TALENT Network
Training of Archival & Library Educators with iNnovative Technologies
Funded by IMLS Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Implementation Grant

Professors Richard Marciano, Principal Investigator, (University of Maryland Advanced Information Collaboratory – AIC in the College of Information Studies) and Anne Gilliland, Co-PI (University of California, Los Angeles Center for Information as Evidence – CIE in the School of Education & Information Studies) have been awarded a two-year $400K Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian (LB21) Implementation Grant to launch the TALENT Network to promote the Training of Archival & Library Educators with iNnovative Technologies.

TALENT brings together experts from across the United States (including archivists, librarians, Library and Information Science educators, historians, learning scientists, cognitive scientists, computer scientists, and software engineers) in order to create a durable, diverse, and multidisciplinary national community focused on developing digital expertise and leadership skills among archival and library educators. Core network staff include: Dr. Phil Piety (learning and information scientists), Greg Jansen (senior research software architect), Mark Conrad (digital archivist), and Dr. Michael Kurtz (archival science researcher and project manager).

Dr. Marciano states: “There is an urgent need to change the Library and Information Science (LIS) culture with respect to computational and data science skills. Simply put, our goal is to modernize the way digital LIS and computational education is conducted. Towards this goal, we have assembled a network of networks with national leaders in archives, learning science, and technology.”

Dr. Gilliland adds that: “Archives are increasingly critiqued as institutions whose holdings and practices favor high power records creators and users and disadvantage, marginalize and mischaracterize those who have historically not had such power. Given these facts, it is essential that archivists have the competencies both to assess and respond to the risks and ethical challenges posed by evolving digital technologies used by records creators and by archives, and to ensure they are deployed in appropriate, equitable and liberatory ways.”

Figure: TALENT Network Partner Institutions shown as a network of networks

The network will focus on four major objectives:

  1. Double an existing Piloting Network of iSchools by adding several multidisciplinary LIS schools with a focus on “adjacent” fields (e.g., computer science, engineering, data science, and education), providing substantial opportunities for archivists and librarians with digital and computational skills.
    Augment an existing Educator Network consisting of U. Maryland (Dr. Richard Marciano), Kent State (Dr. Karen Gracy), U. Missouri (Dr. Sarah Buchanan), and Clayton State (Prof. Joshua Kitchens). New nodes will include: Drexel College of Computing & Informatics (Prof. Adelaida Alban Medlock, Head of Undergraduate Affairs), Indiana U. Bloomington School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering (Dr. Devan Donaldson, MLS Program Director), UCLA School of Education & Information Studies (Dr. Anne Gilliland), and U. Washington iSchool & Cultural Analytics (Dr. Melanie Walsh, author of “Introduction to Cultural Analytics and Python”).
  2. Engage Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) students in the greater Atlanta community through a pilot program with two HBCUs: Spelman College (College Archivist Holly Smith, Chair of the Computer and Information Sciences Department – CIS, Dr. Raquel Hill, and CIS Prof. Sandrilla Washington) and Clark Atlanta University – CAU (Associate Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Rico Chapman), with coordination support from the Georgia Tech Library (Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Outreach, Dr. Aisha Johnson).
  3. Conduct curriculum development and assessment using Jupyter Notebooks through experts from two Learning Sciences networks: GSoLEN (Global Science of Learning for Education Network, Dr. Andrea Chiba – Cognitive Science Department at UC San Diego) and Vanderbilt Department of Teaching and Learning (Dr. Rogers Hall).
  4. Address the social and ethical concerns that arise from computational and algorithmic thinking through a partnership with the UCLA Center for Information as Evidence – CIE (Dr. Anne Gilliland).

The project will be also be an opportunity for a number of AIC Research Fellows and students to engage and collaborate.