Welcome Matthew Naglak – Digital Scholarship Projects Librarian

What drew you to the position at Boston College?

When I saw the advertisement for a digital scholarship librarian at BC, I was drawn to it because of my desire to partner with faculty and students to help bring their research and data to life in new and exciting ways. Working at BC, with a growing Digital Scholarship team within the library, is a perfect opportunity to put my skills to good use while continuing to expand my digital skills in new directions. I think my past work on digital projects in both academia and at Michigan Publishing has prepared me well to work with faculty and students, particularly those interested in 2D and 3D interactive data. 

What do you think the biggest change to your job will be once we are back in the library – how did the COVID crisis affect your role?

The COVID crisis showed the importance of digital scholarship and digital teaching to the future of research and higher education. In terms of teaching, being prepared for and coming up with best practices for undertaking digital seminars/workshops/etc. With an uncertain future economically and health-wise, this is only going to grow more important. Combined with this is working with faculty and students to ensure that they have access to the resources they need to succeed. What can we do to make sure BC students are able to take advantage of and learn the skills necessary to make their way in an increasingly digital world. 

What surprised you most about starting at the Boston College Libraries?

Too soon to say! I am excited about how the DigSchol team seems to communicate well and work together on projects. I think that’s really useful and important, having seen the issues that may arise when communication is lacking.

Do you have a favorite tool for analysis or research? What is it and what do you like about it?

As someone who loves spatial data and maps in particular, my favorite tool recently has been the open-source Leaflet JavaScript library which can be used for the creation of interactive maps and images. Spatial data can often be overwhelming, particularly for those not familiar with complex software like ArcGIS; using Leaflet, it is possible for the researcher to put their spatial data in the palm of a reader’s hand, making it easily accessible and searchable without the need for any external software or account. Though I have mostly used it in the creation of archaeological and historical maps so far, I am excited to explore the possibilities for its use in a wide variety of projects.  

What should your teammates at BC know about you?

I’m very excited to be here and especially to be in a collaborative work environment! I believe that having a diversity of inputs can only make scholarship better (digital or otherwise). Feel free to contact me anytime with thoughts, questions, comments, concerns, ideas, hopes, or dreams!