Think of all the things you learned in elementary school: How to read. How to write. How to count. How to do add, subtract, multiply, and divide. These are all learned skills, things that we are not innately born knowing how to do. Just like these, reading graphs is a skill. We might be taught…
This post was written by Jay Colbert (@spookycolbert), who received a DLF Students & New Professionals Fellowship to attend the 2018 Forum. Jay Colbert (@SpookyColbert) is the current Resident Librarian at the University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library. Their responsibilities include subject liaison work, reference, and library instruction along with metadata and cataloging duties, primarily for the digital library and digital exhibits. Their research investigates the relationship between language and power in libraries, particularly in subject access and descriptive cataloging. Jay received their MSLIS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and their BA in English from the College of William & Mary. They are also active within the ALCTS CaMMS division and GLBT Round Table of ALA, and OLAC. In their free time, they watch too many movies, practice Buddhism and yoga, and hang out with their bearded dragon. This year, I was selected as one of the DLF New Professionals Fellows. I was beyond thrilled to be accepted and to attend the DLF Forum. Although I focused my graduate coursework on metadata, it was more geared toward traditional bibliographic description as opposed to online resources. In my current position, I work a lot with our digital library services, I thought it would be prudent to expand my knowledge on digital libraries. I am glad to have attended the DLF Forum to aid in this. I attended many types of sessions on varying topics, from system migrations to linked data to privacy. One theme through most of the sessions that I wish to highlight is that of recognizing our power as librarians over our patrons and even our coworkers. Most sessions I attended mentioned this theme, either at their focus or implied. Metadata librarians of all types have a long history of trying to fix the way we describe items so that the language does not replicate oppressive structures. However, simply trying to correct our practices is not enough. As the presentation on indigenous visual culture and subject access in the Decolonizing Vocabularies session stressed, we must work alongside communities and/or consult them when developing our vocabularies and describing items. Through this, we shift our power to those communities. We do not just hold power over communities. Indeed, as the session on Disrupting Exploitative Labor demonstrated, most of our entry-level positions put new-career librarians at a power disadvantage. This session pointed out how unpaid internships and temporary contracts exploit the labor of those in those positions and contribute to a workplace culture which devalues labor, especially labor done by early-career librarians. I often see job postings for digitization and description that are project based, meaning they end when the project ends. In digital libraries, as this session emphasized, we need to create permanent positions, question and oppose temporary positions, and create workplace atmospheres where new librarians, especially those who belong to marginalized groups, feel welcome. I feel that the keynote speaker, Anasuya Sengupta, tied this theme of power in digital libraries together. In her keynote, she spoke of the unifying power of digital libraries and how they can empower marginalized peoples. However, they can also reinforce hegemonies; most of the internet (including Wikipedia) is in English. As digital library workers, it is our job to help make the internet and the information in it accessible to all people. At the 2018 DLF Forum, many sessions stressed this aspect of our job, challenging us to be better. Although our field is a highly technical one, the sessions at the DLF Forum reminded us that we do this for people, and that our work therefore does not exist in a vacuum made of ones and zeros. Want to know more about the DLF Forum Fellowship Program? Check out last year’s call for applications. If you’d like to get involved with the scholarship committee for the 2019 Forum (October 13-16, 2019 in Tampa, FL), sign up to join the Planning Committee now! More information about 2019 fellowships will be posted in late spring.
This post was written by Danielle Terrell, who received a DLF HBCU Fellowship to attend the 2018 Forum. Danielle A. Terrell received her M.L.I.S. in Library and Information Science from Clark Atlanta University in 1999. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor of Library Services and Government Documents Librarian at Alcorn State University. She serves as a mentor to all new library employees. She is dedicated to the field of library science and is always accepting of whatever task she is given. She wears many hats within the J. D. Boyd Library, such as, librarian, chair of the Friends of the J. D. Boyd Library and project manager for Alcorn archives digitization. No matter what her main goal is always to be a mentor to students, faculty and staff. Danielle is a 2009 Summer Fellows of Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development/Academic Librarianship Institute. Sometimes we get caught up in the daily routine of the same ole same ole, even our local conference can sometimes become stale. That’s why I attended the 2018 DLF Forum. It was worth the experience. Who would not jump at the chance to go to Las Vegas, Nevada, especially for a conference, right? Well, I jumped through several hoops, like convincing my university to let me go was one thing, but being there, was another. I want to thank the DLF and the HBCU Alliance for allowing me to be an HBCU Fellow to attend the 2018 DLF Forum. From the time I walked up to the registration desk, I felt welcome and at home. The DLF provided me with a mentor and I also served as a mentor. Unfortunately, my mentee was unable to attend but my mentor was very inspiring. From our introduction my mentor was very encouraging, inspiring and a world traveler. She encouraged me to embrace the conference and meet new people and try to create partnerships. I enjoyed the sessions from born digital boot-camp to the museum cohort. All the sessions gave a first-hand account of how to use and access open source materials and how to move metadata from the finding aids to primary sources. The Opening Plenary speaker Ms. Sengupta was great, she spoke about inclusion by bringing people to the table and creating “Wiki” editing parties. With the editing parties one can help edit the Wikipedia and other sites with the help of native people from various cultures. Also, the class on “Zoom Reflex’ was very interesting because it focused on creating partnerships for such things as creating new software, grant-funding and research collaborations. By working with someone outside of your library, museum or archive you tend to think outside of the box and want to make the project more successful. This conference had so many things to offer, that I am still trying to process it all. The Fellows Breakfast allowed me to meet other Fellows as well. The meals throughout the event were very good. One of the most impressive things about this conference was the lightning rounds, where twelve presenters spoke for ninety seconds. It seemed very fun and informative. I do not know if could do that. As I close, I would to encourage anyone on the fence about attending this conference next year. Even if you do not know anything about digitization, open source, or preservation, this conference is worth the journey. Want to know more about the DLF Forum Fellowship Program? Check out last year’s call for applications. If you’d like to get involved with the scholarship committee for the 2019 Forum (October 13-16, 2019 in Tampa, FL), sign up to join the Planning Committee now! More information about 2019 fellowships will be posted in late spring.
In a recent article in Cultural Anthropology, Marcel LaFlamme (University of Washington) and Dominic Boyer (Rice University) argue that open access publishing has the potential to facilitate a more revolutionary anthropology, despite the discipline’s reluctance to embrace the movement: Yet the open-access movement has never really caught fire in anthropology beyond a fervent corps of …read more
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) invites comments on a draft white paper on the potential uses of Wikidata as a linked open data (LOD) repository for library data. In addition to Wikidata’s function as a possible repository, the white paper task force notes that “a significant use case driving the formation of the task …read more
The Library Publishing Coalition (LPC) is accepting proposals for the Library Publishing Forum in Vancouver, BC, from May 8–10, 2019. In addition to presentations, sessions may include other formats such as workshops, working sessions, roundtables, and panel discussions. Forum organizers encourage: Proposals that consider and promote discussions of diversity and inclusion; Case studies that highlight …read more
The Callidus project invites applications for the Digital Approaches to Teaching Historical Languages (DAtTeL) workshop scheduled for March 28–29 at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. The organizers welcome contributions that deal with any aspect of computer-assisted language learning for historical languages and the specific affordances of blended learning in this area. We want to especially encourage …read more
The Right2Left Organising Committee is soliciting proposals for a half-day workshop on June 8, 2019, at the Digital Humanities Summer Institute. The workshop will focus on digital work in languages written from right to left (RTL), and topics may include: multi-directional texts digital methods and RTL scripts RTL workarounds pre-Unicode histories of RTL digital environments …read more
From the announcement: The Library of the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW) at New York University seeks an Assistant Research Scholar to help develop, implement, and extend its digital projects and to participate in the scholarly life of the ISAW community. A key component of the ISAW Library’s mission is to …read more
From the announcement: The Jesuit University of San Francisco’s Gleeson Library | Geschke Learning Resource Center seeks an engaged, innovative, and enthusiastic individual for the position of Digital Collections Librarian. The Library has a strong commitment to inclusive excellence and seeks candidates who will further advance the goal of fostering a diverse and inclusive community. …read more