Arts and Humanities
Mark Szarko, LIRS liaison for literature, is part of the MIT Libraries team (Felicity Walsh, Sam Spencer, Brigham Fay) supporting ARTificial Intelligence, a collaborative project between MIT and the Cambridge Public Library (CPL) developed by MIT’s Stephanie Frampton, to explore impacts of new tech on society. On November 16-18, at CPL, they will present an installation of MIT PhD candidate Jonny Sun’s The Laughing Room. Designed like a sitcom set, The Laughing Room invites participants to say something funny, and if the algorithms of the room’s artificial intelligence agree, it triggers a laugh track. A parallel exhibit, The Control Room, will be hosted at Hayden. Related events: “Talk Back” with Jonny Sun and Friends, Hayden, Saturday, Nov 17. Follow-up panel discussion at CPL on December 6.
Ece Turnator, Mark Szarko and Emilie Hardman will support Michael Cuthbert’s digital humanities project on the history of computing at MIT, inspired by College of Computing announcement. Professor Cuthbert is the Director of the new Digital Humanities Lab (DH Lab), which has 25 UROPs working collaboratively on multiple projects.
Science & Engineering
Librarians launched a project to understand key issues and the landscape of Open Science, to educate themselves about major players and specifically about what is happening on campus. Elizabeth, Karrie and Barbara started a month-long MOOC on open science.
Phoebe organized a meeting with Harvard science and engineering librarians to discuss trends, collections, and outreach projects.
Tina, Lisa and Sofia attended the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color in September along with other MIT Libraries staff, where official panels reported on patterns of mistreatment of people of color in our field, including policing of communication styles, targeting for punishment, isolating people of color from work and colleagues, minimization of issues, and dismissing criticism and analysis as being emotional and exhibiting unprofessional demeanor. The library team is following through on a debriefing and bringing the work done at that conference back into our own organization.
LIRS hosted a visiting library director, Dr. Kumbar, from the Indian Institute of Technology-Gandhinagar, who explored a range of topics including space planning, reference service, digital scholarship, innovative engineering instruction, virtual reality, archives, and machine learning. IIT-GN will host an international conference on the future of science and technology libraries in late February 2019.