Recent Submissions

  • Do I have to have a librarian come to my class? Power imbalances and power moves in library instruction

    Arteaga, Roberto; Moeller, Christine M. (The University of Arizona, 2020-09-08)
    The question, “Do I have to have a librarian come to my class,” may be familiar to academic teaching librarians. At first, this question may be frustrating in multiple ways, but a thorough examination of the context behind the question can help identify the root and the broader implications of such questions. These types of questions highlight the structures that impact library instruction and reveal the ways in which power imbalances affect the work and mission of teaching librarians. In this interactive presentation, attendees will engage in a series of activities and discussions centered around the structures and power imbalances that are deeply embedded within higher education. Participants will dissect, analyze, and interpret questions and situations familiar to teaching librarians in order to begin formulating pedagogically meaningful responses. Through this exploration, participants will be able to identify the root of power imbalances and determine ways to foster change.
  • Assessment Is Constructed and Contextual: A Faculty-Librarian Pilot to Explore Critical Approaches to Curriculum & Assessment

    Branch, Nicole; Pfeiffer, Loring; Voss, Julia; Santa Clara University (The University of Arizona, 2020-09-16)
    Students of color and marginalized-identifying students have more sophisticated critical information literacy skills across all dimensions compared to the comparison groups, reflecting greater cumulative awareness of: Journalistic/editorial best practices, Author expertise, Type of work (genre), Source research/evidence, Methods, Local sourcing, Diverse voices. Looking at specific dimensions of information literacy, Students of color and students who approach the research task as an opportunity to defend their own culture more frequently described the importance of including local voices in news reporting, compared to the comparison groups. Students of color and marginalized-identifying students more frequently critically evaluated the research/evidence of their sources than the comparison groups. Maginalized-identifying students more frequently considered authors' expertise when evaluating sources than mainstream-identifying students. Key Findings: 1. Students who self-identify as marginalized are better at critically assessing information than students who do not. Many approaches to assessment of student learning, even those that seek to operationalize critical approaches and an equity framework, persist in centering the deficiencies of marginalized students as a starting point, seeking to bring these learners “up” to what is perceived as “normative.” This finding reveals that marginalized students can also be the standard-bearers. 2. Interviews can be sites of meaning-making. Alternative assessment methods (in this case, interviews and grounded-theory methodologies) provide opportunities for educators and students to mutually engage in revealing assets of learners and meaning making that can help us (students and instructors) extend beyond/breakthrough academic conditioning. 3. Interviews offer opportunities for asset-based, anti-racist assessment. Alternative assessment methodologies may have particularly powerful implications for the development of learning outcomes that center the assets of students who are under-represented in the academy. The theme of “defending own culture” can be extrapolated to information literacy skills such as: Recognizing bias, Invoking one’s power as a producer of information, Countering stereotypical narratives.
  • An Appeal to Kairos: Building a Sustainable Assessment Practice

    García, Sheila; Grand Valley State University (The University of Arizona, 2020-09-14)
    Perhaps one of the most common narratives among librarians is the difficulty of saying "no" and scoping our work appropriately. Fobazi Ettarh's work on "Vocational Awe" examined the roots of this problem critically and has spurred continued discussion around dismantling the framing of the library profession as a "calling" and valuing individual well-being. This approach to the issue of burnout and the glorifying of unsustainable practices can be particularly impactful within Social Justice work and more so, for traditionally underrepresented communities. This session will focus on an individual journey to build a sustainable assessment practice that centers the needs of an underserved community. To break the cycle of assessment practices solely benefitting academic discourse, the concept of Kairos - the "right" and/or opportune time do something - should guide practice to ensure intentional sustainability of our work. This lightning talk will walk through the journey of a Diversity Alliance resident librarian and her initial capstone project that focused on the experience of undergraduate language brokers in academia in order to inform first-year information literacy instruction. Recognizing that a short-term position would almost guarantee that results of research do not directly benefit the community that is studied, the research practice was reframed accordingly to a multi-year collaborative project. Participants will leave the session with a deeper understanding of the use of Kairos to reframe their practice, moving toward critical practice and intentional sustainability of assessment practice. Additionally, this talk will highlight an area of need within librarianship that has not been discussed as deeply, which is the need to ensure that results of library assessment, particularly assessment that uses a social justice lens, not only benefits but is communicated back to the populations that are directly affected, an approach that necessitates a sustainable research practice.
  • Support beyond the studio: Critical pedagogy in art librarianship

    Jennings, Michele; Hunt, Courtney; Ohio University; The Ohio State University (The University of Arizona, 2020-09)
    This session grew out of conversations between two art librarians working in close proximity at different institutions, centered around the idea that while the needs for art and design students require a different type of academic support than others (Hemmig, 2009), this approach to learning and information lends itself to critical pedagogy and takeaways for other disciplines. Dismantling the paradigm that positions librarians in the role of the sage, critical pedagogy establishes more of a horizontal line of support from the student to the librarian. Those students whose academic work is rooted in creative practice operate on a continuum that does not culminate in a single research paper or study. Instead, they may work on a piece in their first year and continue to iterate until their thesis show. Therefore, it is critical to consider how we teach and support students that we work with holistically. Art and design students especially “need to learn how to find their voices, which in turn becomes liberating, allowing them to fully engage in their own intellectual and educational process” (Reale, 2012, p. 85). This session explores strategies for supporting students working in creative disciplines for the entirety of their academic stay and beyond, and what takeaways there may be for librarians working in other areas. For example, Grimm and Meeks (2017) address critlib and social justice in visual literacy—how library practitioners may address inequity and racism in representation, teaching students to look (and make) critically. While visual literacy naturally lends itself to art and design library users, it is equally vital that students in other areas gain the skills necessary to grapple with and decode the visual media that surrounds them inside and outside of the classroom. Centering the idea of holistic student support, these two librarians began to think about what it means to apply critical pedagogy to art librarianship. Studio art and design pedagogy align with the tactics and motivations of critical librarianship and pedagogy; by attempting to recreate the studio environment through activities emphasizing collaboration and critique, this session will demonstrate how librarians can critically engage with students in the long term in any discipline.
  • Scaffolding Your Instruction with Epistemology

    Dean, Kirsten; University Libraries at Virginia Tech (The University of Arizona, 2020-09)
    Slides from pre-recorded video (https://youtu.be/W1_6lMTVZ7M) and live virtual discussion session (Sept. 16, 2020).
  • Extensions for Everyone: Syllabus Policies that Center Accessibility

    Wong, Melissa; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (The University of Arizona, 2020-09-14)
    Instructors who embrace critical pedagogy work to create inclusive learning environments and dismantle barriers to education. Ironically, one such barrier can be the formal accommodations process that was created to ensure equitable access for student with disabilities (only a fraction of students with disabilities request needed accommodations). In order to better serve students with disabilities, many instructors have adopted Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and a proactive approach to accessible course design. Instructors implementing UDL often focus on the accessibility of course materials and using varied and inclusive pedagogical strategies. However, instructors may overlook the central role course policies play in accessibility. In fact, many common accommodations are a direct response to instructor policies. For example, instructors may be asked to grant an extension for a due date if a student experiences exacerbation of a chronic illness; however, this accommodation only exists as a standard accommodation because of instructors’ often inflexible policies around attendance and deadlines. In this talk, I identify course policies that create barriers for students with disabilities and show how instructors can adopt more flexible course policies that support inclusion and student success while decreasing the need for formal accommodations. Reference: Dolmage, Jay Timothy. Academic Ableism: Disability and Higher Education. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2017.
  • The library is not a restaurant: Reference appointments and neoliberal language

    Gardner, Carolyn Caffrey; Clarke, Maggie; California State University, Dominguez Hills (The University of Arizona, 2020-09-04)
    This presentation will detail research on “no-show” student research appointments with an eye towards how libraries can mitigate student perceptions of appointments as commercial transactions which have been reinforced by problematic language borrowed from other sectors (hospitality, medical). We will share survey results from a range of higher education institutions regarding their current attitudes and practices towards no-show appointments. We will present strategies we’ve used to encourage appointment attendance by fostering a sense of shared community of learners rather than using shame, financial penalty, or other punitive action to decrease no-shows. Finally, we’ll hear from students on their perceptions of taking up space in research appointments and analyze how research appointment practices can reward students who already have privilege. Participants will critically reflect on their own experiences and practices with research appointments through guided reflection and small group discussion in order to empower students.
  • Reimagining Peer Review

    Ford, Emily; Portland State University (The University of Arizona, 2020-09)
    As you may recall, the 2020 Critical Library and Pedagogy Symposium instituted an open peer review process—not masking submitters’ names and other identifying information—to review proposed sessions. This decision came after the committee noted a lack of diversity in accepted sessions using a closed review process. Using open peer review allowed the committee to balance accepted proposals and offer a diverse range of views and experiences among presenters. This hour-long facilitated discussion will examine bias and power structures inherent in peer review. It will be an interactive session that allows participants to critically examine their views and previous experiences with peer review, and begin to reimagine it. What can opening peer review do to create more equitable scholarly spaces? What problems does opening peer review improve, and what new challenges does it present? Note that this session will be interactive, and will use the Zoom breakout room feature as well as Google Docs for collaboration.
  • Beyond Self-Care and Standardization: Creating a Sustainable Teaching Practice through Engaged Pedagogy

    Arellano Douglas, Veronica; Deal, Emily; Hernandez, Carolina; University of Houston (The University of Arizona, 2020-09-16)
    Conversations around sustainable teaching practices either focus on self-care, placing responsibility for well-being on librarians; or program efficiency, which creates work environments that create business-like models for standardization of teaching programs. This framing of sustainability is reactive and harmful -- we are working within existing power structures and dynamics rather than imagining ways to share power and create space for engaged pedagogy. bell hooks introduces the concept of engaged pedagogy as a model of education that “does not seek to simply empower students… [but] will also be a place where teachers grow and are empowered by the [learning] process” (p. 21). It’s a feminist expansion of critical pedagogy that takes into account the personhood of the teacher as well as the student, creating a co-learning environment rooted in mutual respect where intellectual and personal development can flourish. This discussion session moves beyond typical sustainability conversations to develop ideas for positive change in library teaching programs with the goal of creating generative, healthy work practices
  • Test submission

    Chapman, Kimberly (The University of Arizona, 2020-03)
  • Disrupting Traditional Power Structures in Academic Libraries: Saying No, How to Do it, and Why it Matters

    Cassidy, Melanie; Versluis, Ali; Menzies, Erin; University of Guelph; University of Guelph; Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (The University of Arizona, 2018-11-16)
    Many academic libraries face austerity measures, personnel reductions, or compression; the weight of increased workloads results in diminished mental health, increased precarity, and an inability to engage in critical teaching and learning practices. These challenges sit at the intersection of resilience, precarity, and neoliberalism. Within academic libraries, resilience is endorsed as a means of negotiating precarious employment by encouraging non-permanent staff to continually prove their value to the institution or risk not being retained. The neoliberal perspective endorses an environment where individual culpability is assigned at the cost of challenging institutional practices. This session seeks to interrogate our position as library staff within this construct, both in terms of how we are influenced by this intersection and how we support it. Participants will share experiences, develop best practices, and establish a “resilience taxonomy” to provide support in resisting overwork, precarity, and other negative side-effects of the neoliberal academic library.
  • Resisting capitalist and neoliberal conceptions of information literacy

    Gregory, Lua; Higgins, Shana; University of Redlands (2018-11)
    This roundtable discussion explored the alignment of information literacy with neoliberal and capitalist conceptions of labor and corporate interests. The roundtable was accompanied by a 12 page zine which highlighted quotes from the history of librarianship in the U.S. and its connections with the rise of capitalism. Roundtable questions posed in the session, and a reference list for further reading, are also included in the zine. Email the authors for a print copy.
  • Neutrality is Polite Oppression: How critical librarianship and pedagogy principles counter neutral narratives and benefit the profession

    Ferretti, Jennifer A.; Maryland Institute College of Art (The University of Arizona, 2018-11-28)
    The debate about whether or not libraries and information professionals should be neutral seems perpetual. Championing neutrality over a critical perspective intentionally furthers the oppression of not only marginalized patron populations, but of marginalized colleagues. Rooted in principles of critical pedagogy and critical librarianship, this talk will illustrate how neutrality impacts the information professions and the communities we serve, as well as ways in which our expectations of our students to critically evaluate sources can be applied to our own work. We ask our students to think about what information is missing within a resource. It’s time we not only ask our profession the same (who isn’t at the table, what isn’t being discussed, etc.), but also that we take action to counter narratives of neutrality in our everyday practices, including in the classroom and our work spaces.
  • A Practice of Connection: Applying Relational Cultural Theory to Librarianship

    Arellano Douglas, Veronica; Chiu, Anastasia; Gadsby, Joanna; Kumbier, Alana; Nataraj, Lalitha; University of Houston; Stony Brook University; University of Maryland, Baltimore County; California State University, San Marcos; Hampshire College (The University of Arizona, 2018-11)
  • Peers, Guest Lecturers, or Babysitters: Constructions of Power in the Library Classroom

    Arellano Douglas, Veronica; Gadsby, Joanna; Evans, Sian; University of Houston; University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Maryland Institute College of Art (The University of Arizona, 2018-11)
  • Using Synchronous Posting to Locate Student Pain Points

    Binnie, Naomi; University of Michigan (The University of Arizona, 2018-11)
    The nature of undergraduate library instruction sessions means we often do not see the same students more than once. We rarely begin the class knowing students’ names, their majors, their confidence levels or how they’re feeling that day. I will discuss beginning my instruction sessions with a student activity featuring synchronous, anonymous posting in an effort to create a safe space and to empower students by centering their voices, particularly the voices of students from marginalized communities who may not feel safe in the typical classroom environment. I will discuss how I assess student needs, pain points, and confidence levels in the beginning of class rather than at the end.
  • Deconstruct to Reconstruct: Challenging Critical Librarianship

    Leung, Sofia; Pho, Annie; MIT; UCLA (The University of Arizona, 2018-11)
    The practice of critical librarianship is often viewed and approached in segmented pieces, due to the nature of specializations within the profession. Those who engage and practice critical librarianship often may focus on certain areas like pedagogy, archival theory, classification or categorization, and scholarly communication, among other topics. This presentation will deconstruct the core values of librarianship and rhetoric within critical librarianship in order to begin reconstructing and reimagining how libraries can explicitly center marginalized communities. We want to build a broader framework that explicitly draws the connections/relationships between critical pedagogy (how we teach), critical information literacy (what we teach), and the infrastructure, policies, and practices of the libraries within which we work. We will challenge western knowledge practices and engage participants in collectively developing a new framework of librarianship that will inform and shape our pedagogy.
  • Teaching CRAAP to Robots: Artificial Intelligence, False Binaries, and Implications for Information Literacy

    Seeber, Kevin; University of Colorado Denver (The University of Arizona, 2018-11)
    Researchers studying artificial intelligence and semantic computing are developing algorithms capable of processing large amounts of textual data and rendering judgment on its contents. Specifically, the field of sentiment analysis is focused on creating code that applies what programmers call “common sense” to evaluate whether writing is factual or opinionated, as well as how emotional the author was. This presentation will argue that these algorithms rely on false binaries, over-simplification, and poorly-constructed checklists, similar to the approach often used when discussing information literacy with first-year college students. Instead of employing this approach, this session will argue that librarians must recognize that human interpretation lies at the core of information literacy, and that we need to embrace that complexity rather than depend on algorithmic evaluation.
  • Practising Digital Pedagogy Librarianship: Building Critical and Queer Feminist Communities

    Patel, Kush; Cong-Huyen, Anne; University of Michigan (The University of Arizona, 2018-11-16)
    This workshop, led by the Digital Pedagogy Librarians at the University of Michigan Libraries, aims to address the nature and nurturing of digital pedagogy librarianship beyond its relationship to digital tools to ask: what roles do critical and queer feminist principles play in enriching our approaches to digital pedagogy and how might we constitute mutually transformative communities of practice around those principles?
  • Contested Sites of Critical Library Pedagogy

    Almeida, Nora; Beilin, Ian; New York City College of Technology, CUNY, Brooklyn, NY; Columbia University, New York, NY (The University of Arizona, 2018-11-16)
    In this presentation we will explore critical library pedagogy in relation to different physical places and dialogic spaces. Using the idea of the library as a “third space” as a point of departure, we will consider whether alternative spatial contexts or modes of analysis might enable new forms of critique that are embodied, culturally grounded, and creative.

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