Information Professional as ‘curator’ = #alt-LIS


Thinking lately about my role in the information professions and I’m grow more and more convinced that due to my interests and the changing roles of professionals in the networked world, my “career” will end up being a combination of many things, and across my many interests – to re-purpose a digital humanities term, I see myself creating jobs/titles for myself in and around the library, archive, museum world that can only be called “alt-LIS.” 

To that end, I was inspired by Kim Dority’s recent post on the new book “Curation Nation” and how people trained in librarianship will fill the roles of content and data curators. My thoughts below – 

You know, I think there is more to this than we may think. The way I am seeing it, reading lots of tech blogs and emerging tech/digital humanities stuff, is that content curation is absolutely a skill that is married to the social and semantic web. Thinking about, and being involved in those areas is key to content curation. I also think there is a important distinction between content and data here: curating data often requires more CompSci skills whereas content seems to be more LIS or humanities based. (This goes back to a core Library School discussion of data vs. information). Right now, I think it is fair and accurate to say that no one has any idea that people trained in librarianship are perfect candidates for the emerging curation field. As for you question of additional skills? I think coding is a must and a deep understanding of networks, Information Technology and databases (all part of my post grad personal goals). To be perfectly honest, in my mind the quintessential Information (data+content) Curator would have a humanities background, with graduate degrees in CompSci and LIS.

I’m incredibly interested in this topic too, and really excited to see how I fit into the growing field in the future. Thanks for this post Dr. Dority. I plan to pick up and read this book the day after classes end!



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