reading notes: diversity, inclusion, social justice

I’m part of the newly established MIT Libraries’ Collections Directorate Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice task force*. The group was assembled by Greg Eow, MIT Libraries’ AD for Collections. The charge of the group is to: explore and identify specific projects, programs and initiatives that will provide opportunities for Collections Directorate staff to promote our values of diversity, inclusion, and social justice. I’m fortunate enough to be working with some fantastic folks – Ann Marie Willer (chair), Michelle Miller, Rhonda Kauffman, Dana Hamlin, Julia Lanigan, Czeslaw Jankowski, and Michelle Baildon. We have representation from each of the departments in the directorate.

The group is currently busy defining our scope and preparing to compile a report . I hope that we will be able to share more about the report and our recommendations this fall. To kick things off we have, of course, focused on a lot of information gathering and reading. The following list shows some of things I’ve been reading lately.

The Big Picture

  • From MIT Libraries’ director, Chris Bourg:
    • Beyond Measure: Valuing Libraries – post here
    • The Neoliberal Library: Resistance is not futile – post here
  • Professional Code of Ethics/Values
    • Zine Librarians – here
    • Society of American Archivists – here 
    • American Library Association – here

Focusing in on Collections Work – description, collection development, publishing/open access, etc.

  • Charlotte Roh’s article on “Library Publishing and Diversity Values..” – in the ACRL publication College and Research Libraries’ News, here.
  • Jarrett Drake’s conference talk, “RadTech Meets RadArch: Towards A New Principle for Archives and Archival Description” – available via On Archivy, here.
  • Mudd Manuscript Library at Princeton’s work with the Archiving Student Activism at Princeton (ASAP) initiative – blog post here and update on progress here.
  • 2015 LITA Forum keynote from Mx. A. Matienzo “To Hell With Good Intentions: Linked Data, Community and the Power to Name.” – find it here.
  • Kate Theimer, “Gaps in the Past and Gaps in the Future: Archival Silences and Social Media” – a presentation talk available on her website – here.

Labor

  • Stacie Williams on the “Implications of Archival Labor” – find it On Archivy.

Environment

  • Heidi Abbey Moyer explores green practices in libraries, archives and museums in “The Green Archivist” – jstore link.
  • Project ARCC (archivists responding to climate change) is a group of archivists (and librarians) interested in how the profession can affect climate change. The mission is to elevate, reduce, protect, and preserve. Check out the website for more and the Climate Change Syllabus for a wide range of readings and resources.

This is obviously not an exhaustive list of readings related to DISJ topics in libraries and archives. The other MIT Libraries’ Collections Directorate DISJ members are busy reading other things we’ve identified and I’m sure there’s plenty more out there we haven’t even found yet.  I have a feeling that one output from our work might be a bibliography. Please feel free to suggest other readings for me or for the group!

*note, you may know that the MIT Libraries has a staff committee for the Promotion of Diversity and Inclusion (CPDI). The task force I’m part of is separate in that we are a temporary group, focused specifically on the collections directorate. CPDI has been around for several years and functions across directorates. CPDI has been a helpful sounding board for the DISJ task force so far.

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fellow update: code4lib 2015

Okay, so, February has not been a good month for blog updates or reading. But I did have the opportunity to attend Code4Lib 2015 in Portland! The atmosphere was reflective (this was the 10th year of C4L) and really fun. While conferences with different tracks and loads of presentations can be great, I really appreciated the single track style of C4L. I liked hearing complete talks (no fear of missing out!) and having a shared experience with other attendees.

I’ve been working on summarizing my experience since I got back and I’ve decided that, for me, the talks fit into two broad categories: teaching/learning/culture and ideas/projects/tools. 

In this post I’ve listed some of the highlights from each category. There were many other great talks and projects – the Code4Lib wiki has slides available for most of the presentations and lightning talks. Or check out the video of some of the talks.

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reading notes: visualizing robotics history

Milojević, Staša, and Selma Šabanović. 2013. “Conceptual Foundations for Representing Robotics History in a Non‐linear Digital Archive.” Library Hi Tech 31 (2). Emerald Group Publishing Limited: 341–54. doi:10.1108/07378831311329095.

“Current online oral history archives are often forced into flat linear structure. … We want to take advantage of full capabilities of current technology to allow for non-linear presentations of narratives and data that do not conform to rigid timelines nor are forced into presenting a single aspect of the phenomenon.” p. 351

The project that this article describes aims to capture oral history accounts of the development of robotics and then use the resulting data alongside bibliometric data to create visualizations that position the history of robotics within a “knowledge ecology.” Thinking of the field of robotics — or any field, really — as a knowledge ecology allows one to consider the “interrelationships within and between the institutional, social, cognitive, historical, and material factors” that affected the development of a discipline. This moves the emphasis from a strictly linear timeline (based on publications alone) to a more context based, non-linear exploration (p.343).

The resulting collection, in the case of this project, allows a user to learn about the “local and personal understandings of robotics” as well as the “broader systemic picture” (p. 343). Meaning that the non-linear oral history accounts are placed within the context of the more linear timeline derived from bibliometric data (publications, patents, conferences).  Continue reading