One of the more interesting angles that we’ve been exploring as we plot the future of TechAtlas for Libraries is the possibility of leveraging the data gathered by the tool. We’ve come to realize that the technical inventory information that libraries enter into TechAtlas constitutes a fairly unique data set. More to the point, the detailed information gathered in TechAtlas represents data that does not exist even in the mostly widely recognized aggregations of library data, such the Library Statistics Program at the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).
Along this same path, we have had some initial discussions with the Normative Data Project (NDP) team at SirsiDynix. For those not familiar with the NDP, it’s an ambitious project to merge data derived from the NCES, the U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science, the GeoLib program at Florida State University, as well as individual contributing libraries. Exactly how data gathered in TechAtlas might mesh with the NDP is still a matter of speculation, but we hope to find a way to extend the value of TechAtlas to the profession by merging data sets somewhere in the near future.