With an SLC @ The Forefront seminar coming up with Joyce Valenza and Brenda Boyer on December 15, now is the perfect time to revisit Joyce’s article from 2012. In it, she talks about the importance of digital curation and its place in school librarianship.
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The Internet firehose analogy rings even truer today, twenty years after Internet access saw its beginning. Each of us is now not only a consumer but also a potential media producer, and it is easy to be drenched.
Human Filters Help
Digital curators can prevent oversaturation by filtering and diverting the onslaught and by directing what is worth sharing into more gentle and continuous streams.
Blogger, author, and NYU professor Clay Shirky, in Steve Rosebaum’s Mashable post, “Why Content Curation Is Here to Stay” on May 10, 2010, describes the problem with traditional search and identifies the issue of filter failure:
Curation comes up when search stops working. [But it’s more than a human-powered filter.] Curation comes up when people realize that it isn’t just about information seeking, it’s also about synchronizing a community.
[Part of the reason that human curation is so critical is simply the vast number of people who are now making and sharing media.] Everyone is a media outlet. The point of everyone being a media outlet is really not at all complicated. It just means that we can all put things out in the public view now (Shirky in http://mashable.com/2010/05/03/content-curation-creation/).
Human filters make a difference. Librarians can be filters in the best sense of the word. Librarians can synchronize communities.
Curators make sense of the vast amounts of content that are continually produced. They are talented at scouting, identifying relevance, evaluating, classifying, organizing, and presenting aggregated content for a targeted audience. They create what Allen Weiner calls “informed playlists” (http://curationchronicles.magnify.net/video/Clay-Shirky-6#c=M5ZX2G2S2CH2LNGS&t=Allen%20Weiner%20defines%20curation).
Perhaps Albert Barnes was the ultimate curator for the pre-digital world. His suburban Philadelphia art collection and educational facility was unlike any other. Barnes was known for his visionary scouting, and for his careful selection of art work before the world discovered it as great. Known for his thoughtful juxtaposition of paintings, Barnes created wall ensembles for his students. One section of a gallery wall might contain works of different styles, periods, and from different parts of the world. They were gathered strategically so they might be contextualized, compared, and studied. His goal was for these wall ensembles, these highly curated works, to inspire learning. Continue reading “From the Archives: Joyce Valenza on Digital Curation”