The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Our Tools and Our Values - An Online Symposium with Ethan Zuckerman and Martha Fuentes-Bautista

Tuesday, October 26, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

The digitization of all aspects of our lives presents an ongoing challenge for values-led organizations like public broadcasters, advocacy organizations and libraries. The software and systems we use to manage our operations often embed values that contradict our stated values as organizations - systems surveil users counter to our values of respecting user privacy, software manipulates user behavior contravening our values of user autonomy and intellectual freedom, for example. We can take a first step towards resolving the conflicts between technology and values in auditing our technological environments and moving towards values-aligned alternatives. But a deep shift requires work in creating an alternative technological infrastructure that's driven by public values rather than profits. What would a comprehensive digital public infrastructure look like, and how might it transform the library? How are academic libraries envisioning and engaging to create values-aligned platforms for open scholarly exchange?