Session 2: Metadata Creation and Remediation in Zine and Digital Library Collections

This is session 2 of the two -part ALCTS Virtual Preconference Diverse, Inclusive, and Equitable Metadata. View information for session 1.

Date & Time ALA Annual 2017

Wednesday, June 7, 2017, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. CT

Learning Objectives

  1. Participants will be able to identify ways to increase cultural inclusiveness of their metadata, leading to enhanced description and better representation.
  2. Participants will be exposed to new frameworks that will enrich their practices for creating descriptive metadata.

Presentation 1

This was presented on June 7, 2017. Access the recording and presentation slides here:
Towards Counter-Cultural Competencies: Mutual Metadata Creation and the Zine Union Catalog Project
 A collaborative team of zine librarians, archivists, library catalogers, metadata specialists, and Web developers is working to build the Zine Union Catalog (ZUC), re-envisioning cooperative cataloging for open, accessible participation and enabling global access to zines in ways that are meaningful to academic, artistic, and leisure readers, as well as to zine creators (zinesters). Currently, intellectual access to zines is distributed across a variety of data silos, such as library catalogs, finding aids, independent databases, spreadsheets, and text documents. Much of this data is created and maintained outside of traditional libraries by zine communities themselves, often using community generated subject vocabularies, particularly for the personal identity terms that are problematic when represented by LCSH.
The project is both complicated and inspired by the frequently sub- and/or counter-cultural content of zines. Effective zine description requires familiarity with the political, social, and artistic movements that underlie and inform zine content, as well as mechanisms for protecting privacy and anonymity while enabling collocation and access.
This presentation will discuss how the ZUC project is incorporating counter-cultural competencies into the metadata process -- namely, by creating an environment for: aggregation of heterogeneous data sources in ways that value and support the inclusion of community created metadata; approachable resource description standards that encourage broad participation in metadata creation; extensible ontology development that acknowledges the evolution of resource genres, the communities that create them, and the tools used to describe them; collaborative taxonomy and vocabulary development that leverages Linked Open Data (LOD) to allow for community-specific displays, while preserving the collocation power of large structured vocabularies; and, identity management that supports the differentiation of project-specific identities for persons and respects the privacy concerns of zinesters.
Audience members will learn how the ZUC project enables (counter-)culturally-relevant, mutual metadata creation for a Linked Open Data catalog by harnessing the power of people and technology.


Honor MoodyHonor Moody, Cataloger, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study/Harvard Library



Allison Jai O'DellAllison Jai O'Dell, Backend Developer, Mercy for Animals



Presentation 2

This was presented on June 7, 2017. Access the recording and presentation slides here:
We Don’t Use Those Words Anymore: Describing Yesterday’s News Today
Description:  At the University of Virginia Library, a mass digital conversion and cataloging project required metadata librarians to critically examine descriptive practices to ensure that cataloging staff created culturally sensitive, thoughtful, and inclusive metadata in support of collection discovery and use.  The WSLS-TV News Film Collection 1951-1971 is a collection of news clips and anchor scripts from a television station in Roanoke, Virginia that contains language reflective of its time that is considered unacceptable today.  Containing ledes such as:  “A retired Negro judge from New York claims negroes aren’t moving fast enough toward integration,”  “The Apple Jelly Camp – a camp for retarded children – opened today in Villamont,” and “An all-day effort to raise money for crippled children at Camp Easter Seal raised 261 dollars today” – it quickly became clear that metadata librarians needed to consider this content and address how catalogers would create descriptions that accurately represented the stories without using outdated language.
This presentation will focus on how we identified problem content, developed strategies for working with staff who disagreed that some language is problematic, found resources available at the institution, and how we will consider and develop cultural competencies in planning for description for future collections.   This presentation will also discuss how working through these issues – though fraught and a source of conflict – has enabled metadata librarians at U.Va. to provide more culturally competent metadata expertise for other projects (including description for Take Back the Archive, a collection of materials related to the history of sexual assault at the University) and have worked with staff in other units to consider the impact of description in providing an inclusive experience for delivering collections and content to users.


Ivey GlendonIvey Glendon, Manager, Metadata Analysis & Design, University of Virginia Library
Jennifer O'Brien RoperJennifer O’Brien Roper, Interim Senior Director, Collections Access & Discovery, University of Virginia Library





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