Blog Post

An introduction and an expectation

Hello all! First off, let me introduce myself. My name is Chealsye Bowley (pronounced Chelsea---some people wonder). I am currently a Master's of Library and Information Studies student at Florida State Universities. I work as a GA in Digital Scholarship with FSU's first Scholarly Communications librarian, who led me to HASTAC through a tweet. I love social media and am really interested in online identies. 

I've been struggling with understanding Digital Humanities. Definitions are useful, but DH seems to be a very large conversation that I'm just eavesdropping on. Some have called it an oxymoron, or a revolution. There doesn't seem to be a consensus though. It also doesn't seem like something that can be kept in a static definition. As I see it, and I really enjoyed Pauline Goul's post from earlier this evening, digital humanities isn't actually new. The name and digital technology are relatively new, but our participation isn't new.

When I hear about nifty projects, such as the Digital Public Library of America, my first though isn't "how cool!" but rather "Wait, this doesn't exist already?" For some these projects are dreams, but for many of us they are also expectations. As someone born in 1990, I've never really known a world without the internet. My education was strongly shaped through technology. My socialization in fourth grade was found in either within the four walls of a classroom, or on an instant message chat in the seemingly infinite internet. And it still is like that. We all have countless hours of music at our finger tips, can stream porn, or Skype with someone across the world, but we can't always get a scholarly article quickly---or at all in the case of researchers not associated with a funded institution. With more students/scholars coming from internet heavy education, more will change. I don't think it comes down to a positive or a negative, but simply a difference. We change/differ/evolve. Technology changes, languages get altered, and our society is different than it was before. Not good or bad, but changes are always exciting. And I'm expecting the next ten years to be an exciting time to be a librarian. 

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