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Earlier this month, UK Libraries celebrated Love Data Week with a series of events that highlighted the many data support services available to help users create, share, and manage their research data.  

UK students, faculty, and staff met their research data librarians and built data-centric communities during a film screening, a Data Visualization Date Night, and several virtual workshops.

Recordings are available for two of the workshops, one on application programming interfaces (Exploring US Newspapers with the Chronicling America API), and the other on data resources and best practices (5 Tips for Managing Your Research Data).

In support of Love Data Week, Outreach & Engagement Specialist Jen Martin and Reference Graduate Assistants Zoe Blackwell and Makayla Wells developed the DATA Collection, a curated selection of data-themed books, available now in InfoKat Discovery.

The collection contains publications across five sub-categories: 

Martin, Blackwell, and Wells consulted readers’ advisories and expert recommendations to find the best works in the field, bringing together classic standard texts as well as recently published titles. Each sub-category contains between eight and 13 books, and several titles were purchased to round out the collection. 

The DATA Collection provides a permanent home for academic materials that support data-intensive scholarship of all kinds, complementing the services available from UK Libraries’ research data librarians.

“Students today are busier than ever, and we are always thrilled at the opportunity to remind them that libraries and librarians are here for them,” said Martin, reflecting on Love Data Week. “Undergraduate work is scholarship in every sense of the word, and data is a vital component of research across disciplines. Whether students need assistance with file naming conventions, downloading datasets, or selecting the best applications and visual tools for their work, they are in great hands with our digital scholarship and data librarians.”

Data Applications Librarian Diane Parr and Research Data Librarian Isaac Wink provide support to users across all disciplines and at every stage of the research data lifecycle. They can help users plan projects, develop data management workflows, secure and organize data, publish findings, search for datasets, and create graphs and visualizations to analyze and present research.

The DATA Collection is one of many Collection Discovery pages available through InfoKat. The feature allows users to more easily locate library resources, from borrowable Board Games to Kentucky Cookbooks, or to explore notable and diverse collections, including the Dr. bell hooks Collection or our growing Lou Emma Wilson Mexicana Collection.

Selecting materials – and participating in Love Data Week programming – were beneficial to Blackwell and Wells, who gained hands-on experience with building collections and engaging users in outreach events. Both were able to incorporate lessons from the week into their current Library & Information Science courses.

“As a library science student, I was happy to assist Jen Martin with the selection of data-related books for the DATA Collection,” said Wells. “I also participated in several fun and informative events as a student and completed a case study on this programming for my Programming and Outreach of Libraries and Archives course.” 

“I’m currently taking a course on Data Analysis and Visualization, and machine learning has been a challenging subject,” said Blackwell. “I enjoy being a Graduate Assistant,” she added. “I’ve learned about a lot of databases I never knew about.”