Advocacy by Design: Moving Between Theory & Practice
Purdom Lindblad, "dvocacy by Design: Moving Between Theory & Practice" (keynote presented at the Library Research & Innovative Practice Forum, College Park, MD, June 8, 2017)
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How can librarians, archivists, and digital practitioners practice an Ethic of Care, in explicitly anti-racist and anti-violent ways? How can libraries contribute to the infrastructures needed to define, scope, and practice care? This talk focuses on research practices to do the speculative work of imagining what the infrastructures of an Ethic of Care could and should be. Advocacy by Design (AbD) is a design framework for critical engagement centered on advocacy. AbD articulates a series of principles—transparency, openness, polyvocalism (resisting one narrative, opening possibility of many points of view, many narratives around a single event), stewardship, etc.—and a series of applied techniques to realize these principles throughout the project’s cycle. This talk will first describe the broad focus of Advocacy by Design, with a particular attention to how it is a framework to help prompt reflection and articulation of the purposes of the project (any project from system design to creating a working group to helping at the reference desk), then to outline what the principles are for Advocacy by Design, highlight several ‘elements’ for each principle for a few example projects—within the Library and liaison-collaboration with researchers; and finally point towards why the library might care about centering design, particularly AbD, in our work, from the ways we think about and invite users to the library, to discovery interfaces, and to collaborations in digital projects.