Washington, DC -- Brendan A. Rapple and Barbara A. Mento of the O'Neill Library at Boston College have been appointed as Visiting Program Officers for the Association of Research Libraries. They will focus on identifying the role of the academic library in support of data mining for research and describe any experiences research libraries and institutions might have with data mining technologies.
Dr. Rapple is a Collection Development Librarian at the O'Neill Library with special responsibility for English and Education. He also teaches in Boston College's College of Advancing Studies. Barbara Mento, MLS, is the Virtual Data Center and Government Information Manager at the O'Neill Library. She works with Geographic Information Systems on campus and serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Business & Finance Librarianship.
The Visiting Program Officers (VPOs) will explore to what extent libraries and universities are facilitating the use of data mining in university research. Library users rely on large numeric and descriptive databases for analytical research and data mining is a relatively recent approach to large database analysis. Library support for data pattern identification can help scholars focus on content analysis, rather than the mechanics of discovery and data collection. The VPOs will examine how data mining improves research productivity through analytical tools and feedback on research effectiveness. Dr. Rapple and Ms. Mento will survey and analyze specific situations in which data mining tools are being applied in a way that expertise is developed within the library and that can lead to the development of data service operations in data mining.
The ARL Visiting Program Officer (VPO) program provides an opportunity for a staff member in a member library to assume responsibility for carrying out part or all of a project for ARL. It provides a very visible staff development opportunity for an outstanding staff member and serves the membership as a whole by extending the capacity of ARL to undertake additional activities.