The research article performed by Jeonghyun Kim et al. in “Competencies Required for Digital Curation: An Analysis of Job Advertisements” is a useful compilation of what employer’s are looking for when they ask for a digital curator. More than that, the article looks at the emerging concept of digital curation, what it is coming to mean in the job market, and if the necessary competencies to perform it can be identified. I think what I find both so exciting and intimidating about this article is realizing how new positions like digital curator actual are. This article was published in 2013 to help create a list of competencies around which to build a program teaching those necessary skills. While curation is a core of information technology and has been the realm of Libraries and Museums for hundreds of years, bringing curation into the digital world requires forethought and imagination. Metadata is only one of the skills necessary for digital curation, and the list can be very daunting especially to young professionals like me. However, taking stock of the emerging opportunities and identifying the needs therein is both necessary and helpful.
Nathan Torkington’s speech had an interesting metaphor comparing libraries to the company Microsoft. The general idea that libraries were not only not doing enough digitally, but that they are still on the “wrong foot” or old idea model was vivid and a little unsettling. I could relate to the concept that libraries are, in general, adding digital collections and access like special features on a somewhat outdated machine. Reimagining libraries for a digital setting is intimidating because, as with all new things, there is so much potential to go wrong. I’m excited to see how metadata helps shape libraries’ identities in a digital world. (Nathan Torkington’s 2011 speech can be found here)