Bryan has accepted our invitation to visit our meeting on Monday, October, 18, 5:30 pm! Please plan to attend and bring questions, concerns, your enthusiasm, and even friends and colleagues with an interest in our profession! We will be at the College of Medicine, Phoenix, in room 1252, next to the library. The library is at the corner of 5th Street and Van Buren. (More details and a traffic update will be sent as the date of the session approaches.) A link to the campus map is at the bottom of this post.
P. Bryan Heidorn began his new job as SIRLS Director October 2009.
Prior to coming to the UA, Heidorn was a faculty member of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. For the last two years he also served as a program manager of the Division of Biological Infrastructure at the National Science Foundation.
His areas of research include natural language processing, text mining for metadata and information retrieval, particularly in biodiversity literature, and museum informatics.
“With a long list of grant and contract awards and a strong list of publications in both librarianship and information science, Heidorn is well-poised to lead SIRLS in educating the next generation of librarians and information professionals,” said Tom Wilding, a professor who served as interim director of the school.
Heidorn was drawn to the school because of its faculty and innovative programs. “Knowledge River was certainly one of the largest and most interesting initiatives for me,” said Heidorn. “Another exciting program is the digital curation program – DigIn.”PBCMap10-2010
Heidorn, who was active in digital data policy issues at the University of Illinois and at the National Science Foundation, believes there are continued opportunities for the school in the field of digital curation, especially with the growing amount of large data sets, such as those created by genomics and earth sensors.
“Traditionally, library schools have dealt with paper documents, but increasingly scientists rely on data from other scientists,” Heidorn said. “This data is being generated at a rapid rate that far outstrips our ability to index, access and store it.
“It is the role of libraries and library researchers to organize and provide access to society’s knowledge,” Heidorn said. “We need to develop new data curation standards, including new metadata standards, as well as data management and preservation methods. We must then educate the library community about the use of these methods.”
Digital archives is another area that Heidorn would like to expand as an area of study.
“One of the big problems that libraries have to solve is how we are going to provide access to materials over the long haul,” said Heidorn. “Formats expire at a very great rate.
“How do you take a heterogeneous set of materials, provide pointers and access to them, and refresh them. It’s a big challenge.”
Heidorn is optimistic about the opportunities for those choosing to enter the information resources and library science field.
“The information revolution is creating a good number of jobs, and we can be sure that the information industry is going to continue to grow and expand,” Heidorn said.
The School of Information Resources and Library Science is also well-positioned to help library professionals who want to refresh their skills. It is the only library school in Arizona and one of only five accredited library schools in the western U.S., and is a leader in distance education, providing many online classes.
“Under professor Heidorn’s leadership, I know SIRLS will continue to be on the cutting edge of the library and information field and provide students with the skills necessary to thrive in today’s marketplace,” said Beth Mitchneck, interim dean of the UA College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. “In addition, his focus is not only on the unique programs at SIRLS, but also on the connections that the school can foster, both across campus and with our off-campus constituencies.”