Coming Soon: Love Your Data, from Editathons to Containers!

UC Berkeley has been loving its data for a long time, and has been part of the international movement which is Love Data Week (LDW) since at least 2016, even during the pandemic!  This year is no exception—the UC Berkeley Libraries and our campus partners are offering some fantastic workshops (four of which are led by our very own librarians) as part of the University of California-wide observance.

Love Data Week 2023 is happening next month, February 13-17 (it’s always during the week of Valentine’s Day)!

University of California 2023 Love Data Week calendar with UC Berkeley offerings

UC Berkeley Love Data Week offerings for 2023 include:

GIS & Mapping: Where to Start

Wikipedia Edit-a-thon (you can also dip into Wikidata at other LDW events)

Introduction to Containers

Textual Analysis with Archival Materials

Getting Started with Qualitative Data Analysis

All members of the UC community are welcome—we hope you will join us!  Registration links for our offerings are above, and the full UC-wide calendar is here.   If you are interested in learning more about what the library is doing with data, check out our new Data + Digital Scholarship Services page.  And, feel free to email us at   Looking forward to data bonding next month!

I Love D.O.E! (Demystifying our Education)

By Sofia Hernandez, Undergraduate Library Fellow (2022-23)

As a returning fellow, the idea of hosting an in-person event centered around assisting peers in their research process had been circulating around our brainstorming sessions for some time, but ultimately, our project for the year changed its course and the event did not end up coming into fruition. Upon returning to the fellowship program and joining this year’s Research cohort, I was delighted and surprised to discover that we would begin to serve as formal library peer advisors, with official appointments on the library’s “LibCal” and a feature on the library’s homepage!

Sofia and Avery getting ready for peer consultations
Sofia and Avery get ready for peer consultations

Amidst the excitement I felt about being a peer advisor, I was also nervous. Last year’s fellowship program was almost entirely online (save for a few in-person reunions for just the fellows and mentors) and very theoretical. We gathered data about current student library employees and made inferences about what changes could be implemented in the library to make it more accessible. This year, we were jumping straight into being the change-makers we had only theorized about! But my nerves didn’t last for very long. During one of our first internship meetings in September, my fellowship partner Avery and I participated in an “Empathy Map” activity where we put our theatrical skills to work and role played as a peer advisor and a consultee (and vice versa). 

An empathy map Sofia created for Avery
An empathy map Sofia created for Avery

The experience was fun and incredibly insightful about our future roles as peer advisors. Avery and I found out we had very different academic concentrations (statistics and economics vs. literature and Spanish). Taking turns roleplaying as if we were running and attending a consultation revealed these differences but we discovered that our different areas of expertise complimented each other quite nicely. Skipping ahead to the end of the semester, we made an excellent duo during our real consultations with our peers! Working together flowed rather smoothly during our real consultations and our different academic backgrounds came in handy when meeting with students of varying academic backgrounds as well!

I’ve learned a lot this semester alone about accessibility within the library through being a fellow and peer advisor. Through the fellowship, I’ve thought critically about the way the library, as an academic institution, has been designed to be confusing to navigate (both online and in-person) which is off-putting for students seeking to use the library’s many resources. As a peer advisor, I’ve also been able to workshop the way I help other students, whose needs and learning styles vary from person to person. I look forward to continuing the fellowship program in the semester to come and continuing to learn alongside my peers about the library and everything it has to offer!

Gaining Perspective (and Fire Drills?)

By Avery Klauke, Undergraduate Library Fellow (2022-23)

One of the first activities we did when I first began as an Undergraduate Library Fellow back in August was to brainstorm ways of getting students more involved with the library. I remember listening to what my peers had come up with, everything from week-long events to posting on social media, and thinking about how creative all the suggestions were.

Looking back on that exercise, I realize that the idea of using different perspectives to get more creative solutions was a theme that remained constant throughout the entire semester. Remembering this mindset also helped me as a Research Fellow in some of my favorite projects.

Perhaps the most memorable project for me this semester was the launch of peer research consultations. This was a program in which students could make in-person appointments with the Fellows to help guide them through the beginning of their research project or essay. I remember the first appointment another Research Fellow, Sofia, and I had to lead and we were extremely anxious. All of the worst-case scenarios came to our head. “What if the student asks something we don’t know?” “What if we both just go blank?” “What if the fire alarm goes off in the middle of our consultation?” (This did happen once, but it was a false alarm and the disruption wasn’t as bad as we thought.) Luckily as we got our rhythm, tying in our training with personal experiences to better help answer the student’s questions, our fears disappeared. Thankfully the lack of more fire drills made each consultation run much smoother.

Reflecting on this experience afterward, leading peer research consultations became my favorite part of being a fellow for two reasons. First, it was rewarding knowing that I was making a positive impact on the Berkeley community. I remember what it was like being a freshman at Berkeley, intimidated by such a new environment and not knowing where to ask for help. Understanding this, we all wanted to make sure the peer research appointments helped to make the library’s resources less overwhelming and gave students a safe space to talk with peers instead of librarians. Secondly, working with Sofia, the other research fellows, and our mentors taught me so much more about both researching and working together to accomplish a goal (the feeling is similar to having a great group project experience). All of the fellows this year have such different backgrounds, and none of the consultations could have been possible without the commitment and expertise that everyone contributed.

This semester has been filled with new changes, new people, and new projects. I’m excited to see how the peer research consultations program develops and what the spring semester has in store for us!

How Do You Learn to Learn (Again)?

By Timothy Kim, Undergraduate Library Fellow (2022-23)

As a first time Undergraduate Library Fellow, I struggled to approach this question. Having gradually learned how to conduct research over the course of my academic career, I never really questioned the problem solving method I learned years ago. I simply did, and as long as the work I submitted was good enough, I was happy repeating the same process, class after class, topic after topic and using the same old routine. After all, what would be the point of learning something you already know?

But with this complacency I forgot what it meant to employ the tools available to conduct true research. The first time I conducted learning exercises with my mentors and peer research team I felt unprepared. As a peer research fellow, my colleague, Lily, and I were to conduct research consultations where we would help other students who were stuck in the research process, but to me, the library felt as complex and monolithic as it would to any other student. 

Fortunately, we had the opportunity to shadow our skilled librarians in Research 101 Workshops offered by the library to practice our academic literacy. The other research fellows and I practiced learning journey activities, emphasizing different students’ perspectives and how the learning process tied into how research was conducted. Over the course of the semester I became familiarized with how the library worked and the services they offered.

The first time we conducted our research consultations I realized we had everything we needed to help our fellow students with the issues they had with their assignments. In understanding learning outcomes and accumulating learning skills through empathy maps and information literacy frameworks, our team was able to foster a positive learning environment and help direct students to fully take advantage of the resources the library offered. Lily and I, in cooperation with the other research fellow team consisting of Sofia and Avery, had created a flexible script that approached research in a way that could adapt to the student’s individual needs. This component of creativity helped me come up with solutions to problems Lily or I might have never encountered. 

Through this experience, though, I’ve realized how versatile research can be and how this translates to how people with different academic backgrounds learn. Education requires patience and empathy to be able to interact with different ideas. I’m very grateful for the experience I’ve had working with other students as it’s made me a better student and peer fellow. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the experience and skills I’ve gained and now realize how research isn’t a singular process to be used class after class, assignment after assignment in the way I had originally thought. 

The Built Library: Wayfinding and its Connection to the Research Process

By Lily Garcia, Undergraduate Library Fellow (2022-23)

One of my favorite activities I have done in the Undergraduate Library Fellowship program was walking through the east side of Doe Library and thinking about how to improve the wayfinding experience. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, wayfinding is the “act of finding one’s way to a particular place; navigation” (“wayfinding, n.”). The purpose of the activity was to use service design and design thinking principles to improve the visitor experience of navigating the library.

East entrance to Doe Library
Approaching the East (Bancroft) Entrance to Doe Library

With maps in hand, my peer fellow Timothy, ULF mentor Vaughn, and I walked outside to the entrance of the Bancroft Library. We were attempting to view the space as if for the first time–to imagine what we would find confusing, misleading, and the overall message the space was projecting. Staring closely at the architecture, I was overwhelmed by the grandness. Thirty-four rectangle windows defined the front of the granite building. After walking up two flights of stairs and past two towering lantern-style lamp posts, I reached the recessed doorway. Bronze doors with darkly tinted glass cloaked the interior with mystery. Inside, gold-colored letters told me I was now standing in the “Wayne and Gladys Valley Rotunda.” French blue walls, marble and onyx floors, and four rectangular columns communicated the seriousness and prestige of the space. While I was mesmerized by the elegance, I was also aware of how intimidating it was. There was no welcome banner by the entrance or inside map of the floor plan with a big red star indicating that “You are HERE.” The design of the space communicated an expectation of knowledge, which could feel daunting to any visitor trying to navigate their way for the first time. Once we finished our examination, I was left with an impression of how influential architectural spaces are–that they can come across as exclusive or inclusive. 

The Wayne and Gladys Valley Rotunda
The Wayne and Gladys Valley Rotunda

With this idea in mind, I reflected on Timothy and I’s first research consultation. A student wanted help finding a historical, first-hand account. They had exhausted their digital resources and were stuck. We recommended that the student try looking at UC Berkeley’s physical collections. Shyly, they confessed to never going into Main Stacks before, and I offered to go with them. Employing my park guide skills, I took the student on a grand tour of the stacks, showing them where they go through security, how to use the floor maps, what range finders are, and how to exit the building. We ultimately found a book with the information the student was looking for on level C in the west wing. They were grateful and told me they would have been lost if they had been by themselves but now felt comfortable visiting Main Stacks and would be back. 

These experiences taught me how wayfinding influences and is itself a part of the research process. When we enter academic research institutions, their architectural design sends a message. We can feel welcomed or overwhelmed and daunted. The same idea applies when we navigate digital spaces and conduct research online. A database or library guide can be helpful or discouraging based on its design and our experience interacting with it. My goal as a Research Fellow is to help my peers find their way through the research process in either the physical or digital space and support making the UC Berkeley Library a place of inclusion.

Works Cited

“wayfinding, n.” OED Online, Oxford University Press, September 2022, 


Workshop: Copyright and Fair Use for Digital Projects

Digital Publishing Workshop Series

Copyright and Fair Use for Digital Projects
Tuesday, November 8th, 11:10am – 12:30pm
Online: Register to receive the Zoom link
Tim Vollmer

This training will help you navigate the copyright, fair use, and usage rights of including third-party content in your digital project. Whether you seek to embed video from other sources for analysis, post material you scanned from a visit to the archives, add images, upload documents, or more, understanding the basics of copyright and discovering a workflow for answering copyright-related digital scholarship questions will make you more confident in your publication. We will also provide an overview of your intellectual property rights as a creator and ways to license your own work.  Register here


Please see for details.

Undergraduate Library fellows offering research assistance

Library fellows Sofia Hernandez ‘24, left, and Avery Klauke ‘24 discuss entry points and access in Doe Library 190  on Oct. 12, 2022.
Sofia Hernandez ’24, left, and Avery Klauke ’24 are among the undergraduate Library fellows providing research help as part of a recently launched pilot. (Photo by Jami Smith for the UC Berkeley Library)

Students: Need help with your research?

Starting this month, undergraduate Library fellows are offering in-person peer library research assistance. Fellows are available 1-3 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays through Nov. 30.

Make an appointment.

Workshop: The Long Haul: Best Practices for Making Your Digital Project Last

Digital Publishing Workshop Series

The Long Haul: Best Practices for Making Your Digital Project Last
Tuesday, October 25th, 11:10am – 12:00pm
Online: Register to receive the Zoom link
Scott Peterson & Erin Foster

You’ve invested a lot of work in creating a digital project, but how do you ensure it has staying power? We’ll look at choices you can make at the beginning of project development to influence sustainability, best practices for documentation and asset management, and how to sunset your project in a way that ensures long-term access for future researchers. Register here


Upcoming Workshops in this Series – Fall 2022:

  • Copyright and Fair Use for Digital Projects


Please see for details.

Workshop: Creating Web Maps with ArcGIS Online

Digital Publishing Workshop Series

Creating Web Maps with ArcGIS Online
Thursday, October 13th, 11:10am – 12:30pm
Online: Register to receive the Zoom link
Susan Powell

Want to make a web map, but not sure where to start? This short workshop will introduce key mapping terms and concepts and give an overview of popular platforms used to create web maps. We’ll explore one of these platforms (ArcGIS Online) in more detail. You’ll get some hands-on practice adding data, changing the basemap, and creating interactive map visualizations. At the end of the workshop you’ll have the basic knowledge needed to create your own simple web maps. Register here

Upcoming Workshops in this Series – Fall 2022:

  • The Long Haul: Best Practices for Making Your Digital Project Last
  • Copyright and Fair Use for Digital Projects


Please see for details.


Workshop: Web Platforms for Digital Projects

Digital Publishing Workshop Series

Web Platforms for Digital Projects

Monday, October 3rd, 11:00am – 12:30pm
In-Person: Doe 223
Stacy Reardon

How do you go about publishing a digital book, a multimedia project, a digital exhibit, or another kind of digital project? In this workshop, we’ll take a look at use cases for common open-source web platforms WordPress, Drupal, Omeka, and Scalar, and we’ll talk about hosting, storage, and asset management. There will be time for hands-on work in the platform most suited to your needs. No coding experience is necessary. Register here

Upcoming Workshops in this Series – Fall 2022:

  • Creating Web Maps with ArcGIS Online
  • The Long Haul: Best Practices for Making Your Digital Project Last
  • Copyright and Fair Use for Digital Projects


Please see for details.