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Dylan Burns

Dylan Burns

Arts and Humanities Librarian, University of Washington
Dylan Burns is a Cinema, Media Studies, and Music Librarian at the University of Washington in Seattle. For the previous three years, he served a Digital Scholarship Librarian at Utah State University. His work crosses interdisciplinary and pedagogical boundaries as he seeks to foster digital scholarship and digital pedagogy in his daily liaison work. He has designed coursework for podcasting, digital humanities, digital storytelling, and digital exhibits in humanities disciplines across campus. His research focuses on open access publishing, open educational resources in tenure, the future of the library career, digital humanities and the library, and digital library terminologies and usability.

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Rob Sanderson of the J. Paul Getty Trust tweeted in 2018 that “The interface /is/ the application, regardless of the technology. Building better interfaces is building a better world.” What are the implications of that for both library and vendor communities? Data sets, open educational resources, video and audio files are part and parcel of academic activity. Such output may be properly housed on institutional servers but is the associated metadata for those materials sufficient to enable reuse by others in the long-term? What might libraries need to do to better support discovery and reuse of research output that has not been (or may never be) fully integrated with more traditional publication formats? What elements (descriptive or otherwise) might need to be included in order for users to understand the potential reuse of the material? And at the same time, is it reasonable to expect a single interface to satisfy the diverse needs of the domain expert, the interdisciplinary scholar, as well as the undergraduate just beginning to explore? How complex can a useful interface be? Is it possible to reverse devotion to the single search box? It’s time to talk about design and use of a service’s native interface!

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