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The Social Mission of 21st Century Research Libraries: Building Data Literate Communities

Corrall, Sheila (2019) The Social Mission of 21st Century Research Libraries: Building Data Literate Communities. In: 48th LIBER Annual Conference: Research Libraries for Society, June 26-28, 2019, Dublin, Ireland.

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The datafication of research, higher education, and society has made data literacy a key requirement for academic and professional success. It is also a prerequisite for successful participation in citizen science, open government, community development, smart healthcare, and social networks. The data revolution has similarly penetrated all areas of frontline and backroom work in research libraries and turned them into data-intensive organizations as a result of developments in digital scholarship, bibliometrics and altmetrics, open science, linked open data, learning analytics and data-based decision making. All library workers need at least basic competence in dealing with data to contribute effectively in the research library of the future. Many research libraries have evolved their data literacy support from helping students and faculty find and use external social data sets to advising on management and sharing of original research data in the context of funder requirements for data management plans. A few have extended their data literacy support to cover other areas and involve more library staff via data literacy training. However, more radical change is needed for research libraries to support their communities effectively in the connected data society. Existing models of education need to be extended to reflect alternative conceptions of data literacy and cover settings where people interact with data in their personal and social lives. Research libraries are uniquely placed to lead the development of data literacy, by virtue of their expertise, structure, and relationships, but should collaborate with salient stakeholders to develop a more diverse and inclusive approach.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Corrall, Sheilascorrall@pitt.eduscorrall0000-0001-5591-6524
Date: 27 June 2019
Date Type: Publication
Event Title: 48th LIBER Annual Conference: Research Libraries for Society
Event Dates: June 26-28, 2019
Event Type: Conference
Schools and Programs: School of Computing and Information > Library and Information Science
Refereed: No
Uncontrolled Keywords: community building, data literacy, research libraries, social purpose, third mission
Official URL:
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Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2019 13:01
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2019 13:01


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