ELE Workshop Report: Achieving Digital Language Equality 2030 — Implications for Libraries, Collections, and Library Users
On Thursday 18th November 2021 our workshop ‘Achieving Digital Language Equality 2030: Implications for Libraries, Collections, and Library Users’ took place. This online, interactive session aimed to bring the work of the European Language Equality (ELE) project to our network and help imagine what a future of digital language equality could look like within research libraries. LIBER participates in the ELE project, and this workshop raised awareness of the project within our network and allowed us to collect valuable information for an upcoming project deliverable.
The event was successful in meeting these objectives. For this, we must thank the panel of speakers who contributed engaging content for the workshop and each of the attendees who gave their input and reflections on the topic of digital language equality. Maria Eskevich, Central Office Coordinator at CLARIN ERIC, an expert on language and speech technologies, moderated the session. She was joined by two speakers: Dr German Rigau, member of the Ixa research group and deputy director of HiTZ, and Jean-François Nominé, translator Institute at the scientific and technological information (Inist). Inist is a research support unit of the French National Scientific Research Centre (CNRS).
Presentations and Discussion
Maria began the session by welcoming the attendees and fostering an atmosphere that encouraged participation and discussion, before introducing the ELE project. After this, German began by expanding on the ELE project and talked the audience through a SWOT analysis of language technologies, describing how they can contribute to language equality within Europe. Jean-Francois focused on translation technologies, especially how they can help disseminate and share research to a wider audience, furthering the goals of open science. He closed by calling on libraries to dream big and imagine how they could help spread knowledge in a way accessible to speakers of all languages.
The session ended with a lively discussion, moderated by Maria. Participants shared what types of language technologies are already used in the library sector and reflected on what further advancement in this field could mean for their day-to-day work. However, some expressed caution about relying on digital translation tools to convert complex, culturally specific, research findings into different languages. This provoked an interesting reflection about collaboration between computers and people in furthering open and accessible scientific findings.
This line-up of experts meant the workshop presented the ELE project (Maria and German are both involved in ELE) and brought the very latest knowledge on digital language technologies and equality to our network.
Watch the Webinar Recording
If you missed the session and wish to watch the recording, visit our YouTube here or watch the video below. Furthermore, the presentations are available on Zenodo.
We hope to will bring you more information about the ELE project and its drive towards European Language Equality — a fundamental topic for European research libraries.