Why datacurator?

This site is envisioned to be a central digital location for my ramblings, musings, discoveries and hopefully informed commentary about the cycle of data-information-knowledge and stuff about libraries. A place where I can start to collect and curate resources, opinion, objects and other stuff that interest me.

Yeah but why datacurator?

For as long as I can remember I have always loved libraries. The calm quiet atmosphere, the feeling that within one’s reach there is a wealth of information to feed any enquiring mind – almost too much sometimes.

This, after some wayward years, led me to start work as a librarian and complete a library science degree. These studies introduced me to the wider world of information literacy, classification and metadata, and more geeky fun librarian stuff. It was an interesting time to embark on a library career.

Technology was rapidly changing the way people accessed and produced information and there were concerns about the relevance of libraries in the digital environment.

Then, as now, there is an increasing amount of anxiety about grappling with the overwhelming amount of available information online. People scratch their heads because the proliferation of available information doesn’t mean you can find the information that you need.

Finding what you need has always been what librarians have done best.

The rise of Google, disrupting information retrieval paradigms left a lot of previous library systems in the fallout. User expectation, dazzled by the Google experience, brought changes to the library OPAC, even as the googlisation today continues in its innovative and disruptive path to complete global domination.

What is a technology focused librarian to do?

Curate the data. Somehow

A long time ago, before social networks impacted on the net I started a little email newsletter called the daily dogma[n], it had a small readership but it was an enjoyable time. I started basically just hoovering up interesting news items and passing them on. Then as more people asked to be included on the mailing list I began to sifting and sorting them into subjects. As most of the readership were friends I had a good idea of what was interesting to them.

My first real curation impulse.

Nowadays, after web 2.0 screamed off down the information superhighway, that kind of stuff is completely automated. Robots are even writing the news. Plus I don’t have the time now, that I had back then (stares wistfully off into the distance)

What is a technology focused librarian to do?

Curate the data. Somehow

I like books (obviously), and recently I read two books that finally made me stop procrastinating and take a step back toward that impulse that felt so natural back then. Also I felt that relying my traditional experience and academic credentials was not going to keep me relevant in advancing my information management career. That’s new-speak for librarian career BTW.

The two books were:

curationbookCuration Nation: How to Win in a World Where Consumers are Creators

In Curation Nation, Steven Rosenbaum reveals why being a human aggregator is the key to growing an existing business or starting a new one. In fact, he asserts that curation is the only way to remain competitive in the future. Overwhelmed by too much content, increasing numbers of people are seeking a “boutique” online experience. Whether you’re a brand, a publisher, or a content entrepreneur, you can provide it. You can create a manageable, inviting online experience. You can extract value from an otherwise useless chaos of digital noise.

launch-32-too-big-to-know-bkt_12018Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren’t the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room

Too Big to Know is about what happens to knowledge and expertise now that we are faced with the fact that there is way way way more to know than can be known by any individual. Its hypothesis is that knowledge and expertise are becoming networks, and are taking on the properties of networks.


Reading these made me remember why I enjoy being involved with information management. Why I enjoy connecting people with information and knowledge. And they also pointed a way for me to do this outside the normal confines of being behind a desk. I am sure that the ideas in these books will be weaving throughout alot of my writing here, atleast that’s the plan for now.

So, that’s as much as I have for now. I am not an expert in a lot of the content I want to write about, I’m using this space as a pathway for discovery, a way for me to learn more about this thing colloquially referred to as “the net” and how it has impacted the way I go about my work and the way I try and live. Please move on and check out some of the other articles, links, quotes and if you find them intriguing or interesting enough take a moment and comment, or subscribe and lurk or just lurk. It’s all good for this datacurator.