The Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium is one of HRAF’s earliest consortium partners in the U.S. This year Human Relations Area Files (HRAF) has taken up an invitation by consortium director Rick Burke, to participate in SCELCapalooza (SCELC Vendor Day). This three-day event gives us a good opportunity to visit with the librarians of our member institutions at this regional event.
As in years before, SCELCapalooza takes place at the beautiful campus of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Yesterday it started with a day-long hands-on research and workshop for the 200+ librarians representing more than 70 libraries from across the state of California.
Today is SCELC Colloquium, a day full with talks and discussion sessions. In her very well-attended keynote speech titled “The Politics of Online Information: Algorithmic Ethics, Privacy, and the Commodification of Big Data in Higher Education,” the keynote speaker, Dr. Safiya Noble of UCLA, focused on how algorithms, used by corporate search engines, like Google, influence the representation of topics/search result, often based on an advertisement agenda. She called on the role of the library community to provide academic researchers with the proper tools to critically evaluate the data platforms where (search) results are economy/profit driven.
For this evening SCELC has scheduled a social event where librarians and vendors meet for pizza, cocktails, beer, and a couple of hours of bowling. The bowling tournament, according to the SCELC program, continues a tradition that started in the early days of SCELC, with vendors continuously winning the “librarians-versus vendors-bowling-title.” With my poor bowling skills, being on the vendors’ team, I hope to change this trend.
Tomorrow, March 3rd, is the SCELC Vendor Day of SCELCapalooza and our chance to impress the librarians with our products and services in two 40-minute sessions. The HRAF demos will take place from 10:50am to 11:30 am and again at 1:40pm to 2:20p.
If you are attending SCELCapalooza and/or SCELC Vendor Day, I invite you to join me in exploring our award-winning eHRAF World Cultures & eHRAF Archaeology databases (each voted by Choice Magazine “Top 10 Internet Resources”). We’ll start out by taking a closer look at eHRAF’s truly unique document (e.g., analyzed and subject-indexed books, journal articles, dissertations, etc.) and collection structure (ethnographic documents organized by culture names). We then turn to eHRAF’s powerful search mechanism that automatically filters results by major geographic locations and even subsistence and sample types. We’ll discuss how these and other features make eHRAF a great research tool, especially for cross-cultural and comparative studies. Lastly we’ll explore how Teaching eHRAF, an online portal with 40+ online student exercises, paper assignments, quizzes, can provide new ideas for teaching under- and graduate-level classes in the social sciences and other disciplines with an interest in cultural and ethnic diversity.
If you are not attending SCELCapalooza, but know someone who is, please be so kind and pass on this message. And keep in mind that individual and/or group online sessions can always be arranged for librarians of HRAF member institutions.