87 SPEC Kit 350: Supporting Digital Scholarship
This was a difficult question to answer in some ways because it’s not clear to us that all of these areas
should be the sole or primary responsibility of the library, as opposed to other areas or departments
on campus.
We are hiring a digital archivist and a second data curator to handle the growing number of digital
objects being created or collected. As research grants increase, the second data curator will help fill
a gap.
We are hoping to develop digital publishing expertise moving forward, as there are many opportunities
for digital scholarly collaborations in this arena on campus. The University Libraries have a remarkable
skill base that we have blended and adapted to support an extensive range of digital scholarship, from
large-scale research endeavors, to semester-length undergraduate research initiatives in the classroom,
none of which would be possible without our library faculty and staff’s expertise in the areas outlined
in this survey, in particular in relation to IT and metadata support. In many ways the challenge is less
that of a skills gap (this is a burgeoning environment, and as such all of us strive to keep ahead of the
curve in our fields, learning new softwares, techniques, and so on frequently to meet our community’s
needs), than it is a challenge of personnel in terms of availability. Many of our faculty and staff
collaborating in these projects are doing so as a subset of their larger work for the University Libraries,
and as such there are necessarily limits as to the amount of time they can devote to a project (though all
go above and beyond in terms of their contributions).
We do have an opportunity for a project involving metadata creation and data curation and
management. We hope that this project will be realized and that we’ll learn from it in order to develop
our skills.
We do not currently have a programmer on our staff in the library.
We have prioritized hires in the three critical areas indicated. These positions have been either posted
or approved for posting.
We need more people with appropriate skills more than we need to provide current staff with more
skills in order to properly offer services to our entire campus in many of the areas specified above.
While we seem to have the skills we need at the moment, as future demand increases, the need to
broaden our in-house skills among a wider range of library staff will be necessary. In particular,
the project planning and management skills necessary to prevent gridlock will need to be
widely understood.
23. How often do researchers from the disciplines below come to your library for support with
digital scholarship activities? Please make one selection per row. N=69
Disciplines Often Sometimes Never N
Humanities disciplines/departments 40 29 0 69
Social sciences disciplines/departments 25 42 2 69
STEM-based disciplines/departments 11 53 4 68
Total Responses 44 69 4 69
Comments N=19
Emory Center for Digital Scholarship often receives faculty from the humanities.
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