The Cataloging and Classification Interest Group held a virtual session on Tuesday, March 7th that featured the three presentations below:
Classification from the margins: three alternative classification systems, 1930-1975
Presented by Sasha Frizzell, Catalog / Metadata Management Librarian, Binghamton University
Library classification systems frequently fail librarians and patrons because they do not provide space for the depth and breadth of topics both about and created by people within marginalized communities. This presentation explores three classification systems, created between 1930-1975, that were produced by people in and for the communities that they represent. In 1930, Dorothy Burnett Porter, a librarian who helped to build the collection at Howard University, also created a classification system to better represent the works by, about, and for Black people. During the same time period, Alfred Kaiming Chiu was creating the Harvard-Yenching Classification system at Harvard University because the Library of Congress classification system could not accommodate Chinese Language materials and did not have an adequate framework to classify their ancient published resources. In 1974, Brian Deer began his work in creating classification systems that not only improved the depth of the classification but also adjusted the framework of classification to better fit the way Indigenous knowledge is structured to be more intuitive for Indigenous patrons. These examples, some nearly 100 years old, emphasize the need to uplift and champion the voices of people within marginalized communities as we continue to do work toward reparative cataloging and classification.
A DE&I Cataloging Audit of a Bibliography
Presented by Lisa McColl, Metadata Services Manager, Lehigh University
In the Fall 2022 semester Lehigh University Libraries DE&I Technical Services team embarked on a cataloging audit of the bibliography for the course "Diversity and Multicultural Perspectives" taught by Professor Dr. Floyd D. Beachum at Lehigh University. Dr. Beachum is the Bennett Professor of Urban School Leadership for Lehigh University's College of Education and generously provided his bibliography for our use. By researching a microcosm of DE&I books related to education we were able to study the quality of the metadata in Lehigh's catalog for those specific works, Lehigh's collection holdings in relation to the bibliography, and usage statistics. While this work may not be scalable to perform University wide, it did provide our working group with meaningful data that can now be used to look across our catalog as a whole. With our examination we will enhance the metadata for the works on the bibliography and compare usage statistics after we do. We will compile a list of DE&I relevant authors noted in the edited works for our Collection Development Librarians. Finally, we will use what we learned about the gaps in our metadata to identify potential collection-wide gaps and add to the "Cataloging Habits" document for improved DE&I cataloging practices that we are working to establish. In this presentation I would like to share with attendees the study that was performed, the results, and the action outcomes that will be taken based on this study.
Critical Cataloging and Critical Race Theory: Implications for Cataloging Practice
Presented by Karen Snow, Professor in School of Information Studies, Dominican University
Anthony Dunbar, Assistant Professor in School of Information Studies, Dominican University
Critical race theory (CRT) stems from critical legal studies of the 1970s, yet can still be a powerful tool for examining current cataloging standards and practice. The use of CRT can be seen as a natural extension of the critical cataloging movement, which seeks to investigate the cataloging ecosystem using critical theory and social justice lenses. This presentation will provide background on CRT and critical cataloging, why they are important to cataloging work, and how catalogers can use CRT to thoughtfully examine and hopefully improve cataloging standards and practices. The presenters will also discuss a recent expansion of CRT in information studies (critical race information theory), as well as how Justice and Authority, cornerstone constructs of CRT and cataloging respectively, can be viewed in a continuum, laying the groundwork for further discussion.