Libraries, Data, and DH: Creating and Operationalizing a Library Unit to Meet the Collaborative Needs of Scholars

This paper is one part literature review on libraries and DH, and one part case study. Michigan State University Libraries built the Digital Scholar Collaborative to best collaborate and serve scholars after examining several existing models for DH units in other libraries and at other institutions. We believe the “DSC” creates a nimble academic library unit to meet the needs of the nascent fields of data (collection and curation) and text services (digital humanities) while simultaneously managing the risk inherent in growing new library services and collections. Modeled in part from other academic libraries the DSC was built by aligning existing units and services under the umbrella of a collaborative partnership rather than engaging the bureaucratic process of a sizable reorganization. Join us for a talk on how this unit was built, for whom it was built, and toward what ends are its goals. The six divisions of the DSC (Data Services, Digital Text Services, Digital Curation, Digitized Library Collections, Scholars Repository, and Open Access/Scholarly Communications) bridge several Library units in order to give a shared structure of support for intra-library collaboration, and especially to work with university researchers on a range of projects, including the securing grant of funding, advice and assist in data planning, textual digitization, and in the manipulation of existing digital resources and collections. This paper will show how this unit was made, what its models were, and how it expects to go forward in these exciting new areas of library collections and services within the context of DH.