The Radical Librarianship Institute and Community Press seeks to train librarians of the future to be agents of inclusion and change. In time for National Arts and Humanities Month, we interviewed its director, Robert Montoya.
Libraries are crucial places for knowledge and information access, and increasingly offer critical social and civic services like voter registration, citizenship and language classes, and more. Yet, many people are left out or overlooked—whether they live in a place without a local library or do not have their interests represented in the collections. Mellon awarded a $1.25 million grant to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) for the Radical Librarianship Institute and Community Press to not just better meet these needs, but shift the idea of what a library—and a librarian—can be.
The Institute is focused on reimagining a conventional librarian curriculum and forming a new certificate training program, which will be open to librarians from across the country. Also part of this initiative is a community press that puts the power of publishing and bookmaking in the hands of people who live in these libraries’ communities. The first iteration of the certificate training program is planned for August 2023.
“Metadata as Knowledge,” is a special issue of KULA: Knowledge Creation, Dissemination, and Preservation Studies that takes up the critical relationship between metadata and knowledge. The issue includes articles and project reports that address metadata, hidden knowledge, and labour; standards versus expression; knowledge sharing and reuse of metadata; forays into open and shared knowledge; linked data, metadata translation, and discovery; and machine learning and knowledge graphs. Although rarely an object of notice or scrutiny by its users, metadata governs the circulation of information and has the power to name, broadcast, normalize, oppress, and exclude. As the contributions to this issue demonstrate, metadata is knowledge, and metadata creators, systems, and practices must contend with how metadata means.
(Source: Editors’ introduction – Allison-Cassin, Stacy, and Dean Seeman. 2022. Metadata as Knowledge. KULA: Knowledge Creation, Dissemination, and Preservation Studies 6(3). https://doi.org/10.18357/kula.244 )
Snijder, R. (2022, March 11). OK Computer, what are these books about? – An experiment in large-scale classification of open access books. https://doi.org/10.31235/osf.io/xdhuq
Introduction: Can we automatically classify a large collection of open access books? This paper describes an experiment using the entity-fishing algorithm: it scans texts for terms that can be linked to Wikipedia pages. Based on the algorithm’s results, new keywords are added to the book descriptions, plus a list of relevant Wikipedia pages. Description: In the OAPEN Library, the full text of 4,125 books and chapters in English and in German was analysed by the algorithm, resulting in a data set of 25 million records. The entity-fishing algorithm is not always aware of the context and the language of the books is another factor. Instead of blindly picking the most frequent Wikipedia pages, the results were filtered using a confidence score, plus a manual check. This brought the number of possible entities down from 25 million to slightly over 22,400 – a reduction of 99.9%. Evaluation: The goal of the experiment was to find only the most suitable Wikipedia pages to describe the books and chapters, and the results were evaluated. The percentage of rejected keywords is below 5%. The ratio between existing and newly added keywords: 81% of the keywords were newly added. Result: A large number of document descriptions in the OAPEN Library has been enriched and the procedure for automatically selecting the entities is now available. To run an experiment is to learn and we have learned that it is possible – with some human help – to let a computer find out what an open access book is about.
Jisc and OCLC, a global library organisation, have signed an agreement meaning academic and specialist libraries across the UK will have better access to fit-for-purpose catalogue records and an enhanced ability to share and reuse bibliographic metadata.