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The Information Professional
Librarians and Archivists in a fast-changing digital lanscape
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Something Old, Something New: Dicing Data At NYPL Labs | Meredith Schwartz

Something Old, Something New: Dicing Data At NYPL Labs | Meredith Schwartz | The Information Professional | Scoop.it

By Meredith Schwartz:

"The home base for the New York Public Library (NYPL) Labs is a strange mix of old and new. A bunch of modern cubicles hover incongruously amid the stately marble walls of what used to be a courtyard in the venerable Schwarzman Building, before the need for more space convinced the library to press it into service. It’s not a bad metaphor for what the labs do: turn the library’s substantial historical holdings into something new, useful, and a little bit quirky.
Thus far, the labs has spearheaded four projects, all of them aimed at not only digitizing physical collections but at turning their digital versions into data that can be sliced and diced with all of today’s tools. Ben Vershbow, manager of NYPL Labs, sees the first stage of his mission as “extending the machine-readable data so it can be recontextualized—the library as data clearinghouse.” As a vision, it adheres more strictly to the library’s traditional role of information collector and provider than many of today’s library reinventions—library as community center, for example. At the same time, it removes the “book warehouse” or even “digital book virtual warehouse” connotations by giving the library a front and center role in parsing the data into meaningful categories that make it usable."

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Academic libraries have a critical role to play serving as data quality hubs on campus

Michael J. Giarlo:

"Academic libraries have a critical role to play as data quality hubs on campus, based on the need for increased data quality to sustain "e-science," and on academic libraries' record of providing curation and preservation services as part of their mission to provide enduring access to cultural heritage and to support scholarly communication. Scientific data is shown to be sufficiently at risk to demonstrate a clear niche for such services to be provided. Data quality measurements are defined, and digital curation processes are explained and mapped to these measurements in order to establish that academic libraries already have sufficient competencies "in-house" to provide data quality services. Opportunities for improvement and challenges are identified as areas that are fruitful for future research and exploration.

Prepared for the NSF III #1247471 "Curating for Quality: Ensuring Data Quality to Enable New Science" workshop in Arlington, Virginia (September 2012)."

 

Pre-print copy available here: https://scholarsphere.psu.edu/files/g732d898n

 

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