25 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 298 2019 spaces. As stated in the Abt report, at UC Berkeley, by being in a library space, “The large investment in renovation and the choice of popular location signaled a commitment to data science by the administration and elevated the status of BIDS.” At UW, “The open and modular layout of the space was intended to signal inclusivity to the university community and to foster collaboration.” Libraries are seen as discipline-agnostic and welcoming to everyone, a feeling that carried over into the motivations of the data science centers themselves. During one of the Abt visits to UW in 2017, one of the participants said, “One thing we talk a lot about and I think has been verified, is that having a neutral space on campus is important. We’re not viewed as part of the computer sciences department or another department in particular. There’s this Switzerland effect, when you are outside of the departmental silos. People come here and are more likely to collaborate across disciplines than they might if they were all going to somebody’s particular department.” As part of the evaluation, Abt also looked at 17 other universities that have data science efforts underway, and found that each shared some characteristics with UC Berkeley, NYU, and UW, including the fact that nearly all were established in a location outside an established department. This helped signify inclusiveness and openness to collaboration. It’s not known how many of these involved their library in the decision on location, but collaboration between data science entities and the libraries has proven beneficial for both parties in the MSDSE context, as well as the campus communities as a whole. In Creating Institutional Change in Data Science, the authors emphasized the library’s unique position with respect to the disciplines in hosting data science endeavors in their space: We have found that the ideal space is untethered to any department and is in a central location on campus where students and faculty habitually visit. In these respects, former library spaces are excellent choices. Our university libraries and librarians have been integral
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