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Library and Information Science Education in the Age of Big Data

HKLA News

Library and Information Science Education in the Age of Big Data

HKLA hosted a talk by Professor Stephen Downie (School of Information Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) on 「Library and Information Science Education in the Age of Big Data」 on 20th March 2019. Professor Downie shared his education and career path to demonstrate the importance of data in library and information retrieval. First he elaborated on his area of study – musical data retrieval, as an example of applying text mining to convert music into data for analysis and information retrieval. In our digital age, analog music can become searchable and analyzable. As more music data is produced, the data analysis methods require librarians to distill and enrich metadata. This is essential for information retrieval in the age of Big Data. Second, Professor Downie highlighted a few music data platforms and experiments like Songle, which was built as a global music library. And lastly, Professor Downie suggested librarians should learn programming and tools like Python and Open Refine to handle large collections of complex data. He suggested librarians should develop knowledge of machine learning and become familiar with new technology in data collections like Linked Open Data, Triple-store technologies, RDF and more. He concluded by saying that information professionals should pay equal attention to information, technology, and people in the age of Big Data. Overall it was a fun, informative, and captivating talk to inspire information professionals,

Ryun Lee
CUHK Library