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Endangered Data Week

Join Endangered Data Week during the Mozilla Global Sprint, May 10-11

This post comes from Jason Heppler, Sarah Melton, Brandon Locke, and Rachel Mattson. e’re excited to announce that Endangered Data Week (EDW) is participating in the upcoming Mozilla Global Sprint on May 10th and 11th, 2018. We’re writing to invite you to join in and participate! Mozilla Global Sprints are community events designed to support the development of open projects for a healthy internet. They are meant to be fast-paced, fun, and collaborative. During this year’s sprint, EDW plans to develop a user-friendly toolkit of endangered data-related tutorials and resources—we will collect materials created by organizers of past Endangered Data Week events and also generate new materials that event organizers can use in developing future Endangered Data Week events. There’s an EDW Global Sprint primer with more info. Additional details, as well as a place to chat and ask questions during the Sprint, is in the EDW Etherpad. You are invited to join in and participate no matter what your skill set, time commitments, or experience! We are looking for librarians, archivists, journalists, scholars, artists, lawyers, data scientists, educators, and others; people with experience in teaching, writing, coding, design; as well students and learners of all kinds—anyone who’s passionate about the preservation of digital information, data, and records. You can choose to help for 10 minutes, a few hours, or two full days; and you can participate onsite at one of our EDW sprint locations (in Omaha, East Lansing, and Boston) or remotely. Check out our evolving list of ways to contribute to the toolkit here. And please feel free to reach out to us if you have additional ideas for materials we should add to the toolkit or any questions. All that’s missing is you! Come join us! Please feel free to share this announcement with anyone else in your communities and networks who might be interested in participating.

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Endangered Data Week at the University of Maryland

This post is one of several we are publishing about this year’s Endangered Data Week. This contribution comes from Joseph Koivisto, Systems Librarian at the McKeldin Library of the University of Maryland. At the University of Maryland, Endangered Data Week (EDW) is less of an event and more of a triathlon. This year’s events featured three events held at the University Libraries and surrounding environs over the course of two weeks. Collectively, the events gave university staff, faculty, and students — graduate and undergraduate — a sprinting tour of the many issues that surround endangered data as a topic. Working as a partnership between the University Libraries  and the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, both Purdom Lindblad and I coordinated these events with the intention of keeping libraries central to the overall tone and tenor of our EDW activities. As the values of openness, accessibility, user-centered services, and activism are core to both libraries and EDW, we felt that the University Libraries would not only be an obvious physical home for our activities, but would also help to frame our conversations on the sometimes uncool topics of data preservation, resource description, and other activities that serve a maintenance role in the overall data landscape. Also central to our planning was the belief that EDW is necessarily an interdisciplinary event and therefore required that we prominently feature diverse disciplinary voices. In short, we set ourselves a fairly high bar. The first event of the week was our interdisciplinary panel, “What Counts as Data?” For this panel, our speakers included: Angus Murphy (UMD Department of Plant Science & Landscape Architecture) Catherine Knight-Steele (UMD Department of Communications and director of the African American History, Culture, and Digital Humanities program) Jen Serventi (Office of Digital Humanities, National Endowment for the Humanities) Joanne Archer (UMD Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives) Ricardo Punzalan (UMD iSchool, moderator) #EndangeredData panel discussing the different sources and forms of data. Looking at the broader conceptions of data in both a sense of what has been data for someone and how that becomes data in and of itself — Jordan S. Sly (@jordanssly) February 26, 2018 The panel discussion began with a consideration of the varied definitions of data from the different perspectives brought together for the day’s event. This highlighted the critical differences between traditional science, the humanities, and archival perspectives when considering the implications of and responsibilities towards data. Catherine Knight-Steele added yet another layer of complexity by considering the impact of ‘data-fication’ of humanities work and the aids and hindrances that accompany computational approaches to traditionally non-digital questions. The panel also considered what ethical approaches to data preservation and dissemination would look like from the panelists’ disciplinary perspectives, raising questions around scalability of open access approaches to immense data sets, costs associated with rigorous standards and practices, and responsibilities towards data originators. Ricardo Punzalan, our gracious moderator, further explored the notion of data responsibilities by posing questions on accountability, asking to whom we are accountable and what the expectation of accountability means to both individual stakeholders and the larger society. Following on the heels of our panel, a short series of lightning talks featured practitioners giving insight to their interactions with government data sets, data management practices, and critical perspectives on EDW. Speakers included: Amy Wickner (UMD Libraries & iSchool) Jessica Lu (MITH Postdoctoral associate) Kelley O’Neal (UMD Libraries) Matthew Miller (UMD Roshan Institute, moderator) These excellent speakers inspired a great conversation centered on data preservation practices that lead to larger discussions on advocacy, infrastructure, and institutional roles in preservation of local, state, and federal data. Next, we continued our EDW activities with a data preservation workshop that covered a basic introduction to data management planning and an overview of a variety of tools used for data management and preservation. The motivation for this course was our belief that awareness of and dedication to the values of data preservation begin with individual practice. By exposing staff, faculty, and students to the core concepts of data management, we hoped to rise the overall level of discourse on campus and, hopefully, improve attendee skills. Along with myself, David Durden (UMD Libraries) and Adam Kriesberg (UMD iSchool) led discussion on data management practices and data preservation initiatives (EDGI, Data Refuge, & c.). We also gave demonstrations on the following tools: Open Refine Data Accessioner Fixity And last but not least, our EDW happy hour was held at MilkBoy ArtHouse, a College-Park-via-Philadelphia establishment that serves great drinks and a serviceable cheese steak. Sadly, due to the intense windstorm of March 2nd, we had to postpone the event to March 7th. Not to be deterred, the University Libraries had a good turn out and interesting discussions were had by all in attendance. To round out our Endangered Data Week events, I spoke at the University of Virginia’s Scholars’ Lab as part of their Regional Digital Humanities Symposium. I gave a quick overview of our efforts at UMD and laid out our plans for making EDW 2019 even better. How, you may be asking, do we intend to do that? Fewer events. While we like the idea of having a bunch of events around EDW, we feel that the effort that is put in to organizing multiple events – each with different needs, requirements, and obligations – winds up creating a black hole into which your time, energy and motivation fall. To that end, we hope that over the next year we will be able to conduct multiple EDW-related events that raise awareness of the week itself and work towards the overall EDW mission of raising awareness and promoting advocacy. ADVERTISING! For the past two years, Purdom and I have let our advertising and outreach efforts slide, leaving us with minimal campus awareness apart from the stalwart few that are already keyed into Endangered Data Week. Shifting more our energies towards advertising and outreach should help us to get our ducks in order. We plan to seek out partnerships Read More

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Endangered Data Week at the University of Victoria

This post is one of several posts we are publishing about this year’s Endangered Data Week. This contribution comes from J. Matthew Huculak, Digital Scholarship Librarian at the University of Victoria Libraries. At the Digital Humanities Summer Institute in 2017, The University of Victoria Libraries inaugurated a newly created space called the Digital Scholarship Commons (DSC)—a place for collaborative learning, training, and resources around digital fluency. We’re a fairly new space in the library, and students are still getting to know about the workshops, consultations, and training we give in the Commons. When Endangered Data Week was announced, we thought it was a great opportunity to talk with our community about data preservation and the challenges libraries and archives face in preserving data in the digital age. And to talk about how we’re thinking about these challenges in the DSC. To illustrate this point, we decided to take over the main foyer of the library in order to set up an NES console on which students, faculty, staff, and the wider community could play Duck Hunt. Last year, I taught to the Introduction to Digital Humanities course in the English Department at UVic, and by far, one of the most popular days in the classroom was when we came over to the library to look at the media archeology material being collected by my colleague John Durno, the Systems Librarian for UVic. John gave a lecture on media archeology, and then had students “recover” some old files with Kryoflux. We spent the class playing Mystery House in the Internet Archive’s Internet Arcade, and on an Apple II from our collection. What struck me from that day’s activities was how engaged students were with the hands-on activities with the older machines as well as how empowered they felt after having learned about how they might contribute to the future of digital preservation through their own data curation activities. So, for the big event during EDW, we wanted to harness that energy of having students interact with the past in order to think about the future. We decided Duck Hunt would allow us to illustrate the following points: We are living in a digital dark age. In order to preserve a digital object, librarians and archivists have to maintain The file The software that runs the file The hardware that runs the software to read the file In order to play Duck Hunt on the original NES, you need to find an older Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) television since the original “light gun” is programmed to work with that technology. Second, you need to find the cartridge and gaming system to hook up to the television. Our colleague, Jen Wells, was kind enough to let us borrow her childhood system. But, in the end, we were hoping that the pure joy of playing on an old gaming system would give us a way to talk about some serious issues facing us all. To accompany the gaming set up, we created a poster that asks, “Is Your Data Safe?” The poster talks briefly about issues of the digital dark age, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, as well initiatives in the library to address the hardware issues some of us face. Durno has just been given the green light to open up our libraries first Media Archeology Lab that will be made available to patrons to work with software in emulated and non-emulated environments. Durno has been doing brilliant work recovering the art of Telidon videotext/teletext artists like Glenn Howarth and Geoffrey Shea, whose pioneering artwork was almost lost to the trashbin of history (Durno was literally given floppies pulled from a garbage can). John had some of this artwork playing on a large screen behind the video game station, and had a table set up to show off early computer storage—including an array of floppy disks of all sizes. The event was a great success. Students came to play on the NES, stayed to talk about media archeology, and learned about how they could protect their own data. Ray Siemens’ Electronic Textual Cultures Lab (ETCL) donated 30 USB sticks to our event so we could teach students how to encrypt their own drives (data privacy is a big concern in British Columbia), and we handed out literature produced by University Systems on how protecting one’s data by backing it up on university-provided storage space. At the end of it all, we had a wonderful day of conversations and connecting with our community about how they could support libraries and archives in preserving our shared digital futures.

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CFP: Endangered Data Week

From the post: Led by the Digital Library Federation, Endangered Data Week, February 26th – March 2nd, is an international, collaborative effort, coordinated across campuses, nonprofits, libraries, citizen science initiatives, and cultural heritage institutions, to shed light on public datasets that are in danger of being deleted, repressed, mishandled, or lost. The goals of Endangered Data…

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