Molly  Dolan

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Recently I was hired as the Digital Initiatives and Scholarly Communications Librarian for the West Virginia University Libraries. Working as a librarian allows me to combine my background in book publishing with my technology skills. I received my Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, worked as the Project Coordinator for the development of UIUC's Digital Libraries Education Program, and am close to completing the Certificate of Advanced Study in Digital Libraries. My current research involves looking at the data curation needs and practices of digital humanities scholars in order to assess what role the library can play in preserving their content.

  • The Ephemera of the Past and the Ephemera of the Future

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    A couple of the things I’d be interested in talking to other THATCampers about are loosely tied together. First, as a digital librarian at a state school in a historically very underfunded state, I’m interested in ways of reaching out to smaller libraries, historical societies, and museums and helping them expose their collections online. Since many lack the technical skills and manpower to do extensive digitization projects, I’ve been brainstorming what might be the best way to do a one or two day workshop that gives them a simple package of tools and expertise to digitize parts of their collection, while still adhering as closely as possible to best practices. I know similar workshops have been offered by other libraries and I’ll be looking to those offerings for models. The development of Omeka.net is also looking very promising as a tool with a low barrier to entry, and I’d be interested in talking to anyone who’s worked with it (I have experience with the standalone Omeka, but not the hosted version) or has experience in working with small cultural heritage institutions.

    I’m also starting to think about what sorts of content we’ll have in the archives and special collections of the future, especially when it comes to digital content. I find it interesting that a lot of the “collecting” being done now is happening outside the structure of libraries, museums, or academia. (Although this does seem similar to the way that ephemera and/or popular culture items have been collected in the past.) I can easily visualize future research that could make extensive use of comprehensive collections of modern language and practices like UrbanDictionary.com or KnowYourMeme.com. So what is the role of libraries as “private” or for-profit sites like these eventually go out of business?

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