School of Library and Information Studies

50 Years of SLIS


SLIS 50th Anniversary Public Lecture from September 27, 2018

Hope A. Olson. Ubiquitous Classification: Define and Construct

The lecture has been recorded and is available for anyone to view at the link above. Please note you may need to authorize an Adobe Connect add-in to your web browser before viewing. 

Abstract

Classification permeates our everyday/everynight worlds. It structures the home (sorting laundry), work (HR classifications), travel (5-star hotels), learning (grading scales), disasters (hurricane categories), populations (census data), public health distributions (tracking epidemics), knowledge (library resources) and anything else one can imagine. This lecture will examine the cultural heritage of our classificatory practices and the impact of our efforts to standardize/homogenize the pieces of our lives.

Biography

Hope A. Olson is a Professor Emerita of the School of Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She spent 21 years at the University of Alberta first as a librarian and then as faculty. Her research focuses on cultural aspects of subject across cultures and on theory and classificatory structure from a feminist, poststructural, post-colonial perspective using humanities-style text-based methods. Dr Olson has contributed to both professional and scholarly journals and conferences. Her book, The Power to Name: Locating the Limits of Subject Representation in Libraries (Kluwer 2002), develops theory grounded in her 17 years of library experience. The honours she has received reflect the breadth, depth and complexity of her work. In 2013 Dr Olson received the ACRL Career Achievement Award in Women and Gender Studies Librarianship and in 2014 the World Library Leaders’ Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2017 she was awarded the Margaret Mann Citation for outstanding achievement in cataloging and classification. Now retired, she lives in Wisconsin with her husband and their cat