Preparing for Careers in Digital Curation: Results from New Educational Programs and Partnerships in the LAM Sector

Peter Botticelli, Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science, USA, Michele Cloonan, Simmons College, USA, Phyllis Hecht, Johns Hopkins University, USA

This professional forum will examine how educational programs are evolving to better enable professionals to acquire the skills and knowledge required to manage digital assets in the Library, Archives, and Museum (LAM) sector. We will discuss our results from an ongoing project to gather feedback from a range of LAM professionals, including new practitioners, mid-career professionals, and senior administrators who are grappling with the challenges of managing digital projects and data repositories, and considering preservation methods for born-digital objects. This work is part of a larger effort by museum, library, and archival educators to understand how individuals and professional communities are responding to rapid changes in technology affecting key stages of the data lifecycle, and how career paths and professional roles are evolving within our respective disciplines. In particular, we will focus on the interdisciplinary and collaborative aspects of digital asset management, and on the organizational and technical skills needed for the emerging field of digital curation. Finally, we will discuss how LAM-related curricula and teaching methods are changing to meet the needs of cultural heritage today.

As the curricula for these and related programs evolve over time, and especially as we recruit students, we have been actively working to articulate the interdisciplinary nature of digital curation and to develop new opportunities for intensive, hands-on learning through a variety of practical engagement opportunities for students. In the discussion, we will share our experiences in working to reshape LAM education for the digital age, and we will examine the need to build closer partnerships between educators and practitioners in helping our institutions meet the challenges we face in a rapidly-changing technology environment.

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