ethics of digitization

line drawing of a fluffy Persian cat
From Alumnae Recorder / Pennsylvania Female College Alumnae Association (1888)

63rd chat, Monday August 8th 2016: ethics of digitization

Moderated by @tararobertson and @zinelib
Storify by @tararobertson

Suggested readings:

Discussion questions:

  • Q1 What are pros & cons of make digitization decisions informed by personal & community ethics, in addition to/instead of The Law? #critlib
  • Q2 When making digitization decisions, how do we balance the needs of (living) subjects & (future) scholars, now vs. 100s from now? #critlib
  • Q3 What are some #critlib models of providing community/research access to a collection, vs. protecting privacy?
  • Q4 How should #critlib digitization decisions differ with regard to  race, gender, sexuality, disability, etc. vs. those of default identities?
  • Q5 How should #critlib digitization decisions differ with regard to porn vs. other content like newspapers, books, or historical photos?

“offensive” items in the collection

startled looking kitten on a cat-sized wooden chair
From Kittens and cats : a first reader / by Eulalie Osgood Grover (1911)

62nd chat, Tuesday July 26th 2016: “offensive” items in the collection
6pm Pacific / 7pm Mountain / 8pm Central / 9pm Eastern

Moderated by @zoh_zoh
Storify by @violetbfox

Suggested readings:

Discussion questions:

  • Q1. What kinds of materials in your library have offended your users?
  • Q2. What kinds of materials in your library have you & your staff found offensive?
  • Q3. Is it censorship to relocate/reclassify items?
  • Q4. How do you empower your users to be directly involved in collection development and maintenance?

value sensitive design

black and white cat sitting on upholstered furniture
From The Angora cat : how to breed, train and keep it / edited by Robert Kent James (1898)

61st chat, Tuesday July 19th 2016: value sensitive design

Moderated by @metageeky
Storify by @violetbfox

In multiple discussions, twitter chats, and conference presentations, the need for library work to understand, respect, and address issues of diversity is continually brought up. We talk about the need to not only re-design our cataloging methods but also questioning the underlying technology that drives discovery. This requires navigating, balancing, and integrating diverse aspects of academics, society, and technology. Value sensitive design (VSD) is one design approach to consider for tackling these challenges. VSD emphasizes identifying and respecting human values throughout the interactions of society and technology. Using a multidisciplinary perspective that draws on philosophy, social sciences, and engineering, VSD has been applied to many domains, including city planning, assistive technologies, and Internet privacy policies. Let’s explore its potential for innovation and progress in library work, especially in regards to critical librarianship.

Suggested readings:

Discussion questions:

  • Q1. How would you define Value Sensitive Design?
  • Q2. What are some explicitly-supported values in library work?
  • Q2b. In VSD, designers need to recognize if there are any values they explicitly support. Are there explicitly-supported values in #critlib work?
  • Q3. How can VSD be applied to #critlib? What areas of library work could VSD and #critlib benefit?
  • Q4. What might be some challenges in applying VSD to library work? How could those challenges be overcome?

Additional resources:


Kitten sleeping in tiny bed, covered with blanket
From Kittens and cats : a first reader / by Eulalie Osgood Grover (1911)

60th chat, Monday July 11th 2016: caregiving
11am Pacific / noon Mountain / 1pm Central / 2pm Eastern

Moderated by @sarahcrissinger & @ibeilin
Storify by @nishamody

Suggested readings:

Discussion questions:

  • Q1. How do you define “care”? We often talk about caregiving in terms of parenthood, but what are other forms of caregiving? #critlib
  • Q2. How do social expectations (or a lack of such expectations) for caregiving affect you or your workplace? #critlib
  • Q3. What are some of the structural, policy-level impediments one might encounter as a caregiver in LIS? #critlib
  • Q4. We often see a disparity in benefits between staff in different roles, e.g. professional, support, faculty. Is this true in your work? #critlib
  • Q5. If you have benefits others don’t, how can you work to create more inclusive policies around caregiving? #critlib

Additional resources:

digital preservation

Portrait of Persian cat
From Our domestic animals, their habits, intelligence and usefulness / by Gos de Voogt (1907)

59th chat, Monday June 6th 2016: digital preservation

Moderated by @dinahhandel
Storify by @dinahhandel

Discussion questions:

  • Q1 How do you define digital preservation? Does your definition differ from established digital preservation concepts? How & why? #critlib
  • Q2 Are digi-pres concepts inadequate for archives? How can we bridge the gap between recommended best practices & digi-pres labor? #critlib
  • Q3 What sustainability challenges- environmental, financial- does digi-pres present? How can digi-pres be more sustainable? #critlib
  • Q4 In what ways do you see power, oppression, or social justice intersect with digital preservation? #critlib
  • Q5 What are your hopes for the field of digital preservation going forward? #critlib

Additional resources:

No need to read any or all of these- just a list of works that give an overview of the field and some of the primary concepts and concerns…

visual culture/literacy

From Mammals of other lands / Charles J. Cornish [and others], editors (1917)
From Mammals of other lands / Charles J. Cornish [and others], editors (1917)
58th chat, Tuesday May 17th 2016: visual culture / literacy

Moderated by @AcornElectric
Storify by @ArchivistAriel

This chat will help us define visual literacy within our contexts and look at the ways critical librarianship can address the unique way visual information can impact and influence critical perspectives on the culture we live in. From signage in the library to image use and creation in academia visual information wields significant power in our spaces. We’ll discuss how we teach ourselves how to identify critical issues in visual culture, how we raise awareness of these issues, and how we teach visual literacy alongside information literacy.

If you’re unfamiliar with visual literacy feel free to check out the ACRL visual literacy standards and the Hattwig et al. article below about the standards.

Suggested readings:

Discussion questions:

  • Q1. How do you define visual literacy and how does visual lit impact and influence our library spaces, intellectually/physically? #critlib
  • Q2. What are some critical issues related to visual info and how can #critlib raise awareness of these issues? #critlib
  • Q3. How have you learned of critical issues w/in visual culture/how do you share visual lit-related skills/concepts with colleagues? #critlib
  • Q4. How do you teach or address specific visual literacy concepts/issues within your community and library? #critlib (For example, critiquing persuasive or manipulative strategies in image production, meaning, message, cultural and historical factors relevant to production of image.)

For further exploration:

emotional labor

Angora cat with kittens swarming
From The Angora cat : how to breed, train and keep it / edited by Robert Kent James (1898)

57th chat, Monday May 2nd 2016: emotional labor

Moderated by @lettersfromvani
Storify by @PoorCharlotte

Suggested readings:

Discussion questions:

  • Q1. What does emotional labor look like (and feel like)?
  • Q2. Is emotional labor part of your work, and if so, how? Is it part of your colleagues/coworkers’ work?
  • Q3. What are implicit and explicit expectations around the kinds of emotional labor library/archival/info workers do (and how do these relate to intersections of power and privilege)?
  • Q4.  How could naming emotional labor inform and transform critical approaches to librarianship? Beyond naming it, what else can we do?