Sunday, 18 January 2009

Data Walkabout (1)

What’s a librarian from Scotland with data on her mind doing on a walkabout around Australia? Visiting universities in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, as well as New Zealand.

So far my suspicion that there’s a lot of interest and action in Australian academic libraries to gear up for supporting data management seems to be well-founded. As well as receiving great hospitality I am hearing much interest in our DataShare and Data Audit Framework projects. I’m learning ‘heaps’ more about what Australian universities are planning and beginning to provide as new services and models, e.g. through ANDS, the Australian National Data Service, but also regional collaborations between universities, libraries, and research teams.

And I’m discovering that Edinburgh, Scotland might not be the windiest place on earth after all.

Having just celebrated Edinburgh University Data Library’s 25th anniversary at the end of last year, I was reminded that the EDINA and Data Library’s director, Peter Burnhill, went on a similar travel mission in the early days of the founding of the service to visit and report back on data libraries in North America. With strategy on my mind, and a transition from project to service for the Edinburgh DataShare repository coming up, this is a key time to consider how changes in technology, user needs and the broader academic ‘landscape’ do and should affect the services we offer. Like libraries more generally, data libraries need to adapt to a paradigm shift from information scarcity to information abundance.

I’ll be reporting some observations from my meetings ‘down under’ in this blog over the next couple weeks.

Data Walkabout 2: Auckland

Data Walkabout 3: Wellington

Data Walkabout 4: Sydney

Data Walkabout 5: Brisbane, QUT

Data Walkabout 6: Brisbane, University of Queensland

Data Walkabout 7: Melbourne

1 comment:

sjDCC said...

A fantastic series of posts Robin! It's great to get an overview of what's happening in Australia and New Zealand. Plenty of food for thought. I'm away to follow some links...