Moya Bailey shares her experience collecting Tweets using the #girlslikeus hashtag and how she incorporates ethical practices when researching vulnerable communities, specifically trans women of color. Although this is not specifically a code of conduct, Bailey provides an explicit case study for how to be respectful, collaborative, and center a community’s needs over the researcher’s needs.
Queering the Catalog: Queer Theory and the Politics of Correction / Emily Drabinski
Drabinski looks at activist catalogers who focus on “correcting” certain classifications and knowledge organization systems; the problem with the notion of “correctness,” though, is it reinforces the notion that these knowledge systems are universal and erases the fluidity of knowledges produced by the social, political, and temporal. Drabinski advocates for LIS practitioners to use a queer lens while working with users and information; a “queer perspective on classification structures sees categories as discursively produced and historically contingent” (101). Drabinski offers examples of potential implementations of queer practices into cataloguing. She provides three main recommendations: 1) knowledge systems can be designed for users to both visibly see the constructed-ness of classifiers; 2) LIS practitioners can encourage users to participate in conversations about revising classifications through workshops, conversations, the actual design, or other pedagogical tools; and 3) information science curriculum can focus on classification work as “critical reflection,” not just “correcting.”
Feminism and the Future of Library Discovery / Bess Sadler and Chris Bourg
Sadler and Bourg argue that libraries are never neutral and, therefore, should do work to problematize and subvert harmful cultural biases and information organization in library discovery. They use Bardzell’s Feminist HCI as a framework to provide suggestions and examples for digital projects and larger projects that incorporated social justice in their design.
Sadler, B., & Bourg, C. (2015). “Feminism and the Future of Library Discovery.” Code4Lib: Special Issue on Diversity in Library Technology, 28.
What’s Gender Got to Do with It? A Critique of RDA 9.7 / Amber Billey, Emily Drabinski, and K. R. Roberto
The RDA catalogues gender according to the male/female binary. The authors argue for a removal of gender cataloguing, especially when the controlled vocabulary falls into this binary; part of the problem with labeling gender is the choices are based on physical and name markers. This cataloging which reinforces problematic notions of gender as stable and legible. One potential loss for not cataloguing gender identity is losing the ability to group people by gender. The authors, however, argue that researching groups by gender continues to privilege the gender binary, instead of representing queer identities. Being aware of the complex and fluid nature of gender identities contradicts the need to catalogue gender.
Feminist HCI: Taking Stock and Outlining an Agenda for Design / Shaowen Bardzell
Bardzell uses examples from feminist theories and practices in disciplines that revolve around design and user experience (i.e., architecture, gaming, etc.) as catalysts to think further about how feminist theory can be implemented in and ultimately change human-computer interaction (HCI), especially in theory, methodology, user research, and evaluation. Bardzell comes up with a “constellation of qualities” to transform how designers think about HCI through a feminist lens, or as she refers to it, “feminist interaction design” (1308).