VALA2018 Plenary 6 Verhoeven

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vala keynote speaker
Deb Verhoeven

The Library is Open. Or is it?

Thursday 15 February 2018, 16:20 – 17:30

Deb Verhoeven

University of Technology Sydney (UTS)

Please tag your comments, tweets, and blog posts about this session: #vala2018 #p6

View the video of the presentation on the VALA2018 GigTV channel here:


This presentation will explore the imperative for open data in a closing down world.

Looking to the “collections as data” movement it will evaluate different approaches to delivering and using library collections to build humanities-oriented information platforms that demonstrate the various ways making connections and following trails of information relationships can be materialised in digital environments.

Through the prism of these practical examples larger questions will be considered: What does it mean to give shape to relationships? Can we recognize the quality of relationships by their shape? And if the answer is yes (or even maybe) then what are the implications of this? For how we understand ourselves? And for how we might redress the uneven patterns of interaction and co-existence that shape our day-to-day lives?

How might data visualisations for example, uncover and bring into sight the structures of domination that underlie the worlds encapsulated by our collections? Could this approach lead us to reconsider seemingly intractable inequities as both systemic and individual; political and personal? How might library collections as data go beyond describing, or even analysing or “figuring” things out, and become instead the basis for a new type of library engagement that grapples with the urgent need for intervention?


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