There's a Workshop for That

There’s a Workshop for That

UCLA Research Library Research Commons floorplanMy other title, in addition to subject specialist for Slavic and East European Studies and Linguistics, is Instruction Coordinator for the graduate research library (for social sciences and humanities). In the past, that’s meant mostly scheduling library tours and introductory sessions on the library catalog and major databases. Since I’ve taken on the responsibility, I’ve worked hard to bring in experts from other parts of the library, as well as from the digital humanities program who are interested in providing workshops on topics related to research and also on digital tools and approaches to research.  This quarter’s schedule  – which I posted in its final form today – is looking pretty awesome, thanks in no small part to some amazing people at UCLA’s Center for Digital Humanities – Dave Shepard [@shepdl] and Miriam Posner [@miriamkp]. Dave has lined up a series of workshops that I hope he’s blogging/otherwise posting about today, which he’s calling Dave’s Corner and has allowed me to cross-post on our library website. This quarter it’s Python for Humanists, Advanced Databases for Humanists, “The Wide World of the Command Line,” and Topic Modeling with MALLET.  And Miriam volunteered to offer a version of a talk/workshop she gave last month at CUNY, called “How Did They Make That? Reverse Engineering Digital Projects,” which I’m so happy about, because based on the excited and inspired tweets that came out of that talk, it’s going to be fascinating.  (Kudos to Miriam also, more generally, for doing more than just about anyone else to make connections between DH and libraries visible here and here and the very oft-cited here.)

We’ve also got several offerings originating from the library and library staff that certainly enable DH projects and processes: EndNote and Zotero, Finding Images, various trainings to make more efficient use of databases. And the spirit of the workshop scheduling — figuring out what students want and need and building a way for them to get it and then broadcasting the details all over social media — seems like it does, too.

While I’m thinking about the UCLA library and its connection to Digital Humanities, I want to also mention another stellar colleague – Zoe Borovsky [@zoepster] who consults with faculty on projects (network analysis, topic modeling, and much more) and helps to plan and run CDH-affiliated summer institutes and symposia and programs and to generally help everyone to figure out how to make the best use of our recently opened Research Commons, which was designed specifically to encourage collaboration on digital projects. She’s also a font of ideas and inspirations for workshops and programming, with some seriously infectious enthusiasm for trying new and helpful things.  We’re awfully proud to have a Librarian for Digital Research and Scholarship to help strengthen and support connections between the library and the university’s growing DH community, and we’re awfully lucky it’s Zoe.

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