Join Us at ALA Annual 2021 (online!)

WebJunction /

Join OCLC at ALA Annual (June 23 – 29, 2021) for a live REALM discussion panel as well as a variety of on-demand video presentations. Topics range from museum/library partnerships during public health crises, to updates on the latest activities from OCLC Research and WebJunction, anti-racist approaches to descriptive workflows, and the value of Wikipedia as a research resource. Browse the session descriptions below and be sure to add them to your conference scheduler so you don’t miss us.

REALM Discussion Panel on Museum and Public Library Partnerships
Live: Thursday, June 24, 11:00AM – 12:00PM CT

Children’s museums and science centers have deep expertise explaining health and science topics to the general public. Public libraries are go-to hubs for community members seeking reliable information on health and wellness, among many other topics. How might these two institutions combine their strengths to help educate and inform the public about viruses and vaccines? This panel will feature staff of museums who have experience with partnering with their local library, so that we can have a generative discussion about how those partnerships can be of service during the COVID-19 pandemic and at the ready for future public health crises.  

OCLC Research Update Session
News You Can Use Recording

This on-demand session previews work in progress and highlights recent findings, tools, and information resources produced by OCLC Research to help library staff and decision makers navigate destabilized ecosystems and influence positive change in libraries and librarianship. The session will include "lightning talks" on:

  • The near-term impact of our Access to Civil Legal Justice training program  
  • The Reimagine Descriptive Workflows convening to discuss how to address systemic biases and improve racial equity in descriptive practices, tools, infrastructure and workflows
  • Approaches to developing a suite of on-demand courses on the digital stewardship lifecycle for small rural public and tribal libraries 
  • Our research-in-progress on New Model Libraries impacted by the pandemic

Reimagining Description for Libraries, Archives, and Special Collections: An Anti-Racist Approach
On Demand: Tech Talk Stage

Description, subject analysis, classification, authority control, and cataloging practices are part of a powerful naming and labeling process in bibliographic cataloging. Metadata is laden with outdated, harmful, and even racist terminology. Though many areas of librarianship and archival work have evolved, core ontologies and taxonomies at the heart of descriptive and classification practices remain biased and rooted in white supremacy. OCLC will share our efforts to learn and advance knowledge in this area and will discuss an initiative funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and OCLC that will produce a consultative community agenda on approaches to anti-racist descriptive workflows.  

Wikipedia Shaming: Authority Dilemmas Across Educational Stages
On Demand: Tech Talk Stage

As Wikipedia reaches maturity, celebrating its 21st birthday this coming year, isn't it time to consider its adulthood? Results from our research of 175 students, which used a simulated set of Google search results to see how students select and judge resources for a research project, suggest we should. Since its birth, students have been generally discouraged from using Wikipedia, but as this collaborative reference tool has evolved, so should our consideration of its value.

Additional on-demand OCLC video presentations include:

All of these events, including the on-demand videos, are searchable on the ALA Annual Virtual Conference Scheduler.