Previous Events

Data Community Town Hall

Date: Friday April 9, 2021 at 12:00 EST
Speakers: Lynnee Argabright and Jen Evert, Data Community leadership co-chairs

If you are interested in learning more about the Data Community, and to see survey results, we'll be hosting an informal
Town Hall community meeting.

As we are getting started, we want to welcome you to be a part of the new Data Community. In doing so, we want to check in with you to learn what aspects of data you utilize, and what aspects of data you want to learn more about. This will help us define our Community's scope and set up programming relevant to all of you.

Easy Techniques to Prepare your Data for Analysis

Date: Monday July 12, 2021 at 1:00-2:00 EDT
Speakers: Alan Safer and Lesley Farmer

Data analysis can lead to more informed and effective decisions – but that analysis is only as good as the data gathered and organized. The saying “garbage in, garbage out” certainly applies to data sets. Therefore, it is imperative to “clean” or “scrub” your data set before conducting statistical tests on it. This session gives you tips for dealing with messy data: incomplete or missing data, extreme numbers, typos, miscoding, and inappropriate assumptions. You’ll find that taking the time to prep your data set is a good return on your investment of labor.

About the Speakers

Alan Safer. MS, PhD is a professor at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. He received his Ph.D. in Statistics from the University of Wyoming and his M.S. in Marketing Research from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. He first came to CSULB as an assistant professor in 2000 and has been a full professor since 2010. Early in his career at the university, he created a MS degree in Applied Statistics and later a professional accelerated M.S. degree in Applied Statistics for industry students from companies such as Boeing, Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman. He served as the graduate advisor for 7 years and in 2009 was awarded university advisor of the year at CSULB. Dr. Safer’s research has been very interdisciplinary; he has over 30 publications in diverse statistical areas such as those applied to finance, library science, marketing, health science, linguistics, and forensics. His primary statistical research focus is data science and quality control. In 2012, he was appointed coordinator of a national conference on quality control sponsored by the American Statistical Association. He helped create the Orange County/Long Beach chapter of the American Statistical Association and served as its vice president.

Dr. Lesley Farmer, Professor at California State University (CSU) Long Beach, coordinates the Librarianship program, and was named as the university’s Outstanding Professor. She also manages the CSU ICT Literacy Project. She earned her M.S. in Library Science at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, and received her doctorate in Adult Education from Temple University. Dr. Farmer chaired the IFLA’s School Libraries Section, and is a Fulbright scholar. A frequent presenter and writer for the profession, she won several honors, including American Library Association’s Phi Beta Mu Award for library education, the International Association of School Librarianship Commendation Award, and the SLA Education Division Anne Gellar Award. Dr. Farmer’s research interests include digital citizenship, information and media literacy, and data analytics. Her most recent books are Library Improvement through Data Analytics (ALA, 2016), co-authored with Dr. Safer, and Impactful Community-Based Literacy Projects (ALA, 2020).

Data Collection: A Data Community Meet and Greet

Date: Wednesday August 11, 2021 at 6:30-7:30 EST (during SLA Annual Conference 2021)
Speakers: Lynnee Argabright, Angela Kent, and Jen Evert, Data Community leadership co-chairs

The revitalized Data Community will host a social hour for interested participants to learn about what’s going on in the community and how they can get involved. It will be an opportunity to hear how members got into and began gaining skills in data librarianship.

The Evolution of Data Services in Libraries: A Panel Discussion

Date: Friday August 13, 2021 at 11:00-12:00 EST (during SLA Annual Conference 2021)
  • Andrea Medina-Smith, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
  • Jenny Muilenburg, University of Washington Libraries
  • Katrina Stierholz, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
  • Alex Ilg, Morgan Stanley

Libraries have always included data services within their broader mission. A particular emphasis began in the mid-2000s with the advent of big data, data-driven decision making, and institutional repositories. What will the future look like for data services in libraries? Published literature mentions visualization support, acquisitions, and computational literacy. But what emerging trends are practitioners observing?

Join SLA’s Maryland and Data communities for a panel discussion that explores these emerging trends in data services, grounded in the past experience of three master librarians from academia, the federal government, and the private sector. The panel will be moderated by Andrea Medina-Smith, who has been working in data services with the federal government for 10 years.