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Data Roadmap

Data Possibilities

Feeling more comfortable about data? Think about your own position, how do you interact with data? This second Data Roadmap stop contains more detailed information about the possibilities of finding and using data. You do not have to be a data librarian or focus on 'big data' to think about how to find and use data in your librarian position. Use the links below to explore the possibilities of using data in your own context. The resources below are organized by core skills identified for data science and open science librarians In April 2019 at the National Library of Medicine’s Office of Strategic Initiatives workshop.

New resources will be regularly posted. Email your questions and recommendations for data literacy and data management resources that could be included in the Roadmap and help to build and improve the Data Roadmap.


Data Skills

At the second stop on the roadmap, this data skills section will introduce some links to explore that will provide more in depth information about data and management of data.


Computational Skills

To begin working with tool, below are some websites with easy tools you can explore and play with online to see different ways data can be used and visualized; no programming required. You can download the datasets and continue exploration beyond the capability of the websites. Links to an introduction to visualizations is included at this stop on the Roadmap and a list of sites for building on Excel skills.


Traditional Library Skills

In addition to collecting and analyzing data for research, you can use data to assess and evaluate library services, resources and programs. Links below will introduce you to examples for how data is collected in libraries. Playing with your own teaching or library data will help build confidence in using more complex datasets, tools, and resources. Teaching about data can be a great way to learn more about using data. Below are some links to some out of the box teaching resources for a stand-alone instruction activity or integrated into other library instruction topics.


Skills for Developing Programs & Services

Marketing and outreach strategies across different types of libraries (academic libraries, public libraries, and health science libraries) have a lot of overlap.

  • An online course, Marketing for Libraries, that contains a variety of different types of resources on marketing, promotion and outreach.
  • Some links on marketing strategies from the Public Library Association on the ALA website can help with outreach and development of skills
  • In the article (2006), Team effectiveness in academic medical libraries a multiple case study of three academic medical libraries, found that shifting a library organizational structure into a team structure can improve communication, trust, and relationship building.

Research & Subject Matter Knowledge

At this level of the Data Roadmap you may want to reflect on your current roles and responsibilities and try to make connections with research skills and data-related work. What skill sets are you lacking to work with data? Here are some resources to help you explore possible new skills and reflect on knowledge and experience.


Interpersonal Skills

Look at the literature – to find case studies that focus on the value of the ‘softer skills’ such as team work, communication and collaboration, written and oral communication, and the importance of creativity both inside and outside the library.​


Skills for Lifelong Learning

  • Build news skills on your roles and strengths as a teaching librarian. This ACRL short article focuses on 7 roles based on research conducted around establishing proficiencies for instruction librarians​
  • Sign up for non-library listserves in organizations like Educause and learn about teaching and learning or higher education topics. This short Educause Review article discusses the Role of Librarians in ICT literacy and recommends mapping librarians skills and knowledge onto the TPACK model.
  • Read about and try out new research methods to develop a lifelong learning habit! This Librarian Parlor blog post, Ethnographic Research in Academic Libraries, provides an introduction to ethnography as a way to gather data in libraries. (Evaluation & Assessment)