Digital Scholarship at Bucknell: It’s About Building Relationships
Presentation with Matthew Gardzina at DLF: Liberal Arts College Preconference, Vancouver, BC, October 2015.
A video recording of the session can be accessed here.
Abstract: Charged with creating a digital humanities initiative that was innovative, intentional, and collaborative, Library and Information Technology realized that we required an inclusive approach that opened up digital scholarship to all divisions at Bucknell while emphasizing the liberal arts’ commitment to student engagement. Short answer: it’s about building relationships. Ten years ago Bucknell’s Digital Initiatives group, Instructional Technology (ITEC), and Research Services were responsive service providers, but did little to drive innovation. Today, a reimagined ITEC, comprised of instructional technologists, GIS and multi-media specialists, postdocs, and digital scholarship coordinators leads digital scholarship efforts on campus by moving from transactional to transformational interactions in order to foster lasting partnerships. As an instructional technology group, we have found that our first interactions with faculty are often helping to develop an assignment for a course. Even in these early conversations, we consult on pedagogical design when discussing timelines, training, digital literacies, privacy, and assessment of multi-modal projects. Moving forward, the relationships we build with faculty and students often involve collaborations on scholarship, multi-semester projects, summer research grants (for students to work with faculty and members of ITEC), making connections across disciplines and divisions, and faculty course redesigns, all of which impact students and their engagement in coursework and scholarly research. While there are challenges for building digital scholarship efforts at a LACs, ITEC maintains a unique position as a hybrid group–with strengths in academics and technology–within a merged L&IT division. This allows us to draw on the expertise of our research librarians, web programmers, and systems integration team. Building a cohort of digital practitioners hasn’t been all unicorns and rainbows, there have been learning curves, failures, and workflow challenges arising out of our own success. We’ll be sure to cover it all in twenty minutes and include a picture of a puppy.//