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Lauren C, Lauren P, Craig, Rebecca, Molly, Barry, Sarah, Tim, and Audra attended the ARL session to discuss the report “New Roles for New Times: Digital Curation for Preservation.”

The webinar is the first in a set in response to the Association of Research Libraries’ report series entitled “New Roles for New Times,” which includes five reports relating to digital curation, student services, library liaisons, repository services, and print collections.

Authors Katherine Skinner (Educopia) and Tyler Walters (Virginia Tech) reviewed the report, including its background and context. The executive summary of the 76-page document gives an excellent review of the report, which emphasizes new roles for librarians and libraries with regard to the life cycle of the digital object, particularly getting more attention paid to the digital objects being created. Katherine and Tyler repeated that collaboration, both intra- and inter-institutional and working more with technologists, domain scholars, and scientists, is key to the future of the research library. Tyler suggested that libraries must become more embedded, in domains such as production, dissemination, description, organization, promoting, designing, and accessing digital resources that are co-produced.

A panel of experts responded to the report, including Jeremy York from the University of Michigan, Martha Anderson from NDIIPP, Oya Rieger from Cornell, and Patricia Cruse from the California Digital Library. Jeremy talked about his perspective working with HathiTrust, a large-scale digital library. He mentioned the importance of large-scale collaboration, including a centralized infrastructure to share digital content, such as HathiTrust. Martha explored her view from NDIIPP, particularly that the collaborative project was iterative, requiring shared learning and trust-building. Oya supported the report’s discussion of embedded librarianship, noting that subject specialists understand the daily needs of scholars in a holistic way and they can help faculty understand services available through the library (including digital collections). Patricia talked about the CDL’s collaboration with the National Science Foundation as a result of the NSF’s new requirement that all grant applications must have a data sharing plan. She explained the wide range of stakeholders in their digital curation efforts, including offices of research, IP offices, grants, and contract offices, each of which looked to the research library for help with curation of research data.

Q&A allowed Katherine and Tyler as well as the panel to respond to participant questions. Tyler described a trio of priorities for digital curation: infrastructure, content, and services. The takeaway message for me was a quote from Tyler: “Content is coming at us faster than ever. If we don’t manage it, someone else will.”

The archived audio is now available. Thank you to Tim and Kaeley for setting up the webinar session, and to Lynn for emailing the report!