On 15 November 2016, Eric Hellman wrote:

> Libraries are participants in this new information enviroment, so I have some questions.
> 1. Do libraries understand the algorithms and metadata that guide search results and suggestions in the services they provide? Do these algorithms reproduce biases in our society?

I try to watch out for conflations of "libraries" with "librarians (and/or 
archivists, reference assistants, circulation staff, human resources staff, 
maintenance workers, etc.)."  Libraries don't understand algorithms, people do.

Some of those people are in the administration, some have provosts or mayors 
watching them closely; some can speak out without fear of reprisal, others 
can't.  And when groups get together, a meeting of "libraries" means chief 
librarians, but a meeting of "librarians" is very different.

The rest of your questions are about libraries as institutions, but this first 
one caught my eye.  Certainly librarians *should* understand the algorithms and 
how the search engines work, and the answer to the second question is, from all 
I see, yes.

William Denton :: Toronto, Canada ::
Caveat lector.