Cross-posted from Day of DH, #DayofDH, http://dayofdh2014.matrix.msu.edu/laurien/
I’ve already noted that I’m not as prepared for today as I’d like to be because of great work like preparing for THATCamp-Gainesville. It’s also a rainy day, and it shows with the photo of UF’s Century Tower with cloudy skies. To help structure my so far unstructured posts, here’s a bit of background on what I do overall and on my plans for the day.
I’m the Digital Humanities or Digital Scholarship Librarian at the University of Florida. My focus is on the socio-technical (people, policies, procedures, technologies) supports for digital scholarship and data curation, and is focused on socio-technical supports that build from core infrastructure (or scholarly cyberinfrastructure). My work is best summarized as relationship management (and thanks to Sarah Bleakney for describing her work this eloquently and allowing me to borrow her description) where I work with others on collaborative teams and to build the supports for collaborative activities, for what the UF Libraries term transformative collaboration (current strategic plan development) and UF’s Research Computing calls radical collaboration.
Shifting Focus: From Building Socio-Technical Cyberinfrastructure to BuildingUpon Socio-Technical Cyberinfrastructure
In the past, I’d been more focused on building the core foundation for infrastructure and I’m now more able to focus on building from the core infrastructure, but both are done together, so it’s a difference of focus. I’ve been able to shift the focus because UF uses the SobekCM Open Source Software for our Digital Asset Management System, Repository, and Digital Scholarship/Curation Activities. The SobekCM software is in use by institutions around the world and powers the Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC, www.dloc.com) and many other shared/collaborative collections, single institution collections, and shared and single digital scholarship collections.
SobekCM has evolved over many years, and in the last few has really come together for superb integrated support for library needs (patrons/users and internal) as well as for scholarly needs for new works of digital scholarship and integration with research and teaching. Thanks to SobekCM’s excellence, I’ve been able to build from a focus on digital collections and libraries for library needs (which always also includes patron/user/public needs) into focusing on greater integration for data curation, working with the wonderful UF Research Computing folks, and greater integration with research and teaching at UF and beyond. For instance, in Fall 2013, I was on the support team for the Distributed Online Collaborative Course (DOCC, a feminist rethinking of the MOOC, and more on this from the Fembot Collective) for the Panama Silver, Asian Gold: Migration, Money, and the Making of the Modern Caribbean course which was simultaneously and collaboratively taught by Leah Rosenberg at UF, Donette Francis at the the University of Miami, and Rhonda Cobham-Sander at Amherst College (see syllabi and presentation slides).
Today’s Planned Activities
With the core of my work being relationship management, I spend a great deal of my time with email, face to face conversations, phone calls, meetings, planning meetings, events (planning, attending, developing, etc.), as well as a great deal of time on background and administrative work with review of materials for digital curation, digital/data curation of materials, writing reports, developing proposals, etc.
With the changed focus from building socio-technical cyberinfrastructure to building upon it, my more recent activities have included working with the new UF Digital Humanities Library Group, which is a new library-focused group that operates in parallel with the UF Digital Humanities Group from across campus, and then working in and with these and many other groups and individuals to support the next steps of needed activities.
For today, I’ll soon be attending an open house for the Cataloging & Acquisitions Departments in the Libraries, which have recently moved within the Smathers Library (which houses Special & Area Studies Collections and many of my core collaborative partners). To me, it’s important to attend events like this to show support for colleagues and to be present. With research showing that collaboration falls off when people are more physically separated (50 meters is a critical distance per the Allen Curve, and thanks toLynn Siemens for sharing this in a presentation at THATCamp Caribe) and given that my work requires fostering a culture of collaboration, attending events is very important so that I am present and that I support opportunities for collision spaces/places and serendipities that are made possible by people being together and having others on their minds for those activities. Later today, I’m going to lunch with one of the researchers for MassMine, which is software and tools for data mining by academics for academic needs. After that, I’m attending presentations by researchers in Cuban History and Cuban Studies in the Latin American & Caribbean Collections Library.
Other than those planned events, and a conference call on HTML5 based digital publishing software, I plan to work on review of student-created scholarly resources for requesting permissions to add to the Digital Library of the Caribbean, reports/proposals on data curation and Digital Humanities teaching, and catching up on email and other conversations.
My plans often change in relation to new opportunities and discussions that come up, so we’ll see and I’ll try to share as much as possible on this blog.