Love your data by learning how to get the most out of it

You probably know that the University of Michigan Library offers a variety of educational programs, but did you know that these programs include topics relevant to working with research data?

The Clark Library has long offered classes and workshops on locating, mapping and visualizing data.  Three data librarians, a government information librarian, an international government librarian, and two map librarians provide seamless services for identifying, obtaining and working with data & statistics.  More information is on the  Clark Library Classes and Workshops, but some examples are:

  • Justin Joque (Visualization Librarian) teaches classes on Data Visualization topics in open workshops or as a component of existing courses.
  • Nicole Scholtz (Spatial and Numeric Librarian) teaches workshops on Mapping Data using a variety of geospatial software and tools.
  • Catherine Morse (Government Information Librarian) has offered classes on finding and using data from the American National Election Studies, the US Census Bureau and public opinion data from reliable sources.
  • Jungwon Yang (International Government Information Librarian) and Mara Blake (Spatial and Numeric Librarian) offered a workshop on Social Science Statistics and Mapping Tools to teach student how to find and visualize political, economic and social data sets.

In addition, librarians at Michigan are increasingly exploring how we can apply our knowledge, skills and perspectives towards addressing the challenges and opportunities arising in managing, organizing, sharing and curating research data.

The following list is just a sample of what we teach and research:

  • Sara Samuel (Engineering Librarian), Jake Carlson (Research Data Services Manager) and Joanna Thielen (University Library Associate) are currently teaching a semester-long course on Data Management and Stewardship for the Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering Department.
  • Sigrid Cordell (English Language and Literature Librarian), Jake Carlson (Research Data Services Manager), and Justin Schell (Learning Design Specialist) recently taught a day long workshop on managing data effectively for Humanities researchers.    
  • Leena Lalwani, Paul Grochowski and Sara Samuel (Engineering Librarians) offered a workshop on Organizing Personal Files and Research Data in December 2015. They also offer workshops to help researchers develop a strong Data Management Plan as a part of applying for a grant.   
  • Ye Li (Chemistry Librarian) has incorporated guidance on Managing Chemistry Data into some of her undergraduate instruction sessions on searching and evaluating the scholarly literature of Chemistry.  

We continue to explore opportunities to educate students on the types of issues they may face as consumers or producers of data sets. Is data education for students an area of interest for you as well? We’d love to hear more about the needs of your students,  how you have responded to them, and how we can help. Please feel free to contact us at