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Tuesday, October 8 • 3:30pm - 4:15pm
Standards and Accessibility

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Standards and Accessibility

Paper Titles and Abstracts

Greg Bloom: "Where can I go to get help?": Open Referral's intervention in the community resource directory anti-commons

At the first Maintainers conference, I presented a critique of 'the community resource data anti-commons,' and proposed a set of interventions that can re-establish community resource directory information as a public good. In summary: information about health, human, and social services is disaggregated (across jurisdictions, agencies, public and private sectors, etc) and decays rapidly (as funding, staffing, and programs change), which means considerable labor is required to maintain accurate directories of the resources that are available to people in need. The organizations that invest in such labor at significant scale tend to consider the resulting data to be their commodity (often unlike the many more people and organizations that maintain ad hoc, volunteer, small-scale directories) – which results in a tragic anti-commons in which many people and organizations need this information, and many expend energy to collect and provide it, yet expanding supply fails to effectively meet demand. The Open Referral Initiative designed a strategy to address this collective action problem – through the development of open standards and infrastructure for resource data exchange. Five years later, our data specifications have been approved by the industry association, the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems, and increasing numbers of organizations are using Open Referral to structure their tools for sharing and publishing resource directory information. This presentation will summarize how we achieved the development of an open standard, what has worked and what has not, where things need to go next, and what we can learn from a sustained effort at market correction through network organizing and open source development.

Kristy Darby: Growing Up is Hard to Do: Library of Congress Sustainable Digital Formats Website Turns 15

The Library of Congress’s Sustainability of Digital Formats website (“Formats”) celebrates its 15th year in 2019. Formats, as it is known at the Library, is one of the premiere resources in the world for in-depth information about digital file formats. Authoring the format description documents, which comprise the greater part of the resource, requires an extreme dedication to detail, extensive research, major time investment, and a very focused energy. While Formats is widely used by other projects, institutions, and registries, it is not guaranteed unconditional and ongoing support. No staff members work full-time on its production and maintenance; a few of us do this work along with our other duties and assignments. Formats is not glamorous, shiny, or new. We liken our work as that of a stage manager – not the highly visible star of the show, but the essential behind-the-scenes support that informs institutional guidance and empowers others to build on our work. A 15-year-old resource requires continued interest, a willingness to adapt to new trends and emerging formats, and commitment. We are continually expanding content categories in response to current scholarship and data. However, we continue to step back and review 15 years of work, knowing that we must review, edit, update, and sometimes make big changes to maintain the quality and significance of Formats. We are excited to continue work on Formats, maintaining 15 years of effort and expertise and growing in years to come.

Julie Hochgesang and Emily Shaw: Maintaining the Stories of the Deaf Communities at Gallaudet

American Sign Language (ASL), the language of the American Deaf communities, is about two hundred years old. But no widespread written language to represent ASL has ever been developed. This means there is no direct textual representation of the stories that have been told. But as soon as video cameras were invented, ASL stories have been filmed. Vast video resources beginning in the early 1900s that showcase multiple discourse genres produced by Deaf people from all over North America are available at Gallaudet. But they’re scattered and inaccessible. We detail efforts of an emerging project, Gallaudet University Documentation of ASL (GUDA), to digitally centralize and organize existing ASL video collections at Gallaudet University. That is, we are trying to maintain the stories that have been told at Gallaudet since the advent of filming in the early 1900s by drawing upon best practices of digital archives and language documentation to provide more direct representation of ASL stories. Although the challenges of representing a language with no written form continues, best practices of signed language documentation provide solutions that enable accessible representation of ASL through digitally shared resources that can be time-aligned to primary data using annotation software (ELAN, 2018) along with the ASL Signbank (Hochgesang et al, 2018). The underrepresentation of sign languages in general has led to repeated misunderstandings of the project and devaluing by stakeholders and funders. However, it is through the description and subsequent uses of this unique collection that the community value will become apparent. It is the primary aim of this project to compile and maintain a representative, accessible and lasting ASL resource for, by, and with the Deaf ASL community furthering the ideal of representation through documentation. GUDA then is the representation of ASL stories through combining ASL videos and data archiving protocols.

avatar for Chela Scott Weber

Chela Scott Weber

Sr. Program Officer, RLP, OCLC
Chela Scott Weber is a Senior Program Officer for the OCLC Research Library Partnership. She previously helped to create and lead the Archival Collections Management department at NYU Libraries, where she also served as the Associate Head of the Tamiment Library & Wagner Labor Archive... Read More →


Tuesday October 8, 2019 3:30pm - 4:15pm EDT
4ABC (2nd Floor)