Attending the RDAP Summit was a great opportunity for me, and it allowed me to learn new skills and consider new perspectives that I am already integrating into my work. I am currently the Liaison and Communications Librarian at A.T. Still University, a graduate-level health sciences university. In this role, I split my time between being a liaison to several programs and overseeing the marketing for the library. Recently, I have taken the lead on re-launching our data services after the departure of another librarian, and I am acting as our data librarian for the whole university.
In this context, the RDAP Summit could not have been better timed, as it allowed me to see current trends and activities happening around research data management, and has helped me refine my approach to data services at my institution. I attended a wide variety of sessions on teaching, data curation, and data sharing, focusing on what is most applicable to my position. Of these, the "A Curation Primer for Data Accessibility" session deserves special mention, as it had me thinking about data accessibility in ways I had not considered before, and left me with a resource I can refer back to and share with others as I start to think about starting discussions at my institution about data accessibility. This session also echoes the keynote session on Indigenous data stewardship, a topic that I am continuing to learn more about and am hoping to start addressing soon with researchers at my university. These two sessions in conversation made me think about how little data accessibility and inclusivity have been addressed, at least in my own experience, in both librarian circles and among researchers and other stakeholders at my university.
One of the highlights of the Summit for me was the communities feature in the conference web app. Just peeking in on some of those conversations gave me new ideas and insights. I also found it incredibly helpful in orienting myself to ongoing conversations around research data, identifying new resources and readings, and helping me to feel a bit more like a member of the RDAP community. A special shout-out has to go to the Pets discussion board, which is the best way I’ve seen to help break up a long day of Zoom webinars.
To me, the most valuable part of the summit was simply being able to be a part of a wider community and participate in current conversations around research data. As a newcomer to research data management and data librarianship, this conference has really helped to inspire me and push me in new directions as a librarian.