Quick overview

All posts still in progress. If you have additions you want to suggest, please let me know in the comments or on twitter @schomj.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Cataloging and Social Justice

Roberto, K. R., & Berman, S. (2008). Radical cataloging: Essays at the front. McFarland & Co.
              Chapter especially recommended by twitter: Drabinski, E. “Teaching the radical catalog.” pp. 198-205. http://www.emilydrabinski.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/drabinski_radcat.pdf

  • Adamich, T. (2009). Foreign Language Cataloging, Non-Native English Speakers, and Equitable Access. Technicalities, 29(2), 7-11.
  • Adler, M. (2009). Transcending Library Catalogs: A Comparative Study of Controlled Terms in Library of Congress Subject Headings and User-Generated Tags in LibraryThing for Transgender Books. Journal Of Web Librarianship, 3(4), 309-331. doi:10.1080/19322900903341099 
  • Adler, M. (2016). The Case for Taxonomic Reparations. Knowledge Organization, 43(8), 630-640.  From the abstract The paper identifies specific cases, including #BlackLivesMatter, indigenous subject headings and classifications, and the Digital Transgender Archive as models for taxonomic reparations.
  • Adler, M. (2017). Classification along the color line: Excavating racism in the stacks. Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies 1. http://libraryjuicepress.com/journals/index.php/jclis/article/view/17 
  • Bardenheier, P., Wilkinson, E. H. and Dale, H. (2015). Ki te Tika te Hanga, Ka Pakari te Kete: With the Right Structure We Weave a Strong Basket. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 53(5-6), 496-519. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01639374.2015.1008716 From the abstract “Ngā Ūpoko Tukutuku is an Indigenous subject headings schema developed to empower and enrich records using Māori knowledge systems and terminology. Library staff worked collaboratively with Māori language literacy experts to transform access to the material. The Indigenous frameworks, their application for reclassification and record enhancement, and associated benefits of the project are described.”
  • Bergman, B., Schomberg, J. and D. Kurtz. (2016). Survey of classification and organization of videorecordings. Library Resources & Technical Services 60(3), 156-167. http://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/lib_services_fac_pubs/59/ Summary Survey and discussion of how different library types classify videorecordings and the benefits and problems of those decisions, including brief discussion of discrimination within existing classification schemes.
  • Berman, S. (1971). Prejudices and antipathies: A tract on the LC subject heads concerning people. Metuchen, N.J: Scarecrow Press. See Knowlton (2005) for a 30 years later reflection.
  • Billey, A., Drabinski, E. & K. R. Roberto. (2014). What’s gender got to do with it? A critique of RDA 9.7. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 52(4), 412-421. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01639374.2014.882465 From the abstract “the authors challenge gender as a descriptive attribute for personal names, critique how LC is instructing NACO catalogers to record elements about gender, and make recommendations to address describing persons in LC authority records.”
  • Bowker, G. C. and Star, S. L. (1999). Sorting things out: Classification and its consequences. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. Summary Examines several classification systems and looks at the way classification choices are made in a cultural context, and how classification choices include some parts (and members) of the world while excluding others.
  • Campbell, G. (2001). Queer Theory and the Creation of Contextualized Subject Access Tools for Gay and Lesbian Communities. Knowledge Organization 27. http://www.ergon-verlag.de/tocs/ko/27_2000_3.pdf
  • Chaikhambung, J. & K. Tuamsuk. (2017). Knowledge classification on ethnic groups in Thailand. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 55(2), 89-104.
  • http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01639374.2016.1271074
  • Cherry, A. and Mukunda, K. (2015). A Case Study in Indigenous Classification: Revisiting and Reviving the Brian Deer Scheme. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 53(5-6), 548-567. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01639374.2015.1008717 From the abstract “Kahnawake librarian Brian Deer developed a classification system that better reflects an Indigenous worldview and the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs Resource Centre recently released a new revision of this system. Implementing this new system was a project that produced a model and tools, as well as inspiration that other institutions can use to move toward more culturally appropriate classification.”
  • Coleman, A. (2016). Theology, race and libraries. Preprint submitted to the Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the American Theological Librarians Association, Long Beach, California. http://scholarworks.sjsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1090&context=slis_pub Excerpt "The Library of Congress Subject Heading “antiracism” is examined in order to understand its strengths and limitations. Many people are puzzled by the term “antiracism” and how bias in subject headings affects library service. A robust vocabulary, that is, a subject thesaurus that exhibits the major concepts and relationships inherent in the topic of “anti-racism” is needed to increase understanding and provide “anti-racist” intellectual access and “just library service.”
  • Copeland, C. A. (2011). Library and information center accessibility: The differently-abled patron’s perspective. Technical Services Quarterly 28(2), 223-241. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07317131.2011.546281 From the abstract “Through participants' voices, the study lends understanding to the “lived experiences” of library patrons who are differently-able and offers suggestions on how library accessibility may be improved.”
  • Correa, E. M., & Marcano, N. (2009). Bibliographic Description and Practices for Providing Access to Spanish Language Materials. Technical Services Quarterly, 26(4), 299-312. doi:10.1080/07317130802679108
  • Cushing, L. (2014). Cataloging as Radical Practice. SRRT Newsletter Social Responsibilities Round Table), (186), 10. http://libr.org/srrt/news/srrt186.php#10
  • Diao, J. & H. Cao.  (2016). Chronology in cataloging Chinese archaeological reports: An investigation in cultural bias in the Library of Congress Classification. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 54(4), 244-262.
  • http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01639374.2016.1150931
  • Drabinski, E. (2011). Teaching other tongues: Addressing the problem of ‘other’ languages in the library. Journal of Information Ethics 20(2), 42-55. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=lls&AN=67153015&site=ehost-live From the abstract “Drawing on contact zone theory and work on language equity in Composition Studies, this article suggests a reorientation of library instruction away from teaching the particulars of library language and toward teaching library research as a process of struggle and translation at the site of the database search interface”
  • Drabinski, E. (2013). Queering the catalog: Queer theory and the politics of correction. The Library Quarterly: Information, Community, Policy 83(2), 94-111. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=lls&AN=86140717&site=ehost-live From the abstract “Engaging queer theory and library classification and cataloging together requires new ways of thinking about how to be ethically and politically engaged on behalf of marginal knowledge formations and identities who quite reasonably expect to be able to locate themselves in the library.”
  • Drucker, D. J. (2017). How subjects matter: The Kinsey Institute's Sexual Nomenclature: A Thesaurus (1976). Information & Culture: A Journal of History 52(2), 207-228. https://muse.jhu.edu/article/658180
  • Duarte, M. E. and Belarde-Lewis, M. (2015). Imagining: Creating Spaces for Indigenous Ontologies. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 53(5-6), 677-702. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01639374.2015.1018396 From the abstract “The decolonizing methodology of imagining provides one way that knowledge organization practitioners and theorists can acknowledge and discern the possibilities of Indigenous community-based approaches to the development of alternative information structures.”
  • Farnel, S., Shiri, A., Campbell, S., Cockney, C., Rathi, D. & R. Stobbs. (2017). A community-driven metadata framework for describing cultural resources: The digital library north project. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 56(1), 1-18. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01639374.2017.1312723
  • Ferris, A. M. (2008). The ethics and integrity of cataloging. Journal of Library Administration 47(3-4), 173-190. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01930820802186514#.UvFGvfldWSo
  • Furner, J. (2007). Dewey Deracialized: A Critical Race-Theoretic Perspective. Knowledge Organization, 34(3), 144-168. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=lxh&AN=28379530&site=ehost-live From the abstract “an assessment is made of critical race theory, as a framework for evaluating library classification schemes”
  • Harihareswara, S. (2015). User Experience is a social justice issue. Code4lib Journal, (28), 1. http://journal.code4lib.org/articles/10482 From the abstract “recommends specific actions that we, as individual contributors and organizations, can take to increase our empathy and improve the user experience we provide to patrons”
  • Howarth, L. C. and Knight, E. (2015). To Every Artifact Its Voice: Creating Surrogates for Hand-Crafted Indigenous Objects. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 53(5-6), 580-595. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01639374.2015.1008719 From the abstract “This article reports on findings from qualitative research undertaken with a group of Aboriginal seniors in Toronto, Canada, to assess how a community-based collection of handcrafted objects could be used to evoke memories of maker culture (craft), as well as to foster meaning-making—all in the course of gathering elements requisite to representing each item in a documented surrogate. … A rethinking of surrogate records that center the Indigenous experience in the cataloging process.”
  • Johnson, M. (2010). Transgender subject access: History and current practice. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 48(8), 661-683.http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01639370903534398 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01639370903534398 From the abstract “It compares LCSH treatment of transgender topics to that of controlled vocabularies developed to describe lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) collections, as well as their treatment by scholarly LGBT encyclopedias.”
  • Koford, A. (2014). How disability studies scholars interact with subject headings. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 52(4), 388-411. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01639374.2014.891288 From the abstract “This qualitative study investigates the information seeking behavior of nine scholars in the field of disability studies, focusing on how they interact with subject headings. The findings suggest that disability studies scholars often encounter and use non-preferred language when doing research”
  • Knowlton, S. A. (2005). Three decades since Prejudices and Antipathies: A study of changes in the Library of Congress Subject Headings. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 40(2), 123-145. http://www.sanfordberman.org/biblinks/knowlton.pdf
  • LaLonde, K. (2011). Sanford Berman: Action Librarian. (slideshow) http://www.slideshare.net/shinyinfo/sanford-berman-action-librarian
  • Lewis, Alison et al. (2008), Questioning Library Neutrality, Duluth: Library Juice Press.
  • Lilley, S. C. (2015). Ka Pō, Ka Ao, Ka Awatea: The Interface between Epistemology and Māori Subject Headings. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 53(5-6), 479-495. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01639374.2015.1009671 From the abstract “This article argues that the development and application of Māori subject headings is directly related to the natural order that is pivotal to a Māori worldview. The impact of this worldview and its associated values are explored in the context of the construction of Ngā Ūpoko Tukutuku.”
  • Littletree, S. and Metoyer, C. A. (2015). Knowledge Organization from an Indigenous Perspective: The Mashantucket Pequot Thesaurus of American Indian Terminology Project. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 53(5-6), 640-657. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01639374.2015.1010113 From the abstract “Using story as pedagogy, this article examines the conceptual foundations, theoretical framework, and application of the Thesaurus to a museum setting.”
  • Long, K., Thompson, S., Potvin, S. & M. Rivero. (2017). The "wicked problem" of neutral description: Toward a documentation approach to metadata standards. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 55(3), 107-128.
  • http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01639374.2016.1278419.
  • Lougheed, B., Moran, R. and Callison, C. (2015). Reconciliation through Description: Using Metadata to Realize the Vision of the National Research Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 53(5-6), 596-614. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01639374.2015.1008718 From the abstract “This article will discuss the history and context surrounding the document collection and statement gathering mandates of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and the challenges the newly established National Research Centre for Truth and Reconciliation will face in applying the Commission's metadata set in the realization of its vision.”
  • Mehra, B., Rioux, K. S., and Albright, K. S. (2009). "Social justice in library and information science." In Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, 3rd ed. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1081/E-ELIS3-120044526#   
  • Moulaison Sandy, H. & J. Bossaller. (2017). Providing cognitively just subject access to indigenous knowledge through knowledge organization systems. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 55(3), 129-152. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01639374.2017.1281858
  • Ockerbloom, J. M. (2013). Categorizing people without marginalizing them. Everybody’s Libraries (blog) http://everybodyslibraries.com/2013/04/29/categorizing-people-without-marginalizing-them/
  • Olson, H.A. &Ward. D. B. (1997). Ghettoes and diaspora in classification: Communicating across the limits. In B. Frohmann (Ed.), Communication and information in context: Society, technology, and the professions (Proceedings of the 25th Annual Conference/ Association canadienne des sciences de l’information: Travaux du 25e congres annuel) (pp. 19-31). Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Canadian Association for Information Science.
  • Olson, H. A. (1997). How we construct subjects: A feminist analysis. Library Trends 56(2), 509-541. https://www.ideals.illinois.edu/bitstream/handle/2142/4586/Olson562.pdf?sequence=2
  • Olson, H. A. (1998). Mapping beyond Dewey’s boundaries: Constructing classification space for marginalized knowledge domains. Library Trends (47)2, 233-254. https://www.ideals.illinois.edu/bitstream/handle/2142/8213/librarytrendsv47i2_opt.pdf?sequence=3#page=56
  • Olson, H. A. (2000). Difference, culture and change: The untapped potential of LCSH. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 29(1-2), 53-71. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J104v29n01_04#.Uu_k4vldWSo
  • Olson, H. A. (2001). Standardization, objectivity, and user focus: A meta-analysis of subject analysis critiques. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 32(2), 61-80. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J104v32n02_06#.Uu_jtvldWSo
  • Olson, H. A. (2001). Patriarchal Structures of Subject Access and Subversive Techniques for Change. Canadian Journal of Information & Library Sciences, 26(2/3), 1-29. Note Includes proposed solutions.
  • Olson, H. A. (2001). Sameness and difference: A cultural foundation of classification. Library Resources & Technical Services 45(3), 115-122. http://polaris.gseis.ucla.edu/gleazer/462_readings/olson_2001.pdf Note Includes proposed solutions.
  • Olson, H. A. (2002). Information sources in women's studies and feminism. München: K.G. Saur.
  • Olson, H. A. (2002). The power to name: Locating the limits of subject representation in libraries. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
  • Rigby, C. (2015). Nunavut Libraries Online Establish Inuit Language Bibliographic Cataloging Standards: Promoting Indigenous Language Using a Commercial ILS. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 53(5-6), 615-639. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01639374.2015.1008165 From the abstract “The partners in the Nunavut Libraries Online consortium, together with the Nunavut Government translation bureau, have developed a common vocabulary for creating bibliographic records in Inuktitut, including syllabic script, and used this to create bibliographic cataloging standards, under AACR2, for creating multilingual and multiscript MARC-compliant, Integrated Library System-compatible records that accurately reflect the multilingual content of material published in and about Nunavut and Inuit.
  • Roberto, K. R. (2011). Inflexible Bodies. Journal of Information Ethics, 20(2), 56-64. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=lls&AN=67153016&site=ehost-live
  • Sarles, P. (2012). The Library of Congress finally acknowledges donor offspring (But this is only a beginning). AASL blog http://www.aasl.ala.org/aaslblog/?p=2901
  • Schroeder, R. and Hollister, C. V. (2014). Librarians’ views on critical theories and critical practices. Behavioral & Social Sciences Librarian 33(2), 91-119. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01639269.2014.912104 From the abstract “This study was conducted to investigate levels of familiarity that librarians have with critical theory, to determine the extent to which it informs professional practices, and to examine how the social justice issues related to critical theory inform the practices of librarians who are unfamiliar with it.”
  • Shoki, G. E., & Oyelude, A. A. (2006). Cultural and linguistic barriers to information retrieval and dissemination. IFLA Conference Proceedings, 1-15. http://archive.ifla.org/IV/ifla72/papers/145-Shoki_Oyelude-en.pdf    
  • Steeves, P. (2017). Unpacking neoliberal archaeological control of ancient indigenous heritage. Archaeologies: Journal of the World Archaeological Congress 13(1), 48-65. doi: 10.1007/s11759-017-9312-z
  • Strottman, T. A. (2007). Some of our fifty are missing: Library of Congress Subject Headings for southwestern culture and history. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 45(2), 41-64. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J104v45n02_04#.Uu_kNPldWSo
  • Swanson, R. (2015). Adapting the Brian Deer Classification System for Aanischaaukamikw Cree Cultural Institute. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 53(5-6), 468-579. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01639374.2015.1009669 From the abstract “This case study examines Aanischaaukamikw Cree Culture Institute, a Cree museum and resource center in the Oujé-Bougoumou, Quebec, and the institute's adaptation of the Brian Deer Classification System for use in their library.”
  • Szostak, R. (2014). Classifying for Social Diversity. Knowledge Organization, 41(2), 160-170. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=lxh&AN=95782277&site=ehost-live From the abstract “The key argument here is that much (perhaps all) of the concern regarding the possibility that classes can be subdivided into subclasses in multiple ways, each favored by different groups or individuals, simply vanishes within a web-of-relations approach.”
  • Tuhiwai Smith, L. (2015). Imagining our own approaches. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 53(5-6), 473-474. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01639374.2015.1027982
  • Turner, H. (2015). Decolonizing Ethnographic Documentation: A Critical History of the Early Museum Catalogs at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 53(5-6), 658-676. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01639374.2015.1010112 From the abstract “To inform debates about decolonizing museum records, this article maps the history of cataloging at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.”
  • Whaanga, H., Bainbridge, D., Anderson, M., Scrivener, K., Cader, P., Roa, T., Keegan, T. T. (2015). He Matapihi Mā Mua, Mō Muri: The Ethics, Processes, and Procedures Associated with the Digitization of Indigenous Knowledge—The Pei Jones Collection. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 53(5-6), 520-547. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01639374.2015.1009670 From the abstract: “In this article, we report on the ethics, processes, and procedures associated with the digitization of the manuscripts, works, and collected taonga (treasures) of the late Dr. Pei Te Hurinui Jones—and describe how it was transformed into a digital library.”
  • Wood, S., Carbone, K., Cifor, M., Gilliland, A., & Punzalan, R. (2014). Mobilizing records: re-framing archival description to support human rights. Archival Science, 14(3/4), 397-419. doi:10.1007/s10502-014-9233-1 From the abstract “This article seeks to raise consciousness within the field of archival studies in order to foster a generative discussion about how descriptive practices might be expanded, approached differently, or completely rethought.”


  1. I think Grant Campbell's work is pretty terrific: Campbell, Grant. “Queer Theory and the Creation of Contextualized Subject Access Tools for Gay and Lesbian Communities. Knowledge Organization 27 (Fall 2001).

  2. Fantastic - thank you! I'll update the list.

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