Let's carry forward the conversation

Thanks to everyone for joining us for an amazing day and a half in DC. The proceedings are posted below, along with links to fully searchable transcribed audio, and we encourage you to share them so that others can jump in as well. The workshop arrived at two essential macro conclusions: 1) we have to do a better job at delivering solutions for digital discovery and access to the arctic treasures held in libraries, archives and museums; 2) much of the technical, organizational and professional infrastructure necessary to do this is already in place, and yet we are limited by stove-piping. Our challenge is not one of invention, but of innovation. We must strive to line up existing tools, infrastructure, and resources in new transformative ways to deliver on our collective promise to the arctic and to those who would learn from it. Anna Kerttula set out for us the next critical test: Identify a focal point for one or several actionable pilot projects. We are far from any final determination, but the target is clear: small but representative proving grounds for quick agile cycles of experimentation, user testing and learning; and where we might quickly apply these incremental lessons to scale across many of the larger portals. What do you think?

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Comments (2)

  • anon

    Thank you all for a great workshop. I concur with Aaron that our gathering was very useful, and provided a better sense of ways forward that should prove to be transformative above all.

    Existing infrastructure can be leveraged, and offers a base upon which to build up further access. It may be that a key pilot project can emerge that offers a heuristic roadmap forward.

    In terms of increasing access to the standard resources of libraries, archives, and museums that have extensive Arctic collections --and by this, I mean special collections, rare manuscripts, journals, photographs, maps, and artifacts, among other formats -- the discovery process for the researcher remains weak and inconsistent.

    A typical search on Google returns a plethora of results on Arctic "portals", most of which shows that portals imply different things to diffferent people. Some sites list scientific data sets, some offer basic information, some are even Arctic quiz responses. One terms itself an "Arctic Portal Library" (and was referenced a few times in the workshop), yet this "library" is run by a small team in Akureryi, Iceland, that focuses on modern scientific topics and has no seeming connection to any traditional library. It is not an Arctic library portal by any standard institutional definition.

    Let's not get confused by a variant use of terminology.

    What clearly remains missing is still a straight-forward and unified access to the treasures of the very circumpolar institutions that were represented at the workshop. Traditional and established institutions with agreed-upon collections strategies of libraries, archives, and museums worldwide. It is this community that needs a much higher profile, and whose widespread collections are in need of enhanced discoverability.

    The U.S. Arctic Research Commission provided a service recently by constructing an "Arctic Science Portal" that provides an easier integrated access to all the scientific sites with relevant Arctic research programs and data. But again, this is not a library portal that provides access to the traditional collections of established global institutions. Let's focus on these partners, some of whom were in the room at our workshop, and see how we can enhance electronic access to their rich collections.

    Dec 29, 2016
  • anon

    Aaron ... do you think it is worth reaching out to ARcticportal.org to see if they could host more arctic digital data than they already are?

    I have been surfing their site and they regularly update a lot of information, so the site is quite active. Curious?!?

    Thank you again for hosting an informative, insightful and enjoyable session!

    Meg Beckel

    Jan 04, 2017

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