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.
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.
- Read about the differences between ‘small’ and ‘big’ data in this blog post
- Lisa Federer’s Data Science 101 Presentation an introduction to data, data types and ‘big data’ especially from the perspective of biomedical and scientific data. (NNLM)
- Why Data Analytics is Gaining HYPE in the 21st Century is a blog post about data analytics and steps for analysis, as well as, reasons why data analytics is important in different industries.
- An important concept to understand is the Data Life Cycle when moving further along with data.
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.
- 500 City Health Dashboard (CDC website): Visualization built into this website across 37 different measures. You can select a city, compare cities, and download excel spread sheet data to do your own visualizations.
- US Census Bureau Data Gems: Short tutorials (a few minutes) for how to use census data (helpful to get familiar with census data and see what data can be pulled out of census data)
- Data Visualization for the Rest of Us: A Beginner's Guide from WebJunction provides a good overview of data visualization
- Inc.com has a list of 11 places to learn Excel for free and learning how to use Excel, a easy to use and readily available tool you can use to manipulate data and create data visualizations but also to do basic assessment and evaluation in your general librarian position.
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.
- Usability Evaluation Basics: a website with introductory information on how to collect usability data that would be helpful in website evaluation
- Knowledge that librarians have about conducting a reference interview can also be translated into doing a data interview. Read this NNLM data thesaurus entry about reference and data interviews.
- Data 101 Toolkit (on Google Drive) from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburg and WPRDC that provides slide decks, activities and directions for providing workshops.
- Oceans of Data Institute (EDC) K-16 teaching resources to help instructors teaching data topics. EDC contends that we should be teaching about data in early K-12 grades.
- Data Information Literacy (DIL), an IMLS funded project that contains resources, case studies and an open free e-textbook for teaching data literacy.
- There are a lot of good teaching resources in another IMLS project, Creating Data Literate Students, that contains, webinars, a free textbook chapters, as well as, real-world data problems and materials for teaching statistics.
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.
- Seek out research learning communities: Sage MethodsSpace has an assortment of free videos, tutorials and information to explore to develop new skills in quantitative and qualitative research and build research skills.
- The Librarian Parlor blog provides some interesting blog posts about conducting library research that could be applied to thinking about working with researchers across your campus.
- Browse these ARL Biannual Assessment Proceedings Archive to see what libraries are doing related to library assessment
- Steve Hiller’s article, “But What Does It Mean?” Using Statistical Data for Decision Making in Academic Libraries highlight the importance of libraries using statistical data for decision making
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.
- A case study on collaboration between the academic library and the Research Office around scholarly communications support published in a book, Collaboration and the Academic Library (2018), discusses the benefits and barriers to collaboration.
- Watch this ALCTS (ALA group) webinar link about Strategies for Effective Library Communication
- This ALA PLA website has a variety of resources for Public Library Advocacy Startegies and Initiatives.
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)