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.”
Diverse Knowledges and Contact Zones within the Digital Museum / Ramesh Srinivasan, Katherine M. Becvar, Robin Boast, Jim Enote
This article reports on an early project exploring the possibilities of collaborative description of Indigenous belongings held in museums. The authors conducted a collaborative research project on how multiple local expert communities interacted with and reacted to objects held within multiple museums. The ethnographic research conducted in this study demonstrates the need for museums to collaborate with local communities as well as a method for implementing this collaboration. The study showed a disconnect between how objects were presented and recorded and the local experts’ experience and knowledge about the objects (this disconnect is visualized on page 753); the two main disconnects were found in the narrative the Zuni communities and museums constructed about these objects as well as an absence of the use and practice of these objects in the museums. The authors advocate for working within this disconnect to find better ways of representing objects, or viewing museums as “contact zones” in which multiple experts – not only the traditional museum “Expert” – can collaborate. One method for negotiating this disconnect is to make visible the different meaning objects have in different contexts; designing digital spaces to host digital objects allow for this visibility.
Zine Union Catalog
The Zine Union Catalog (ZUC) has been a collaborative process from its beginnings at the Zine Librarians (un)Conference (ZLuC) in Seattle in 2009. Zine readers, researchers, and librarians need a unified resource for finding finding and sharing zine metadata and location information. ZineCat will offer a similar benefit to zine librarians, allowing them to share catalog records, metadata, and knowledge. Further, having developed a Zine Librarians Code of Ethics, the zine library community has proved itself thoughtful, loving, and critical, which bodes well for a carefully built tool informed by deep processing and cooperation.
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.