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 (pdf, html) 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: