Data, Science, & Librarians, Oh My!
My thoughts as I navigate the world of data librarianship.
So, for those who don't follow me on Twitter (go ahead though, @VickySteeves), I recently accepted a position at New York University, Division of Libraries and the NYU Center for Data Science, as the Librarian for Research Data Management and Reproducibility. I started August 3rd of this year, which turned out to be great because there were no students around. This may sound bad, but the prep time was invaluable. My partner-in-crime Nick Wolf came two weeks later, and together we really amped up the existing data management LibGuide.
When September rolled around, I was hit with a visual on just how gigantic a school NYU really is. Seeing all the students streaming into the library, I was hit with the scope of my work here. Nick and I were supposed to build up services around research data management/data management planning for literally everyone on campus, from staff to students to faculty. Of course to start we will focus on a few core user communities and build our way out, but just wow--even starting on building services for grad students, for example, is an awesome task.
As the National Digital Stewardship Resident at the American Museum of Natural History, I was introduced to the very specific problems facing museum librarians and archivists not only through observing the Research Library, but by speaking individually with some of the most intensive data creators at the Museum. As a part of my larger needs assessment project at the Museum, I created a semi-structured interview guide that I used to enter into a targeted dialogue with scientific staff members, covering all aspects of their digital research and collections data. Topics included the volume of their data, its rate of growth, format types, necessary software and hardware support, management practices, and opinions on preservation of their data (i.e. what data they believe is important in the long-term). I interviewed close to 60 staff members in total, including all the curators in the five Science divisions at the Museum: Anthropology, Invertebrate Zoology, Paleontology, Physical Sciences, and Vertebrate Zoology.
Well folks, this marks the final post from the 2014-15 NDSR-NY cohort. Before we officially sign off we wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who has followed our journeys via this blog, and offer some final thoughts on what the residency has meant to us.
Applications to the 2015-16 National Digital Stewardship Residencies in New York are open! The deadline to apply has been extended by two weeks, to Friday, May 22! Woo! As if you needed more good news than that, METRO also recently announced the host institutions for this round of residencies, and they’re very exciting (like we’d probably compete with you for them if we could!). You can learn all about them and their projects here.
As the the current cohort round the corner and bring their 2014-15 residencies into the home stretch, we’re frequently asked for our advice to prospective Residents, those of you considering applying to the program (most important advice: do it!). We touched on some of these themes in our most recent interview with METRO. Here, in the meantime, are our summary responses to those questions most frequently asked of us live and online: