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The Information Professional
Librarians and Archivists in a fast-changing digital lanscape
Curated by Karen du Toit
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Archive Shelfies on Storify #archiveshelfie #shelfie #archives (with images, tweets) · @karentoittoit

A compilation of archive photos being shared on Twitter
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Archivists posting #archiveshelfie > curated in a Storify

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7 Qualities of Highly Effective Content Curators - Dennis Shiao

7 Qualities of Highly Effective Content Curators - Dennis Shiao | The Information Professional |

Excerpt from article written by Dennis Shiao and published on Blog:
"Every time I visit the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City, I see something I’ve never seen before.
Wouldn’t it be great if our content collections drew as much interest, respect and admiration as the collections at MoMA? In order to achieve this feat, we need to become highly effective content curators.
Let’s consider seven habits:

1. Focus on Goals

What are your goals around content curation? If you can’t answer that question, stop right now. Stop reading this post, too. Go answer the question, then return when you’re done.

2. Have Empathy

You’ll need to have empathy for your target audience. In other words, the better you understand their thoughts, interests and challenges, the more effective you’ll be at content curation.

3. Be Careful, Cautious and Selective
Make sure you read (and digest) every piece of content you curate. Curate high quality content only, leaving the marginal pieces to the proverbial cutting room floor.

4. Editorialize
Don’t just share content, tell us why you like (or dislike) the piece. What can your target audience learn from reading it and what are the key takeaways? In a sense, editorializing creates a nice blend of creation and curation.

5. Provide Attribution
Providing attribution shows respect and helps drive visibility and awareness to content authors. As you curate, look up the author of the article (or blog post) and explicitly acknowledge them.

6. Understand What’s Timely and Trending
Sharing fresh milk is good. Sharing spoiled milk is rotten.
If you find content that is time sensitive, consider whether the “sharing window” has already passed.

7. Have an Eye for a Great Title
Not everyone will be as thorough as you when reviewing content. A lot of people will click on a link solely because of a compelling title. As you sharpen your curating skills, you’ll begin to figure out what separates great titles from good titles. If you come across a great article that has just a good title, consider changing the title text when you curate..."

Read full original article here:

Via Giuseppe Mauriello
Karen du Toit's insight:

Definitely points to consider when curating! 

Randi Thompson's curator insight, February 18, 2014 7:16 PM

The content you share (the articles or what ever) is how you attract the people who are interested in what you have to offer.  What do you need to do to get their attention?

Therese Torris's curator insight, February 19, 2014 4:29 AM

There are 100s of very similar lists of basic advice. I scoop one every now and then because, at the end of the day, it's the basic priorities that cost us most when we  fail to meet them. Thus, this is good advice for beginners as well as other content curators

Agi Anderson's curator insight, April 28, 2014 8:50 AM

Scoop.It is ideal for curating on specific topics! I enjoy sharing on a variety of subjects ~ invite you to follow me!

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Top Five Skills Required for Librarians Today & Tomorrow I LAC Group

Top Five Skills Required for Librarians Today & Tomorrow I LAC Group | The Information Professional |
Because today’s librarians must be experts in dealing with both physical and digital information, we have identified the Top 5 skills every librarian must have, or develop, in order to succeed now and into the future.
Karen du Toit's insight:
Valuable reading!
Grisell Rodriguez's curator insight, September 27, 2013 5:16 PM

yes ''collaborating more actively'' and definitely ''information curation'' because more and more ''volume nd variety of informtion expands'' 

Галина Егорова's curator insight, October 8, 2013 1:10 AM
Connie Wise's curator insight, October 17, 2013 3:43 PM

Librarians who adopt these skills will revitalize their careers, increase the visibility and viability of their profession, and become valued as the important information management professionals they are.

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Digital Curation & Sweet Scoopage | The Daring Librarian

Digital Curation & Sweet Scoopage | The Daring Librarian | The Information Professional |

Educon Curation Slideshare here:


Resources for curation also included.

Via GwynethJones
Karen du Toit's insight:

Insights and tips by Gwyneth Jones about digital curation

GwynethJones's curator insight, February 10, 2013 8:50 PM

My latest post - Featuring a FREE Upgrade to 10 topics by Scoopit this month only!

Ellen Robinette's curator insight, February 14, 2013 10:07 AM

Guide to effective use for librarians

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Content Curation for the School Librarian

Content Curation for the School Librarian | The Information Professional |

Robin Good: "Content Curation and the School Librarian" is the featured article for the latest issue of Knowledge Quest magazine.

Authored by Nikki D. Robertson the article illustrates some of content curation key strengths, how the author has utilized content curation for her academic projects, and popular curation tools for those interested in exploring the field further.

PDF download here:

Via Robin Good, Dennis T OConnor
Karen du Toit's insight:

Valuable insights to all librarians!

Beryl Morris's curator insight, April 3, 2013 9:05 AM

Convinced of the need to be a conent curator in my school - looking for the best way to start this, how to implement a manageable plan and ways to increase my content curation competency.


Lucy Wyatt's curator insight, October 7, 2013 12:44 PM

With students accessing different kinds of material and the same material in different ways, the OPAC and vertical file may not be the best way to lead your students to the best content.  This article shows differing ways of attacking the problem.


Leigh Zika's curator insight, June 12, 2015 9:34 PM

Good examples of content curation tools for school librarians and teachers/students.

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Key Traits of a Good Content Curation Strategy by Heidi Cohen

Key Traits of a Good Content Curation Strategy by Heidi Cohen | The Information Professional |

Robin Good: What are the key traits of a good content curator? What are the main characteristics of a good content curation strategy?

Heidi Cohen does a good job of outlining 12 key characterizing traits of any good content curation effort. This is great advice for anyone  just starting out with curation and for anyone having reasonable doubts about the correct approach to take.

Good, sound-advice, for who is starting out with curation. 7/10

Full article:

P.S.: My selection of traits for what makes a great curator are here:

Via Robin Good
Karen du Toit's insight:

Good points:


Has defined, measurable goals.Targets a specific audience. Contains red meat content, not filler. Follows “the less is more” theory. Incorporates original content. UAdds real value. Has a human touch. Provides branded context for your information. IInvolves a community. Offers information in small chunks. Sticks to a schedule. Credits its creator."
Giuseppe Mauriello's comment, December 3, 2012 9:25 AM
interesting! :-)))
Rescooped by Karen du Toit from Content Curation World!

Exploratory Design for Curated Collections: Empowering Spatial, Experiential Interaction Through Information Landscapes

Exploratory Design for Curated Collections: Empowering Spatial, Experiential Interaction Through Information Landscapes | The Information Professional |

Robin Good:

"Tim Wray explores the new frontiers of curated collections (from a museum perspective), and in doing so, he analyzes the concept of "landscapes", a possible emerging metaphor for how large sets of relevant information items could be better organized for viewing, even outside the specific museum setting.


His goal in doing this is one of finding out how to build effective interfaces that reveal and unravel narratives within collections. How can that be designed into the collection?


Tim Wray is particularly interested in this research, because he is also the brain behind a new and upcoming app called A Place for Art, and which has likely lots to do with art exploration and discovery.


The key point he makes in this interesting article (part of a longer series) is the illustration of the two concepts of "containers" and "landscapes", and about how they closely relate to the organization and access of curated collections.


In Tim Wray's view, the future, especially when we look at large collections, is in the increased adoption of "landscapes" organizing approaches versus the ever-present "container" approach we use for most collections today.


He writes: "I hint at the necessary shift from the former to the latter as a mechanism for providing context for objects, and how landscapes – combined with engaging interaction designs and the notion of pliability – can used as a way of providing immersive experiences for museum collections."


I think that Tim's ideas reflect a growing critical issue for anyone who attempts to curate large collections of information items: having an organization and navigation system that helps the newcomer, find and discover what it may interest him the most.


I myself feel quite frustrated by the absence of curation tools that truly allow me to organize and make accessible / discoverable large lists of information items in more effectives ways than the typical list, table or grid.


But I am positive that the future of curation will inevitably revolve around those who will find, invent and design new and effective ways to do so.


P.S.: Tim Wray is a PhD student that looks at how computational methods and interaction design can be used to create beautiful, engaging experiences for museum collections."


Very Interesting. Must-read for app designers. 9/10


Full article:



Via Robin Good
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How To Start Curating Content: Tips and Tools Advice from Amy Schmittauer

Robin Good: "Amy Schmittauer has some good basic tips if you are new to content curation and are curious to know which tools you could use to get your feet wet.


In this yet undiscovered three-minute video from this past summer, Amy introduces and explains the pros and cons of using, Storify and Google Alerts."


Useful for beginners. Informative. 7/10


Original video:

Via Robin Good
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Social Content Curation: An Introductory Guide for Teachers and Students

Social Content Curation: An Introductory Guide for Teachers and Students | The Information Professional |

Robin Good: "7 Things You Should Know About Social Content Curation" is a technology brief from Educause which aims to introduce, explain and illustrate the emerging social curation trend and why it is relevant to teaching and learning.


From the official abstract: "An emerging class of online tools, including Pinterest,, EduClipper, and others, allows users to quickly and easily gather, organize, and share collections of online resources, particularly visual content.

These applications make it easy to collect and post disparate bits of content, providing visual groupings at a glance that can reveal important patterns.

In academic settings, they can facilitate more visual thinking and discussion among students while providing a means to share collections of online content."

Informative. Good introductory text. 7/10







Via Robin Good
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Humanrithm: why data without people is not enough > Slideshare

by Guillaume Decugis on Oct 03, 2012

"Slides of my talk at DataWeek 2012 - We engineers love data and algorithms. They help create amazing things. But if and when we forget that people create data and that data can be improved by people, we will miss the promise of Big Data. It's time we all thought of this not as social vs algorithm but as humanrithm."

Via Ana Cristina Pratas, michel verstrepen
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How Google Impacts The Way Students Think

How Google Impacts The Way Students Think | The Information Professional |

Terry Heick:

"It's always revealing to watch learners research."


"1. Google creates the illusion of accessibility

2. Google naturally suggests “answers” as stopping points

3. Being linear, Google obscures the interdependence of information"


"The natural limitations of Google have led to a cottage industry of digital platforms that have moved past simple mass curation. These traditional social bookmarking sites likeStumbleUpon, diigo, pearltrees, Scoopit, and others enable users to save information. Upstarts like pinterest make this process niche, allowing for plucking of visual artifacts, and allowing users to organize them into infinite categories.

But recent software has taken this even further, with apps like Learnist, mentormob, and even InstaGrokproviding more structure to how information is not only discovered, but sequenced and applied.

Which frankly blows Google out of the water–or at least restores Google back to its proper context.

A search engine, and nothing more."


>> Valuable to know as Information Professionals

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Data Curation as Digital Preservation of Documents and Electronic Artifacts: Key Reference Resources

Data Curation as Digital Preservation of Documents and Electronic Artifacts: Key Reference Resources | The Information Professional |

Robin Good: Data (or Digital) Curation, is an academic/scientific discipline dedicated to preserve, organize and collect digital documents and other electronic artifacts for archival, re-use and repurposing objectives.


Check: and


The importance of Data Curation can be easily underestimated as it may appear, to the casual viewer, as an arid, tedious document archival job.


In reality, Digital Curation efforts are of great value to the preservation of important cultural documents and data for future researchers who will want to access, in some organized way, the data-information-artifacts of our time. In addition, the data curation practices and guidelines developed by academic and research institutions can also be of value and inspiration to other types of curation work, that may adopt, emulate or innovate upon them.

If you are interested in learning more about Data/Digital Curation and in identifying the key organizations in this space, here is a good shortlist for you, thanks to the kind work of Kevin "the Librarian" Read:


University of Arizona – Digital Information Management
University of Illinois – Data Curation Education Program
University of North Carolina – DigCCurr University of Virginia – Scientific Data Consulting

Digital Curation Centre Digital Curation Exchange International Journal of Digital Curation Purdue-UIUC Data Curation Profiles Project



Useful. 7/10






Via Robin Good
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The Bastardization of the Term Curator and What Museum Curators Think of It

The Bastardization of the Term Curator and What Museum Curators Think of It | The Information Professional |

Robin Good: "A throwdown about the term "curator"". This is the title that Suse Cairns gave to her recent article, in which she opens by writing: "Lately, questions about the bastardisation of the term curator have been emerging around the blogosphere.


The Hermitage Museum wrote An Open Letter to Everyone Using the Word ‘Curate’ Incorrectly on the Internet, and Digital Transformations recently asked whether DJs are curators, and vice versa.


Their opening volley caught my attention:


"The word ‘curator’ gets used liberally these days to talk about stuff people do on the web. But does that devalue the term?


Is there any way what someone does on Facebook is comparable to the years of training and knowledge which goes into curating collections in museums and galleries?"


I believe that if Suse Cairns had the opportunity to see the real work that goes into professional content or news curation, she would not hesitate an instant in recognizing how skilled and experienced a person must be, in several disciplines, to even consider attempting doing such a job.


On the other hand, I can't but agree with her colleagues who are pulling their hair in disgust when they see people proudly "picking" and republishing other people content "as is" while defining themselves as "curators".


I must also convene with her complaining colleagues that curation has little or nothing to do with personal expression and social sharing, two reputable and valuable activities, which can be carried out with similar tools, but which require very different skills and time, and which have very little in common beyond the immediate surface. 


If one does not look or pay attention at these small details it is very easy to get caught into misleading generalizations (content curation is useless, etc.).


I am actually pointing to this article, not so much for the good effort that Suse Cairns to reconciliate traditional museum curators with the new self-acclaimed content curators, but for the excellent series of comments that her short article did spark.


Among them, I have excerpted this little gem from Suse herself: "I’m reading Stephen E. Weil’s Rethinking the Museum, and there is a section that seems entirely appropriate to this discussion.


On page 53, Weil discusses the work of John Cotton Dana, and writes “In his 1917 book The New Museum, Dana urged that museums of the future make a special effort to attract the young and to interest them in making collections of their own – collections that they might ultimately share with the public. This development of the collecting habit, he wrote:

“...with its accompanying education of powers of observation, its training in handiwork, its tendency to arouse interests theretofore unsuspected even by those who possess them, its continuous suggestions toward good taste and refinement which lie in the process of installing even the most modest of collections, and its leaning towards sound civic interest through doing for one’s community a helpful thing – this work of securing the co-operation of boys and girls, making them useful while they are gaining their own pleasure and carrying on their own education, is one of the coming museum’s most promising fields.”"

With this idea in mind, maybe this idea of collecting or “curating” online – even if it were only simple list-making – can be seen as an interesting, useful and positive thing."


Inspiring. Sense-making. 9/10


Read the full article and ALL the comments here: ;

Via Robin Good
suse cairns's comment, October 13, 2012 3:05 AM
Hi Robin. I've held off on responding to this, but when it was rescooped today I decided that I would write in to chat about your interpretation of my initial post. It was not actually my original intention to "reconciliate traditional museum curators with the new self-acclaimed content curators", nor was I dismissing professional content "curation". Instead, I was speaking to the evolution in the nomenclature; to the fact that the word 'curator' is now being used widely beyond the borders of the museum sector, much to the chagrin of many within it. In fact, I was arguing that if people like yourself, professional content curators, want to use the term 'curator' to describe themselves, then that was a positive thing - something that not everyone in my sector would (or did) agree with. Your interpretation of my initial post is understandably coloured by your own perspective, but this also means you are reading into the discussion things that were not necessarily there.
Robin Good's comment, October 13, 2012 3:11 AM
Thanks Suse for your kind comments and for sharing your thoughts on this. As I have written there is plenty of good things you have written in your article, and our ability to understand and make meaning out of newly explored grounds like this one, is enriched by not having everyone agree and see things in the same way.

I am still thankful to your post which provided lots of valuable insight and some good sparks for extra discussion.
suse cairns's comment, October 14, 2012 3:32 AM
Fantastic to hear. One of the most enjoyable and interesting things about the Internet, I think, is the space it makes for conversation across all kinds of boundaries; sparks for discussion indeed. It's those new connections, across spaces, that open up room for new kinds of thinking and understanding.
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Content Curation: Beyond the Institutional Repository and Library Archives - Crystal Renfro

Content Curation: Beyond the Institutional Repository and Library Archives - Crystal Renfro | The Information Professional |

Crystal Renfro:

"If you are an academic librarian, you have been hearing about Data Curation, Content Curation, Information Curation or Digital Curation for years. And the terms can be applied in several different ways. There are the curation activities surrounding purchased library materials and the curation of faculty and student items (like theses and dissertations for example). Archivists have been intimately involved with all sorts of curation activities since archives existed, and were early adopters of digital curation and finding aids for the items they maintained. Most recently, Data Curation has been in the forefront of librarian discussions in response to government mandates to make research information widely available; first with the medical field, and more recently with the National Science Foundation requirements for data curation plans in all NSF grants."

Karen du Toit's insight:

Curation for librarians and archivists explained!

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