you can find these slides, my notes, and links with more information to the things I am talking about at this address. And that's my name and twitter handle. I always love staying in touch with people. :)
And I want to say that even though the things in the US that are going on RIGHT NOW are horrible and difficult to deal with, this talk is more general than just "What to do right now about this terrible man and his terrible friends" and I apologize for that in advance. I love dreaming about optimal library services and having other people to do that with. Thanks for listening, and caring.
I've got three chunks of stuff to talk about HISTORY, THEORY & IDEAS and then ACTIONS
I joined SRRT (social responsibilities round table) of ALA when I was still in library school. This is a screenshot from their first newsletter along with the headline of one of the articles. I don't think I am an unreasonable person but I know that to some people demanding rights (or simply refusing the abridgment of rights) can seem... cheeky. And my response when people ask me "Why so political?" is just to say "I wasn't defending my rights before people started trying to take them away"
Vermont's got a Republican Governor. He's mostly fine. But one of his first acts was to accept the resignations of many people heading up his departments, including our state librarian. This is unusual. Usually people offer letters of resignation to an incoming administration which are politely dismissed.
I spoke to the president of the Vermont Library Association about what our response would be. She was concerned, saying "I don't really like this political stuff." I get that, or at least I mostly do. My personal feeling is that if there are enough of us to do the political mixing it up, it's fine if it's not for everyone. But I'd like to make an argument that there's at least some parts of this that could be for anyone. (we got a new state librarian, he is great)
And, relatedly, that Republican governor just passed some pretty serious gun control legislation in a state that has NEVER HAD ANY and came out in favor of impeachment. So sometimes people can surprise you.
This is Ed, one of my students. He is trying to make sense of facebook. Not because he suddenly wants to start "social networking" but because he met a woman who he would like to get to know better and that is the best, maybe only, way to communicate with her. Ed is struggling a little but we talked him through getting online, using Facebook Messaging and sending a message. He composed a message one week and came back to send it the next week. Ed doesn't have broadband or a computer at home.
I focus on tech in these talks because with print materials specifically, once you buy a book, the publisher is out of your life. Not so for technology, you get the content for free but what is being "sold" is your attention or YOUR DATA TO SOMEONE ELSE. And people need to be able to understand this attention economy from someone who is not actively involved in selling it to them. Me. You. Digital content isn't difficult on its own but the digital marketplace makes dealing with digital content very very difficult. We all know this. Ed very much doesn't
The model a lot of people like to use in traditional education is the "banking model" as mentioned here.
Aside: I just saw a movierecently called Change the Subject about activist students at Dartmouth who petitioned the Library of Congress to change the subject heading "illegal alien" to "undocumented person" That's the sort of thing I'm talking about, the STRUCTURE underpinning our systems.
(click) There are many people working on these sorts of topics in librarianship, a lot of their online discourse can be found via the #critlib hashtag, linked on the links page.
This is one recent gaffe that Google has since (click) fixed. And by fixing it they let us know something very important: that these things CAN be fixed. And this isn't just idle search engine goofery, these things have repercussions in the real world
learning, relearning, reflection, evaluation]
But that's something *I* need to unlearn, not something I should make everyone else deal with. This is Kalpana Chawla. She was an astronaut, a victim in the Columbia disaster. Representation matters.
...and this isn't just "yay progressives" People may have religious reasons to feel a men-only or women-only bathroom is appropriate, so keeping those options is *also* a way of supporting diversity. So talk to them, have transparency in your process.
This is the ALA Code of Ethics (June 1976) but you knew that.
(ALA Policy Manual Section B: Positions and Public Policy Statements)
Put another way being antiracist is our job. Part of it.
SPLC - southern poverty law center
"I want to know if my hair is just like yours," Jacob Philadelphia told Mr. Obama...
Many people, especially people who haven't really spent a lot of time learning about social justice issues, may not be aware of the privilege they have and so they can't use their power for good because they don't feel that they have it (or worse, feel antagonized by others' accomplishments). Learn about what privilege is. Learn to talk to other people about it.
Because we know, that libraries have transformative properties but we can always use the PR
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