Thursday, April 2, 2009

Planning for the Digital Future

In her recent article, Blind Spots: Humanists Must Plan their Digital Future (The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 3, 2009), Joanna Drucker recounts recent changes in the design and planning for libraries at Stanford University. Her article is a reminder to faculty that they have a key role to play in the critical intellectual work involved in digitization of library materials and in the development of information portals.
The design of new environments for performing scholarly work cannot be left to the technical staff and to library professionals. The library is a crucial partner in planning and envisioning the future of preserving, using, even creating scholarly resources. So are the technology professionals. But in an analogy with building construction, they are the architects and the contractors. The creation of archives, analytic tools, and statistical analyses of aggregate data in the humanities (and in some other scholarly fields) requires the combined expertise of technical, professional, and scholarly personnel.
Dr. Drucker is a professor of information studies at the University of California at Los Angeles, and currently a Digital Humanities Fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center. (This link to The Chronicle of Higher Education will expire in 5 days.)

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