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Digital Content Curation

You may or may not already know that Neatorama author John Farrier is also a librarian. The two jobs aren’t as different as you may think! He wrote about the process of “content curation” in an essay on the skills librarians need and develop in the digital information age. For Neatorama, John sifts through an amazing amount of internet material in order to find the neatest items for the site, then condenses them down to bite-size while still giving just enough information for you to decide whether a link is worth exploring further.

Does all of this sound familiar? It’s what reference librarians do every day. We navigate the world of information to find the best content for our patrons in a timely manner. Have we discerned what the patron is looking for? What are the best sources for it available? Can we get to it quickly? How do we effectively present it to the patron? These are questions that reference librarians ask and answer during the reference interviewing process. They’re also what content curators do.

I’ve noticed that my mental habits and thought processes as a librarian have served me well as a content curator. Many, possibly most, curators are trained as freelance writers, so they know how to write in an amusing and witty manner. That’s important. But my ability to find content efficiently with the readers’ preferences in mind – a skill formed and honed at the reference desk – has given me an edge in the curation business. So I’m proposing that librarians look at digital content curation as a potential career.

You can read more about what goes into content curation, both in blogs and in libraries, at Library Journal. Link

(Image credit: Flickr user Rob Ireton)

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Date
February 2nd, 2012

Author
Stranger to the World

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