Happy Friday!

I’ve been reflecting on yesterday’s announcement by the provost to Information Services staff, that the library’s reporting line will change in July to the Vice Provost for Academic Programs.  As libraries continue to evolve, I think this decision reflects a new understanding by campus leadership of the academic mission that drives library services and programs.  Robust, innovative uses of technology are critical to many of the things we do for Cal Poly; but it’s learning, coupled with technology, that defines our value.   It’s interesting to me that we had a discussion of our mission, vision, and strategic plan this week with the Academic Services team, that is aligned very much with this thinking. As I find out more about this transition I’ll share it with you all.

The Cyber CSI data studio event yesterday featuring Cal Poly professor Zachary Peterson was fantastic.  There was a great turnout – students, college faculty, and ITS folks including many who had a role in creating the new cybersecurity lab in the College of Engineering.   One of the things that Dr. Peterson talked about was the best way to “erase” unwanted files for security reasons; and Dr. Peterson also described the dream of “self-describing storage systems”: I’m pretty sure this idea is out there in the library world as well in the form of digital objects that encode their own self-descriptions.

I’ve also been thinking about Dr. Peterson’s comment that we need much greater cultural understanding of data value – why it has value, and how that value changes with the context in which it’s used. This understanding is important to us not only as individuals but so that we have an informed electorate when it comes to making decisions (and laws) to manage the politics, economics, and ethics of data.  What roles can libraries and universities play in increasing all students’ cultural understanding of data value?

Don’t miss Special Collections’ celebration of Poly Royal in honor of its return this weekend! And just in time for returning and new campus visitors – we have a trifecta of beautiful portrait exhibits in our 1st and 2nd floor galleries.

Have a great open house weekend,

Anna

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