Missed Connections: What Search Engines Say About Women / Safiya Umoja Noble

Noble writes evocatively about the effect of search algorithm biases on users — in this case, young black girls who will find that Google searches for “black girls” do not lead to books about black girls or communities in which young black girls might connect, but instead pornography as the top results. Noble investigates how search engines can actually maintain unequal access and representation, yet are such a foundational aspect of modern life that they are often unquestioned. She also notes that commercial interests often subvert subvert a diverse or at least realistic range of representations.

Noble, Safiya Umoja. 2012. “Missed Connections: What Search Engines Say About Women.” Bitch Magazine, 2012. https://safiyaunoble.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/54_search_engines.pdf.

Archaeology of a Digitization / Bonnie Mak

Excellent article in the history of digital materialism, exploring the layers and effects of collection, curation and remix by exploring the deep history of a commonly-used library database, Early English Books Online (EEBO). This article is particularly relevant to projects considering the labor and implications of digitization and reformatting, and also serves as a model for unpacking the complexity that can lay behind a seemingly-simple single database interface.

“This study proposes an archaeology as a means of exploring the practices by which digitally encoded resources are generated, circulated, and received. The discussion grapples with the ambiguous relationship between digitizations and their exemplars in the well-known database, Early English Books Online (EEBO), and suggests ways in which digitizations might be analyzed as witnesses of current perceptions about the past and used accordingly in scholarly research. The article therefore offers a critical reading of EEBO and its digitizations as part of a broader effort to investigate the role of digitally encoded resources in the transmission of ideas and the production of cultural heritage.”

Mak, Bonnie. 2014. “Archaeology of a Digitization.” Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology 65 (8): 1515–26. http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/asi.23061.

Skins 1.0: A Curriculum for Designing Games with First Nations Youth

Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace (AbTeC) conducted the Skins workshop to explore a pedagogy that integrated North American Indigenous cultural frameworks into the design of video games and virtual environments. Skins provides instruction in digital design, art, animation, audio and programming within a context of Aboriginal stories and storytelling techniques. In the pilot workshop with Mohawk youth at the Kahnawake Survival School, students developed interactive environments based on traditional stories from their community in a process that required them to reflect on how they knew those stories, who had told them, and which stories were appropriate for such remediation. In the process, AbTeC found that the discussions about these stories in the context of the technical skills development provided substantial motivation for both further inquiry into the stories and greater participation in the skills development. This paper describes the curriculum and strategies of the Skins pilot workshop.

Lameman, Beth Aileen, Jason E. Lewis, and Skawennati Fragnito. 2010. “Skins 1.0: A Curriculum for Designing Games with First Nations Youth.” In Proceedings of the International Academic Conference on the Future of Game Design and Technology, 105–112. Futureplay ’10. New York, NY, USA: ACM. https://doi.org/10.1145/1920778.1920793.

Games as Enduring Presence / Elizabeth LaPensée

Games offer a space for Indigenous artists to reify the connections between tradition and technology since Indigenous games can directly engage players in Indigenous ways of knowing through design and aesthetic. The social impact game Survivance, the musical choose-your-own-adventure text game We Sing for Healing, and the mobile game Invaders exemplify games as self-determined spaces for Indigenous expression. And yet, these examples still merely hint at possibilities of self-determined Indigenous games as access to technology expands and the potential to design systems with Indigenous perspectives from the code up unfolds.

LaPensée, Elizabeth. 2016. “Games as Enduring Presence.” Public 27 (54): 178–86. https://doi.org/10.1386/public.27.54.178_1.

Advocacy by Design: Moving Between Theory & Practice / Purdom Lindblad

Advocacy by Design (AbD) is a design framework for critical engagement centered on advocacy. AbD advocates for transparency, openness, polyvocalism, stewardship, and how to achieve these goals. In order to best fulfill these goals, the presentation suggests that libraries take part in collaborative projects.

For more information on collaborative projects and the importance of collaboration in libraries please see other resources tagged with “Process and Partnerships”

Lindblad, Purdom. 2017. “Advocacy by Design: Moving Between Theory & Practice.” In . College Park, MD. http://drum.lib.umd.edu/handle/1903/19250.

Native America’s twenty-first-century right to know / Allison Boucher Krebs

More than 30 years ago, in October of 1978, Standing Rock Sioux scholar Vine Deloria Jr. prepared a paper for The White House Pre-conference on Indian Library and Information Services On or Near Reservations titled “The Right to Know.” In his paper, Deloria establishes the United States Federal government’s treaty responsibility for Indian Country’s:

…need to know; to know the past, to know the traditional alternatives advocated by their ancestors, to know the specific experiences of their communities, and to know about the world that surrounds them (Deloria 1978, p. 13)

Deloria called for “direct funding from the federal government to tribes for library, information and archival services…[specifying that] every effort should be made in joint planning to transmit the major bulk of records dealing with tribal histories to modern and adequate facilities on reservations” (p. 13). Deloria warned us that “Authorizing the development of libraries, archives, and information centers and dividing existing federal records among these groups will require sophisticated and intelligent planning by the persons concerned” (p. 15).

One decade into the twenty-first century, this paper analyzes two catalytic initiatives relating to this Indigenous “right to know” funded—at least partially—by the US Federal government:

* Institute of Museum and Library Services’ Grants to Indian Tribes
* Fourth Museum of the National Museum of the American Indian.

It places these initiatives within the broader Indigenous knowledge ecology.

Krebs, Allison Boucher. 2012. “Native America’s Twenty-First-Century Right to Know.” Archival Science 12 (2): 173–90. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10502-011-9161-2.

From Custody to Collaboration: The Post-Custodial Archival Model at the University of Texas Libraries / Kent Norsworthy and T-Kay Sangwand

Despite living in an age of ubiquitous access to digital information, scholars still struggle to access both the physical and digital primary sources needed for research and teaching. This can be due to limited access to physical primary sources (i.e. cultural heritage materials located in another country), lack of resources to make analog primary sources digitally accessible (i.e. limited funds and staff for digitization), or lack of a concerted effort to collect born digital materials (i.e. no clear institutional mandate). The inaction around preservation and access can result in the loss of the materials themselves, for example to obscurity and obsolescence, as well as an impoverished historical record. In order to confront these threats while simultaneously supporting scholarly research at The University of Texas at Austin, the University of Texas Libraries has adopted a post-custodial archive model to address the collection, preservation, and access challenges for digitized and born digital archival materials. This approach also allows us to secure valuable scholarly resources for The University of Texas at Austin and the global community and to foster deep collaborative relationships with campus faculty and academic units as well as with our partners around the globe, all in close alignment with the strategic priorities of the Libraries and the University. This presentation will explore the background and rationale that underlies the post-custodial archive model and how this model has been implemented through digital projects such as the Guatemalan National Police Historical Archive, Primeros Libros de las Américas, and the Human Rights Documentation Initiative. We will discuss these initiatives as part of broader efforts to redefine the role and identity of the research library as a central component of teaching, scholarship, and resource to 21st century learners, and as an exemplary activity of the University’s commitment to “scholarship and education that advances the social good.”

Norsworthy, Kent, and T-Kay Sangwand. 2013. “From Custody to Collaboration: The Post-Custodial Archival Model at the University of Texas Libraries.” In . Austin, TX. https://tdl-ir.tdl.org/handle/2249.1/66973.