Love is everywhere and for everyone. It just so happens, so is data. During the week of Valentine’s Day, Love Data Week is an international celebration of data hosted by individual organizations featuring fun events and activities.

University Libraries’ Data Services team is hosting three Love Data Week events for faculty, staff, and students to learn more about data and enjoy Valentine’s Day-themed snacks: 

  • Doggos and Data - Monday, Feb. 13, at 4 p.m. in Newman Library, 2nd floor 
    Cook Counseling Center’s therapy dogs are library favorites. Led by Kelsey Hammer, digital literacy and multimedia production librarian, this event answers the question, “Why do we even have therapy dogs?” Attendees will have a chance to hang with therapy dog Josie while learning what data can tell us how pets help us live better lives. 

  • Dating with Data: 50 Years of Romantic Relationships - Tuesday, Feb. 14, at 1 p.m. in 3310 Torgersen or Zoom
    For Valentine’s Day and Black History Month, take a special look at how Americans have grown more inclusive in their attitudes toward interracial, interreligious, and LGBTQ+ relationships and marriage over the past half century. What’s changed? What are some key moments both legally and culturally in those shifts? Where are we headed now? Find out how surveys from 1972-2022 can help find the answers to questions like these. 

“Each event is meant to help inspire people to think critically about the world around them, ask important questions about who is being forgotten, ignored, or even actively excluded by the legal, cultural, and institutional structures all around us, and maybe even discover a new passion,” said Nathaniel Porter, University Libraries’ social science data consultant and data education coordinator. 

New this year, each of the events features an inclusive emphasis. Doggos and Data touches upon the impact of pets and service animals on disabled, mentally ill, and neurodiverse people. Dating with Data features insights into the societal history of diverse relationships. What’s the Impact discusses how research from the global south is often ignored.  

“One of the key goals of Love Data Week is to help people realize data is not only important but accessible and even fun - whether you’re a senior researcher or just curious about favorite pets in different countries,” said Porter. 

At an international level, Love Data Week is organized by a committee of volunteers from universities around the United States and beyond, with support for promotion and infrastructure through the Institute for Social Research data archive at the University of Michigan. 

University Libraries’ Data Services team promotes the development of proficiencies in finding, generating, processing, analyzing, and visualizing data as well as data computation. The multidisciplinary team of experts and partners help members of the Virginia Tech community develop skills in data science and enhance the local and global impact of data-enabled research and curricular innovations and provide free consultations and workshops on all types of research. 

“Many of our data services, including workshops and consultations, are focused on supporting faculty and graduate student research,” said Porter. “Yet, from political polls and memes about generational differences to seemingly conflicting reports on how to build a healthy lifestyle, we are bombarded with data that can be challenging to parse. Our Love Data Week events are distinct in that they’re really focused on inspiring people to build digital literacy to evaluate and interpret the data they encounter in their daily lives.

“We can’t change the future without understanding the past and present,” said Porter. “Bringing data to bear on issues that impact people’s daily lives and teaching people how to use data for themselves is a critical part of 21st century citizenship. I want to help people see not just the challenges and inequities that exist — though that’s important — but reasons for hope and optimistic engagement. That’s why these events don’t stop at the present but include chances to explore, discuss, and consider how we can contribute to a better future and how data can inform how we pursue it.”

For more information about Love Data Week at Virginia Tech visit the University Libraries’ events web page.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please email If you have food allergies or dietary restrictions, please email and the team will try to ensure to have something for you.

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