Oluwaseun Obasola

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Oluwaseun is a Chevening Fellow working at the British Library on a project tagged ‘Big Data and Libraries’. 
Published date:

The British Library is rich in resources and digital ingenuities that libraries and information professionals have a lot to learn from.

Key points

  • The project involved a series of interviews with staff from different areas of the British Library to learn about the range of digital and data initiatives 
  • Its goal is to create awareness of the British Library's digital initiatives among African librarians
  • Led to the development of an online directory of data portals for research datasets on African countries
As a Chevening Fellow at the British Library in 2016-17, I was involved in a project called ‘Big Data and Libraries’. During my time at the BL, I conducted a series of interviews with staff from different units of the Library (Digital Scholarship, Services and Content Development STM, Reference Services, Research Development, Higher Education, the Alan Turing Institute, Cataloguing and Digitisation). My interactions revealed that the BL is home to many on-going projects that other libraries and information professionals can learn from. Part of the project therefore focused on creating awareness and learning from the digitisation initiatives at the BL, as well as improving global visibility of otherwise obscure research data, thus increasing access to this data. 

My fellowship at the British Library resulted in:

  • A video clip on Digital Archiving aimed at creating awareness about digital initiative at the BL. The video clip also provides basic knowledge about digitisation and digital archiving, which will be useful for librarians and archivists in training, especially in Africa.
  • DODRIA (Directory of Data Repositories in Africa), an online directory that provides access to research data sets on African countries. The directory fills a gap, as well as promotes invisible data portals in data directories such as repository of research data (re3data.org), Open Data for Africa and Afrobarometer. It can serve as a finding aid for students, researchers and libraries offering research data services and other users of data.

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