Maureen McElroy, weekly response

I found the article The Emerging Role of Libraries in Data Curation and E-Science extremely interesting–in discussing the role of the library and changing needs of scientific data collection in the digital age.  The article broke down what needs to be done, and again just like the Artist Books we talked about last week, that it would need to be a collaborative effort, and as a result of a shift from “data poor to data rich” in research the need for data curation.

What I thought was funny and reread several times was the instances where the author seemed to get very dramatic, especially in sentences like “when academic library administrators first hear that scholarly data now fall within the purview of the library, they may lose many nights’ sleep wondering who has cast the curse upon them…” or “Mornings, over coffee with public and school library friends, academic librarians may lament their fate.”  While I understand that librarians are able to look at a situation like data curation and recognize without knowing the details what a huge undertaking it will be–isn’t that what we want.  It seems like in other professions that technology is making their jobs more obsolete (a movie projectionist comes to mind–I worked in a movie theater for a long time).  This is a perfect example of how and why librarians will always be needed.    A lot of the articles we read about this semester talked about rigid certain things are, or how conservative, or not keeping up with the times things are–records, Library of Congress headings, Dewey, cataloging.  It also seems at the same time we do not like things that are clearly defined or new.  I think that these new areas where our librarian knowledge can be utilized is a good thing.  As mentioned in the article that public and school librarians  “may be relieved that this task of curating…is not their fate,”  those are the jobs that always seemed to get cut first in economic unstable times.

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