While diversity is a core value of American librarianship, no systematic and scalable tools currently exist to promote diverse reading materials by and about marginalized populations. The project uses a research through design approach to investigate how systematic tools like library catalogs can advocate for diverse materials, encourage exposure of such materials to a broader audience, and prevent the unintentional erasure of such materials in library collections and explore what metadata elements, values, and organizational structures are necessary to achieve these goals. Using a critical design approach, we created a library catalog that advocates for diversity and exposes library users and readers to resources from populations traditionally marginalized in literature and publishing by designing a system where the default is no longer the white heteronormative male author. Such a system offers the possibility to raise awareness of diverse library materials; expose readers to new and different resources, ideas and cultures; alter reading habits; and ultimately provide more equitable representation by preventing the inadvertent and unintentional erasure of diverse library materials.
This project was funded by the 2018 OCLC/ALISE Library & Information Science Research Grant Program (LISRGP).
View the video prototype:
Related Publications and Presentations:
- Clarke, R.I and Schoonmaker, S. (2020). “The Critical Catalog: Social Justice, Tricksterism, and Library Information Systems.” In Proceedings of ACM SIG CHI 2020, Honolulu, Hawaii, April 25-30.
- Clarke, R.I. and Schoonmaker, S. (2019) “Metadata for Diversity: Identification and Implications of Potential Access Points for Diverse Library Resources.” Journal of Documentation 76 (1): 173-196.
- Winner of the 2020 ALCTS Outstanding Publication Award
- Winner of the 2020 Jesse H. Shera Award for Distinguished Published Research
- Clarke, R.I. and Schoonmaker, S. (2018). “The Critical Catalog: Giving Voice to Diverse Library Materials through Provocative Design.” Advances in Classification Research Online 29 (1), 23-26.
- Best Paper Proposal Award Winner, 2018 ASIS&T SIG/CR Workshop.
Related news stories about this project from the Syracuse iSchool: