There are several proposals hovering around the issue of how to better leverage digital collections within the humanities, and I want to give a thumbs-up to them all. I work with a gigantic pile of stuff at the Digital Library of Georgia (as a Digital Projects Archivist), but have little sense of how (if at all) it is used beyond the independent researcher or curious citizen.

Some questions as gestures towards a proposal(s):

1. What do humanities scholars want/need from digital collections to be of use in the classroom? Here I am thinking about navigating live through the DLG, or any online collection, for real time feedback (would be great to team up with other librarians). Which formats are most compelling…and for which disciplines? What would you like to be able to do with the stuff in our collections that you currently can’t (thinking about types of reuse, linking out, integrating into social media sites, editing, etc…). Is there anything we (any digital collection) could be doing to make our sites and our stuff more compelling to you?

2. Open Access publishing: gigantic sea creature of the deep wrapping its tentacles around the tenure process. We could kick around impacts of the Open Access movement on the ‘impact factor’ in tenure, but…does that really sound like fun? Bringing it back to the classroom, is there any interest in, or experience with, using publishing platforms for student work? At the Univ. of Georgia, we’ve recently launched our first online, open access, peer reviewed journal using Open Journal Systems from the Public Knowledge Project: the Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement. I’d be interested in discussing this platform (or others) with the curious, how it might be used by scholars looking for publishing options in this era of tight budgets, and/or how it might be deployed in a classroom.

3. Worst Digital metaphors/analogies lighting round. 5 minutes to compile examples of the most heinous, ideologically confused, confounding metaphors deployed to understand our relationship to the digital. “Series of tubes,” anyone? Maybe even a prize?