In January I joined OCLC Research as a Practitioner Researcher in Residence. Over the next few months, I will lead the development of an applied research agenda that charts a path for library community engagement with data science and a range of computational methods. The agenda will be the product of a diverse set of community engagements.
The possibilities for libraries and their users in this space are many. Machine learning multiplies connections between research outputs, allowing for enhanced demonstration of impact; computer vision surfaces structured data from collections; allowing for expanded discoverability; new tools increase access to collections; allowing progress on global information equity; and a range of methods are used to analyze collections at scale, allowing for actionable insights that support sustainability and the realization of core values. To move forward as a community, key challenges need to be identified. Challenges must be matched with questions, questions must be matched with methods, and actions must be matched with contexts for collaboration. All of this needs to be grounded by carefully considered ethical commitments.
Applied research agenda development is guided by the following working group:
- Kenning Arlitsch, Montana State University
- Jon Cawthorne, Wayne State University
- Karen Estlund, Penn State University
- Josh Hadro, IIIF Consortium
- Bohyun Kim, University of Rhode Island
- Trevor Owens, Library of Congress
- Ben Schmidt, Northeastern University
- Sarah Shreeves, University of Arizona
- MacKenzie Smith, University of California Davis
- Claire Stewart, University of Minnesota
- Melissa Terras, University of Edinburgh
- Diane Vizine-Goetz, OCLC Research
- John Wilkin, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
- Kate Zwaard, Library of Congress
Working group guidance will be combined with broader community engagement. Avenues for engagement will be synchronous and asynchronous.
I plan to attend ACRL and the Spring CNI meeting and I’d love to engage with you there. If you can make it, I’d be overjoyed to see you at ResearchWorks: Shaping an Applied Research Agenda, April 25-26, in Dublin, Ohio at OCLC.
Of course, these face to face meetings represent a very small portion of the library community.
I am eager to learn from as many of you as possible. If you would like to learn more about this effort and contribute your thoughts to the agenda, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thomas Padilla is Practitioner Researcher in Residence at OCLC Research.