Welcome to The Sustainability Sandbox blog series! The Alexandria Archive Institute and Open Context advocate for data sharing, data literacy, open access, and community collaborations. In this series, we share the story of our journey to identify and develop digital data management, public engagement, and data literacy projects with potential partner institutions.
If you’ve been following along with posts in The Sustainability Sandbox blog series over the past year, you’re probably already familiar with the work we’ve been doing with the American Society of Overseas Research Early Career Scholars Committee (ASOR ECS) to develop and pilot our professional development curriculum. The initial result of this work was Digging Up Data, a program that aimed to offer ASOR members an introduction to data literacy. Collaboratively organized as a series of three virtual workshops led in fall 2021, these live sessions were recorded and are now shared on ASORtv.
The overwhelming interest in this initial collaboration encouraged us to team up again to offer the next installment in the Digging Up Data series: an experimental program entitled Turning an Idea into Digital Scholarship. Under the mentorship of Leigh Anne Lieberman (AAI/OC) and Tiffany Earley-Spadoni (ASOR ECS), participants in this program will work during the upcoming year to develop a public-facing, engaging, data-driven digital project concerning some aspect of their research. This exciting work has already begun, and we’re looking forward to introducing you to our participants and their projects over the coming months!
In the meantime, one of our goals has been to reflect on all the work we’ve done to get here. For that reason, we’re in the process of assessing all the data we gathered about our fall workshops and from the participants who attended. We’re thinking carefully about and visualizing these data. One important observation, for instance, concerning attitudes about data illustrates that while an overwhelming majority of participants in these workshops think working with data is important for them and their future careers, a similar majority felt that they lacked both the training and the comfort to do so.
Soon, we’ll be ready to share a kind of data story about this work with members of our Executive Board, our Sustainability Advisory Board, and representatives from ASOR. This data story will not only summarize our insights, but will also offer recommendations about how we might want to continue to grow our professional development curriculum and about how this growth contributes to our overall sustainability goals. Ultimately, we’re aiming to make this assessment public, so that others can continue to build on the work that we’ve already accomplished. And when that’s launched, you’ll be the first to know.
We’re looking to build relationships with libraries, museums, educational organizations, and other cultural heritage groups. If you’d like to connect and discuss a potential collaboration, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you!