Feminist Search Tool
2017 – ongoing / Digital interface that invites users to explore different ways of engaging with the records of the Utrecht University Library/
**Terms and conditions: Herewith you agree that your search is going to take place within (a part of) the catalogue of the Utrecht University library, in records published between 2006 and 2016.
As a condition of use, you confirm that you’re aware that the Feminist Search Tool doesn’t cater to the needs of a known-item search/delivery search – a search of an item for which either the author or the title is already known. Instead the search tool functions as an awareness-raising tool to stir conversations about the inclusion and exclusion mechanisms that are inherent to our current Western knowledge economy and our own complicities in (re)producing what is considered as ‘knowledge’ (and what is not).
Read-in and Hackers & Designers developed a prototype of the Feminist Search Tool (http://www.feministsearchtool.nl/) in 2017, during Unlearning My Library. Bookshelf Research #2. The Feminist Search Tool is a digital interface that invites users to explore different ways of engaging with the records of the Utrecht University Library.
Currently, the search tool functions as an awareness-raising tool to stir conversations about the inclusion and exclusion mechanisms that are inherent to the current Western knowledge economy.
The tool particularly focuses on categories that allow for deeper understanding and engagement with the kind of knowledge the library’s search engine provides; categories such as language of publication, publishing house, places of publishing or gender attributed to an author.
There is a question about responsibility and the decisions taken that influence our searches. What do we change, delete and keep, the users or the researchers and the library or the algorithm? Can we become aware of the search engine’s short comings and make them experiential?
Future development of the Feminist Search Tool include collaborations with Atria Kennis Instituut and OBA (Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam)