103 SPEC Kit 350: Supporting Digital Scholarship
complexity, we see research libraries becoming a both a point of first contact for research needs and a
long-term collaborator in the development and storage of that work.
We believe that the role of digital scholarship support from libraries will grow exponentially as
scholarship moves increasingly into the digital realm. It will depend much on whether or not the
academy in general starts to accept digital scholarship for tenure and promotion. Our library is
anticipating growth by making a number of recent hires and creation of two new units: Research
Data Service (in partnership with the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research) and Scholarly
Communication &Publishing (started with a Mellon grant). Much, but certainly not all, of our digital
scholarship support comes from a new addition to our library’s structure with the creation of the Office
of Research. A question may be to ask, should digital scholarship support be siloed within a specific
space or should it be spread throughout the library? A way to envision this change would be to think
about this as a new narrative for libraries and the type of support they can provide for researchers,
teaching faculty, and students.
We believe that there is great potential for research libraries’ role to grow, as librarians add new
skill sets and partner and collaborate actively and deeply with scholars at all stages of the research
and scholarship life cycle. Library spaces and services are being reconfigured to engage and support
scholars and researchers with technology, visualization, and advanced tools that are often not available
elsewhere on campus. Library collections, including rare and unique materials, will continue to be
essential in the digital age.
We envision expanding and deepening collaboration with faculty on specific research projects and
with the integration of digital scholarship materials into the undergraduate learning environment.
We are about to select our first two faculty research fellows, from a pool of 20 applicants across four
colleges and we expect to use the set of applications as a database to identify the current range of
faculty interests in need of support and specialized skills within our evolving center. In addition, we
will work toward the integration of liaison librarian role into center projects and activities, especially
as our librarians retool their skill set in relevant technical areas to become more complete partners
with faculty and grad students in the digital scholarship enterprise. We are also exploring now
with our university press any available path toward publication in some vetted manner of the non-
traditional scholarly products emanating from center projects and activities. We are looking forward
to greatly expanded capacity to support new modes of digitally mediated scholarship as we move
into a new building with many new resources—including an immersive visualization studio—in the
summer of 2018. Many of our efforts at this time represent a buildout of our capacity to work in that
new environment.
We expect the Libraries’ role to continue to grow as the Libraries serve as a natural hub for scholarship
on campus. We expect the form of support to shift in ways we are not always going to be in a position
to anticipate.
We hope to become the campus center and hub for DS activities including: project consultations, hands-
on assistance, metrics. More importantly, we wish to facilitate conversations and activities around
these, as well as creating a sense of community.
We plan to be a key service hub for researchers and the center for preservation and access.
We see support for digital scholarship activities as essential as we redefine libraries role to support
scholarship now and in the future. As scholarship moves increasingly into digital realms, libraries’ roles
in creating, collecting and organizing digital scholarship tools helping researchers to most effectively
use those tools and aiding researchers in the new digital publishing environments, will make libraries
more an embedded, integrated, collaborative part of the research team.
We see this as a critical new arena that libraries could have primacy over.
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