of the day was “Teaching Inclusively: a Pedagogical Exploration” which Hu and Mary attended. Led by Katherine Ross, the session began by watching video clips of two college classes followed by an extensive discussion comparing and contrasting the two styles of instruction. We developed a list of characteristics of the more effective of the two including: create a sense of community; verify learning throughout the semester; engage students through technology; know your students; make the material relevant; articulate explicitly the learning objectives; and go to the place they are. Bottom line: good curriculum design creates an inclusive classroom

Here are some course design questions to ask oneself:
Who are we teaching?
What their concerns and needs?
What do they need or want to learn?
What big, interesting questions are we answering?

Additional considerations:
Is the desired learning visible?
is there a metacognitive organizational structure to the course?
Are the assignments and assessments (quizzes, tests, etc.) clearly targeted at the learning objectives? Are they weighted appropriately to the objectives?

Some of this material overlapped with other classes I’ve taken at the TLC such as Deep Learning, How to Conduct the First Day of Class, and others.

Session 3. Exploring the Inclusive Syllabus: What, Why and How
The third session of the day, “Exploring the Inclusive Syllabus: What, Why, and How,” was attended by Mary and Amanda and facilitated by Katherine Ross and Niki McInteer, a visiting professor teaching German Masterworks in Translation. The class highlighted ways to use the syllabus as a place to “set the tone” for an inclusive classroom. Suggestions included:
Using inclusive language like “you” and “we,”
Utilizing a “create your own” style grading scheme where students can choose among assignments and drop lowest scores
Including a complete course schedule
Creating a visually pleasing syllabus to entice students to read it

The session also included a brief tutorial on using Microsoft Publisher to build a visually appealing syllabus.

Session 4. Facilitating Difficult Discussions in the Classroom
The fourth session of the day was led by Anthropology professor and cultural anthropologist, Sherri Lawson Clark. This session began with each participant responding to one of four questions as a means of introduction. The questions included:
How do you define Diversity?
How many times today have you thought about your Diversity?
What is your Privilege?
What is a difficult topic you discuss in your class?

This led to a discussion of vocabulary around topics of diversity and some tools for facilitating difficult discussions in the classroom. The primary method discussed centered around addressing “the elephant in the room” at the start of any discussion. We also discussed a method that came up in the morning session, “meeting the students where they are.” Professor Clark uses Turning Point clickers, like the kits we check out to faculty and students, to get anonymous responses from students in her class. She also used the clickers as part of the workshop to shed light on current issues around diversity and inclusion in the US today.

Session 5. Working with International, Multilingual Readers and Writers
Session 5 was taught by Zak Lancaster from the English Department. International students come to us with different backgrounds that can strongly influence their English language skills. He divided this cohort into 3 groups: those who went to English-language high schools, those who’ve been learning English in school since the first grade and those who attended high school in the US. The group that attended high school in the US may have excellent command of the spoken language including slang and pop culture vocabulary, but have a less well developed command of the written language, while the former groups may have excellent command of the rules of grammar for written language, but lack verbal skills and vocabulary of the latter group. We talked in small groups and as a whole about the broad spectrum of ways in which to address errors in written and spoken English in classroom assignments.

Special Collections Folio Project

Monday, January 5, 2015 2:17 pm

An Introduction for Craig’s Folio Review
by Tanya Zanish-Belcher, Director of Special Collections & Archives

When I first arrived at ZSR, the first thing which caught my attention was the mismatch of storage space with our SCA collections, in particular the rare book collection. This collection, numbering over 50,000 volumes, is currently stored in five different storage areas. One of our long-term goals is to review our storage environment and as part of that effort, we applied for a Preservation Assessment Grant for Small Institutions from the National Endowment for the Humanities. NEH recently notified us our grant has been approved, and Tom Wilsted, a nationally known consultant, will be visiting ZSR in early 2015 to conduct such a review (http://www2.archivists.org/prof-education/faculty/thomas-wilsted).

However, the other issue which was of immediate concern, was the fact that every folio was stored upright. It is standard practice, due to the weight of the volume, that these books should be stored flat (for more information on book sizes, please see here: http://www.abebooks.com/books/RareBooks/collecting-guide/understanding-rare-books/guide-book-formats.shtml). Craig and I discussed his completing a folio survey, which would enable us to know how much space we would need for storage, and as Craig points out below, provide him with in-depth knowledge of this part of our collection and its conservation/preservation needs. Congratulations to Craig for completing this long-term project!

IMG_2453

Photograph by Ansel Adams

In May, 2013, I began a folio assessment project in ZSR Special Collections. A folio is any item in the collection that is approximately 15 inches in any dimension (38 cm). During this project, I measured and assessed each folio item in Special Collections. This project had two goals: to identify space needs for Special Collections folio items in order for them to be stored flat (as is best for these large, heavy materials); and to identify any preservation needs with each item. There were over 3000 items that I assessed and measured in this project.

So what did I learn in a year and a half of examining these materials?

Florence Theater Tickets

-Number one, we have a wonderful and amazing collection! We hold a number of early printed titles (15th-16th century), a strong collection of items on printing, paper-making, fine press bindings and poetry broadsides. We have Irish bookplates and 18th century Italian theater tickets, prints of North American wildflowers and even marbled paper in the form of flowers. There are the old books, which are wonderful…but there are the wonderful books that are just wonderful regardless of their age. I’m only mentioning a few of these.

Primitive Papermaking- Dard Hunter

Primitive Papermaking by Dard Hunter, early paper-making pioneer

Arion Press-this fine press in San Francisco operated for decades as the Grabhorn Press, but became Arion Press in 1974. It is a very respected fine press operation which prints and binds their work in-house. We receive everything they print. Special Collections recently received the 100th book printed by Arion Press, a commemorative edition of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass.

Arion press- Leaves of Grass title page

Barry Moser- Moser is likely the most talented wood engraver and printmaker in the US. Several of his illustrations can be found in our collection. I’m including two images here. One, of Sampson and Delilah, is from a version of the Bible printed by Pennyroyal Press. The other image is the cover of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Barry Moser used former professor Allen Mandelbaum as the model for the Madhatter on this cover.

Sampson and Deliah - Barry Moser

Alice in Wonderland-Barry Moser

What were the preservation issues? I found many books that simply need a glassine dust jacket to protect it from wear and light damage. It was amazing to me how much damage light has caused to our collections. The lights in our closed stack areas are not on that much, but they have a cumulative effect. Many items were also damaged from the wear and tear of sliding in and out of the space where they are stored. Some leather bound books stained the cloth and paper books next to them as well. There are numerous more complicated repairs that I’ll need to address as well as some that should be sent to a conservator for expert repair work. I’m excited to have the opportunity to work on many of these materials.

I have not added the numbers from my measurement of each folio item in Special Collections, but this information will help us plan for a kinder storage of these irreplaceable items, hopefully flat instead of standing on their spines. I am also concerned that we be proactive in protecting items in good condition now before they deteriorate. It is a good feeling to have this knowledge and the ability to go forward with support to conserve our incredible collection.

Molly at ProQuest Advisory Board Meeting

Thursday, December 18, 2014 4:57 pm

In early November, I was invited to join the newly-created ProQuest International Dissertations and Theses Advisory Board, which I readily accepted. As some of you may know, Wake Forest contributes our Master’s theses and doctoral dissertations to the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Database (PQDT), and use the ProQuest/UMI ETD Administrator system to manage student submissions of electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) to both PQDT and WakeSpace. As ETDs bridge the purview of the Graduate School and the library, I am the lead administrator for our ETD program at the University, hence my invitation to join the Advisory Board.

Last Wednesday through Friday found me attending the Board’s first in-person meeting at ProQuest (PQ) headquarters in Ann Arbor, MI. (And no, December is not an optimal time to visit Michigan, but at least it was in the mid-30s and there was no snow. No offense to any native Michiganders in ZSR for knocking a visit to your home state, although I’m guessing you agree!) Those who gathered in A2 (as Lynn has taught me to call Ann Arbor in shorthand) were board members from across the US and UK; our one current member from Taiwan was unable to attend, and additional members from Southeast Asia and Europe are still being recruited. I knew one board member and one PQ representative previously, and a few others by name/reputation.

I’ve signed a non-disclosure agreement with PQ, so I am unable to share much from our time. But I can say that this board membership promises to be one of the most rewarding professional activities I’ve pursued to date, and that PQ has recruited a knowledgeable and diverse board. And I can also say that the highlight of the meeting was our Thursday afternoon tour of the PQ digitization and microfilm facility. They have digitization equipment and set-ups that would make many in ZSR weep with incredulity and envy. Our tour included the on-site vault, which houses approximately 30,000 canisters, each containing 50 or so rolls of microfilmed theses and dissertations. And the off-site vault at Iron Mountain, in Pennsylvania, is co-located with the CIA, NSA, and Disney vaults, so there is no need to worry about archival storage for microfilms of our nation’s (and Wake’s) ETDs – they are well-cared for!

Amanda at NCLA-College and University Section Conference

Monday, December 15, 2014 4:59 pm

On Friday, December 5th I had to opportunity to present at the NCLA College and University Section Conference in Charlotte, NC. The conference took place at the UNC-Charlotte City Center Campus which is where UNC-Charlotte hosts its MBA program. It’s pretty fancy, check it out:

UNC-Charlotte City Center Building (Credit: flickr.com/photos/kenfagerdotcom)

Confession: I’m not a big photo taker! It never occurs to me until after the fact. So, please refer to the creative-commons friendly image above :)

The Keynote Speaker for the conference was Patrick Deaton, Associate Director for Learning Spaces and Capital Management at NCSU Libraries. He spoke to the audience about Hunt Library. The lecture focused having two years perspective on things that Hunt Library got right and things that they might change if they could do it over again. The biggest takeaway for me was the need for “as-yet-unplanned” space for future unknowns — e.g. what happens when you decide shortly before you open a new space that you wish you had room for a makerspace?

After the keynote, I gave my presentation which focused on how Google Glass was implemented in LIB 100. You can find my slides in the link below:

Ok, Class: Library Instruction with Google Glass from amandabfoster

There were several other good presentations given by North Carolina librarians. I shared a time slot with some of our colleagues at Appalachian State who spoke on creating online library instruction in Moodle for their First Year students. They had several great insights for working within course-management systems. Another of our colleagues led an interesting discussion on using social media to enhance library instruction. There was also ample time provided for lunch and networking, so this was a wonderful conference for me to meet some other semi-local librarians.

Bits and Bytes – DSU in Charleston

Monday, November 17, 2014 9:44 am

[Really, our title should be Bits and Bytes (and Bites!), but y’all know we were in the culinary wonderland that is Charleston, so the bites are a given.]

Chelcie and Molly attended the inaugural Charleston Seminar, a new two-day intensive workshop preceding the Charleston Conference. This year’s topic was Introduction to Data Curation, taught by two guys from UNC: Cal Lee, faculty at the School of Information and Library Science, and Jonathan Crabtree, Associate Director at the Odum Institute. We were two of approximately 30 librarians, faculty, administrators, and vendors from across the U.S. and Canada who attended. Wake Forest was in the middle in terms of institutional research focus represented.

The seminar was a mix of lecture and hands-on activities—Molly used a hex editor for the first time!—and addressed the sociocultural concerns of data curation, as well as the how-to aspects. We were reassured to realize that the paths we have been pursuing are on target for an institution of our size and research context.

Key takeaways:

  • keep data lifecycle stages simple; move complexity into functions
  • not about data ownership, but data stewardship
  • digital curation not the end, but the means to the end of better research
  • if we really love this data, need to acknowledge that we (aka, libraries) may not be the best place for it; is it a library conversation, or a campus conversation?
  • metadata tells you how to sift through data
  • must acknowledge the “Hermeneutic Gap” of archived data: context is often not captured, and is never the same
  • ask researchers what terms they would type into Google to find this data; often their terms will be pretty good, and can be used in descriptive metadata

We came back with definite steps to pursue to further the data curation conversations at Wake Forest, but also with the reassurance that libraries’ roles with data need to be ones of advocacy and coordination, not sole responsibility.


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