Building Community through the Indigenous Metadata Working Group
Like many Canadian academic institutions, the University of Toronto Libraries is grappling with its historical and ongoing relationships with Indigenous peoples, in order to develop a more respectful and welcoming environment. As part of this process, library workers formed the Indigenous Metadata Working Group (IMWG), an informal group of approximately 20 people that aim to improve access to material that relates to Indigenous peoples and knowledges within University of Toronto Library collections. IMWG’s goals include:
- Continue to develop our cultural competencies as they relate to Indigenous peoples
- Consult with our communities, and participate in whatever capacities are needed (such as collaborators, supporters, or mentors)
- Actively participate on national and international initiatives when opportunities are available
- Use normalization rules to change the display of problematic or offensive subject headings in order to support researchers using preferred terminology in their searches
- Reclassify existing collections (with particular focus on E class) if preferred by our communities
In this session, we will share reflections on the importance community building had on the progress of these goals. Having benefitted greatly from communities outside our university, we will also share resources with other libraries who are undertaking similar projects.