What’s the best way for an academic library to celebrate Valentine’s Day? Showing our love for data! Love Data Week (February 11–15), a collaborative initiative by data librarians in academic libraries across the world, is a social media event that celebrates how data intersects with our work and our lives. We joined a large community of libraries by participating in offering events that provided students and faculty with opportunities to explore every facet of data, including data management, sharing, preservation, reuse, and library-based research data services.
The River Campus Libraries’ contribution to Love Data Week included a series of workshops and speed data-ing events, making data fun, hands-on, and accessible to all. Faculty, students, and staff participated in five different workshops.
To begin Love Data Week, we offered a workshop called “Loving Your Data: The Relationship between You and Your Data Points” where participants learned about their data shadow and got practical tips for managing the long-tail of data they leave across the internet.
Following that, we offered “Letting Your Data Love You: Data Management Made Easy.” Participants learned simple tools and techniques for effectively managing both personal and research data.
A popular session was “Mad about Metadata,” where we introduced the basics of metadata and provided information on how good metadata practice can help someone in their personal and professional lives. Rounding out the series was “Can't Help Falling in Love with Tableau,” where we provided a hands-on introduction to creating interactive data visualizations.
Throughout the week, we had an ongoing data activity available in Lam Square called “Speed Data-ing: Find Data Love in 60 Seconds or Less!” These activities had participants share small amounts of data on different kinds of data tools, demonstrating data practices like heat maps, scatterplots, node-link diagram, and Venn diagrams.
These sessions were well-received by students and faculty. We had over 60 workshops attendees, and hundreds of participants in the “speed data-ing” activities. From this experience, we learned that there is a huge appetite for data-focused workshops and events. After participating in one of the Love Data workshop, graduate students Teresa Long said, “I’m definitely interested in more data vis(ualization) workshops, including more "advanced" stuff in Tableau!” As data becomes increasingly important to research and learning, the libraries will continue to explore how to provide the University of Rochester community with fun and easy on-ramps into these critical skills.
Photo credit: Image by Lennart Demes from Pixabay.