This post was submitted by Anna Maria Tammaro, PhD

2017 ASIS&T President Lynn Silipigni Connaway participated at two events this past October in Italy, introducing ASIS&T to Italian professionals, students and scholars. This was the first time ASIS&T has presented in Italy — the relevance of these events is high, considering that in Italy, Information Science is misunderstood as Computer Science and that there is still confusion about Documentation, Library Science and Information Science.

On Friday, October 21 the DILL International Master Consortia organized the DILL Master’s Student Research Colloquium in Parma University at the Department of Information Engineering. Panel experts included Graham Walton (UK), Ursula Georgy (Germany), Elena Corradini (IT) and DILL professors and was chaired by Lynn Silipigni Connaway. Ms. Connaway introduced the audience to ASIS&T;s networking history, activities and trends; stressing the importance of research as a professional career.

The DILL master’s students had the opportunity to give a lightning talk style presentation on their research projects. There was also the opportunity to network with colleagues, ask questions to the Panel, and discuss their research projects in an open environment.

On Monday October 24, ASIS&T collaborated with DILL International Master Consortia, AIUCD (Italian Digital Humanities branch of the European EADH) and OCLC Research to organize a Workshop entitled “Digital Humanities, Digital Library and Information Science: what relationship?” in Florence at the Biblioteca Umanistica University of Florence. The aim of the Workshop was to engage digital humanities scholars and digital library professionals and researchers in a conversation about Information Science and the research done by the two communities. The objectives of the Workshop were to build a bridge between Digital Humanities and Digital Libraries communities, outlining areas of synergies and possible cooperation.

Ms. Connaway, as keynote of the Workshop, introduced ASIS&T to the 50 participants and described the initial results of research being conducted on digital technology’s impact on scholars and librarians.

Participating Speakers were:

  • Maurizio Lana  University of Piemonte Orientale, creator of digilibLT project and chair of the ADHO Multilinguality Multiculturality Standing Committee.
  • Enrica Salvatori, University of Pisa, Assistant Professor of History, and Archaeological Informatics.
  • Maria Simi. Associate Professor. President of the study programmes in Digital Humanities; Member of the Digital Culture laboratory
  • Gianmaria Silvello is Assistant professor at Department of Information Engineering of the University of Padova
  • Paolo Sirito of Catholic University of the Sacred Heart , Milano. Library Department
  • Liliana Gregori of Catholic University of the Sacred Heart  Library Department,
  • Gabriele Lunati Amministratore delegato  IFNET-OCLC
  • Titia van der Werf is a Senior Program Officer in OCLC Research based in OCLC’s Leiden office. Titia coordinates OCLC Research

As a first result of the Workshop, an interesting conversation started about the gap between Digital Humanities scholars and Digital Libraries. The gap was evidenced on:

  • Weakness of network among staff, librarians, and faculty
  • Lack of shared vocabulary for describing research questions
  • Different teaching philosophies and strategies

After the Workshop, there is the intention to continue the conversation about the following key questions:

  • What kind of partnership (bridge) between staff, librarians, faculty is needed? What collaboration is desiderable?
  • What are the education and training needs of staff, librarians, faculty? Research has to  be done
  • Is Information Science the common discipline?

The conversation continues in Italian in the AIUCD Blog: http://infouma.hypotheses.org

It is also vital to continue the discussion at the international level; and could be very helpful in continuing the collaboration with ASIS&T to bridge the evidenced gap.

Post submitted by Anna Maria Tammaro, PhD,

Chair IFLA Library Theory and Research Section

Presidente Comitato Scientifico UNIPR CoLab

Università di Parma, Italy

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