- Angela Arnold, Music
- José Adrián Barragán-Álvarez, Bancroft
- *Fernando Echeverria, Development
- Jackie Lang, Cataloging & Metadata/LIT
- *Corliss Lee, Instruction Services
- Naomi Shiraishi, EAL
At the LAUC-B/Affiliated Libraries Joint Fall Assembly in September 2017, Safiya Noble spoke to librarians and library staff about issues related to search engine bias, questionable metadata assigned to cultural communities and materials in library systems (including catalogs, databases, and digital collections), and the need for critical digital literacy in this context. She challenged us to think about and advocate for improvements and solutions. Inspired by her call to action, the LAUC-B Executive Committee decided to charge this Task Group on Social Justice in Academic Libraries to investigate these issues and recommend potential discussion topics and speakers in order to insure that we continue the conversation and expand it to include all library staff. Based on the findings of the task group, the Executive Committee will charge a second group to work with the Committee on Diversity on scheduling a series of brown bags over the following three semesters leading up to our next LAUC-B Conference.
The Task Group on Social Justice in Academic Libraries will consist of 4 librarians and 3 library staff. At least one person should have an instruction background and one should have a metadata background; there should be a liaison from the Committee on Diversity.
To investigate these issues and inform their recommendations, the task group will conduct the following activities:
A literature review and environmental scan of libraries at our peer institutions to identify projects and initiatives that they have undertaken related to raising critical awareness of bias in metadata and algorithms in search engines and library systems, expanding information literacy instruction to consider issues of cultural bias when evaluating results and sources, and advocating for improved metadata and algorithms in our systems
An environmental scan of campus institutes and units to identify people and groups who are exploring similar issues and could be potential partners and speakers
By May 1 the task group will submit a report jointly to the Executive Committee and Committee on Diversity that provides:
A summary of relevant projects and initiatives at peer institutions
A list of people and units on campus who could be potential partners
Recommendations on the number and frequency of brown bag discussions
Recommendations on potential topics and speakers for these discussions
The committee completed an environmental scan to identify projects and initiatives that peer libraries have undertaken to raise critical awareness of bias in metadata and algorithms, expand information literacy instruction to consider issues of cultural bias, and advocate for improvements in our systems.