Digital Convergence and the Evolving Roles of Information Professionals

My research in digital convergence examines the shared information needs and challenges facing libraries, archives, and museums in the information age; the overlapping educational goals of library and information science, archival studies, and museum studies programs; and areas of convergence for educators and professionals working to meet user needs in libraries, archives, and museums. The goal of this research is to prepare information professionals who can transcend the traditional boundaries between libraries, archives, and museums to meet user needs in the information age.

To examine how libraries, archives, and museums can collaborate and combine forces to better serve their users, many of whom do not clearly distinguish among different institutions or the information resources they manage, I simultaneously guest-edited special issues of three different journals exploring how the increased use of and reliance on digital resources has blurred traditional distinctions between information organizations, leading to a digital convergence of libraries, archives, and museums in the information age.

Marty, P.F. (Ed). (2010). Digital Convergence: Libraries, Archives, and Museums in the Information Age. Library Quarterly, 80 (1).

Marty, P.F. (Ed). (2009). Digital Convergence: Libraries, Archives, and Museums in the Information Age. Museum Management and Curatorship, 24 (4).

Marty, P.F. (Ed). (2009). Digital Convergence: Libraries, Archives, and Museums in the Information Age. Archival Science, 8 (4).

To explore the relationships among information professionals in libraries, archives and museums and the role of educational institutions in preparing the professionals that will be needed in these organizations, I coordinated a national workshop (sponsored by Florida State University, the Ringling Museum of Art, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services) on "Exploring the Intersection of LIS, Museum Studies, and Archives Studies Education for Encouraging the Development of 21st Century Cultural Heritage Information Professionals" (April 2008). The goals of the workshop were to discuss the ability of educators to support the information needs of cultural heritage organizations and to encourage a closer relationship between education and practice in LIS, museum studies, and archival studies programs.

Marty, P.F. (2008). Cultural Heritage Information Professionals Workshop: Final Report.

I recently completed a long-term study where I examined the ability of online communities to promote professional development among museum information professionals, exploring how museum professionals build community in professional organizations, and how information technology professionals in museums share expertise within online communities.

Marty, P.F., & Alemanne, N.D. (2013). Engaging the Experts in Museum Computing: Seven Years of Queries on MCN-L. Curator: The Museum Journal 56 (3), in press.

Marty, P.F., Soren, B.J., & Armstrong, J. (2013). Building Community among Museum Information Professionals: The 2011 MCN Community Survey. Museum Management and Curatorship 28 (4), in press.

I have also examined the relationship between LIS education and museum information professionals, looking at the integration of museum informatics into the LIS curriculum. This research is designed to guide LIS programs helping students acquire the knowledge they need to work across all types of cultural heritage institutions.

Marty, P.F. & Twidale, M.B. (2011). Museum informatics across the curriculum: Ten years of preparing LIS students for careers transcending libraries, archives, and museums. Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, 52 (1), 9-16. [Preprint | Final]

Marty, P.F. (2007). Museum Professionals and the Relevance of LIS Expertise. Library & Information Science Research, 29 (2), 252-276. [Preprint | Final]

My interest in this topic stems from my research into the evolving roles of information professionals in museums, with a focus on the information resources, tools, and technologies they use on the job, and the place of the museum in the information society. As museum professionals and visitors become more information-savvy, and their information needs and expectations become more complex, the role of information professionals working in museums has changed dramatically. These changes have raised many interesting questions about the need for and importance of information professionals in museums, and put a focus on the role of LIS programs in educating the next generation of museum information professionals.

Marty, P.F. (2007). The Changing Nature of Information Work in Museums. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 58 (1), 97-107. [Preprint | Final]

Marty, P.F. (2006). Finding the Skills for Tomorrow: Information Literacy and Museum Information Professionals. Museum Management and Curatorship, 21 (4), 317-335. [Preprint | Final]

Marty, P.F. (2006). Meeting User Needs in the Modern Museum: Profiles of the New Museum Information Professional. Library & Information Science Research, 28 (1), 128-144. [Preprint | Final]

Marty, P.F. (2005). So You Want to Work in a Museum? Guiding the Careers of Future Information Professionals in Museums. Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, 46 (2), 115-133. [Preprint | Final]