I'm a librarian, so of course I believe in free inquiry. But not exactly in these terms.
530 million songs. 90 years of high-definition video. 250,000 Libraries of Congress. That’s how much data we produce every day—2.5 exabytes according to Northeastern University. I guess that’s not surprising, given the amount of activity that goes on in social media, websites, email messages and texting.
Much of that data, though, is personal and ephemeral. Videos, photos, tweets and stories that can be passed along and deleted without any thought or care about accuracy or archiving.
But in the scholarly community, a similar and perhaps more significant explosion of digital data is occurring. Here the stakes may be much higher. Without trusted stewardship, data from research will not be effectively collected and preserved for reuse. And when this happens, research innovation and advancement slows significantly.
This is new territory in many ways. Data have been collected and preserved for thousands of years, but never at the volume we see today, nor with some of the deliberate (and in some cases, legally mandated) intentions for reuse.
Given their expertise, library and archives professionals are well-suited to provide support and many have taken a leading role in developing new ways to serve their campus communities’ needs to manage, curate and preserve research data. It’s an exciting opportunity and one for which our community is well-equipped.Managing and curating data with reuse in mind
For almost 10 years, I’ve been studying data reuse in academic communities. It has evolved into studying academics’ data management and sharing practices and the library’s role in supporting these kinds of activities. My latest research focuses on data sharing and reuse in the social science, archaeological and zoological communities, and what these traditions and practices mean for repository data curation. My goal is to identify the common drivers and unique elements of sharing and reuse in each discipline, and what applications those might have for library and archives professionals in their role as data curators.
What mediating roles can librarians and archivists take on between data production and reuse?
Click To Tweet
What we found throws some light on how librarians and archivists can play a more active role in this new environment:
In each case, what we see is that trained, engaged people making connections with others plays a key role in the success of these projects. And to me, that sounds a lot like the work librarians and archivists do.
The role of the library and the archives in aggregating and servicing these assets is increasing. Our challenge is to provide new services that respond to the abundant and sometimes chaotic flow of digital data and the evolving patterns of data sharing and data reuse.
While Google started out as a search company, it’s no secret that it has branched out into all sorts of other tech, including driverless cars, phones and operating systems. However, for the past month, it seems that multiple new developments have been coming out of the Googleplex in Mountain View, almost simultaneously. Google is taking on Slack (one we’ll be watching carefully, since we use Slack here at OPLIN’s office). Google is also partnering with Levi’s for smart clothing for consumers. Then it’s bringing a popular TV trope to real life. To finish up, Google has finally made reCAPTCHA a whole lot less annoying. When do these people sleep?
From the Ohio Web Library:
It was great to see everyone in Berlin last month at the EMEA Regional Council meeting. More than 250 guests from 28 countries attended this eighth annual membership meeting, which was held at the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT Berlin). The theme was Libraries at the Crossroads: Resolving Identities, and we explored the trends that are shaping the future of libraries through a rich program of 65 presentations led by 67 thought leaders.
Thank you to all who planned and attended this powerful event. It was a great chance to share knowledge around this important theme while getting to know each other better. A special congratulations goes to the Lightning Talk winner Katrin Kropf from the Public Library of Chemnitz, Germany.
We look forward to seeing you next year on 20–21 February in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Photos courtesy of Toni Kretschmer.
People didn’t seem to pay much attention in days gone by to what the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was doing. Most of the FCC’s business seemed to be none of our business, but the FCC regulates many aspects of the internet in the United States, and since the internet has become so important to us, so too have the FCC’s activities become consequential. Over the past decade, the FCC has become politically divided and made many decisions that are now being rescinded by the new administration in Washington. Recent policy reversals affecting the Lifeline program, internet privacy and net neutrality are concerning to advocates for a consumer-friendly internet, and the retraction of an FCC report on E-rate modernization has alarmed the American Library Association. While it is not yet clear if the FCC will be making any changes to E-rate, in the past few weeks it has certainly become clear that the new FCC will be very different from the old FCC in its approach to the internet.
Articles from Ohio Web Library:
© A Program of the colleges and universities of Minnesota State