Data literacy instruction in academic libraries: best practices for librarians


  • Amanda Wanner University of British Columbia



academic libraries, data literacy, information literacy, data information literacy, library instruction


This paper discusses the challenges and opportunities of bringing data literacy instruction to academic libraries. Information literacy and digital literacy in libraries has been widely discussed in the library sciences and education literature, but until recently very little focus has been given to data literacy. However, new e-government and open data initiatives over the past decade have created widely available public data that is of great interest to students and academics. Increased technological capabilities to process "big data" have also created new opportunities for the layperson and researcher alike. One popular article claims, "Ensuring that big data creates big value calls for a reskilling effort that is at least as much about fostering a data-driven mindset and analytical culture as it is about adopting new technology" (Harris, 2012). The influx of available data presents unique challenges for librarians. How can libraries play a role, for example, in this “reskilling effort” to develop a “data-driven mindset”?


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