Your Name and Title:

Amanda Rust (Associate Director for Services, Digital Scholarship Group, Northeastern University Library)

Library, School, or Organization Name:

Northeastern University Library

Co-Presenter Name(s):

Area of the World from Which You Will Present:

Boston, MA, USA

Language in Which You Will Present:

English

Target Audience(s):

Cultural heritage practitioners, LIS students

Short Session Description (one line):

This talk will present resources and results from the Design for Diversity project, an IMLS-funded project exploring the strategies and resources needed to create more inclusive technical and information systems in libraries, archives, and museums.

Full Session Description (as long as you would like):

Most current systems for the acquisition, housing, and care of cultural objects reflect existing structures of oppression like colonialism, racism, sexism, ableism, and classism. Typically, the addition of digital technology further perpetuates these power differentials. In addition, as library, archives, and museum practitioners increasingly seek to provide digital access to the history of disenfranchised and marginalized communities, they engage with communities that have been at best ignored by cultural heritage fields and, more likely, actively harmed.


Providing digital access to the history of marginalized communities foremost requires genuine, responsive partnership. It also requires that our technical and information systems (such as registration and accession, archival processing, cataloging and metadata, digitization, and web design) be equally responsive to diverse cultural circumstances and needs. This means addressing the harm caused to a Native student looking for library information on their tribe who must consult the history section under “Discovery of America”, or to a library patron forced to use library systems that cannot accommodate their name change. These problems are not new or unknown, so we ask: what can we do to empower cultural heritage practitioners to create change in their information systems? 

This talk will present resources and results from the Design for Diversity project, an IMLS-funded project exploring the strategies and resources needed to create more inclusive technical and information systems in libraries, archives, and museums.  In Design for Diversity, our research explored on two main points of impact: the education of new practitioners in LIS/LAM classes, and opportunities for change in the workplace. 

We also focused on ways of sharing knowledge that have high potential for impact, in either the classroom or workplace: case studies sharing practical, insider knowledge that doesn’t often surface in traditional professional publications, and study paths combining readings and case studies with a learning activity for even more engagement with the topic. These case studies and study paths, created specifically for the Design for Diversity project, are collected with additional pointers to exemplary readings and projects in our online Toolkit. Through this Toolkit, we explore technical processes and find the points of impact where libraries, archives, and museums can make decisions that lead to more inclusive information systems.

Websites / URLs Associated with Your Session:

https://des4div.library.northeastern.edu/

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