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 from California State University-Long Beach

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.

Reducing the Noise: Using Data to Drive Decisions

Date: September 21, 2021 at 12:00-1:00 EST
Speaker: Ed Cimoch, State Farm Insurance

Over the past ten years, Ed Cimoch has focused his attention on improving presentation design for executive audiences at State Farm. He is an MFA in Painting and held previous roles as a researcher and product manager. Ed offers a unique perspective on effective storytelling and visualization. Preaching directness and simplicity, Ed regularly hosts a ‘Help Desk’ to share effective strategies with his peers. In this webinar, Ed will share insights on creating compelling data visualizations and telling stories with data.

Introduction to Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)

Date: October 5, 2021 at 1:00-2:00 EST
Speakers: Michael Bragg, Rob Pritchett, and Deron Morgan from Clarivate

APIs, or Application Programming Interfaces, don’t have to be unapproachable for the data-minded librarian. Utilizing Web of Science API tools to demonstrate, Clarivate trainers will lead an information packed session that will cover the following:

  • What are APIs?
  • API use cases (data integration based and project based)
  • How to use Web of Science (WoS) APIs
  • API licenses available to clients
  • A review of Postman IDE for API calls (live example)
  • A demo of Web of Science’s technical API toolkits, including WoS Expanded API Excel Converter tool

This session is intended to provide an introduction to APIs as well as suggest practical methods to get started using APIs. Clarivate will walk through example API use cases for Clarivate platform data calls and perform technical demonstrations using Postman API client, Python clients, and a WoS API data parser/converter toolkit.  If you don’t know what an API is or don’t know how to utilize it for library databases, then this is the webinar for you!

Making better decisions with Clarivate data:  Web of Science APIs

At Clarivate, we operate at the heart of the innovation lifecycle, providing the actionable information and insights our customers need to make critical decisions with speed and certainty. Our industry-leading solutions are built on a foundation of globally trusted content, advanced data science capabilities and deep domain expertise.  In particular, the Web of Science (WoS) is a trusted source for publication and citation metadata of scholarly works dating back to 1900. The multidisciplinary database covers all areas of science, as well as social sciences, and the arts and humanities. WoS is comprised of works published in over 20,000 journals, as well as books and conferences. The Web of Science RESTful APIs make the trusted WoS dataset easily available for data integrations, research projects, and analytics, providing users a great way to reuse the data in all facets of their industry.

About the Speakers

Deron Morgan is a Solutions Consultant at Clarivate, working with Academic, Life Sciences, Non-profit and Corporate customers.  He has a background in analytical and creative consulting with a focus on literature mining, open science, improved workflows, multi-dimensional research profiles, and institutional benchmarking.  Deron has a keen curiosity in learning "how things work" to help customers solve their most critical problems.

Rob Pritchett has worked for Clarivate and its former entities for more than 20 years. Rob started his career with BIOSIS, where he was an indexer and trainer for new hires. After the acquisition of BIOSIS by Thomson Scientific, he joined the product team, working on usage reporting, APIs, content enhancements, and data products. He moved into the global sales support and customer success group, managing a team of sales engineers. Rob currently holds a solutions consultant role, supporting APIs, data, and professional services globally.

Michael Bragg is a Manager for Academic Institutes in North America.  Michael started with the company in 2007 and has been collaborating with Academic institutions across the US and Canada to support a variety of education, research, and assessment initiatives that require a comprehensive understanding of the global research landscape.

Data Community Presents: End of Year Networking Event

Date: Wednesday, December 8, 2021 at 12-1 EDT

Hosts: Lynnee Argabright and Jen Evert, Data Community leadership co-chairs

Bring your coffee or lunch to our final get-together of the year!  This has been a big year for the Data Community as we've worked to revitalize the group.  One of our major goals is to ensure that librarians working with data have individuals that they can network with or call upon to answer questions and brainstorm solutions to problems.  In that spirit, we wanted to offer one more networking opportunity as we close out the year.  Please join us!  

  • Learn about plans in 2022. We'll provide a brief update on Data Community programming and plans for 2022.
  • Build your network! We'll ask attendees to share what they're doing with data, talk about key projects or review their biggest struggles. 
  • Share your favorites! Please come with a data resource to share with the team. We continue to build out the Data Community webpage and will use your suggestions on the site.

Business Data from the Federal Government: Free large datasets

Date: February 25, 2022 from 2:00-3:00 EST

Speaker: Jennifer Boettcher, Georgetown University Library

Join me in discussing why government information is sometimes better than commercially-available business data, discovering methods to find the government data, talking about the differences between the public domain and open access data, and hear an update on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).

Finding Data: Teaching Science and Technology Data Information Literacy Skills to Researchers

Date: August 1, 2022 from 9:00-10:00 EST (Conference session)

Speaker: Jay Bhatt (Drexel University Library) and Lynnee Argabright (UNC-Wilmington library)

This presentation explores and provides instructional tips on how to find data to support researchers, students, and scholars in science and technology disciplines. Finding and sharing data requires understanding the research and data information needs of our researchers and an awareness of existing and evolving new data repositories. Keeping current about the existence, scope, features, and availability of these repositories is critical in today’s research environment. This session will help you develop a methodology for teaching students and researchers how to find and evaluate appropriate data sets. Expected interactions and exchange of ideas during this talk can further stimulate curiosity of our community members and inspire them to develop and implement innovative teaching methods in imparting information skills.

Micro-credentials in Economic Data Literacy and FRED®

Date: October 25, 2022 from 12:00-1:00 EST

Speaker: Katrina Stierholz and Diego Mendez-Carbajo at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

The Library Services and the Economic Education team at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis have developed a free micro-credential program on economic data literacy for librarians. In this presentation we provide a working definition of economic data literacy, linking it to seven foundational competencies. We describe the structure of the program, showcasing one of its modules to illustrate the workflow of participants. We conclude by summarizing lessons learned and feedback we received.

Enabling Staff Skill Building–Lessons learned from 10 years of delivering the British Library Digital Scholarship Training Programme

Date: November 11, 2022 from 12:00-1:00 EST

Speaker: Nora McGregor Digital Curator, Digital Research Team, British Library

Hosted by the Data Community and Military Libraries Community


This year the British Library’s Digital Research Team is celebrating a decade of delivering their bespoke digital scholarship and data skills training programme to staff. Covering topics such as cleaning up data, wikidata and machine learning in cultural heritage, the training programme provides opportunities for staff to build knowledge and gain hands-on experience with emerging technologies relevant to library work. Join Nora as she reflects on how it came to be, some of the highlights and wonderful staff achievements that have arisen from it, and useful insights the team has gleaned over the decade on how staff digital transformations can be sustainably supported for the long term.

Her talk will cover topics such as:

  • Rethinking how we define skills needs and acquisition for sustainable digital transformation 
  • Looking at different ways of learning, and sharing some of our favourite go-to learning resources for beginners
  • Getting the right support and buy-in from leadership to make space for skills development
  • Building and sustaining learning communities in an organisation 


About the Speaker:

Nora McGregor is the British Library’s Digital Curator in the Digital Research Team. She holds a Master's Degree in Library and Information Science and has extensive experience in design and delivery of digital skill training at a national cultural heritage institution scale, management of major digital/digitization projects, and exhibition curation. 

As part of the Library’s Digital Scholarship team, her work centres on digital scholarship skill development for staff. Since its inception in 2012, she has managed the design and delivery of the Library’s unique and ground-breaking Digital Scholarship Training Programme which prepares staff for the computational turn in humanities research.