The iJournal: Graduate Student Journal of the Faculty of Information

Journal Information
EISSN : 2561-7397
Current Publisher: University of Toronto Libraries - UOTL (10.33137)
Total articles ≅ 37

Latest articles in this journal

Victoria Yang
The iJournal: Graduate Student Journal of the Faculty of Information, Volume 6, pp 1-15; doi:10.33137/ijournal.v6i1.35271

Digital media companies on YouTube, exemplified by BuzzFeed, reinforce the perception of employment in the creative industries as an ideal opportunity for young millennials to make money “doing what they love.” In 2016, dozens of videos made by former BuzzFeed employees announcing their departures from the company went viral, challenging this view and granting the public unprecedented insight into the company's labour practices. BuzzFeed thus serves as a valuable case study for digital labour in the contemporary creative industries during a time when formal companies, individual creators, and unpaid users compete for viewership on the platform. This research paper reveals and critically engages with the tradeoffs that creative workers face when negotiating the benefits of working for a company, versus “going independent.” Using Marx’s theory of alienation to analyze “Why I Left BuzzFeed” videos, this paper argues that the option for professional creative workers to become independent creators on YouTube represents a shift towards the ideal of “non-alienated labour.” This article concludes by examining how, despite this shift, independent creative workers are still subsumed under capital.
Jordan Vetter
The iJournal: Graduate Student Journal of the Faculty of Information, Volume 6, pp 1-17; doi:10.33137/ijournal.v6i1.35270

The Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet serves as an important religious symbol and an embodiment of Tibetan culture. Ever since Chinese troops invaded Tibet in the 1950s, the Chinese government has attempted to control Tibet, including converting the Potala Palace and its rich material culture into a secular institution on display for tourists. Now void of the Dalai Lama and most of its contents, the Potala has become a façade for public consumption of Chinese state-led narratives and a symbol of cultural oppression. Through their approaches to heritage management and tourism, and with the aid of the Potala’s listing as a UNESCO World Heritage site, China is capitalizing on Tibet’s cultural heritage, undermining the Tibetan people and their culture, and controlling the narrative of Tibetan history to alter the collective memory of Tibetans.
Taylor Walker
The iJournal: Graduate Student Journal of the Faculty of Information, Volume 6, pp 1-16; doi:10.33137/ijournal.v6i1.35264

Alexa is an Artificial Intelligence Virtual Assistant whom we freely accept into our homes, where she listens to our needs and obliges our every command. Through these interactions, Alexa performs a gender and does digital domesticity, acting as a host into a new digital era. By anthropomorphizing the robot as female, Alexa’s creators imposed womanhood on her, which is neither a natural nor inevitable political act. Using theories of gender performance, this paper explores the ways in which Alexa obeys commands, working to hard-code a connection between women and subservience. In an attempt to appease male fantasies of heterosexuality, she serves up gentle feminism and contributes to histories of erasure, further removing women’s bodies from the circumstances of production. Technology and media representations have power over users, perpetuating idealistic and unrealistic forms of femininity, simply because we have come to expect the same from the women in our lives.
Priscilla Carmini
The iJournal: Graduate Student Journal of the Faculty of Information, Volume 6, pp 1-15; doi:10.33137/ijournal.v6i1.35265

This case study examines Dust-to-Digital, a music reissue label based in Atlanta, Georgia. The reissue label specializes in the digitization of records produced between 1860-1980. I also discuss Music Memory, the non-profit organization run by Dust-to-Digital, aiming to create an open-access music database for students and researchers. This analysis examines the ethical and legal implications of the reissue records created by Dust-to-Digital and Music Memory, and provides solutions for some of the issues and alternatives for consideration.
Sharon Allman, Jenny Lee-De Medeiros
The iJournal: Graduate Student Journal of the Faculty of Information, Volume 6, pp 1-18; doi:10.33137/ijournal.v6i1.35269

The purpose of this research was to examine whether young adults (aged 18-32) look at user- and/or critic-generated movie review aggregates (MRAs) to decide which film to watch, or whether other factors impact their decision-making. The literature on this topic most notably shows a correlation between highly rated movies and better box office results, a preference for MRAs, and potential market benefits of MRAs. This research, which focused on the North American context, contained both quantitative and qualitative methods in the form of an online survey, focus groups, and key informant interviews. The results indicate that MRAs are not the preferred method to decide what movie to watch, and instead factors such as family or friends’ recommendations and marketing decisions of the film most affect young adults’ decisions about which films to watch.
Erin Calhoun
The iJournal: Graduate Student Journal of the Faculty of Information, Volume 6, pp 1-10; doi:10.33137/ijournal.v6i1.35267

Designated young adult spaces in public libraries, often called “teen zones,” are designed as spaces for young adults to engage in activities that support their developmental needs. These spaces are necessary for young adults in public libraries, who may feel unwelcome due to restrictive institutional policies and a lack of study spaces. While young adult spaces are designed following guidelines established by library associations, such as YALSA and OPLA, these facilities risk generalizing the varying interests and needs expressed by youth at different stages of adolescence. This report explores early, middle, and late adolescents’ expressed needs of library spaces compared to the guidelines used to create teen zones. Through a user-experience emphasis on the design and evaluation of young adult spaces, information professionals can design public library spaces that address the unique needs of all users, rather than a generalized few.
Lo Humeniuk, Jeff Kiyoshk Ross
The iJournal: Graduate Student Journal of the Faculty of Information, Volume 6, pp 1-11; doi:10.33137/ijournal.v6i1.35268

Jeff Kiyoshk Ross is an Anishinaabe Ojibway educator and the Resource Centre Coordinator at First Nations House at the University of Toronto, which currently houses a small non-circulating library of books as well as documents and other materials. In this interview conducted in the fall of 2019, he spoke of his role, the balance and distinctions between traditional knowledge and Western pedagogy, programming, curating, and more.
Olivia White
The iJournal: Graduate Student Journal of the Faculty of Information, Volume 6, pp 1-11; doi:10.33137/ijournal.v6i1.35266

As custodians of records, archivists have the power to produce descriptions that respect the culture and knowledge of Indigenous populations. The current descriptive standards do not contain guidance for describing archival material from Indigenous communities, which is a critical absence that requires further discussion. It is important to generate specialized considerations regarding the representation of these archival documents because language is a powerful tool that can disrupt or perpetuate colonial legacies. Several recommendations can be offered, such as collaborating with members of Indigenous communities to acknowledge their expertise over their cultural heritage. By generating an accessible standard, archivists can employ proactive strategies at the outset of the description process. Ultimately, archival spaces must be willing to adjust traditional archival practices to sensitively perform their duty to the record subjects, creators, and researchers.
Leora Bromberg
The iJournal: Graduate Student Journal of the Faculty of Information, Volume 6, pp 1-13; doi:10.33137/ijournal.v6i1.35263

This paper offers an in-depth report on the best practices for the conservation and preservation of herbaria within library and museum collections. A herbarium (singular) is a collection of dried and pressed plant specimens, typically mounted onto paper and accompanied by a certain degree of recorded information. These organic specimens tend to be housed in museums or special collections libraries, where their handling can be carefully monitored and/or restricted. Each herbarium is typically one-of-a-kind and may serve as a vital primary source on human exploration, taxonomy, natural history and even amateur collection practices. A closer look at the best practices for their conservation and preservation spotlights the herbarium as a fragile, valuable and perhaps an unexpected or unusual form of “recorded information” that librarians, archivists and museum professionals may encounter or even have some responsibility over at some point in their careers.
Leora Bromberg
The iJournal: Graduate Student Journal of the Faculty of Information, Volume 5; doi:10.33137/ijournal.v5i2.34412

The Yiddish Book Center (YBC) is a non-profit organization located in Amherst, Massachusetts, committed to the preservation, study and celebration of Yiddish literature and culture. Over the years, this organization has overcome many obstacles, one of the most challenging and consuming being an urgent capital campaign, launched in 1991, to raise funds for a new and permanent location. This case study recounts the inspiring story of the YBC as a niche cultural organization and dissects how they managed, in face of discouraging odds, to commit wholeheartedly to their mission and successfully reach their fundraising goals.
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