86 Survey Results: Survey Questions and Responses
Additional Comments N=20
3-D modeling isn’t covered by the library currently, yet we are not looking to develop it because it’s
available elsewhere on campus.
By and large our circumstances are less well described as “skills gaps” than limitations in capacity.
Even though there is a great deal of expertise in data curation and management here, it’s a growth area
that we’re definitely committed to expanding.
For the above, the “most significant digital scholarship skill gaps” indicate the lower numbers of public-
facing Libraries personnel who provide or have expertise in these areas. While we would like to have
more librarians involved in digital scholarship project management and planning, this is an area where
we have relatively more librarians already undertaking than others. The “most critical to improve”
areas were selected from among those where there were also significant gaps. They are identified
as critical to improve because they are areas where we perceive both a growing and broad need for
advisement and assistance in these areas, and where we also see the Libraries as uniquely positioned to
provide this support and capable of developing or extending these skills from existing expertise.
In addition to actual gaps, we see related challenges in capacity and sustainability, e.g., if even one
person has the skills to offer a particular DS service, you don’t have a skill gap per se, but the service
can’t grow (capacity gap). Furthermore, if that individual leaves the organization, you have an
immediate skill gap (sustainability).
In some cases, we have one or two individuals who are very skilled in areas such as digitized
exhibits but we anticipate that these skills will be cultivated more broadly across other librarians/
archivists and staff. Ensuring all staff are up to speed on project management is a priority. To that
end we are coordinating with the Talent Management Office on campus to roll out a library-wide
training program.
Nearly all of these skills exist, but the more important staffing issue is having more staff who hold these
skills, rather than improving the skills our organization does have.
Often we have internal skills for these areas but we are not organized in such a way that these people
can work collaboratively together on a project. People tend to wear multiple hats and these areas are not
always relevant to digital scholarship.
Some of the areas outlined above are services where we are very strong (e.g., digital exhibit support,
data curation—albeit growing) but other areas like technical upkeep and database development are
boutique-like services that we are consciously choosing not to actively support. It takes too much
energy so we are trying to provide education support for researchers so that they can learn how to do
much of this work themselves. It would be interesting to think about cross-institutional collaboration to
develop educational initiatives for activities like metadata creation or making digital collections. It was
also difficult to separate out what we do for the library for how we directly support researchers as some
of this is deeply intertwined (e.g., digital preservation).
The library is beginning to take steps to bolster the technical ability of staff and faculty, including
planning to hire programmers/developers who could spend part of their time supporting DS-
related efforts.
The question is tricky in that we feel we have the skills, but not the time, so we need more staff with
more skills. We’ve selected the three areas above because we feel these are areas where we are at a
tipping point where more skills could push us to make the most difference in digital scholarship support
right now.
This is another area where I would likely answer differently after our needs assessment has been
completed. Except for project management, which is a clear area for improvement.
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