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Yelton at #imlsfocus

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Apr 28th, 2015
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  1. >> ANDROMEDA YELTON: Thank you, John. I was going to
  2. talk today about why ongoing tech training is hard, the
  3. nuts and bolts of pedagogy and what you can do to help.
  4. Maybe I still will in Q & A, but right now, Baltimore is
  5. burning -- or maybe it isn't -- the stories I hear on
  6. Twitter are not the same as the stories on CNN, and we
  7. as cultural heritage institutions are about our
  8. communities and their stories and about which stories
  9. are told, which are made canon and how and why. So, I
  10. want to talk about how technology training and digital
  11. platforms can either support or threaten our communities
  12. and their ability to tell their stories and to have
  13. their stories reflected and the canonical story that we
  14. build when we build a national platform. I want to make
  15. it explicit that what we are doing in this room today is
  16. about deciding whose stories get told, by whom and how.
  17. Whose get to reach our corridors of power only through
  18. protests and fire. I was reminded this morning of an
  19. article co-authored by MURNa morale S who was
  20. researching the young Lord's party, which is a political
  21. organization in her native Puerto Rico, and she couldn't
  22. find any literature about it, and a sinking feeling, she
  23. thought maybe she should check the header for gangs, and
  24. that was where she found information on this, and I was
  25. reminded of a thing I did at a Harvard library cloud
  26. hack-a-thon earlier, intersectional library cloud, where
  27. I looked at the most popular elements circulated in
  28. Harvard, using the stack score and their API, and I
  29. looked at whether they also had subject headers that
  30. reflected women's studies or LGBT studies or African
  31. American studies, using code and meta data as a way to
  32. surface what people learn matters when they're doing
  33. scholarship and learning at one of the most famous
  34. institutions on earth. TLDR, it didn't really turn out
  35. to matter. They're not reading about stuff like that
  36. when they're reading the things that they mostly read at
  37. Harvard. So, the way that we structure our meta data,
  38. the content we seek, the tools we give people for
  39. interrogating the platform, whom we empower to use these
  40. tools and add this content and teach about these tools
  41. and construct them, how many they are, how diverse they
  42. are have these profound effects on which stories that we
  43. advance and we say matter as cultural heritage
  44. institutions, which in turn, shapes the present and the
  45. future. I've said before that libraries are about
  46. transforming people through access to information and
  47. each other, and that's true, but today, I'm thinking
  48. more about what we can do to let more people transform
  49. libraries and how libraries and our content and API's
  50. and platforms can be tools for more people to transform
  51. each other, how the meta data that courses through
  52. digital platforms is the frame we have to tell and
  53. interpret stories, and how, therefore, as meta data
  54. creators, we must be consciously inclusive, and how,
  55. when we train librarians to use and create national
  56. digital platforms, we can train them to use these skills
  57. in a contextually aware way, not just to understand
  58. technology and use it, but to interrogate it and
  59. construct it from a critical perspective, to see how
  60. technology interacts with our communities and our
  61. stories and where those gaps are and how we can be part
  62. of bridging them, because here we are, comfortable and
  63. safe, mostly white, talking about how millions of
  64. dollars should be spent, and Baltimore is conversed by
  65. its history and by the blind eye so many of us have
  66. turned to it.
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