November 2016

Digital Scholarship Institute

I’m pleased to write to you about the creation of a “Digital Scholarship Institute,” developed in conjunction with ARL’s Strategic Thinking+Design effort, and specifically the ARL Academy. The Digital Scholarship Institute is part of that professional development effort and will be geared toward supporting librarians. Harriett Green, Dan Tracy and I participated in a planning meeting this month to develop the concept of the Digital Scholarship Institute, and both Harriett and Dan made invaluable contributions. A summary of the meeting sent out to ARL directors follows here. We’ll provide additional information in the coming months.

ARL Digital Scholarship Sustainable Learning Program Meeting

On Thursday and Friday, five three-member teams of ARL library directors and key staff members from Boston College, UC San Diego, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Indiana University Bloomington, and the University of Rochester gathered at 21 Dupont to plan a sustainable model of professional development for library staff in the digital realm. They were each led by the deans and directors: Tom Wall, Brian E. C. Schottlaender, John Wilkin, Carolyn Walters, and Mary Ann Mavrinac. Elliott Shore, Sue Baughman, and I also attended the meeting, which was facilitated by consultant Kathryn Deiss.

Following a data-rich presentation by Mary Ann Mavrinac and Nora Dimmock on Rochester’s successful 2015 Digital Humanities Institute for Mid-Career Librarians, participants delivered presentations on their institutions’ current strategies for staff engagement with digital scholarship. Through facilitated discussions and small group work, participants collaboratively scaffolded a sustainable model for a similar institute to be offered to ARL libraries under the ARL Academy umbrella.

By the end of the meeting, the group had not only settled upon a focus on digital scholarship (rather than the more narrowly defined digital humanities), but had also agreed upon the ideal length, size, and outcomes of the program, as well as its guiding principles. In addition, the group committed to continued work in advisory, curriculum development, and application-criteria-drafting roles, and tentatively scheduled the first two offerings of the institute for summer 2017 in Boston and winter 2018 in San Diego.

Please stay tuned for more details, and a call for applications, in early 2017.

John Wilkin
The Juanita J. and Robert E. Simpson Dean of Libraries and University Librarian