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Spline and Demand: A Profession Interpolates

Presenter 1
Jennifer A Green
University of Michigan
Presenter 2
Joel Herndon
Duke University

The increase and profusion of flavors of data librarianship, in the forms of service, management, curation and visualization have left many of the current data librarians wondering: what's the difference? Did the name of the profession get coopted to something brand new? Or are these "new breed" data librarians remixing or rebranding skills that social science data librarians have acquired through time? Or does the proliferation and change of descriptions actually signal a maturation of the profession? In this paper we will analyze position descriptions from job ads for data-related positions (largely in the US & Canada) from the last 4 years, present some in-depth case studies of data librarians in various forms, map the positions in their organizational contexts, and submit some suggestions for future job description language and content to the IASSIST audience for scrutiny and reflection.

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