What’s summer without road trips? On Monday, we took #dssrf17 on the road again, this time visiting our digital scholarship peers at Gettysburg College. We were inspired to start the DSSRF program after seeing librarians and students from Gettysburg and Lafayette present at last year’s Bucknell University Digital Scholarship Conference, so this was a perfect opportunity to get to know Gettysburg’s students and facilitators better. And I’m a Gettysburg alum (class of 1999), so any opportunity to visit my alma mater is welcome!
In the morning session, we did a workshop on elevator speeches, led by Courtney and Clint Baugess, Research & Instruction Librarian at Gettysburg. This was a chance for the students to get to know each other and become familiar with each others’ projects. We went through two rounds of elevator speeches: one round was crafted as if students were talking to a senior level administrator, and the second was crafted to an audience of each student’s choosing. The elevator speech practice would definitely come in handy for our students later in the week (more on that in a bit).
For the afternoon session, we did two rounds of peer evaluations and project workshopping. Students worked in groups – one senior fellow from Gettysburg, one junior fellow from Gettysburg, and one of our students. The #dssrf17 crew have all been working together so closely over the last seven weeks that it can be difficult to step back from the projects and give concrete, constructive feedback. Having fresh sets of eyes on their projects was enormously helpful to our students, and I know they all came away with good feedback and suggestions for improvements that they could make to their work. Hopefully they were able to offer constructive feedback to the Gettysburg students as well.
On Thursday, our students had an opportunity to meet with Param Bedi, Vice President of Library and Information Technology, for informal project presentations and discussion. Param has been a staunch supporter of DSSRF since we first started talking about creating this program, and this was a chance for him to see all the work the students have been doing over the last seven weeks. I’m sure Courtney and I have said this before, but it bears repeating: we’ve constantly been impressed with the levels of passion and knowledge that each of our students possess about their research topics, and Param was equally impressed with their work.
Next week is the final week of #dssrf17, and the students are working on fine-tuning their project sites for our final presentation session on July 21. It’s hard to believe we’ve already reached this point – it seems like just yesterday we were gathering for our first sessions and planning out projects! We can’t wait to see what the students finished products look like, and to share them with the larger community!