Data In Libraries: The Big Picture

"Data in libraries: the big picture,” is a satellite pre-conference to the IFLA 2016 WLIC.  

The one-day program will take place on August 10, 2016 and is hosted by the University of Chicago Library.

Presentation slides

Thanks to all of you who attended Data In Libraries: The Big Picture. Most presentation slides are now available at:


There is no fee to attend, but space is limited and pre-registration is required.

Registration closed on July 15th.

Tours of the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library will be offered concurrently with the program.  Attendees may sign up for tours on the morning of the program.


The modern, digital library has moved beyond its traditional focus on metadata, bibliographic, and authority data, and now manages or works with a broad set of data types, leveraging an ever-expanding set of tools and techniques to do so.  Those new tools also mean that even traditional data logs can be analyzed to improve the services librarians and libraries offer.  

The emergence of linked data has simultaneously created a broad spectrum of new use cases for library data.  Library catalogs now incorporate links to external datasets, and integrate those datasets in new applications.  Activities like digitization, digital preservation, online resource management, web archiving, and text and data mining all create new types of data that libraries both consume and curate.  Big Data technologies like data virtualization, parallel computing, predictive analytics, and machine learning bring the promise of improved performances and smart tools.  Libraries are thus empowered to consume and curate data of all kinds in new and innovative ways.

This one-day pre-conference will attempt to bring together the worlds of big data and linked data, and examine the "big picture” of library data, and attempting to assess the promise that these technologies hold for libraries.  Specific topics for discussion will be based on responses to the call for papers, but may include:

  • consumption of library linked data along with other types of semantic data
  • curation of research data or other types of user generated data
  • innovative data technologies used for digital preservation and digital libraries
  • analysis of library data using tools such as machine learning, text and data mining or data visualization
  • marketing initiatives in libraries based on users logs and tracks analysis

Who should attend?

All are welcome, but we anticipate the program will be of most interest to metadata librarians, IT librarians, data scientists, academics involved in data curation projects.

Call for Papers

The program’s call for papers closed on 21 February 2016.  You can find detail on the call for papers on the IFLA site.