In ALA Annual 2019, LITA’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee hosted a panel with guest speakers who highlighted the ways in which technology, metadata, and institutional processes often perpetuated biases, misrepresentations, and/or non-inclusive functions even as they used standards to determine their services, functions, and/or bureaucratic structure. Our presumably “neutral” systems — cataloging rules, academic impact metrics, or information technology infrastructure — are hosts for continuing inequities between groups of users who make contact with these systems.
We would like to continue that conversation by soliciting and hosting another set of three fifteen-minute presentations on topics of choice involving examples of hidden biases around “systems” — broadly defined. These could be information technology systems or metadata systems. However, it could also be accessibility standards, workplace standards resulting in systemic neglect, or the ecosystem of academic promotion and scholarly publishing.
Panelists can speak to various aspects of these systems — as participants, observers, researchers, etc. We are also interested in panelist proposals that speak to interventions being made in which they have participated or researched. Regardless of the topic, we would like for panelists to provide an opportunity for our attendees to interrogate our profession’s current norms, assumptions, and practices.