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IMLS Awards Watzek an Innovation Grant

August 31, 2018

  • Watzek Library
    Watzek Library

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has awarded the Watzek Library a $24,983 Sparks Innovation Grant for a collaborative project entitled, “Data in the Disciplines: Developing a Network to provide Data Management and Data Information Literacy Services at Small College and University Libraries.” Developed and led by Science and Data Services Librarian Parvaneh Abbaspour and Director of Watzek Library Mark Dahl, this project will bring in two outside consultants and engage four regional partners: Reed College, University of Puget Sound, Whitman College, and Willamette University. The overarching project goal is to develop a collaborative workshop model that will enable small college libraries to offer data management and information literacy support to their faculty and students; this pilot project will focus on developing and sharing curricular modules for undergraduates in chemistry and ethnographic studies. Data management practices and data information literacy bring undergraduate students in touch with the research process and can be a meaningful part of undergraduate research experience—and this project has the opportunity to help scholars and students understand how to manage, publish, find and reuse data sets to move research agendas forward. This proposed project builds on a successful 2015 Northwest 5 Consortium (NW5C) data curation workshop, which brought together librarians, faculty members, students, and others from NW5C institutions.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. This highly competitive IMLS National Leadership Grants for Libraries (NLG-L) grant program supports “projects that address challenges and opportunities facing the library and archives fields and that have the potential to advance theory and practice.” Sparks Grants “support “explorations of new approaches or implementations of existing approaches in new contexts” and must demonstrate an impact beyond the applicant’s own institution.

It is notable that this is the second grant awarded in support of a Library project this summer: in July, Special Collections and Archives received funds from the Library Services Technology Act to build a digital and physical collection of Vietnamese oral histories, records, and ephemera in Oregon.

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