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Connecting with Data: First Steps Toward an Emerging Area of Library Service

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Evolving Engineering Libraries: Services, Spaces, and Collections

Tagged Division

Engineering Libraries

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.375.1 - 22.375.17



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Paper Authors


Megan Sapp Nelson Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Megan Sapp Nelson is Associate Professor of Library Sciences at Purdue University Siegesmund Engineering Library. She is liaison to the Schools of Civil and Electrical Engineering and related College of Technology disciplines. You can contact her at

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Connecting with data: First steps toward an emerging area of library service The library profession is constantly changing in response to technology and our users’ needs.Recently, academic libraries have begun to confront the profound impact of cyber-infrastructure,which results in born-digital data sets that are rapidly growing in number, size, and complexity.These data sets represent new challenges for librarians. This paper describes how one librarianbegan to engage data producers and collections.The author found that this new service required brushing up on old skills and acquiring newskills as well. Identifying and assessing needs for data services was similar to liaison rolespreviously performed. However, the data services often require framing for a non-libraryaudience (i.e. explaining how domain knowledge of the library sciences applies to the givensituation.) Selecting appropriate tools for the data interviews and partnerships required a familiarprocess of learning tools and applying them. Forming partnerships with faculty and otherlibrarians is an essential tool of librarianship as a whole, and is particularly important to dataengagement. On the other hand, creating infrastructure or collaborating to improve infrastructuretakes a systems librarian approach into the realm of cyber-infrastructure. Finally, library sciencedomain knowledge is used and new skills are acquired throughout the entire process. 

Nelson, M. S. (2011, June), Connecting with Data: First Steps Toward an Emerging Area of Library Service Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17656

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