The Librarian Parlor (LibParlor) is a blog for conversing, sharing expertise, and asking questions about the process of developing, pursuing, and publishing library research. In this first of two #critlib chats, the Librarian Parlor Editorial Team would like to explore the process and theory behind conducting research with a critical librarianship lens. We hope this chat provides insight on best practices for starting and doing this research, as well as provide perspectives and theories for further exploration. The LibParlor Editorial Team believes our mission of creating community and conversation to demystify research aligns with the mission of #critlib to engage in discussion on critical perspectives.
(A wrap-up blog post from the moderators, featuring some of the participants’ suggestions for resources, is also available.)
About a year ago, #critlib chats began to focus on what it meant to be an information professional in a hostile, fascist, and overtly racist political environment; and it’s become a tradition to host an annual reflective chat for the #critlib community to reconnect with why they do the work that they do. We recognize that 2017 has been a difficult year politically, and need for information works to organize and resist has never been greater. This week’s chat invites the #critlib community to reflect on the year, share what their struggles have been, what they’re grateful for, and how we can organize the collective for the upcoming year.
Q1. What has critical librarianship looked like for you this last year? #critlib
Q2. What is (or isn’t) welcome back in 2018? #critlib
Q3. What are you grateful for at the end of this year? What are you grieving or angry about? #critlib
Q4. What did you read this year that resonated? #critlib
Please use both hashtags: #critlib #dlfaig in this chat!
The Digital Library Federation‘s Assessment Interest Group‘s User Experience and Cultural Assessment Working Group’s Twitter chat will focus on the ethical implications of designing user personas as they apply to the creation and universal access of digital collection and repository technologies. These effects are often inscribed by white-straight-cisgendered librarians’ and technologists’ perspectives and values, and influence digital collection building and repository system development and maintenance. The intent of this #critlib #dlfaig chat will be to underscore and outline the snowball effect of early stage human-centered design processes influenced and perpetuated by systemic inequalities.
Q1. What are pros and cons of using user personas for digital libraries and collections? #critlib #dlfaig
Q2. How can we most ethically and responsibly design user personas for digital collections? How should communities be included and involved? #critlib #dlfaig
Q3. When conducting user research for user personas, what crucial aspects should digital library practitioners should be aware of to offset bias in the digital library design process? #critlib #dlfaig
Q4. When designing systems to support digital collections, what are core system functions to include in user persona behavior goals? #critlib #dlfaig
Q5. How do digital collection selection practices and workflows influence and define user personas? #critlib #dlfaig
Q6. The DLF UX and Cultural Assessment working groups are in the beginning stages of developing a user personas rubric. What criteria should be included in it? What should be measured? #critlib #dlfaig
graphic novel vs. comic: comic is the medium, graphic novel is a form more socially accepted.
minicomics: usually refers to handmade or micropress (creator-published/self-published or very small press) comics.
webcomics: comics created for and published on websites. May range from daily strips to full-length graphic novels. (Distinguished from digital comics, which are usually traditionally-published comics meant to live as print works but made available on digital platforms.)
sequential art: artwork that tells a story through sequential narrative (including storyboards, animation, and illustrated novels). Comics are sequential art, but not all sequential art is comics.
Radical Reference is a collective of library workers and information workers who believe in and work towards social justice and equity (http://radicalreference.info/about). In the past RadRef provided online reference services to activists, journalists and researchers who requested help looking for information and resources, and supported protests and other street actions. The NYC chapter has recently reactivated, and we’d like to host a chat to think on and discuss what RadRef could be in these times.
Radical Empathy (from the Caswell and Cifor article) is “a willingness to be affected, to be shaped by another’s experience, without blurring the lines between the self and the other.” Caswell and Cifor’s radical empathy posits that, “subjects are embodied, that we are inextricably bound to one another through relationships, that we live in complex relations to each other infused with power differences and inequities, and that we care about each other’s well-being. This emphasis on empathy takes bodies and the bodily into account.”
Caswell and Cifor propose that a feminist ethic of radical empathy shifts four key archival relationships: relationships between the archivist and the records creator, the archivist and records subject, the archivist and user, and the archivist and larger communities. Participants in a “Radical Empathy in Archival Practice” panel at the 2017 SAA meeting proposed a fifth responsibility, that of the archivist to the archivist.
Q1. Reflect on the 4 relationships discussed in the article and share your experience with any that resonated with you. #critlib
Q2. How can we remain emotionally open and vulnerable yet remain grounded? Can we be both affective and effective archivists? #critlib
Q3. When do the tenets of our profession complicate or uplift our capacity to be radically empathetic? #critlib
Q4. How do we create a radically empathetic 5th relationship between archivists? How can we facilitate spaces for emotional education/actions? #critlib
Q5. How can we navigate conflicting responsibilities between all of our affective relationships? Which relationships do we prioritize? #critlib
spatial justice: Spatial justice brings together social justice and space. How space is organized (what and who occupies any given space) is a crucial dimension of human societies, reflecting social realities and (in)justices while also influencing social relations (Henri Lefebrve, 1968, 1972). This concept can be used as a guiding tool to understand and reflect on solutions to social injustices that are embedded in both space and society.
public art: art in any media that has been planned and executed with the intention of being staged in the physical public domain, usually outside and accessible to all.
Brook, Freeda, Dave Ellenwood, and Althea Eannace Lazzaro. “In pursuit of antiracist social justice: denaturalizing whiteness in the academic library.” Library Trends 64.2 (2015): 246-284. (especially section on “The racialized space of the academic library” pdf)
Q1. What is the function of public art and architecture where you work/live? #critlib
Q2. What narratives/whose history is dominant in and around lib*/archives in your community? #critlib
Q3. If lib* take an antiracist approach to cultivating culturally responsive spaces, what do we need to examine first and why? #critlib
Q4. How can we can work to counteract & subvert oppressive spatial elements, such as monuments that function as microaggressions? #critlib
Q5. What barriers might we encounter in trying to do this work in our profession & how can we overcome those barriers? #critlib