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CODE4LIB  July 2019

CODE4LIB July 2019

Subject:

Webinar on Algorithmic Bias!

From:

Michelle Urberg <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 14 Jul 2019 12:48:44 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (87 lines)

Dear Code4Lib folks,

As academic libraries purchase more and more digital resources for research
and teaching, or wish to surface hidden collections in their repositories,
or want to support scholars producing open scholarship, it is imperative to
understand how library software makes these resources, collections, or
scholarship accessible and discoverable. Algorithms underlying these
software tools can in fact hinder access and discovery. Digital literacy is
the first step to understanding what is at stake in access and discovery of
these resources, collections, and scholarship. This webinar seeks to
increase digital literacy as it pertains to these matters.

We invite you to explore this topic through an interactive webinar
“Confronting Algorithmic Bias in Open Research Collections” on July 24th
from 11am-12pm Central Time.  Please register in advance for the webinar
at:
https://ala-events.zoom.us/webinar/register/47d2cc5e51501ff1dc2040ba88984b7b
Once registered, you’ll receive a confirmation with the webinar URL.

This webinar will consist of two interactive sessions followed by time for
questions and discussion. Kate Dohe, Manager of the Digital Programs &
Initiatives department in the University of Maryland Libraries, will lead a
discussion entitled “The Digital is Critical: Creating and Maintaining
Radical Library Systems.” Jason Clark, Head of Special Collections &
Archival Informatics at Montana State University will lead a discussion
entitled “Unpacking the Algorithms That Shape Our UW: Algorithmic Awareness
as a Form of Digital Literacy.” See below for a short description of each
of these sessions.

We look forward to having you join us for the webinar!

Best,

Verletta Kern

Co-convener of the ACRL Open Research Discussion Group

Michelle Urberg

Convener of the ACRL Digital Collections Discussion Group

Session Descriptions:

The Digital is Critical: Creating and Maintaining Radical Library Systems

Kate Dohe

Digital libraries should be one of the most powerful tools available to
libraries to reduce economic, geographic, ableist, and political barriers
to global open access for scholarly and cultural materials.  But how well
are digital library systems delivering on these social justice aspirations?
The application landscape has dwindled to a handful of commercial
applications owned by businesses with long histories in commodifying
content, and an array of open source products with high technological
barriers to entry. Inequalities between institutions, communities, and
valuation of labor are increasingly apparent within the open source digital
library space. This interactive discussion will explore the impacts of
stratification on library technologies, and consider critical approaches to
create and maintain radical digital projects.

Unpacking the Algorithms That Shape Our UX: Algorithmic Awareness as a Form
of Digital Literacy

Jason Clark

We, and our patrons, routinely engage in systems that predict, recommend,
and speculate about our interests based on the digital fingerprint we
provide with our link clicks and “likes”, but we all struggle understanding
how and why those systems work as they do. Part of this struggle is
recognizing how our technological experiences are increasingly mediated by
algorithms - the code and computational processes embedded into our
software. Recent work by scholars, such as Dr. Safiya Umoja Noble, has
shown how algorithms exhibit implicit racial or sexist biases and reify
societal prejudices. Moreover, the technical nature of algorithms and the
lack of transparency surrounding them can be a challenge for novices. The
goal of this session is to create more informed instructors who can teach
about the implications of complex formulas

guiding our technological world. Our Montana State University team, with
grant funding from <https://www.imls.gov/grants/awarded/re-72-17-0103-17>
the IMLS <https://www.imls.gov/grants/awarded/re-72-17-0103-17>, is
conducting research in support of the teaching of "Algorithmic Awareness":
an understanding around the rules that govern our software and shape our
digital experiences. During the session, we will be teaching participants
first principles around algorithms and their definitions, how to identify
common algorithms in software experiences, and the implications of
algorithms in shaping our world.

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