Qualitative Social Science/Humanities at IASSIST

IASSIST 2017 was, as usual, an enlightening but exhausting conference. Getting to Lawrence, Kansas wasn’t the easiest process, but I’m glad I made it, and I plan to post notes as soon as I’ve slept in a non-dorm bed. We have notes from our Qualitative Social Sciences and Humanities Data Interest Group meeting if you are interested or missed out. It is a great group and I am excited about the plans in the works.

Below is my part of the panel that QSSHDIG (pronounced quish-dig) planned. More info is available about that on our google doc too.

Saving government data: A conversation with the future

Interested in the data rescue efforts happening around the country? This webinar provides some context and information on ways to get involved. Thanks to Shari Laster, Jim Jacobs, James Jacobs, and Laurie Allen for a great webinar!

Links mentioned in the video:


Help! I’m an Accidental Government Information Librarian webinar on the NOAA Digital Coast

The NOAA Digital Coast was developed to meet the unique needs of the coastal management community. The website provides not only coastal data, but also the tools, training, and information needed to make these data truly useful. Content comes from many sources, all of which are vetted by NOAA. The Data Registry allows users to explore and download data. Data sets range from economic data to aerial based lidar data. This webinar will provide an overview of the Digital Coast as well as show users how to search for and download data through the Data Registry and the Data Access Viewer.

Erik Hund is a Physical Scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Office for Coastal Management. He has over 30 years of experience working with aerial photography and satellite imagery, and is the Co-Lead on the Digital Coast Project.
We will meet together for Session #70, online on April 19 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. (Eastern). Please RSVP for the session using this link:  http://tinyurl.com/grs-session70
We will use WebEx for the live session. Information on testing and accessing the session will be made available when you register.
The session will be recorded and available after the live session, linked from the NCLA GRS web page (http://www.nclaonline.org/government-resources).


A dream of a “fact-based worldview:” The passing of Hans Rosling


Have a few hours to kill? Gapminder is the thing for you!

For the past seven years I have used Hans Rosling’s video “200 countries, 200 years, 4 minutes” as an introduction to economic development. I teach a general education course, so the students have varying levels of comfort with data and economics. The video has always generated lively discussions about development. The students talk about how we conceive of “poverty” and if a standard of living measure is sufficient. They usually on their own develop an understanding of poverty that aligns with the Human Development Index. They on their own bring up questions about access to adequate food and access to public schools and free education. We also have discussions of inequality within societies, which Rosling nicely demonstrates in his China example in the video.

Rosling passed away yesterday and it is a great loss for many communities of practice, including the government information world. He worked to promote a fact-based worldview through his TED talks and the development of Gapminder. His aim in all of these endeavors was to make data accessible to everyone as a protection against ignorance. His videos provide a entree into world where data is used to ask questions and test hypotheses rather than just support opinions.

If you aren’t familiar with Rosling, I encourage you to watch his videos, especially his most famous TED talk (below). He was a visionary and, in this world of alternative facts, he will be missed.

Upcoming Help! webinar

This one is sure to be fun! Katharin is always a great presenter and has great jokes!

Help! I’m an Accidental Government Information Librarian presents … Introduction to Research Data Management for Librarians

The Government Resources Section of the North Carolina Library Association welcomes you to a series of webinars designed to help us increase our familiarity with government information. All are welcome because government information wants to be free.

What is it? Why should you care? What can librarians do about it? Webinar will present an overview of Research Data Management including: data management planning, how data fits into the research lifecycle and scholarly communication, and key resources/strategies for liaison librarians working with faculty and other researchers.

Katharin Peter is the Social Sciences Data Librarian for the Von KleinSmid Center Library for International and Public Affairs at the University of Southern California. She has a BA in Sociology, a Master’s in Library & Information Science, and a Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Science & Technology.

We will meet together online on January 18 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. (Eastern). Please RSVP for the session using this link: http://tinyurl.com/grs-session66

We will use WebEx for the live session. Information on testing and accessing the session will be made available when you register.

The session will be recorded and available after the live session, linked from the NCLA GRS web page (http://www.nclaonline.org/government-resources).

NCLA GRS Making Elections Great Again!

NCLA’s Government Resources Section‘s latest webinar on Election Data and More is up on YouTube. Even though we all have election fatigue, students and researchers will be asking for election and voter turnout data. Jeremy from Princeton gives a great overview of the available resources (free and subscription) and talks about the accessibility of each resource for users of different skill levels (e.g., if they have stat software abilities or not). Definitely recommended for all types of research support librarians! You can see his slides and access links on Slideshare.

Sign up for our next webinar on International Government Survey Data and check out more of the Help! I’m an Accidental Gov Info Librarian series on YouTube.