I was honored to have been asked to serve on the Digital Humanities Steering Committee at the college where I am a science librarian. It seems like a great avenue to connect with different faculty while combining my library and educational technology degrees and interests.
I have been so impressed to see the progress the digital humanities has made over the past three years at my college. There were humble beginnings framed by a blog post where the Dean of the School of the Humanities bemoaned digital illiteracy in the Humanities in general and silos of technological competency, to the present digital humanities projects that are being modeled and discussed across campus.
One of the goals of the Digital Humanities group will be identifying and coordinating all the great projects that are happening in the School and providing context for their dissemination. From Digital Harrisburg, to Cinemablography, to the Stouffer Farm project, students are showcasing growing mastery of their chosen field of study, and pairing it with exemplary digital skills to produce and share new knowledge.
I’m excited that the digital humanities projects continue to appreciate and utilize library resources in new ways. The Digital Harrisburg project delved deeply into the library database version of Ancestry. They also expanded beyond library walls to conduct research at the State Library and in local historical societies, thus learning the ropes of primary historical research. Librarians provide information literacy education to courses that then accessed online resources. We are moving towards discussions of expanding information literacy education to ‘information fluency’ education. A much broader term which encompasses producing new knowledge in addition to competency in finding, accessing and using information. I am excited at the new opportunities for collaboration this provides to teaching faculty and librarians.
I am thankful that with these projects we are reaching past our silos. As a science librarian, I have the opportunity to serve on a committee whose primary focus remains firmly rooted in the humanities. They don’t even look twice when I am found roaming the halls of Boyer; I am as welcome in Boyer Hall as in Jordan/Kline Hall! The steering committee is open and welcoming to multiple perspectives; they may even create their very own digital humanities interdisciplinary collaboratory one of these days as these projects develop and flourish!