The critical catalog: Giving voice to diverse library materials through provocative design

Rachel Ivy Clarke, Sayward Schoonmaker

Research output: Contribution to journalConference Articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Although laudable strides have been made to highlight and provide access to diverse library materials about and made by traditionally marginalized communities, current approaches are curatorial, non-scalable, and non-systematic. Using a critical design approach, we address how libraries might move beyond curatorial practices with the proposal of a “Critical Catalog” that advocates for diverse materials and discusses the problems and challenges of categorizing identity. The proposed provocative catalog offers the possibility to raise awareness of diverse library materials; expose readers to new and different resources, ideas and cultures; alter reading habits; and ultimately provide more equitable representation by preventing the inadvertent and unintentional erasure of diverse library materials, thus giving a stronger voice to marginalized communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-26
Number of pages4
JournalAdvances in Classification Research Online
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2018
Event81st Annual Meeting of the Association for Information Science and Technology, ASIS and T 2018 - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: Nov 10 2018Nov 14 2018


  • Diversity
  • Knowledge Organization
  • Metadata

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Library and Information Sciences


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