31 July 2018

Women, Information and Libraries Special Interest Group at WLIC 2018: Collections, Ethics, Perspective, and Voice

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By Mathilde Koskas

Around the world, libraries are beginning to address the ways in which established methods of collecting, cataloguing, preserving, sharing information about and giving access to resources perpetuates cultural bias, patriarchal thinking, racism, colonialism, among other issues and structures and therefore informs the collection itself. 

There are numerous issues to address, including but not limited to: how does cultural bias play into building collections; how to build relationships with local communities; at what level to start the conversation; who has primary responsibility for addressing issues with subject access and classifications such as the Dewey Decimal System or LCSH; the choices that curators make when presenting collections online and off; the ways in which technology hides decision making and discovery; staff training, recruiting, and retention of a diverse workforce; the use of Indigenous research methods; addressing closed and inherited collections which bring up issues around restitution and repatriation.

We are starting a discussion around those topics in our two sessions at WLIC 2018, on August 28th and 29th:

  • Session 207 - Collections, Ethics, Perspective, and Voice: The Importance of Context - Women, Information and Libraries Special Interest Group joint with LGBTQ Users Special Interest Group
    28 August 2018,  13:45-15:45, Plenary Theater
  • Session 218 - Collections, Ethics, Perspective, and Voice: Reaching Out to the Hard to Reach - Women, Information and Libraries Special Interest Group
    29 August 2018, 8:30-10:30, Ballroom 1

Session 207 - Collections, Ethics, Perspective, and Voice: The Importance of Context -  joint with LGBTQ Users Special Interest Group

28 August 2018,  13:45-15:45, Plenary Theater

In this open session, you will hear a series of presentations that showcase research, activities, and real-world examples of the complexities around these issues, from the following speakers:

  • LaVerne Gray, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, United States: Uncovering Collective Voice: Using archives to explore community-based information environments of African-American Activist-Mothers in Chicago Public Housing, 1955-1970
  • Reiko Aoki, National Women’s Education Center, Japan: Collection Development on Women's Earthquake Disaster Experiences and Support Activities in Japan
  • Hollie White, Curtin University, Australia: Decolonizing the Way We Organize
  • ​Bernard Dione, Université Cheikh Anta Diop, Senegal: Collection development and cultural context: The accommodation of professional to cultural values among Senegalese Academic Librarians

Session 218 - Collections, Ethics, Perspective, and Voice: Reaching Out to the Hard to Reach - Women, Information and Libraries Special Interest Group

29 August 2018, 8:30-10:30, Ballroom 1

In this session, you will meet some of the speakers from Session 207 and further the discussion with them and 4 other specialists who will start the discussion with the presentation of 3 field initiatives:

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