differences get in the way of learning from one another’s experiences. For example, helpful models may be found in health science and medical library settings. All of these speakers suggested that science librarians must engage in an ongoing process of measurement, assessment, and revision with regard to the services they provide—learning from and building upon the experiences of others where it is reasonable to do so.2 Finally, as emphasized in particular by Liz Lyon, Catherine Blake, and Carole Palmer, many of the roles that science librarians will be called upon to play focus on data, as science becomes more data-driven itself. Science librarians will need to become data consultants, data distributors, data service providers, data analysts, data miners, and data curators. They will be called upon to enforce data quality, aid in data retrieval, construct data applications, and ensure that data collections are properly annotated and preserved. This will require science librarians to repurpose and expand upon their existing competencies—especially information organization and retrieval—to meet the challenges of managing data in addition to literature and other more traditional research products. Serving Future Generations of Users A second recurring theme of the forum was the need to create sustainable models for data preservation and reuse. The explosion in the volume of scientific data entails a need to both determine data selection and preservation procedures and find ways of maintaining access and usability as data management systems change. Furthermore, lurking beneath all of these issues lies another: how to financially sustain complex data systems over long periods of time. One compelling strategy for developing sustainable data life-cycle solutions was voiced by William Michener early in the conference, and reiterated frequently thereafter: discussing the issue of long-term support for scientific research, Michener asserted the need for “domain-agnostic solutions.” That is, he contended that a single cyberinfrastructure system should be capable of RLI 262 14 Reinventing Science Librarianship: Themes from the ARL-CNI Forum ( C O N T I N U E D ) FEBRUARY 2009 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A BIMONTHLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC Listen to Liz Lyon on the increasingly data-intensive nature of science librarianship (2:16 MP3) http://www.arl.org/bm~doc/lyonexcerpt.mp3
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