This post was authored by Brandie Pullen, Resident Librarian – Data Curation at Virginia Tech and Curator at Large, July 2023-June 2025.

This year’s Data Curation Network’s All Hands Meeting was held at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. As someone with chronic illnesses and disabilities, I didn’t know if I’d be able to make it. Luckily, I was. As a new librarian, I’m constantly looking for topics that are of interest to both me and my colleagues that I could research. Here are three topics that really stuck with me.

  1. Who are our users?
    • Laura Koesten and Kathleen Gregory gave an absolutely amazing talk about Human-Centered Data Discovery. During their presentation, we were given time in breakout groups to address a few issues. One of which was “Data Needs”. It was interesting to hear that many institutions didn’t know who was reusing their data. It shows that we need to address this gap in knowledge somehow. I’m currently working on a data reuse survey that will hopefully shed some light on this.
  2. Can we do anything about our inherent discomfort with things that make us uncomfortable?
    • The Racial Justice Working Group held a birds of a feather session. When I joined, we were talking about how it can be hard to put yourself in a position where you know people will be uncomfortable, even if you know it’s the right thing to do. For example, calling someone out for saying something racist. Is there a way to combat this? Is there training for how to speak up and if not, should there be?
  3. AI considerations
    • Time and time again, the theme of AI came up. When thinking about ten years from now, we could picture ways AI could help and harm us. Our guest speakers brought up AI. In our SWOT analysis, it was seen as both a strength and a weakness. We can leverage this new tool, but we definitely need a guidebook on where to start. I think this shows the need for an AI primer.

These were just three of the many topics covered at Data Curation Network’s All Hands Meeting. It was genuinely one of the best conferences I have attended and highly recommend anyone new or old to the profession to attend. There’s a lot we can learn from each other, and that was made clear at this conference.

Bonus: Did you know? There’s a subscription service for stickers for adults, and they even have a Hello Kitty option for Sanrio lovers like me (Thanks, Trisha!)

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