• Adjusting & Advocating: Reflecting on Challenges and Opportunities for Doing Critical Pedagogy as a New Librarian

      Crissinger, Sarah; Stoytcheva, Sveta; Davidson College; University of Hawaii at Manoa (The University of Arizona, 2016-02-25)
      Many new librarians are eager to bring our existing commitments to social justice to our professional practice. New to the profession, we are anxious to prove ourselves as we learn to navigate complex institutional cultures and pre-established ways of doing things. On the other hand, being new sometimes provides the perfect cover for asking critical questions of entrenched practices. What are the particular challenges of doing critical pedagogy as new librarians? What unique opportunities for advocacy does being new afford? How can we best support each other and seek support from our more established colleagues? This session was a facilitated roundtable discussion.
    • 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.
    • Assessment and Critical Praxis

      Gardner, Carolyn Caffrey; Halpern, Rebecca; University of Southern California (The University of Arizona, 2016-02)
      Facilitated Roundtable Discussion Are critical assessment practices possible? Is the role of assessment fundamentally at odds with critical library pedagogy? Assessing both instructor performance and student learning can rationalize academic programs or services, demonstrate student learning, measure teacher performance accountability, or provide feedback on the efficacy of instruction. In today’s neoliberal higher education landscape this is often reflected through “value” and “return on investment.” Given the fraught purposes of assessment in higher education, what would critical assessment look like in practice? This roundtable will ask participants to discuss the tension and propose assessment methods that are congruent with a critical pedagogy perspective.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • Critical Approaches to Evaluating Student Privacy & 3rd Party Apps

      The University of Arizona, 2018-11-16
      This information literacy resource was created by participants and facilitators during a workshop titled "Student privacy & third-party apps : Examining a university’s Terms of Service" at CLAPS 2018. Through reading actual contracts between technology vendors and the University or Arizona, the group of academic librarians, library administrators, and faculty developers synthesized the steps to take and information to look for in these contracts to better understand how student and worker information is collected and used by third-party vendors.
    • 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.
    • Design Thinking in an Hour? Or, Design Thinking: A Cautionary Tale

      Arteaga, Roberto; Pacific Lutheran University (The University of Arizona, 2018-11-16)
      Design thinking (DT) is a methodology that has become popular across many sectors due to its iterability and flexibility. As its adoption spreads throughout higher education settings, DT is now starting to appear in library literature and conferences. As teaching librarians, we may be tempted to adapt popular methodologies in the hope of increasing the reach of our work, considering how undervalued and misunderstood our work can be, but we should also consider whether DT is a potentially harmful practice. By discussing DT, what it can do, and where it can be most useful, I will present a case for why librarians who teach need not engage in a practice that treats learning as something that needs a solution and appears to sideline students and their lived experiences. Those who practice critical librarianship would be better served by adopting a student-centered pedagogy that shifts power and agency to the students, while simultaneously educating others on the work they do, why they do it, and how it contributes to student learning.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Enabling Accessible Pedagogy - Resource Sharing for CLAPS 2016

      Kumbier, Alana; Starkey, Julia (The University of Arizona, 2016-02)
    • 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.
    • Institutionalizing Critical Librarianship

      Seale, Maura; Georgetown University (The University of Arizona, 2016-02)
    • It's Not a Competition: Questioning the Rhetoric of "Scholarly Versus Popular" in Library Instruction

      Seeber, Kevin Patrick; University of Colorado Denver (The University of Arizona, 2016-02)
      Academic instruction librarians often introduce students to the concept of evaluating information by having them compare “scholarly versus popular” sources--an approach that wrongly implies these two kinds of information are a binary, and that they are in competition with one another. This presentation will question the motivations behind presenting scholarly and popular information in this way, as well as offer recommendations for how librarians can adapt this activity into something which allows for critical discussions of context and authority in the classroom.
    • Librarians in the messy middle: Examining critical librarianship practice through the lens of privilege in academia

      Miller, Sara D.; MInkin, Rachel M.; Michigan State Univerisity (The University of Arizona, 2016-05-10)
      While critical practice involves challenging systems and structures, many librarians function in the “messy middle” - making choices in everyday practice which may both support and challenge privileged academic structures. This workshop will take participants through a series of questions based on privilege as a lens for reflection on our choices, limitations, and opportunities as librarians within academic systems. The aim of the workshop is to help identify points of friction or frustration in our practice, areas for closer examination or opportunities for change, and to provide a more intentional understanding of our values and how they relate to practice.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • On Critical Librarianship & Pedagogies of the Practical

      Hudson, David James; University of Guelph (The University of Arizona, 2016-02)