So you know that you want to be a librarian, but have you thought about specializing in a certain field? Maybe you have an interest in emerging technologies or you want to work with researchers and students across the disciplines? Data visualization is a hot topic in librarianship, and specializations in data analytics and visualization is an exciting area of growth in the profession. I sat down with four visualization specialists who work within the University of Michigan Library system to get an idea of what their jobs entail.
READ MORE: So you want to be a Data Visualization Librarian? | hls.
As someone from outside librarianship, I am very glad to see libraries embracing data visualization. I had not been tuned into what libraries were doing for many years. And it wasn’t until coming across some of the great mapping / dataviz resources they offer that I started paying attention again. I really hope the trend continues!
Data visualization has been part of our profession for years. We have used analytical tools such as bibliometrics, altmetrics, assessment and surveys, etc. MLIS students are required to learn research methods, write research papers and how to apply for grants. I think librarians and information professionals have previously been less vocal and more modest about our abilities. Outreach and marketing has become a necessity to justify the existence of our programs services (whether for public, academic, special, or government libraries), so this is why I think there is more awareness now about our skills and abilities.