kolloquiA - English Summary

Helga Klösch-Melliwa et al.: kolloquiA. Frauenbezogene / feministische Dokumentation und Informationsarbeit in Österreich. Lehr- und Forschungsmaterialien. Hrsg. von frida. Wien: BMBWK - Verlag Österreich 2001 (=Materialien zur Förderung von Frauen in der Wissenschaft. Band 11)
ISBN: 3-85224-059-X; Preis: 280,-- ATS
Verlag Österreich

Publikation This publication contains a wide ranging collection of subjects, all dealing with informational work from a feminist or gender specific perspective. Although this complex reference book focuses mainly on the situation in Austria, it will be just as interesting to non-Austrian readers interested in information management, sciences and work.

The first part of the book analyses the context of informational work from a gender perspective. Within this analysis, special attention is brought to informational work in the light of new technologies (i.e. internet etc.), as it is no secret, that the digitalisation of information, informational work and of (its) communication has brought with it some profound changes for all those working in these fields.

The second part of the book goes back to the roots of the first historical women's archives and libraries of the 18th and 19th centuries. Moving then on to the feminist information centers of the new women's liberation movement of the late 20th century. It also deals with the development of the so called "classical” information professions (librarians, archivists, editors etc.), moving on to the emergence of new and different occupations and jobs in the field of information management. Most professionals are female.

The third part deals with the actual professional experience by women in women specific informational work in libraries and archives (be they institutional or autonomous):

  • defining their inventory, i.e. the range and amount of their documents or books
  • their accessibility
  • their possible virtual resources
  • their customer policies and
  • last not least: a whole chapter deals with feminist indexing and the development of women's thesauri

The fourth part analyses the Austrian situation of professional education and also of further or continued education in information sciences. Most students are female. Not surprising but annoying is the lack of feminist or women specific subjects in teaching informational sciences ("kolloquiA” will be the first teaching and research material filling this gap). The gender specific segregation (i.e. discrimination against women) amongst the teachers is just as annoying. Most teachers are male… As a contrast to this unsatisfying status quo, some exemplary new projects are described, showing innovative, new approaches to women specific informational work and its professional education.

The last part lists all the current Austrian women specific or feminist information and documentation centers, libraries and archives, together with a short description of

  • their origin
  • their material
  • their "products” in terms of publications or events (like research projects, exhibitions or conferences etc.

(English version: Barbara Kintaert)

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