2014 Scholarship Winner Essay: Arden Kirkland

By Arden Kirkland, 2014 ACRL-NY Symposium Scholarship Recipient

The ACRL-NY symposium left me feeling invigorated, part of a warm and welcoming community ready to fight the good fight for open access. I was very pleased that Brett Bobley began our day with projects that share material culture, visual resources, and a range of research data beyond traditional text-based work. I’m eager to help scholars in the arts and humanities to see the value of sharing their research openly, from raw forms to finished projects/publications in all types of media, and he presented some great collaborative models to follow. Such examples can help me to show others the choices that make the difference between simply sharing data and facilitating reuse of data; the latter is key to new scholarship opening up around artifacts that are spread out in collections around the world. I wanted to stand up and cheer when he stressed the importance of metadata and research data librarians in preparing data management plans for grant proposals, as that is a gap that I hope to fill after I complete my MSLIS this spring.


After lunch, Micah Vandegrift’s call to action, especially regarding open access to publications in our own field, was just what I needed to hear as I prepare to negotiate the contract for my own first journal article. All in all, while the presentations, posters, and breakout discussions confirmed my concerns for the challenges of open access, they also reaffirmed my commitment to surmount such challenges and offered numerous strategies and resources to help.

Arden Kirkland (@ardeninred) just completed her MSLIS at the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University, where she had already completed a CAS in Digital Libraries. Arden’s MSLIS work builds upon her MFA, building digital collections for teaching with material culture and helping communities in the Arts and Humanities to recognize the value of their research data and make it available for inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional reuse. Arden’s work can be explored at ardenkirkland.com.

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