I’ve got several in-progress makerspace experiments exploring inclusion of non-book “reads”/scholarship into the same visibility, amplification, browsability, and community building efforts as print book collections/displays.
This is part of my Scholars’ Lab reference collection rebuilding work and zine research for my zine catalogue, for future happy overlaps with Jeremy Boggs’ DH Working Library project.
Do you want a fun way to create and distribute themed reading lists/syllabi? Or do you have a larger library of bookmarks, print book catalogue, Zotero collection, or other reading list you’d like to pull themed subsections from to share with others? Want to share a mix of print and digital reading recommendations at the same time?
Or, want to play a really confusing hand of poker?
Below I’m sharing my “themed reading list card deck” prototype (“card deck”), with some info on how to do something similar yourself!
tl;dr I created a deck of playing cards that collects recommended zine readings about DH making and other topics of interest to me. Each card displays a work’s title, creators/authors, and a QR code; scanning the QR code with a smartphone brings you to the page where you can the zine for free online[^1]. A public card deck Gsheet lists the titles and metadata the cards cover.
I was inspired by SLab colleagues’ past projects:
This zine selection pulled from my collection’s thematic tags, including the following: creativity, art, crafting, making/makerspace • social justice • GLAM • academia • about zines • LGBTQIA+ • anti-racism • labor • tech • tutorial • maintenance/care/attention • feminist • collective & alternative power & group structures • activism, resistance, abolition • generative art • coding • design • creativity, art, crafting, making/makerspace
Read on for design thinking behind the project, or jump down to the following section, “Steps to make your own themed reading card deck”, to do just that.
My zine catalogue is intended not just to track what I’ve collected, but to also function as a dataset with enough descriptive metadata so I and others can try various interesting things with sorting, filtering, displaying etc. the zines (e.g. filter to just zines on x topic).
"Metadata" is data about data. If you think of your podcast library as a dataset, its metadata could include the podcasts' hosts, topics, air dates, whether they're part of a large project/company/series, when you last listened to an episode...
I’m using an eventually-a-folksonomy? approach to tag just the topics, authors, methods, and other descriptive attributes community members wish as those ideas arise, with the goal of the catalogue also being a dataset amenable to digital, makerspace, and other creative remixing and building.
"Folksonomy" is a term used to differentiate from an approach where an info expert crafts a taxonomy (classification system) that fits existing systems they use, or predicted (or later observed) organizer or user wants/needs. A folksonomy allows users of the data to add tags/classification terms themselves as they interact with the data.
I wanted any of my time spent on tagging and otherwise cleaning metadata to be focused on goals that excite me—meaning I’ll more likely get the tagging work done sooner (complete tagging of a few tags is more useful than more tags that aren’t yet applied to everything they should be, for this purpose). I started with tags based on things I’m already collecting zines about, and used that to reflect on gaps where I wanted to more explicitly collect works—e.g. zines on experiences or thinking, or authored by, identities and authors who are systemically harmed and under-resourced.
I used Avery’s online tool for layouts on their label products, as I don’t have good alternative software installed right now.
This may be specific to my printer (a Brother HL-L2350DW) and its defaults, but here’s what I did:
I started planning this experiment a while back, but the ACH 2023 conference (this June 29-July 1st!) gave me extra motivation to finish a prototype. I’m part of the
#DHMakes session led by Quinn Dombrowski and with collaborators Jojo Karlin, Alix Keener, Claudia Berger, Anne Ladyem McDivitt, and Jacqueline Wernimont.
Cards + DH = something like below, right?
I’ll add more info about that session once the group is all publicly sharing, but it’s going to be something very cool, especially if you’re into making, crafting, and/or dataviz 👀 For now, I’ll just say that it’s about those topics, and the card deck was my contribution. If you saw the call to share logos from dead DH projects, that is also involved. As was this:
Update: Our post describing the cross-country scholarly collaboration this #ACH2023 project contributed to is up! The overarching project includes:
Cross-posted on the Scholars’ Lab research blog.
[^1] Technically, I included 1 zine you can’t currently read for free (although I think I heard there will be a free digital copy eventually?). But it’s really awesome, so I included it hoping to spread the word :)