Dr. Yunfei Du co-author's new textbook for Data Librarians

Dr. Yunfei Du

The College of Information, Associate Dean of Academics and Professor Yunfei Du, released a new book aimed at the growing demand for information on data librarianship. This is Du’s third textbook on librarianship. The book titled Data Science Librarians co-authored by Hammad Khan, a data librarian at the University of Texas at Arlington, and a doctoral candidate in the College of Information at the University of North Texas. The origins of this book also follow the demand for the recently developed undergraduate and graduate data science programs within the Department of Information Science. According to Du, the program gained attention from the industries and the data science enrollment quadrupled. The book was written partially based on the reflections of the data science curriculum design.

“This book focuses on the core competency of data science in librarianship. It is comprised of an intensive review of literature on concepts and topics of data science in librarianship. These important concepts can prepare data librarians and empower new library workforce to be ready for the new job market in the digital age,” says Du.

Professor Du expects readers will have various backgrounds in graduate or upper undergraduate elective courses in library services. He also sees readers in the academic, public, and school library managers, library science students, and library and information science educators. In the book Du and Khan review the concepts, theoretical framework, and practical tools, such as data science, data curation, research data management, research data services, data analytic tools and applications, big data storage and retrieval, data sources, data ethics and policies, and data for academic, public, and special libraries.

“This book will provide an overview of conceptual and practical tools for data librarian practice,” says Du.

He adds that the need for this publication is due in part to the quickly evolving field of data science.

“Libraries have yet to respond to core competencies and skills required to perform the job duties of a data librarian. As society transitions from the information age into the era of big data, librarians and information professionals require new knowledge and skills for data librarianship to stay current and take on new job roles, such as data librarians,” says Du.

The authors see the book as an essential tool for library practitioners, library and information science students, and educators of the data science curriculum. The book includes new skills such as data curation, research data management, statistical analysis, business analytics, visualization, smart city data, and learning analytics.

“Analytics are relevant in library services today and it will continue to be in the future,” says Du.

Professor Du’s teaching areas include academic libraries, reference services, and human information behavior. Khan’s research area is data literacy in library settings. He has published in the area of academic libraries, research data services, data literacy, and data librarianship.