public/academic collaboration

From Kittens and cats : a first reader / by Eulalie Osgood Grover (1911)
From Kittens and cats : a first reader / by Eulalie Osgood Grover (1911)

65th chat, Tuesday September 6th 2016: collaborations between academic & public libraries
6pm Pacific / 7pm Mountain / 8pm Central / 9pm Eastern

Moderated by @AprilHathcock

Find more information about this chat at April’s blog: Public-Academic Library Collabs

Discussion questions:

  • Q1. How can academic libraries support public libraries with research?
  • Q2. How can academic libraries be more aware of and help out with public library advocacy?
  • Q3. How can big research university libraries share with community colleges as well as public libraries?

LIS Journal Club

LIS Journal Club, a new LIS research article reading group, is hosting a critlib-themed discussion! Their September article is “On Dark Continents and Digital Divides: Information Inequality and the Reproduction of Racial Otherness in Library and Information Studies” by Dave Hudson. Discussion includes asynchronous commenting via a web annotation tool ( as well as a live Twitter chat on Thursday September 22. Find more information at and follow along on Twitter with #LISjc!

Wikipedia & #critlib

striped angora cat on a pedestal with caption "Tiger and white male, weight 16 lbs."
From The Angora cat : how to breed, train and keep it / edited by Robert Kent James (1898)

64th chat, Tuesday August 23rd 2016: Wikipedia & #critlib

Moderated by @oksveta @fiiidget @nora_almeida
Storify by @poorcharlotte

Suggested readings:

Discussion questions:

  • Q1. What is your stance towards/relationship with Wikipedia (WP) & what experiences have brought you to that stance? #critlib
  • Q2. In what ways could Wikipedia be a potential resource or site for enacting #critlib?
  • Q3. In what ways are the pillars (i.e. Neutral Point of View) and/or organizational structures of WP in tension with #critlib? [link to Wikipedia page for the 5 pillars]
  • Q4. Do librarians have a responsibility to address pitfalls of WP like gender/race/identity gaps? #critlib
  • Q5. What accounts for historic maligning of WP by libs and what does this tell us about our own stance towards information? #critlib

For further exploration:

ethics of digitization

line drawing of a fluffy Persian cat
From Alumnae Recorder / Pennsylvania Female College Alumnae Association (1888)

63rd chat, Monday August 8th 2016: ethics of digitization

Moderated by @tararobertson and @zinelib
Storify by @tararobertson

Suggested readings:

Discussion questions:

  • Q1 What are pros & cons of make digitization decisions informed by personal & community ethics, in addition to/instead of The Law? #critlib
  • Q2 When making digitization decisions, how do we balance the needs of (living) subjects & (future) scholars, now vs. 100s from now? #critlib
  • Q3 What are some #critlib models of providing community/research access to a collection, vs. protecting privacy?
  • Q4 How should #critlib digitization decisions differ with regard to  race, gender, sexuality, disability, etc. vs. those of default identities?
  • Q5 How should #critlib digitization decisions differ with regard to porn vs. other content like newspapers, books, or historical photos?

“offensive” items in the collection

startled looking kitten on a cat-sized wooden chair
From Kittens and cats : a first reader / by Eulalie Osgood Grover (1911)

62nd chat, Tuesday July 26th 2016: “offensive” items in the collection
6pm Pacific / 7pm Mountain / 8pm Central / 9pm Eastern

Moderated by @zoh_zoh
Storify by @violetbfox

Suggested readings:

Discussion questions:

  • Q1. What kinds of materials in your library have offended your users?
  • Q2. What kinds of materials in your library have you & your staff found offensive?
  • Q3. Is it censorship to relocate/reclassify items?
  • Q4. How do you empower your users to be directly involved in collection development and maintenance?

value sensitive design

black and white cat sitting on upholstered furniture
From The Angora cat : how to breed, train and keep it / edited by Robert Kent James (1898)

61st chat, Tuesday July 19th 2016: value sensitive design

Moderated by @metageeky
Storify by @violetbfox

In multiple discussions, twitter chats, and conference presentations, the need for library work to understand, respect, and address issues of diversity is continually brought up. We talk about the need to not only re-design our cataloging methods but also questioning the underlying technology that drives discovery. This requires navigating, balancing, and integrating diverse aspects of academics, society, and technology. Value sensitive design (VSD) is one design approach to consider for tackling these challenges. VSD emphasizes identifying and respecting human values throughout the interactions of society and technology. Using a multidisciplinary perspective that draws on philosophy, social sciences, and engineering, VSD has been applied to many domains, including city planning, assistive technologies, and Internet privacy policies. Let’s explore its potential for innovation and progress in library work, especially in regards to critical librarianship.

Suggested readings:

Discussion questions:

  • Q1. How would you define Value Sensitive Design?
  • Q2. What are some explicitly-supported values in library work?
  • Q2b. In VSD, designers need to recognize if there are any values they explicitly support. Are there explicitly-supported values in #critlib work?
  • Q3. How can VSD be applied to #critlib? What areas of library work could VSD and #critlib benefit?
  • Q4. What might be some challenges in applying VSD to library work? How could those challenges be overcome?

Additional resources:


Kitten sleeping in tiny bed, covered with blanket
From Kittens and cats : a first reader / by Eulalie Osgood Grover (1911)

60th chat, Monday July 11th 2016: caregiving
11am Pacific / noon Mountain / 1pm Central / 2pm Eastern

Moderated by @sarahcrissinger & @ibeilin
Storify by @nishamody

Suggested readings:

Discussion questions:

  • Q1. How do you define “care”? We often talk about caregiving in terms of parenthood, but what are other forms of caregiving? #critlib
  • Q2. How do social expectations (or a lack of such expectations) for caregiving affect you or your workplace? #critlib
  • Q3. What are some of the structural, policy-level impediments one might encounter as a caregiver in LIS? #critlib
  • Q4. We often see a disparity in benefits between staff in different roles, e.g. professional, support, faculty. Is this true in your work? #critlib
  • Q5. If you have benefits others don’t, how can you work to create more inclusive policies around caregiving? #critlib

Additional resources:

digital preservation

Portrait of Persian cat
From Our domestic animals, their habits, intelligence and usefulness / by Gos de Voogt (1907)

59th chat, Monday June 6th 2016: digital preservation

Moderated by @dinahhandel
Storify by @dinahhandel

Discussion questions:

  • Q1 How do you define digital preservation? Does your definition differ from established digital preservation concepts? How & why? #critlib
  • Q2 Are digi-pres concepts inadequate for archives? How can we bridge the gap between recommended best practices & digi-pres labor? #critlib
  • Q3 What sustainability challenges- environmental, financial- does digi-pres present? How can digi-pres be more sustainable? #critlib
  • Q4 In what ways do you see power, oppression, or social justice intersect with digital preservation? #critlib
  • Q5 What are your hopes for the field of digital preservation going forward? #critlib

Additional resources:

No need to read any or all of these- just a list of works that give an overview of the field and some of the primary concepts and concerns…