Recent years have seen tremendous growth in DLF’s vibrant and active liberal arts college community, which now represents more than 20% of the total membership of the DLF.
In 2015, a volunteer planning committee from within our LAC community organized a first, one-day Liberal Arts Colleges Pre-conference, specifically created for those who work with digital libraries and/or digital scholarship at teaching-focused institutions, held before the DLF Forum in Vancouver. Both this event and the one that followed in Milwaukee (2016) were huge successes, including concurrent sessions of presentations and panels on pedagogical, organizational, and technological approaches to the digital humanities and digital scholarship, data curation, digital collections, and digital preservation. Presenters represented many regions and institution sizes, reflecting the strength and variety of the liberal arts within DLF.
A third pre-conference — this time an unconference hosted in collaboration with the HBCU Library Alliance –took place Sunday, October 22nd, just before the 2017 DLF Forum in Pittsburgh. The theme centered around digital libraries and digital library pedagogy as common ground between liberal arts colleges/programs and HBCUs (historically black colleges and universities).
DLF members will also be interested to know that our parent organization, CLIR, supports a number of initiatives related to liberal arts colleges. These include the meetings and discussions of our group of Liberal Arts College Chief Information Officers (CIOs), placement of CLIR postdocs in liberal arts college libraries, and the recent migration, for program evaluation, of NITLE to CLIR. DLF stays connected and helps advise efforts like these. We’ve also sponsored events at liberal arts colleges, like a recent digital humanities symposium at Vassar College, and the first DH/digital scholarship conference at Bucknell University.