On August 27th, the Science and Technology Libraries section hosted 5 speakers for its Data Librarian: Needs and Qualifications section. Yun Dai from New York University Shanghai shared how they are, “Pushing the Boundaries of Data Services Ecosystem at an Academic Library.” At NYU Shanghai, the data services program is a mix of statistical and computing consulting and data librarianship where research get assistance in data discovery, cleaning, analysis, and visualization. She spoke on three different approaches they have implemented in forming and contributing to the data services ecosystem. To learn more about how they created an environment where technology is embedded in daily data services, how they partnered with other departments to develop data products and projects, and how they collaborated with university-wide initiatives to lead data literacy campaigns, see her full paper here: http://library.ifla.org/2154/1/139-dai-en.pdf
Hammad Rauf Khan from the University of North Texas, Denton presented his and Yunfei Du’s paper, “What is a Data Librarian? A Content Analysis of Job Advertisements for Data Librarians in the United States Academic Libraries.” Hammad and Du looked at 50 random data librarian job advertisements from ALA JobLIST, Indeed, Glassdoor, and IASSIST websites in order to understand what a data librarian is and what they need to know to perform their job. The skills most often required were the ability to provide research assistance, critical thinking and problem solving skills, knowledge of U.S. federal and proprietary data sources, and knowledge of proprietary or open source statistical software packages. To learn more about what this means for professionals and the LIS curriculum, read their full paper here: http://library.ifla.org/2255/1/139-khan-en.pdf
Megan Sapp Nelson of Purdue University and Abigail Goben from the University of Illinois at Chicago had a colleague present their paper, “Engaging Liaison Librarians: Identifying Impact of a Research Data Management Educational Intervention,” in which they discuss the assessment analysis of the first year of ACRL’s Research Data Management Road Show. The Road Show was developed to provide academic liaison and subject librarians an introduction to the fundamentals of research data management. Sapp Nelson and Goben created pre and post-Road Show surveys to assess initial and changing knowledge levels, practice and behaviors, and attitudes towards research data management. The survey data shows suggest that the Road Show is successfully providing training and is positively impacting their attitudes and skill levels. For a full review of their survey results and outcomes, see Sapp Nelson and Goben’s full paper here: http://library.ifla.org/2155/1/139-sappnelson-en.pdf
Anna Walek from the Gdansk University of Technology (GUT) discussed issues surround the role of data librarians, the impact of European Union grant programs and publisher guidelines on those roles, and how the creation of the Open Science Competence Centre at GUT will help meet these needs. Taking into consideration the data lifecycle, research data management plan requirements, open science practice and policy, and more, Wales discusses what services, events, and learning opportunities the Open Science Competence Centre hopes to provide. To learn more about all these issues, see Walek’s full paper, “Is data management a new “digitisation”? A change of the role of librarians int he context of changing academic libraries’ tasks” here: http://library.ifla.org/2247/1/139-walek-en.pdf
Rounding out the session was Angela Hamilton presenting her and Deena Yanofsky’s paper, “Investing and trading in strategic resources for academic data services: A case study.” Hamilton provided an overview of the strategic planning and establishment of research data services at their institution, the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTS). After a complement of librarians had developed a smattering of basic data skills and knowledge, it became clear that the library still needed a cohesive vision and leadership in order to meet the data needs of campus. Given the unique and varied demands of data librarians, data after all means very different things to different disciplines, the required skills and qualifications for UTS’ new data librarian position was too long and detailed resulting in a failed search with few applicants able to meet the requirements. After rethinking their position and true needs, the library was able to narrow in on what they really needed, a mid-career librarian with strong foundational data and professional librarian skills with a willingness to develop new skills as needed. To learn more about UTS’ journey to hiring a data librarian and developing a suite of data services, read the full paper here: http://library.ifla.org/2168/1/139-hamilton-en.pdf