Er, both? Plus IT? I’ve never thought anything different, and if I’ve given the impression that I want to grab the entire pie for librarianship, I hereby apologize profusely.
Acknowledging right now that I have a big dog in this hunt?namely, that data curation is work I want to do?and that undoubtedly biases my analysis, my fear isn’t what Chris seems to think it is. My fear isn’t that libraries won’t own the entire data curation enterprise; libraries couldn’t if we wanted to. It’d be like saying that we want to own every single facet of book production, including authoring, because of our interest in the dissemination of books. We’d never say that; it’s senseless.
No, my fear is that libraries and librarians are being written entirely out of data curation?by librarian administrators like Mike Lesk, by consultants like Alma Swan, by IT folks like Chris himself, by researchers whose notion of libraries and librarians is stuck in the 1950s? and all of this rolling negativity leads librarians to assume we’re helpless and irrelevant. (It doesn’t help, of course, that learned helplessness faced with a technology-dependent problem is quite common in librarianship.)
This, despite the indubitable fact that outside the three or four fields that have established informatics specializations, the educational organizations that have stepped up to address this need are practically without exception library and information schools. What are we creating here? A situation in which our new cadre of trained professionals can’t get jobs because their chief qualification may have the fatal word “library” in it? Good gravy, I hope not!
I hope this clarifies my stance. Of course we need researchers. Of course we need IT. And, may I say: of course we need librarians.