Violet Fox | Movers & Shakers 2019 – Advocates

Violet Fox’s passion for cataloging extends beyond her job as Dewey Editor at OCLC. In 2017, she launched the Cataloging Lab, designed to help support the crowdsourcing of new additions and changes to often offensive, outdated, missing, or arcane Library of Congress Subject Headings. According to Jenna Freedman, communications and zine librarian at Barnard College and a 2003 Mover & Shaker, the lab is a “platform for constructive action and has opened the door to several important changes…to remediate bias…or to include important terms that were previously absent.”

Violet Fox

CURRENT POSITION

Dewey Editor, OCLC, Washington, DC

DEGREE

MLIS, University of Washington, 2013

FOLLOW

@violetbfox; violetbfox.info; cataloginglab.org; libraryjournal.com/ ?detailStory=creating-change-in-the-cataloging-lab-peer-to-peer-review

Photo ©2019 Matt Lawrence Photography

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Inclusive Cataloger

Violet Fox’s passion for cataloging extends beyond her job as Dewey Editor at OCLC. In 2017, she launched the Cataloging Lab, designed to help support the crowdsourcing of new additions and changes to often offensive, outdated, missing, or arcane Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH). According to Joshua Barton, head of cataloging and metadata services and assistant head of technical services, Michigan State University Libraries, the lab is a “platform for constructive action and has opened the door to several important changes…to remediate bias…or to include important terms that were previously absent.”

Among those terms are gender non-conforming and cultural appropriation. To research and propose “cultural appropriation” for inclusion in LCSH, Fox collaborated with iSchool students from the University of Washington. She credits her approach to her experiences in the zine librarian and #critlib communities. “We need help from [others] so we can build a classification that’s as just and equitable as possible,” says Fox.

Fox has a reputation for being a doer who knows how to step back to let others lead. According to Kelly McElroy, student engagement and community outreach librarian at Oregon State and a 2017 M&S, Fox “is always looking for ways to draw [people] in and raise up new voices.” The lab’s efforts continue—to shed light on works by and about Indigenous peoples, the lab recently launched an effort to improve subject access to resources about Latin America and Indigenous peoples of America.

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