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Back To Schedule
Thursday, May 20 • 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Measuring Collection Diversity Via Exploratory Analysis of Collection Metadata

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As libraries increasingly make explicit their commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion (EDI), it is critical to measure how well collections support these mandates, as well as identify areas for improvement. By approaching metadata as a data source that can be studied, rather than solely as descriptors about library materials, we can expand our capacity for self-reflection, and support our missions around EDI.
This session will begin with an overview of the MARC fields that may be the best choices to investigate when asking diversity-related questions. Attention will be paid to useful tips to consider when starting and structuring an exploratory analysis, before jumping into an example analysis. The bulk of the presentation will focus on useful technical tools for extraction and cleaning of data, based off of an analysis ran on metadata from the University of Toronto Libraries. This analysis examined over 2.8 million geographic subject headings (field 651 subfield a), as one surrogate measure for diversity. Tools used included the ILS API for data extraction, as well as the UNIX shell and python for data cleaning and analysis. Alternative tools will be presented for varying levels of technological comfort, and I will share my scripts for audience members to reuse in their local contexts as they see fit.
The session will finish with a discussion of possible implications of such studies, such as identifying whether gaps lay in metadata or in acquisitions policies, as well as best ways to communicate results.

avatar for Jordan Pedersen

Jordan Pedersen

University of Toronto Libraries

Thursday May 20, 2021 3:30pm - 4:30pm EDT
Zoom Room #2