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Thursday, May 13 • 11:10am - 12:30pm
23. New Voices in the Profession

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Returning for its fifteenth year, New Voices in the Profession provides professionals new to art librarianship or visual resources the opportunity to present topics from exceptional coursework, such as a master's thesis, or topics with which they are engaged early in their professional life. New professionals are defined as either students in MLIS or Master's programs leading to a career in art librarianship or visual resources, or those within five years of Master's level study. The New Voices session is organized by the Professional Development Committee, ArLiSNAP, and the Gerd Muehsam Award Committee.

Moderators: Courtney Hunt and Meredith Hale

Computer Vision for Visual Arts Collections. Looking at Algorithmic Bias, Transparency, and Labor

The implementation of artificial intelligence and machine learning is increasingly becoming commonplace for visual arts libraries, archives, and museums. In particular, computer vision, a distinct form of machine learning, has been used in arts-based collections to automate digital image analysis through trained algorithms to increase metadata description and collection accessibility. However, machine learning algorithms used for computer vision are known to reflect bias, lack transparency, and significantly impact labor. How can LAMs, as institutions supposedly motivated by equity and access, confront these potentially harmful aspects of computer vision during their use of it? Through analysis of recent case studies, accounts, and literature, this presentation proposes visual arts collection processors can mitigate algorithmic bias by promoting transparency of computer vision models, demonstrating caution, and establishing accountability. The development of capable workforces through the implementation of education and collaboration is also crucial in order to alleviate outsourcing and temporary labor.

Speaker: Jessica Craig

Managing Sensitive Indigenous Materials through Cultural Competency and Community Engagement

Despite the importance of access within the Library and Information Sciences field, in practice when applied to sensitive materials, this value can conflict with Indigenous cultural practices, creating disharmony within Indigenous communities and distance and misunderstanding between Indigenous communities and cultural institutions and LIS workers. Beginning in the 1970s, greater attention to Indigenous communities became a feature of academic discourse, but governments and professional associations moved slowly to change perspective and policy. Cultural competence helps to make sense of differing beliefs about privacy and ownership, and devise more appropriate preservation and access strategies. Effective community engagement can help to repair and foster improved relationships between Indigenous communities and cultural institutions.

Speaker: Edith Mulhern

Exploring Replay Integration of Web-Archived Art Resources in Digital Repositories 

While a growing community of scholars use web archives, they remain under-utilized compared with other digital collections. Particularly for art-related materials, web archives may benefit from display and organization similar to digital repositories of visually rich objects. This talk describes an exploratory use case of newly available open-source tools allowing for such an approach: the digital repository software Archipelago (under development by the Metropolitan New York Library Council) and the Replay.web tool by the Webrecorder project. Summarizing an ingest process of selected websites from the New York Art Resources Consortium’s collections, the talk will consider strategies in treating web archives (both literally and from a UI standpoint) as discrete digital objects, and the implications of directly integrating replay into objects’ pages. The talk will illustrate how these tools and conceptual possibilities are ongoingly derived from community-driven, collaborative processes with open-source methods and goals.

Speaker: Jack Patterson

Why Have There Been No Great Art Libraries: The Role of Radical Cataloging in the Reassessment of Art History

During the past year, there has been a global reckoning with systemic racism, misogyny, transphobia, and xenophobia. As institutions look inwards at the ways they can dismantle ongoing systems of oppression, academia must also look at how they codify these ideologies through Eurocentric canons. Art History is one such field. However, as a highly interdisciplinary subject, it presents a unique foundation on which to restructure these frameworks. This essay dissects the role that cataloging plays in reinforcing the canon within art libraries and how a radical cataloging approach can diversify research and representation within art history as a field.

Speaker: Janna Singer-Baefsky

avatar for Meredith Hale

Meredith Hale

Metadata Librarian, University of Tennessee
avatar for Courtney Hunt

Courtney Hunt

Art & Design Librarian and Assistant Professor, The Ohio State University Libraries


Jessica Craig

2021 Gerd Muehsam Award recipient, UCLA MLIS 2021 Candidate

Edith Mulhern

Library Assistant, Penn Libraries, Drexel University MSLIS expected completion June 2022

Jack Patterson

NYARC Web Archiving Fellow, Frick Art Reference Library, MSLIS/MA Art History Candidate, Pratt Institute

Janna Singer-Baefsky

2020 Celine Palatsky Travel Award recipient, Digital Assistant David Zwirner Gallery, Pratt Institute MS LIS Fall 2020

Thursday May 13, 2021 11:10am - 12:30pm EDT