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Linda Lowry

Business & Economics Liaison Librarian
Brock University
How did you become involved in the world of data?: 

When I was hired as the Business & Economics Librarian here at Brock University in 1997, I was also designated as the 'backup' to our Data Liberation Initiative (DLI) representative and slowly learned about public use microdata files and other fun stuff. However, most of my work with data has been in relation to business and economics data such as Datastream, CRSP, & Compustat. While I am no longer the 'backup' for DLI, I am still heavily involved in business data collections, reference, and instruction.

What do you value most about your membership in IASSIST?: 

IASSIST members are not afraid of numeric databases and know much more than I do about many aspects of data retrieval, so I value their knowledge and expertise. I also like the fact that IASSIST is an international group, and I have met many interesting people from all over the world as a member of IASSIST.

What was your favorite IASSIST conference?: 

I have only attended two IASSIST conferences - 2007 in Montreal and 2010 in Ithaca. Montreal was stressful because I co-presented a paper on Business Data, but I ended up with an article in IASSIST Quarterly as a result, so that was awesome! So I think the 2010 conference at Cornell University was my favorite. I used to work at Cornell (in the Industrial & Labor Relations Library) so it was partly a homecoming. It was much less stressful to not be a speaker, and just a participant!

What is your favorite data set?: 

I have a love-hate relationship with Datastream from Thomson Reuters.  There is a lot of great content, but it is so complicated to use and tough to teach to others (we only have 1 password). However, this week I learned that there is now a certification program for students, and new training videos available online, so I have faith that I will be able one day call it my favorite.

What are some things you are working on currently?: 

We just got LibGuides (we are a late adopter) and so I'm starting to think about how to use it for Data, along with our Data Librarian and our Data Assistant. I'm thinking about database guides for Datastream, WRDS, etc as I get a lot of questions about those products.

When not working with data I…: 

Well, I just finished all the course work for my MBA degree from Niagara University in December 2011. I will graduate in May 2012. So I am reading for fun, instead of for class. I read historical fiction (Philippa Gregory) as well as Scandinavian crime fiction (the Wallander series by Hennig Mankell, and the Inspector Sejer mysteries by Karin Fossum).

As a Canadian, I am also a fan of the winter sport of Curling. You may have seen the famous Norwegian curling team pants at the 2010 Winter Olympics (they even have their own Facebook page!). We have really good coverage of curling events on Canadian TV (thanks TSN) and so right now I am enjoying watching the Tim Hortons Brier. I have also played in various recreational curling leagues over the last ~20 years or so.

I will be going to Norway this summer for two weeks (kind of a pilgrimage back to the old country - as I have Norwegian roots), so I am really looking forward to that.

  • IASSIST Quarterly

    Publications Special issue: A pioneer data librarian
    Welcome to the special volume of the IASSIST Quarterly (IQ (37):1-4, 2013). This special issue started as exchange of ideas between Libbie Stephenson and Margaret Adams to collect


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