Reimagining Description for Libraries, Archives, and Special Collections: an Anti-Racist Approach
An OCLC presentation by Mary Sauer Games, VP Global Product Management, and Merrilee Proffitt, Senior Manager OCLC Research.
Digital Reference Page available here: oc.lc/acrl-citations
Description, subject analysis, classification, authority control, and cataloging practices are part of a powerful naming and labeling process in bibliographic cataloging. Metadata is laden with outdated, harmful, and even racist terminology. Though many areas of librarianship and archival work have evolved, core ontologies and taxonomies at the heart of descriptive and classification practices remain biased and rooted in white supremacy. This presentation will cover how OCLC has sought to learn and advance knowledge for member libraries though research and programming. Additionally, we will share information about an initiative funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and OCLC that will produce a consultative community agenda. This agenda will inform research, learning, and other actionable steps that libraries, archives, and allied organizations can take to reimagine descriptive practices in the records they steward, and will establish a foundation for future community engagement and reciprocal consultation.
19 April 2021