The 2021 Minitex Technical Services Symposium was held virtually Tuesday, November 9th. The Symposium theme was Good Trouble: Activism and Ethics in Technical Services and featured two keynote speakers and six breakouts sessions. Keynote Beth Shoemaker spoke about ethics codes in library work, including the recently published Cataloguing Code of Ethics, and how to turn those principles into daily practice. Keynote Kenda Zellner-Smith spoke about Save the Boards, an initiative that contributed to the preservation of over 800 plywood boards and murals created after the murder of George Floyd. The six breakout sessions covered topics such as ethical co-working, easy ways to decenter the catalog, how to more effectively convey accessibility information in our catalog records, highlighting women's voice in SNAC (Social networks and archival context), integrating DEI Primary Sources for discovery, and how catalogers can be more inclusive and anti-racist. Here are a few quick stats:
- 148 staff attended
- 82 different institutions
- 20 different states
So far we've received some great feedback from attendees. I've included just a few of the comments from the event in their own words.
Comments when asked what was a key takeaway from the event:
- There was such a great combination of thought-provoking discussion on the ethics of technical services and practical advice on how to immediately improve the inclusivity of our daily work.
- There are lots of people doing great work in various aspects of critical cataloging and if we work together we can make meaningful change.
- Encouragement that I can begin to tackle ethical issues in our catalog. Knowing that I am not alone, and that I can do this without feeling overwhelmed. I kind of feel more encouraged about having a foundation of knowledge of how to start.
- I’ve attended a lot of virtual conferences and symposiums since the beginning of the pandemic, and I have honestly enjoyed this far beyond the others. Finding excellent technical services discussions can be difficult at more general events, so I will definitely keep an eye out for the next one in 2023!
- Thank you! I don't know that I would have been able to attend if the event were held in person in the cities. This is vital work, and so important for people to have a safe space to discuss.
- The timing of this event could not have been better for me. I really needed to see some light in the world. So thankful to know there are many amazing people out there doing important work.