October 22, 2014

New From OCLC Research: “Does Every Research Library Need a Digital Humanities Center?”

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A new report/essay co-authored by Jennifer Schaffner and Ricky Erway was posted online today.

It’s titled, Does Every Research Library Need a Digital Humanities Center?

This essay is intended to prepare research library directors and other decision-makers to respond to questions from deans or provosts who may ask what the library is doing about the digital humanities (DH).

In the essay, Jennifer and Ricky discuss specific concerns of digital humanists in hopes of bridging the gap between how library directors and DH researchers think. They suggest many ways to respond to the needs of digital humanists, and creating a DH center is appropriate in relatively few circumstances. They recommend that a “DH-friendly” environment may be more effective than a DH center but that library culture may need to evolve in order for librarians to be seen as effective DH partners.

Highlights From the Report

In most settings, it is best to observe what DH academics are already doing and then set out to address gaps.

This may include:

  • package existing collections and services as a “virtual DH center”
  • advocate coordinated support for digital scholarship across the parent institution
  • create avenues for scholarly use and enhancement of metadata
  • consult scholars at the beginning of library digitization projects
  • get involved in planning for sustainability and preservation of DH research results commit to a DH center.
  • A “DH-friendly” environment may be more effective than a DH center.
  • Library culture may need to evolve in order for librarians to be seen as effective DH partners.

Direct to Full Text Report (18 pages; PDF)

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Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.