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Tuesday, October 8 • 4:15pm - 5:00pm
Interrogating the Ethic of Care in Information Maintenance

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The info-maintainers grew from an ad-hoc group of enthusiasts. We first collaborated on an article in which we contend that information maintenance must be infused with an ethic of care. Framed as a potluck, the paper is akin to a virtual table where everyone who identifies as an info-maintainer is welcome. In creating this feast of unanticipated opportunity, however, more questions may have emerged than were answered. We knew at the outset, for instance, that as a “small, privileged, and predominantly white, middle-class, US-based group” primarily operating in universities, libraries, and cultural heritage organizations, we were missing crucial viewpoints.   In particular, we did not adequately grapple with the nuances of how maintenance and care practices are situated in power structures—and how power imbalances can affect how different groups enact different aspects of care. Issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion are also germane to information maintenance and should be probed for a deeper understanding, especially in light of our commitment to an ethic of care.   In this session, we will discuss these challenges and identify possibilities for expanding and exploring them further. For example, we tackle the historical aspects of care frameworks in the information professions,  how misguided care ethicists disregard the agency of people toward whom they direct care, attempting to manage their lives, much as they manage and maintain information. Mark Parsons will introduce the paper, and then four panelists from diverse backgrounds, who are leaders in information maintenance, will discuss topics in need of more critical thinking and analysis. Our goal is to help identify key next steps for all info-maintainers to consider in building an ethic of care.

Tuesday October 8, 2019 4:15pm - 5:00pm EDT
4ABC (2nd Floor)