Gaining Competency in Data Visualization

I couldn’t be more excited that my latest journal article, “Gaining Competency: Learning to Teach Data Visualization,” was just published in the Journal of eScience Librarianship.

The idea behind the paper is: how do we as librarians teach data skills in an area, specifically data visualization, in which we often have little expertise? Data librarians teach many data competencies, but the “data visualization” competency has always been an awkward one. We see a lot of desire for help in this area but don’t always have the expertise to meet this need. Data visualization has not historically be associated with the library and it isn’t covered in our usual data-management-based curricula. This paper seeks to close this gap.

I admit that it’s a quirky little paper. So many papers in librarianship are in the “we did this awesome thing” mold, and there’s a health dose of that in this paper in that I discuss the data visualization workshop I offer at my institution. However, I decided to go a step further by describing the lead-up process in which I prepared to teach the workshop. I thought it might benefit other librarians to have a framework for developing our own skills to the point where we can help others with data visualization.

So if you’ve ever thought about supporting data visualization but don’t feel like you have the requisite skills, I encourage you to check out my new paper. It’s part of a larger data visualization special issue and I’m certainly looking forward to digging into the whole issue!