One of the most exciting pieces of the digital humanities is the chance to engage in scholarly discussions about the future of digital scholarship. I had the amazing chance to take part in some of those discussions at the 2015 Minnesota Academic and Research Libraries Divisions Day (ARLD Day). This experience definitely gave me some food for thought about the future of DH at Carleton. The theme of the conference was the open library and was integrated in a variety of different ways throughout the day.
The day began with a keynote address by Stephanie Davis-Kahl. She discussed the need for academic libraries to be open and accessible to encourage intellectual entrepreneurship. A spirit of entrepreneurship manifests itself when students, faculty, and staff take risks in order to seize opportunities. For us as DHAs, I think this is particularly important. Most of our work falls directly in the category of intellectual entrepreneurship and it is the element of the unknown that makes our work both exciting and difficult.
Davis-Kahl’s talk was organized around three key processes that make up the endeavor of intellectual entrepreneurship: imitation, assimilation, and innovation. Each of these pieces of the entrepreneurial process is important. However, I think innovation is probably where the most excitement as DHAs lies, for it is in innovation that we have the most opportunity to create and put our own ideas into the process.
I also attended a breakout session. The first focused on the future of the role of academic libraries and definitely gave me insight into the challenges academic librarians are currently facing. After a quick wander through the arboretum (how could I go to a garden and not take a walk?) I presented together with other staff and students from Gould Library. Our presentation highlighted the importance of involving students in the work of the library and how both students and the library benefit from this collaboration.