2023 NETSL Annual Spring Conference

Passion into Action: Your Initiative in Technical Services


Thank You to Our Sponsors

Backstage Library Works


Our Metadata, Ourselves: The Trans Metadata Collective
Bri Watson & Jackson Huang
Trans Metadata Collective

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The Trans Metadata Collective (TMDC; https://transmetadatacollective.org/) is a group of dozens of cataloguers, librarians, archivists, scholars, and information professionals with a concerted interest in improving the description and classification of trans and gender diverse people, subjects, and resources in Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums, and Special Collections (GLAMS) and other information systems. The Collective’s primary goal was to develop a set of concrete, actionable best practices, which was collaboratively authored, reviewed, and released by a smaller subset of the collective as *Metadata Best Practices for Trans and Gender Diverse Resources* (https://zenodo.org/record/6829167). Many members of the TMDC – and the vast majority of the report’s authors and reviewers – fall under the trans umbrella, which makes many of these issues unavoidable for us and addressing these challenges a personal, political, and professional necessity. Approaching our work with TMDC as more than passion, but as necessity, informed both our process of non-hierarchical, collaborative decision-making and our final report as something practical and actionable across institutional context and professional backgrounds.

Jackson Huang is a gender variant library technologist whose work focuses on the intersections of structural politics and technological infrastructure in libraries and archives. Their research explores how metadata translation and digital aggregation impact the representation of marginalized communities. They currently work as the digital content and collections coordinator at the University of Michigan.

Bri Watson is a disabled, white, queer & nonbinary settler scholar at UBC’s iSchool. As a Vanier Scholar, they focus on histories of information and the practice of equitable cataloging in libraries, archives, museums, and special collections. They serve on the editorial board of Homosaurus (homosaurus.org),an international linked data vocabulary for queer terminology, and are the Director of HistSex.org. For 2022-23, they are one of UBC Library’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Scholars-in-Residence.

Breakout Sessions #1

Implementing Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) in the Catalog: A Case of Library Connection (LCI) Libraries

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Judy Njoroge, Library Connection, Inc.

As an important part of a society that should be welcoming to all, libraries have been seeking ways to ensure their catalogs reflect principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion. In this presentation, I will share what we are doing at LCI to improve our cataloging metadata and achieve two DEI goals: (1) Replace outdated, inappropriate, offensive, or insensitive subject headings while ensuring that resources in our catalog remain searchable and discoverable; (2) Add current, appropriate, and inclusive subject headings if missing, allowing resources on these subjects to be more discoverable.

Sex Negativity & Anti-Queerness in Library of Congress Classification: History, Structure, & System

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Rhonda Kauffman, University of Connecticut

Tiffany Henry, University of North Carolina Greensboro

Anastasia Chu, NYU

Drawing from a published article by the presenters (June 2022), this presentation digs into sex negativity and anti-queerness in Library of Congress Classification schedule HQ, “The Family. Marriage. Women.” It explores how the presenters identified these issues in the underlying structure of the schedule and its history, using some key illuminating examples.


Whose Authority? Applying a DEI Lens to Traditional Descriptive Practice

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Laura Daniels, Cornell University

Jackie Magagnosc, Cornell University

Liz Parker, Cornell University

Cornell University Library formed an Inclusive Descriptive Practice Task Force in 2021, dedicated to examining metadata practices and identifying methods to acknowledge the subjective nature of cataloging and archival descriptive practices. This session will give an overview of the formation, structure, and outputs of some of the subgroups in this task force, including examples of unexpected challenges and some successes thus far.


[Approval] Plan of Action: Promoting Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion through Purchasing Award-Winning Books

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Emily Crawford, Temple University

Carla Davis Cunningham, Temple University

Noa Kaumeheiwa, Temple University

Temple University Libraries values diversity in its collections and wanted to develop tools and cataloging practices to better identify and collect award-winning works by or about underrepresented groups. Join this session to learn how subject selectors and cataloging librarians worked together, with DEI principles in mind, to curate and improve discoverability of books and highlight diverse voices in a collection.

Breakout Sessions #2

Did Libraries “Change the Subject”? What Happened, What Didn’t, & What’s Ahead

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Jill Baron, Dartmouth College

Violet Fox, Northwestern University

Tina Gross, North Dakota State University

On November 12, 2021, the Library of Congress (LC) announced via a press release issued by the American Library Association that it would update the cataloging subject headings “Aliens” and “Illegal aliens” to “Noncitizens” and “Illegal immigration.” Three library workers, Baron, Fox, and Gross, organized focus groups in November-December 2021 in order to find out how library workers felt about the change, and in this session, we will report on the findings of the focus groups and the wider movement to drop the ‘I’ word in our library catalogs.


From Nuremberg to Cambridge: The Nuremberg Trials Wikidata Project

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Thomas Ma, Harvard Library

Dawn Miller, Harvard Library

A presentation on the Nuremberg Trials Wikidata Project, which attempts to link existing or create new Wikidata items to named persons from the Nuremberg Trials. The project’s goal is to increase open knowledge and provide biographical data to enhance the user’s experience while using the Harvard Law School’s Nuremberg Trials website.

Gaming Collection Development from the Ground Up

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Anna Lee, Falmouth Public Library

Jessica O’Connor

Developing a gaming collection from inception to circulation.


Lightning Talks

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Building from scratch: Faculty Writings Discovery Collection at the University of the District of Columbia
Yoko Ferguson, University of the District of Columbia
[No Slides]

At the University of the District of Columbia library, there was no practice of adding a local bibliographic note identifying scholarly and creative works authored or contributed by our faculty members. Determined to locate and highlight these hidden treasures, we tried several ways to discover and reclaim them in the catalog. This lightning talk will demonstrate the ways in which we have retrospectively developed the Faculty Writings collection from scratch, as well as how we showcase their works using Alma/Primo’s Discovery Collection feature.

How Not to Get Rejected When You Propose
Tachtorn Meier, Yale University

After submitting many LCSH proposals, with mixed success, and analyzing the editorial decision summaries of many failed submissions, I have become familiar with the common mistakes made when submitting LCSH proposals. In this lightning talk, I will share the common causes from the Library of Congress that I have identified for rejecting LC Subject Heading proposals.

Increasing Discoverability Using Complementary Call Numbers
Jenn L. Beckwith, Guilford Free Library

Increasing discoverability using more relevant yet complementary call numbers (e.g., sports (79x) and athlete bios (920) where is the best fit)

Spreadsheet Databases: Tracking ‘Extra’ Statistics in ILL
A’Llyn Ettien, Boston University

If there is a need to track numbers that aren’t included in interlibrary loan systems (for example, borrowers by school), an additional record-keeping system must be employed. Caspio is one potential tool for creating a simple ILL transactions database to produce reportable statistics.

Tackling the Technical with TDNet: Making the Most of E-Resources in Small Libraries
Kelly Stormking, Biomedical Library, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Learn about a small library’s experience with electronic resource management through the content management system TDNet. First implemented by the St. Jude Children’s Hospital’s Biomedical Library in 2017, this presentation aims to provide an overview of this electronic resources tool, key features, and pros and cons from the librarians’ experience.

Thinking Creatively: Cataloging a New Tabletop Game Collection
Alyssa Koclanes, Georgetown University Law Library

This presentation will discuss the process of cataloging a new and unique collection of table top games in an academic library. Information on policy development, cataloging challenges, and best practices will be shared.

Questions? Email netsl@nelib.org and a board member will respond.