Weeknote 44 (2020)

This is my third week of weeknotes and I have to say that the format is agreeing with me. I did a quick search online to see if any other librarians have adopted this particular format and I couldn’t find anyone from the librarian profession so I have yet to become an influencer (*snerk*). I did find a data scientist from the House of Commons Library who employs the practice quite well. This is consistent with my hunch that the weeknotes format is still largely an expression of UK civic computing types.

Many people use weeknotes to report on their last week’s activities as its originator intended…

Started on the blog of design company BERG a few months back, Weeknotes detailed what they were up to that week, what had been going well, what hadn’t. They were just blog entries, updated weekly, nothing more remarkable than that. Except they struck a little chord with people — and other companies and individuals started doing the same thing.

Russell M Davies: On the structure of time, WIRED UK, 28 May 2010

For what it’s work, this is what I’ve been up to during the past week: worked with our cataloguing team to process a detailed shelf-reading list of our theses and dissertations, met with a small group of scholars who are working on establishing a new journal on our OJS system, helped a student with a thorny research question, collected and delivered a bibliography of works for the university’s anti-black racism office, worked on a draft statement of publication ethics for two of our OJS journals, worked on the reference chat schedule for the month, worked with colleagues on a potential survey, attended several online meetings, researched how we could promote our collections using online book-carousels, uploaded some of the final manuscripts of the OSSA conference, uploaded a batch of ETDs into our repository, and answered a truckload of email.

I’m not sure if I’m going to report on my workings every week. I’m more interested in using the weeknotes format to help me keep up with my reading.


Speaking of which, this morning I spent some time with the latest issue of portal: Libraries and the Academy which has a variety of articles that touch on the role of the library liaison and of digital scholarship.

I saved for later this excerpt from Survey of Digital Humanities Online Guides in Canadian Academic Research Libraries:

In The Digital Scholar, Martin Weller argues that new digital tools are “necessary, but not sufficient, for any substantial change in scholarly practice” that they might help to bring about.8 His contention is that for these technologies to be truly transformative, three factors must converge: digital content, networks, and openness. When high-quality scholarly content can be shared digitally via online networks without legal restrictions, we enter an era of scholarship—digital scholarship—that differs substantially from the traditional one. An amplification of the scope of available academic content and the ability to instantly publish and share one’s content online challenges the fundamental assumptions about the nature of scholarly practice. Along this line, Robin Goodfellow and Mary Lea define digital scholarship as “the relatively recent invention of cross-disciplinary groups of individual scholars … who have begun to use technology to disseminate their own work outside the formal academic publishing system.”9

For at least the last twenty years, the academic library has been licensing collections of digital objects from commercial vendors for the private use of those only belonging to the campus. The work to maintain these collections is considered the work of a electronic resources librarian and is not considered digital scholarship. Expanding a bit from what I read from the above, digital scholarship is used to designate labour that is dedicated to the transformation of scholarship by making available collections of material openly licensed on the Internet and structured for use and re-use at both the item level and at the level in which the collection itself is data. As a scholcomm librarian, I particularly like this framing.


Also, as a scholcomm librarian, I appreciated and enjoyed this presentation on the promise and peril of transformative agreements by Brianne Selman.


🎃 Happy Hallowe’en! 🎃

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