Charlotte Kostelic (@chuckkostelic) is the National Digital Stewardship Resident for the Georgian Papers Programme hosted by the Library of Congress and Royal Collection Trust. Charlotte attended the 2017 DLF Forum as a DLF Students and New Professionals Fellow.
I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to attend the DLF Forum this year as a fellow and I appreciate all of the work that Becca, Bethany, and Katherine did to plan and lead the week of conferences. The DLF Forum was an inspiring opportunity to meet other people within the GLAM community to talk about our work but the Forum also served as a call to action for me.
One of my interests in attending the DLF Forum was to connect with those who I had worked with for months within the DLF Working Group on Labor in Digital Libraries. The working breakfast was an opportunity for us to ask questions, raise concerns about different labor practices, and think of ways we can focus our organized efforts in order to improve labor conditions within digital library work. Sandy Rodriguez and Ruth Tillman led the session encouraging those who attended to use the working group as an opportunity to explore any topic related to labor. At the end of the session we had lists of topics we wanted to address in our work, people who are eager collaborators, and resources to help us get started. I left feeling inspired to continue our work writing best practices for contingent and precarious labor and excited to see how other working group members may contribute.
Much like the labor working breakfast, other working lunches throughout the week initiated conversations and elicited questions about our professional ethics within the GLAM community. The newly formed Working Group on Data Ethics in Library Technologies brought people together in a working lunch to think through questions about surveillance and data collection. While data collection policies for some technologies may be too difficult for one individual or one institution to influence, by organizing within the profession we can enact change. Throughout my week at the Forum, the conference sessions and working sessions that I attended encouraged me to think of how my personal and professional ethics are represented in the work that I do.
The closing plenary served as a call to action to get involved and to recognize the potential of organizing our labor to support common causes. Whether by organizing collaborations between institutions such as between the HBCU Alliance and DLF, by contributing to technical communities such as IIIF, or by supporting fellow laborers by encouraging institutions to change their labor practices, DLF provides ways for individuals to contribute and to make changes within their professional communities. Attending the Forum left me feeling inspired to get more involved in professional service and to think critically about all aspects of the work that I do.