DPLAfest 2017—the fourth major gathering of the Digital Public Library of America’s broad community—will take place on April 20-21, 2017 in Chicago at Chicago Public Library’s Harold Washington Library Center. For more information, visit the DPLA website.
In an effort to address how descriptive practices fail to capture diverse identities, thus obscuring the impact and meaning of cultural difference, the GLAM community is increasingly attempting to address the need for inclusive and culturally sensitive language and metadata. With a growing focus on social justice issues and in archives and accessibility, discussions have recently intensified around how we can better apply descriptive terms to surface relevant material in the age of “more product less process,” and how to involve actively the communities whose collections are being housed by outside institutions. In the increasingly highly distributed environments of digital collections, the ubiquitous challenges around description, discovery, and access are amplified: In large scale aggregations like DPLA and Umbra Search African American History, materials that are inadequately described can be totally lost within a much larger corpus, as discrete records are unconstrained by and unmoored from their home digital repositories, often shedding critical intellectual context in the process.
This working session brings together thought leaders, diverse practitioners (including both coders and librarians) and the user community together to advance our work, collectively, towards identifying principles that might form the basis of a framework to underlie more inclusive description and discovery mechanisms.