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Published January 8, 2019

Improving the employability of data science librarians in the 21st century

Training program focuses on librarians developing skills working with big data

The 21st century workplace is driven by data, creating a need for employees who can manage this influx of information. “The need to train data science librarians stems from the ever-increasing amounts of patient data being generated by electronic health records, as well by as the internet and social media,” said Diane G. Schwartz, research associate professor from the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

Schwartz and co-investigator Ying Sun, associate professor from the Department of Information Science in the Graduate School of Education, were awarded a $25,000 grant to address this need. The grant, funded by the National Library of Medicine of the National Institutes of Health will help the University at Buffalo researchers develop a new data science librarian training program.

The new training program will provide practitioners with specific skills to work in the academic, hospital, health-related and library professions, including libraries focused on specific subjects. Upon program completion, participants will have data science micro-credentials, which are skill sets that are more narrowly focused, more flexible and quicker to achieve than traditional degrees or certificate programs.

“Our goal is to develop micro-credentials that will provide library and information studies graduate students and practicing health science librarians with the knowledge, skills and attributes they need in order to successfully compete for data science positions,” said Schwartz.

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