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Sunday, October 14 • 9:00am - 3:30pm
#s1e: Design for Diversity: Towards More Inclusive Information Systems

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Design for Diversity: Towards More Inclusive Information Systems
Amanda Rust, Des Alaniz, Julia Flanders
Northeastern University Libraries, United States of America
This workshop will explore issues of diversity and inclusion in cultural heritage information systems, using materials from the beta release of a pedagogical toolkit created by the Design for Diversity project at Northeastern University Libraries and hosted by the Digital Library Federation. Design for Diversity is an IMLS-funded project focusing on the ways in which information systems embody and reinforce cultural norms, asking how we might design systems that account for diverse cultural materials and ways of knowing. By centering information systems, we focus on issues such as the harm caused by cataloging standards that classify living, breathing people as “illegal aliens”, or data models that enforce strict gender binaries such as “woman or man” when human experience is much broader. To empower cultural heritage practitioners in their advocacy around these issues, and also better educate the next generation of systems designers, we created a teaching and learning toolkit with case studies, readings, and other educational materials.

This toolkit offers educators and learners a broad-based set of materials—including case studies, readings, assignment prompts, and annotated resources—that explore the challenges of building diversity and social justice into information systems at the deepest levels. The toolkit will help educate the next generation of systems creators and users through its use in both formal and informal educational environments. It also seeks to empower the current users of cultural heritage information systems—such as cataloging vocabularies, digital collections systems, data sharing standards, and online exhibit builders—to advocate for more inclusive practices in the design and use of those systems.

In this workshop we will share and discuss the results of the project’s environmental scan, giving participants a thorough grounding in the ways issues of diversity and inclusion play out in cultural heritage information systems. We will then share and discuss the lessons we’ve learned so far about creating good community partnerships so that underrepresented groups become core partners in digital projects. We’ll lead participants through a process of brainstorming the systems and technical infrastructure in their own institution where they might want to evaluate inclusivity and make change. We’ll end with workshopping potential models for making organizational change and how the Toolkit might be used to create change.

Participants in this workshop will explore issues of diversity and inclusion in the technical systems we use every day, and also add their experiences to the toolkit through feedback and suggestions for new topics. Join us to unpack these issues and leave with a plan for action, including how you might use the Toolkit as a resource for organizational change.

This workshop is part of Learn@DLF (our brand new pre-conference workshop day). Learn more and register for this session: https://forum2018.diglib.org/learnatdlf/

avatar for Amanda Rust

Amanda Rust

Assistant Director, Digital Scholarship Group, Libraries, Northeastern University

Sunday October 14, 2018 9:00am - 3:30pm PDT
Modena 3