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This is a space for community development of an idea germinated at the CritLib15 unconference: a CritLib Tech Manifesto (or techifesto if you prefer!!) to address the engagement with and the use, adoption, and promotion of technology in libraries and library spaces.

We can and should make this what we need and want it to be: a process framework, a set of ethical principles, a series of guiding questions, all of the above? Let’s be thoughtful and angry and critical and hopeful!

Currently we are in idea-generation mode; see below for ideas generated thus far and please please please add to this list!  The photos at the end of the document were taken at the CritLib Unconference on Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 at Portland State University

Update: There will be a #CritLib chat on April 28th at 6pm Pacific/ 7pm Mountain/ 8pm Central/ 9pm Eastern to move forward with the creation of this document!

Feel free to type ideas below, or to engage with ideas already listed by using the ‘comment’ feature.

~~~~ IDEAS GO HERE! ~~~~

Your ideas in response to what a CritLibTech manifesto could/should/would address:

  • Value of play! > do we have time to learn tools that will make us more efficient, creative, or reflective in our library work or practice[a] 
  • Metadata for good! > how to identify and engage communities to create metadata that makes information transparent and findable? how do we use this metadata for long term preservation? who decides what + how to preserve info? Ensuring software is developed to handle new, complex or transparent metadata schema. Also, how do we use metadata to make technology creators (+ embedded values) transparent?
  • Reflective selection and implementation of technology > WHY are we adopting X or Y technology in our library? Is it because everyone else is doing it and we need to be cool? or does it fill a real need[b]?
  • Getting a seat at the table> who is at the table already? how do we get there? What are the silos and how do we deconstruct them?
  • Environmental impact of technology >  where does all of our obsolete technology go and how does it affect our local/global environment. TECH IS ALWAYS MATERIAL.
  • Physical and health impacts of using technology > effects of daily tech use (repetitive stress injury); workers who make technology; dehumanization of technology use (isolation) vs. role of tech in community building
  • The gendered space of the tech world and environment > challenging stereotypes, creating opportunities and safe spaces
  • Digital literacy divide > challenging assumptions of who would/should be conversant in technology; ageism, classism inherent in the use of digital tools
  • Goals of using the technology tool > being conscious of the reasons why we are using and selecting a tool
  • Privacy > how we select, use and implement tools that will keep our identities anonymous and/or safe[c] 
  • 1st amendment issues > who has a voice, how that voice is filtered, disseminated and preserved.
  • Deconstructing the stereotype of tech owners and their motivations for using/owning the technology
  • Language of technology > why are all programming languages in English? why do we still use sexist terminology for physical hardware (“male” and “female” ports)?
  • Challenge of engaging with technology professionals (being a technology professional?? accessing technology professional communities?)
  • Ease of tech use > accessibility and user experience & design
  • Capitalism! > economics of technology workers, the labor & value & visibility of those who make the tech vs those who design the tech vs those who use the tech, dynamism is central part of capitalism

        Should manifesto explicitly oppose capitalism? Fuck Silicon Valley y/n? (Y)

  • Issues of Time & Labor: who has time? who does the labor? is it paid labor, are the wages fair? is the labor invisible? Is your administration asking you to adopt some new tech “real quick” on top of everything you already do?
  • Access to teh internetz/information as human right.
  • Online course design and constructivism: moving away from sage-on-the-stage if we incorporate and support peer-to-peer online student engagement.
  • Knowledge production at point of need: good tech design suites the needs of a community.
  • Understanding how the tech we choose to implement affects our users (e.g. mobile first design allows wider use by more groups-
  • What is our obligation to teach/support web literacy? As information professionals, how do we support our patrons’ access to, knowledge of, and ability to read, write and participate on the web?

Existing Manifestos/Sources of Inspiration




[a]teaching with play allows for inquiry & exploration; active learning

[b]who is it serving/excluding?

[c]and how we notify our users of privacy implications and policies