The Library Makeover

The Sheridan Libraries are featured prominently in this Nature article that examines not only the past and present library model, but takes us into a future role that incorporates data-management and scientific collaborations as primary tools in the continual re-invention of libraries. This should come as no surprise. For centuries libraries have played the role of data-overseer. But with the expanding ventures science and scientists now undertake, libraries and librarians now step into a vast new frontier. As Big Data has mushroom’ed into realms hitherto unforeseen in terms of intellectual weight and muscularity, the need for management and analysis has grown exponentially.

Hopkins very own David Fearon, Data Curation Consultant for the Sheridan Libraries, sat down with us to speak about Data Management at Johns Hopkins. Prior to our interview, I recall asking David if his job, at the time in its relative infancy, was getting ridiculously hectic.  He replied that it “seems to be taking off a great deal faster than we anticipated”. As you can see from their well-organized website, they’ve dotted their i’s and crossed their t’s. From Data Management Plans, to Sharing, to finding resources for Investigators----the new publishing model has systematically adjusted to the needs of the educational marketplace.    

The key question, as mentioned near the end of the Nature article, is whether libraries will actually thrive and succeed in these brave new remakes.  


Alonzo LaMont       

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