I am lucky enough is be in Vancouver this week for two separate but related havens of geek-dom: the Data Liberation Initiative’s National Training Day and Bootcamp, and the annual International Association for Social Sciences Information Services and Technology conference. If that weren’t thrilling enough in itself, here is the view from where I sit now, just outside the conference room:
Today was National Training Day for the DLI, a series of presentations on platforms for accessing data, methods for promoting data research centers, ways to connect with data users and would-be users, and of course the ill-fated 2011 census.
My involvement with the DLI is on account of my soon-to-be-enhanced odesi work. I wear many hats at my current job, but budding data geek is probably my favorite. I am still getting my feet wet in the data world, particularly data collected at the federal level, but today was a great opportunity to reaffirm my own passion for the subject, and to meet a whole room of people with a similar fire.
When one talks about data, it doesn’t take long for app development comes up. My coding illiteracy has cause much frustration with previous attempts to weasel my way into the open data community. This made being in a room full of librarians today a great change: they were not programmers (although the way many of them can manipulate SPSS might make you think otherwise). Finally, people talking about data in language I can understand, discussing values, spaces, and roles that I can relate to.
But in most contexts this dichotomy is unhelpful, so I really appreciated <a href=”Tracey Lauriault‘s discussion of bridge building between data librarians and the larger open data community. How to link the enthusiasm, know-how, and innovation of entrepreneurial open data development with the rigorous standards and policy work that librarians feel such an investment in?
I am heading to a bar to find out now.