Assistant Director, Digital Scholarship Group, Libraries
This session will present “Design for Diversity,” a project supported by an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) National Forums grant that focuses on the ways in which information systems embody and reinforce cultural norms, and asks how we can design systems that account for diverse cultural materials and ways of knowing. We focus on information systems in cultural heritage organizations: libraries, archives, and museums. Our core assumption is that technological systems are never neutral, and our project centers on areas like metadata, user interfaces, technological standards, algorithms, programming languages, and operating systems. Based on a series of working meetings and open forums, we will be developing a collaborative pedagogical toolkit to encourage inclusive and ethical practices in information sciences and system design in the cultural heritage sector. This briefing will first present the foundational ideas behind the project, building on strands of thought from multiple disciplines such as digital humanities, library and archival science, computer science, and museum studies. Next, this report will share the preliminary results of the project’s initial environmental scan and finally, the initial outcomes of our first working meeting, held in October 2017.