On Tuesday, November 28, 2017, a group of LIS specialists from Library Information Resources Management (LIRM) at Western Libraries gave a team talk on "Language issues in library technical services at Western University". The speakers were Leanne Olson, Metadata Management Librarian, Judy Harris and Jessica van Keulen, Metadata Specialists.
Leanne gave an overview of the team's responsibilities at LIRM and set the tone for the open interactive discussion with the class of 18 LIS students who are learning about multilingual information access. She emphasized that cataloguing decisions are guided by how metadata is likely to help the Western community search, find and select appropriate resources within Western Libraries collection.
Judy spoke of the technical difficulties with cataloguing foreign language and music materials. Metadata specialist have to be able to transliterate and input Unicodes for characters beyond standard Roman alphabet.
Jessica challenged the class to guess the language in which the title page is expressed and identify who is the primarily responsible for the work on the title page. Haydn or Mozart?
Find the answer in our catalogue, if you can or simply go here. To view the complete electronic resource for the original sheet music, go here. This is one of the valuable piece in the collection, dated back to 1785 in its first edition and first printing.
Leanne described her recently started project on "Decolonizing Information Access" in which steps are taken towards removing insensitive or racist terminology from the subject headings and individual bibliographic records that describe in library materials. It comes in the wake of the Truth and Reconciliation Report and the steps suggested by the CFLA in acknowledgement of structural biases and inadequacies in existing scheme s of knowledge organization.
The audience was engaged in the interaction throughout the team talk. We asked specific as well as broader questions and were grateful for the opportunity to interact with the professionals actively confronting issues of language barriers in our academic library.