Digital Humanities in Library Spaces : A Case Study from UCLA

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Slides from our prepared talk during the panel presentation on November 5, 2013 at the Digital LIbrary Federation Forum 2013 in Austin TX. #dlfforum Presenting: Zoe Borovsky and Elizabeth (Lisa) …

Slides from our prepared talk during the panel presentation on November 5, 2013 at the Digital LIbrary Federation Forum 2013 in Austin TX. #dlfforum Presenting: Zoe Borovsky and Elizabeth (Lisa) McAulay UCLA Library

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  • The major renovation of UCLA’s Young Research Library included the addition of a Click 1reading room (with the reference collection),Click 2 a large conference room (with seats for over 100),Click 3 -- and a cluster spaces referred to as the “Research Commons.” Many of these new spaces were outfitted with large monitors and projectors for displaying digital content. The Research Commons was designed for small groups. Click 4It includes three instructional spaces, Click 5Laptop Lending areaClick 615 group study rooms and Click 620 “pods”
  • See if we can find a sleeper, or people studying individually – monitor not on.
  • New library spaces were utilized to great effect.  Although initially we hadn’t planned to host courses in the “commons”, we found that modeling the intended use was the most effective way to articulate our vision.  Although this is labor and resource intensive, we are convinced that by committing to dedicating our time and resources we get the best results.  


  • 1. Archaeology of Egypt and Sudan DLF November 5, 2013 Zoe Borovsky Librarian for Digital Research and Scholarship Lisa McAulay Librarian for Digital Collection Development Digital Humanities in the Library 2 UCLA
  • 2. 4 Entrance to the Research Commons UCLA
  • 3. 5 The Renovation Conference Pods Reading Room UCLA
  • 4. 6 Opportunities for group work? New DH Program Undergraduate Minor Graduate Certificate Or a quiet study hall? UCLA
  • 5. 7 A Case Study An undergraduate seminar Ancient Near East Studies, DH eligible Faculty: Willeke Wendrich  DH Faculty Member  Professor, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures UCLA
  • 6. 8 The Research Commons: a case study Lecture Group work UCLA
  • 7. 9 Group work UCLA
  • 8. 10 UCLA
  • 9. 11 Each group had 6 roles Project Coordinator Content Developer Copy Editor Image Coordinator Metadata specialist Markup specialist UCLA
  • 10. 12 UCLA
  • 11. 13 A successful experiment? Faculty and student perspective Library Takeaways Challenges ahead UCLA
  • 12. 14 From faculty perspective Prof. Willeke Wendrich…. “Students felt they created something meaningful, which was then published online for the whole world to see. For some students this was a transformative experience and the reactions were surprisingly emotional. Especially the publication part was something that was much appreciated, as was the experience with team work and learning new practical skills.” UCLA
  • 13. 15 From library perspective We are observing more group work in the Research Commons Programming Reservations Observe and evaluate UCLA
  • 14. 16 Take-aways Engage with faculty in creating meaningful assignments that are based on real research Demonstrate the process of doing digital scholarship – making it as open and transparent as possible Utilize Digital Humanities projects to engage students in course content as they also learn practical skills UCLA
  • 15. 17 Embedding librarians or embedding students? UCLA
  • 16. 18 Challenges, or the road ahead… UCLA
  • 17. 19 Challenges, or the road ahead… Will this success repeat? Was the first time a rarity? When we teach the class again in the Winter, will we see the same results? Can we measure our success? (core DH courses may require a different ratio of practical skills and content) How can we scale this approach to include more courses? What other forms of engagement can be similarly fruitful? UCLA