Is user-centered design in conflict with cataloging ethics?

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


The goal of digitizing collections is to create greater access to users–but what happens when users’ needs come into conflict with cataloging ethics? The facilitators of this discussion group are partners in a project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Hesburgh Libraries and the Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame collaborated to design a discovery platform that leverages metadata from each source system using controlled vocabularies to facilitate cross institutional discovery. The project offers a case study for addressing the conflict between creator privacy and user needs. During user testing, many expressed a desire for more information about creators. Which raised the question: How should museum and library professionals balance user needs with best practices in cataloging creators’ identities? The facilitators will lead a discussion around ethical questions posed by linked data projects while highlighting the need for intentional innovation and a slowing down of our work; how can we balance the needs and expectations of our users while being sensitive to the privacy of artists, authors, and other creators? Should our online platforms reflect ambiguities in our metadata? And if so, how do we communicate that to our users? Facilitators will utilize Chatham House rules to help participants feel comfortable and create a safe space since we anticipate that this conversation may raise difficult topics. A shared document, with discussion questions, a collaborative note-taking space, and helpful resources, is available here: Slides for the introduction are attached. NOTE: This was a conversation-based conference session. Not all materials have been saved in CurateND to ensure users’ privacy.
Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Discussion session at LD4 2021.


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