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Scout Calvert Named ARL Visiting Program Officer for Strategic Partnership to Advance Research Libraries’ Impact

Scout Calvert
Scout Calvert, photo by Shelby Kroske

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has appointed Scout Calvert as a visiting program officer effective October 1, 2019. Calvert is the data librarian at Michigan State University. As a visiting program officer, she will work with a team from ARL, the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI), and EDUCAUSE in a strategic partnership to better understand how research libraries—as collaborative partners in the research and learning enterprise—can best advance research and learning during these times of significant changes in the production, dissemination, and reuse of digital content.

The three partners are focused on understanding how such technologies and emerging disciplines as data science, artificial intelligence, mobility and ubiquitous networking, cloud and ambient computing, augmented/virtual reality, and the internet of things are—and are not—fundamentally transforming the way research and learning occur. More specifically, the partners will focus on understanding the role research libraries are playing and could play in this dynamic context.

Calvert will manage the project work and communications, co-facilitate roundtables and report the findings, conduct primary and secondary research, develop exemplars from across the partners’ shared institutions, and participate in writing the project’s final recommendations.

“Scout’s perspective on the sociology of technology is a critical lens as we work to surface recommendations to the field,” said Mary Lee Kennedy, ARL executive director. “She has an impressive breadth of experience and research that spans the sciences and social sciences, and that reflects her exploration of and innovation with digital tools for learning and research. The partners in the project are thrilled that she is joining the team.”

Calvert’s recent projects have traced the social aspects of data-centric knowledge production in lay communities of genetic genealogists, livestock breeders, and citizen scientists. Calvert also investigates data and metadata practices in libraries and among academic researchers, informing data policy issues in academic libraries.

Before going to Michigan State University, Calvert was a Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Postdoctoral Fellow in Data Curation for the Sciences and Social Sciences. She previously served as assistant project scientist at the University of California, Irvine, and was co-investigator, with others at the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), on the Health Data Exploration project.

Calvert earned her PhD from the University of California, Santa Cruz, in history of consciousness, a distinctive interdisciplinary graduate program, focusing on science and technology in society. She holds an MA in information resources and library science from the University of Arizona.

The ARL Visiting Program Officer program provides opportunities for outstanding staff members at ARL member libraries and archives to contribute to special projects and programs, either in whole or in part, in order to advance the agenda of the Association.


About the Association of Research Libraries

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 124 research libraries in Canada and the US whose mission is to advance research, learning, and scholarly communication. The Association fosters the open exchange of ideas and expertise, promotes equity and diversity, and pursues advocacy and public policy efforts that reflect the values of the library, scholarly, and higher education communities. ARL forges partnerships and catalyzes the collective efforts of research libraries to enable knowledge creation and to achieve enduring and barrier-free access to information. ARL is on the web at ARL.org.

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