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Archives and libraries brought into the 21st century through interdisciplinary teamwork.

The value of working in interdisciplinary teams and projects was the main theme of theITS21 Conference in Trondheim organized by NTNU 20-21 of June 2018.

The NTNU University Library, (the Gunnerus branch) participated in one of the sessions focusing on how to develop the needed skills for interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation with a paper entitled :

“Archives and libraries brought into the 21st century through interdisciplinary teamwork.”

Libraries and archives as institutions of memory face a challenge when it comes to staying in tune with the demands that the development of technology poses on our society. In order to bring libraries and archives forwards to the digitalization current of the 21st century, I dare to say, one has to share and reflect upon workflows. The NTNU library in Trondheim has had a series of projects ( E-pensum, Mubil, Ark4) since 2012 in collaboration with national and international teams of special expertise in the field of Archive and Heritage education studies that has led to several insights on the subject.

I am working on an article on the subject and I am interested in reflections around the skills of communication in such environments! The hardest task, as it seems to me, and the one most needed for a successful collaboration is communication. It`s central not only because its is time consuming and difficult to establish among disciplines and individuals that have never worked together before; but it requires social intelligence.

Often in such projects when people meet to discuss an idea, there is already funding on the table, but the teams might new to each other and they bring not only expertise but their own personalities into the project. So the process of learning to work together is connected to a specific aim but one has to develop skills as to observe, listen, and be compassionate as a person and as a professional. The same issue appeared at annual Dariah meeting in Pariswhen we were talking about Digital Humanities and interdisciplinary work. Its seems to me that it is a recurrent theme, that of successful communication between the humanists and the IT designers and developers which is undercommunicated.

How can we grasp and define these processes, how can we learn and reflect on interdisciplinary communication skills in project and research design..

Just posing a question!