Hello everyone!

This is an invitation to participate in the Digital Library Federation Assessment Interest Group's (DLF AIG) working group on Cultural Assessment ( in 2017. There is more information about the group below, but first, a few words about participating in DLF AIG.

The only requirement for participation in a DLF AIG working group is a willingness to dig in and devote a small part of your time contributing to the tools, methods, and body of knowledge on digital library assessment. Attendance at the DLF forum is not a requirement for participation in any of the working groups. Additionally, if your institution is not a DLF member, you can still participate.

Cultural Assessment Working Group: What is it?
This sub-group of the DLF Assessment Interest Group<> (DLF AIG) was formed in February 2016 to discuss ways by which we may assess our digital collections and their cultural impact with particular focus on representation, presentation, and discoverability of cultural objects in digital collections. Our hope is to develop a way to make explicit the unintentional biases that permeate our work creating digital collections and outlining ways to correct or articulate those biases that will allow digital collections to be even more usable, diverse and transparent.

What is the group doing?
Each year, we evaluate our direction and goals and embark on a new project with a new focus. We will be discussing our new direction at our first group call tomorrow (Wednesday) Jan. 25th at 11am Central Time (UTC -6).
There are several possible new directions for the group which were collectively pitched at the end of 2016. Those are:

*         Identifying existing metrics for measuring cultural competencies for digital collections (or finding ones that we can adapt)

*         Develop narratives that showcase how the metrics can be used to conduct a cultural assessment

*         Explore toolkit possibilities to facilitate discussion about cultural assessment

Last year, we outlined the process of creating digital collections and highlighted areas where cultural biases could play a role in overall cultural representation in the end product. Having outlined areas of interest, for example the creation of Metadata and Description for objects, we explored how biases influenced these processes and conducted an environmental scan related to cultural assessment/competencies in these areas. Detail of the subgroups can be found on the Cultural Assessment working group wiki page here<>.
By DLF 2016 in Milwaukee, the subgroups came to a point where they needed to begin to discuss their findings with each other, and so this year, we will be coming together again as a group to move forward with developing a method of Cultural Assessment.

How can you participate?
We are always looking to include more diverse perspectives and experiences. We would appreciate voices from an array of cultural heritage institutions that are dealing with digitized or born digital collections. We would also greatly appreciate the involvement of individuals outside North America. As a working group concerned with cultural representation in digital collections, the work can only be made better by a more diverse array of voices and experience.

The group will meet every two weeks on Wednesdays at 11am Central Time (UTC -6) beginning tomorrow January 24th, 2017. Call details are circulated via the DLF Cultural Assessment Google Group. Details for signing up to the Google Group can be found at the bottom of the Cultural Assessment wiki page<>. We have opted to maintain this group as a private so that we can feel free to discuss relevant but potentially contentious topics. However, to maintain transparency we post regular updates and group details on the wiki page.

If you cannot make the regular calls, group notes are always posted following the meetings. Feel free to participate by responding to the notes via the Google Group or by emailing me directly if you are not (and do not wish to be) part of the Cultural Assessment Google Group. Virtual discussions are encouraged.

For questions regarding this group, please feel free to reach out to me at the details provided below.

For questions about the larger DLF Assessment Interest Group, contact the DLF AIG co-leaders, Sara Rubinow [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]> and Santi Thompson [log in to unmask]

Thank you for your interest in the DLF AIG!

Best wishes,


Hannah Scates Kettler
Digital Humanities Research & Instruction Librarian
Digital Scholarship & Publishing Studio| University of Iowa Libraries
1015 Main Library Iowa City, Iowa 52242
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