We’re happy to present this joint chat with @publibchat (dedicated to topics pertaining to public libraries). Find more information on discussion questions and a large list of resources at their website: publibchat.org.
Q1. How did/do you perceive classes related to teaching, learning, and pedagogy in library school? #critlib
Q2. How do stereotypes of teachers and librarians damage school librarianship and library instruction in general? #critlib
Q3. What kind of education or training would benefit instructional librarians in public or academic libraries? (If you have a PK-12 ed background & work in another library, what do you wish you could share with your colleagues?) #critlib
Q4. Are you aware of collaborations between school, public and/or academic librarians? How could such conversation be encouraged? #critlib
Q5. What are the barriers to PK-12/academic collaboration? How can these start to be broken? #critlib
Critical reflection: questions and techniques for writing or group discussion to examine our practices
Critical reflection is an essential tool for raising our awareness of how we put theories into practice, and for conscious improvement on an ongoing basis. It can be done through writing, or out loud with others in “critical friend” relationships. It is used in the Ignatian Catholic practice of examen to look back on each day, and often recommended as a professional development tool for practitioners in education, nursing, organizational development, and other fields.
Q1. How/when do you build in time to reflect on your own work/praxis? Frequently, sporadically, in certain settings/circumstances? #critlib
Q2. Have you found any tools, practices, habits that spur such reflection for you? Is your approach more structured or free-form? #critlib
Q3. Do you examine your work, strivings, failures in light of specific theories, models, questions? How do you engage with them? #critlib
Q4. What challenges or obstacles do you encounter in using critical reflection in practice? How do you overcome them? #critlib
Q5. Does reflection propel you to shift your thinking, to take action? By itself, or combined with other input? If not, what does? #critlib
The readings below offer a range of sample questions for reflection. You may want to try using some of these before the chat. If you’re inspired to blog about your experience with critical reflection as a practice, feel free. You may also want to keep your writing or sharing private, and vent to your heart’s content.
Not all people with disabilities feel safe disclosing their status or talking about their experiences publicly. We respect that. Therefore, we are providing a way for people to participate confidentially.
This is the first in what may be many chats about life in an information-hostile political regime. The questions are meant to be applied broadly to most facets of libraries and librarianship. Participants are encouraged to apply them to their specific library types or areas of focus, e.g., information literacy or special collections.
Q1 Please introduce yourself to #critlib. What strategies for self-care, if any, have you taken since the election results were announced?
Q2 How can white & other libs of privilege extend care to patrons & staff of color/marginalized identities? In gen’l? In crisis? #critlib
Q3 How do cultures of authoritarianism/bigotry influence a librarian’s roles? How should a librarian confront political dissonance? #critlib
Q4 How do you challenge “business as usual” while maintaining the core functions of the library? #critlib
Q5 What tools and resources already exist to support a librarian’s and library’s resistance to regimes of hate? #critlib
Q6 What are effective next steps for proceeding with librarianship during a Trump administration? How can we support one another? #critlib
To share a tweet semi-anonymously (via Jenna) for security purposes or because you don’t have a Twitter account either
IM email@example.com (NOT an email address)
email firstname.lastname@example.org (not an email I normally use, so don’t contact me here other than tonight. I picked it because it’s not the Goog.)
We have created an open document to compile reading and resource contributions from everyone. Please check it out, add yours, and help organize it. We’re also happy to have someone take this project on in a more structured way.
MPLP stands for More Product, Less Process and is sometimes referred to baseline processing. The acronym was introduced by Mark A. Greene and Dennis Meissner in the article “More Product, Less Process: Revamping Traditional Archival Processing”. MPLP asserts that archives should adhere to the following guidelines* for arrangement, description, and preservation in order to improve productivity and decrease backlogs of unprocessed material.
1) expedite getting collection materials into the hands of users 2) assure arrangement of materials adequate to user needs 3) take the minimal steps necessary to physically preserve collection materials 4) describe materials sufficient to promote use.
Q1. How is the student loan crisis affecting you, your library, and/or your campus? #critlib
Q2. What programming/resources are libraries providing to address the student loan crisis? What else could we be doing? #critlib
Q3. Many factors in higher ed have contributed to the present situation. In what ways, if any, are academic libraries implicated? #critlib
Q4. Speaking of loans, what can libraries, librarians, and grad programs do about reducing the cost of an MLIS? #critlib
This is a list of terms the moderators anticipate might come up during the chat, though it is not exhaustive. If someone uses an abbreviation or term you don’t understand, we encourage you to ask that person, or a moderator, for a clarification.
DOE: Referring to the U.S. Department of Education, which issues a large number of student loans.
Financial Literacy: An understanding of how money works, including concepts connected to borrowing, including interest rates and repayment plans.
FA or FinAid: Referring to Financial Aid, both the general concept of providing money to students attending college, as well as offices of Financial Aid on college campuses.
OER: Shorthand for “open educational resources.” These are often no-cost-to-the-student online materials designed to supplement or replace textbooks.
OA: Shorthand for “open access.” Typically describes individual articles, as well as whole journals, that made available online at no cost to the reader.
Ss: Shorthand for “students.” (Because abbreviating it as “studs” would be kind of creepy.)
Note: critlib follows in the footsteps of many critical, radical, progressive groups, while adding a unique voice. We’re using “critical librarianship” below as a shorthand to refer to all library workers who seek to promote social justice and question the commodification of libraries and the value of “neutrality”.
Morrone, M., & Friedman, L. (2009). Radical reference : socially responsible librarianship collaborating with community. The Reference Librarian, 50(4). (pdf)
Harger, E. (2016). Which Side Are You On? : Seven Social Responsibility Debates in American Librarianship, 1990–2015. (link to WorldCat; especially the Introduction and chapter 1)
Q1. What are similarities or differences in current approaches to bringing social justice into libraries vs. previous efforts? #critlib
Q2. How is the work of previous critical librarians evident in library practices today? Is it more evident in some areas of practice? #critlib
Q3. What do the critical theory-focused elements of #critlib bring to the critical librarian conversation? How do they detract?
Q4. What do we lose if we aren’t aware of our critical librarianship history? #critlib
For further exploration:
Pettigrew, K., Fidel, R., & Bruce, H. (2001). Conceptual frameworks in information behaviour. Annual Review of Information Science and Technology, 35, 43–78.
Pettigrew, K., & McKechnie, L. (2001). The use of theory in information science research. Journal of the Association of Information Science and Technology, 52(1), 62–73.
Kagan, A. (2015). Progressive Library Organizations: A Worldwide History. (link to WorldCat)
Samek, T. (2001). Intellectual Freedom and Social Responsibility in American Librarianship, 1967-1974 (link to WorldCat).
Interested in the ethical dimension of classification? Here’s your chance to read one of the foundational texts!
Join the #critcat Slack group for a read along of Bowker & Star’s Sorting Things Out (1999). We’ll be reading the Introduction and Part I (pages 1-161) and have an asynchronous discussion on Slack during the week of October 17-23. If you’re short on time, just read chapter 4 (pages 135-161) on “Classification, Coding, and Coordination” and join right in.
There will also be a synchronous Twitter chat held with the new Digitial Humanities #infraclub group to discuss Sorting Things Out. The Twitter chat is scheduled for Monday 31 October, 5pm GMT/1pm US Eastern/10am US Pacific.
Sorting Things Out delves into topics such as classifying disease and racial groups—it’s truly a standard in understanding how classification affects our society. Please spread the word and join us in discussing this important work!