Text 30 Sep 8 notes Climbing off the fence: Threshold concepts for information literacy

I’ve done a lot of fence sitting in my comments about the new framework for information literacy instruction and its central tenet, the threshold concepts for information literacy. That was in part because I was still digesting the new ideas, and in part because some librarians I really respect had strong (and divergent) opinions, and I wasn’t sure yet where I fell.

But I’ve had some time for reflection, I’ve had time to incorporate aspects of the new framework into my practice, and I was able to immerse myself in the ideas behind the new framework while preparing my talk at the Kentucky Library Association.

I have some concerns about language used in the new framework. I think the definitions of some of the threshold concepts are troublesome and need continued work (I’m looking at you, information has value), while others aren’t quite intuitive as written. I’m still not sure why “metaliteracy” needs to be included at all. I’m curious how we can create continuity with the ACRL Standards from 2000, and how we’ll get faculty to buy into new ideas that are more challenging to explain.

But. I’m climbing off the fence.

like the new framework. I especially like the threshold concepts as a pivot point for library instruction. Telling students where to click in the database is not teaching them how to effectively use information, and the new framework pushes us to be better, more engaged instructors. The research that backs it up resonates with me and my personal, professional experience. I think it moves us forward. I’m on board. More on this soon.

Post mirrored on Wordpress.

Link 30 Sep 14 notes Locating Information Literacy within Institutional Oppression»

etclibrarian:

thepinakes:

Librarian Joshua Beatty has written a comprehensive criticism of the 2000 ACRL Standards and the new draft Framework for Information Literacy. Beatty based his piece on an outline for an essay previously published by nina de jesus. 

Overall, I like the direction the new Framework moves information literacy instruction in. Even in his critique, Beatty acknowledges some of the significant improvements that the new Framework represents.

But Beatty also comprehensively criticizes the language in the new document. He places the frequently used term “information ecosystem” in its historical context: it was born out of social darwinism, and has become a buzzterm in the neoliberal repackaging of education to serve the needs of business and industry. He also rightly calls out the problematic “information has value” threshold concept.

I don’t agree with the entirety of the essay, and I do think that in balance the new framework is a positive step forward for librarians as instructors. But we also should question and call out the aspects of it that we find troubling or misaligned with our professional values — however you define those two (often problematic) words. That’s why I recommend taking the time to read and digest Beatty’s perspective.

Locating information literacy within institutional oppression | In the library with the lead pipe

I considered reblogging this article right after reading it with my response; however, I’ve been thinking about the way social media cultivates “an atmosphere of perpetual outrage” (a phrase used by my husband in a conversation last night). In thinking about this perpetual outrage, I’ve also been thinking about the way in which we engage in philosophical, political, and professional discussions. Too often we respond only to headlines or without thinking about or struggling with the content of the things we read on social media; our response is emotional and guttural. While feeling emotion and having guttural responses is part of being human, I also believe that in order to fully engage with an article such as this one, some deep thinking is required. With this preface in mind, I have some initial thoughts on this article, but I think that this is something that will continue to require deep thought and intellectual struggle.

First, I agree with thepinakes that the new ACRL Framework is a step in the right direction it that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t question the underlying assumptions and ideas behind it. This is, in my understanding, one of the basic tenets of lifelong learning: to always seek answers to questions about the assumptions behind the things we read and ideas we encounter. I think Beatty does this well, but i also do not agree with everything in his essay.

One thing I find particularly problematic actually comes initially from nina de Jesus’s outline upon which Beatty’s article is based. Beatty says de jesus argues “libraries are potentially key tools of oppression because they target the mind.” He goes further and adds “Information literacy does not merely target the contents of the mind but consciously tries to change individuals’ cognitive processes.” Is this not the point of higher education? Are we, as educators, not tasked with influencing the way our students think? I don’t deny that there is potential for misleading our students and influencing them in detrimental ways, but I am not sure that this is an inherently oppressive act so much as a negative outcome of flawed teaching.

Beatty also talks about the oppressive nature of how libraries provide information sources. He speaks in particular about the paywalls behind which vendors and information creators place the stuff of library collections. I understand and even agree to a point with Beatty’s sentiment here, but the fact is that we live in a world that has placed a value on information and we must continue to operate within this world even as we work to change it. Yes, we should have free access to the information we need. Yes, everyone is entitled to reliable information. Yes, it is flawed for us to question the reliability of freely available information based solely on the fact that it is free. But just as we need to be questioning the underlying assumptions behind ACRL’s Framework, we also need to question the sources of information we encounter—be they behind vendor paywalls or on the freely available socially constructed encyclopedia we all love to hate.

I think the basic problem I have with Beatty’s article is that I don’t really see anything practical here. Where do I apply what he says to the freshmen composition class I’m teaching this week? Maybe questioning assumptions is the answer. I don’t think I’ll try to radicalize the freshmen by calling in to question the library resources I have to show them. That’s something to save for seniors.

Again, these are initial thoughts, though not the emotional responses I had upon my first read. I’m still wrestling with this piece, and I’m open to changing my opinions and beliefs through continued dialog. But I think joining the conversation was something I needed to do as a new instruction librarian.

This is great commentary from Emily. Both her perspective and Beatty’s are worth taking on board as we talk about the new framework for information literacy instruction.

Link 26 Sep 14 notes Locating Information Literacy within Institutional Oppression»

Librarian Joshua Beatty has written a comprehensive criticism of the 2000 ACRL Standards and the new draft Framework for Information Literacy. Beatty based his piece on an outline for an essay previously published by nina de jesus. 

Overall, I like the direction the new Framework moves information literacy instruction in. Even in his critique, Beatty acknowledges some of the significant improvements that the new Framework represents.

But Beatty also comprehensively criticizes the language in the new document. He places the frequently used term “information ecosystem” in its historical context: it was born out of social darwinism, and has become a buzzterm in the neoliberal repackaging of education to serve the needs of business and industry. He also rightly calls out the problematic “information has value” threshold concept.

I don’t agree with the entirety of the essay, and I do think that in balance the new framework is a positive step forward for librarians as instructors. But we also should question and call out the aspects of it that we find troubling or misaligned with our professional values — however you define those two (often problematic) words. That’s why I recommend taking the time to read and digest Beatty’s perspective.

Locating information literacy within institutional oppression | In the library with the lead pipe

Photo 25 Sep 9 notes Yup, kept her out on a school night to watch the Giants clinch a wildcard. Also explained our strict family rules about never leaving a a game early. She was good with it.

Yup, kept her out on a school night to watch the Giants clinch a wildcard. Also explained our strict family rules about never leaving a a game early. She was good with it.

Text 25 Sep 212 notes An Open Letter to Joe Murphy (@libraryfuture)

johnxlibris:

To Joe Murphy:

I do not support your lawsuit against Lisa Rabey and nina de jesus. As a librarian and educator, I value open dialogue and believe the proper response to accusations of harassment is understanding and engagement. Instead, you have chosen to use legal action to silence future discussions about a critical issue in our profession and will likely prevent other victims of harassment from speaking out against their abusers. Thus, I request the following:

1. That you immediately cease legal action against the two defendants.
2. That you publicly apologize for using legal actions to silence and prevent public dialogue about a critical issue in our field.
3. That you compensate the defendants for any financial costs incurred as a result of your legal actions.
4. That you make a meaningful, symbolic gesture of solidarity, healing, and reform. I leave the nature of this gesture entirely to your design.

I believe the above requests are reasonable and furthermore will benefit the future of the library profession by setting an example for how to appropriately respond to accusations of harassment.

Signed,
John Jackson, Librarian

Thank you, John. Well stated.

Additional signatory,

Daniel Ransom, Librarian

Link 22 Sep 9 notes Team Harpy | Legal Defense Fund of nina de jesus and Lisa Rabey»

The news of library consultant/speaker/futurist Joe Murphy’s lawsuit against nina de jesus and Lisa Rabey went public last week. If you aren’t aware, Murphy is suing them for $1.25 million (you read that right), after they called him out online for allegedly harassing women at conferences.

Right now, de jesus and Rabey need two things from the community to help them in this case:

  • witnesses who have either been harassed by Murphy or have seen Murphy engage in harassment;
  • funding for their legal defense.

I support de jesus and Rabey. Their voices should not be silenced, and they should not be bullied through the courts. 

Photo 22 Sep 39 notes extabulis:

Poking around uispeccoll’s Instagram and what do I find? “This 1866 copy of Baked Meats of the Funeral (which is a collection of Civil War related things, rather than a melancholy cookbook)” Baked Meats of the Funeral. My coworkers must think I’m crazy because I can’t stop laughing.

What a remarkable title. The Internet Archive has it scanned and available full-text:
Baked meats at a funeral: A collection of essays, poems, speeches, histories, and banquets, by Private Miles O’Reilly, New York Volunteer Infantry. 

extabulis:

Poking around uispeccoll’s Instagram and what do I find? “This 1866 copy of Baked Meats of the Funeral (which is a collection of Civil War related things, rather than a melancholy cookbook)” Baked Meats of the Funeral. My coworkers must think I’m crazy because I can’t stop laughing.

What a remarkable title. The Internet Archive has it scanned and available full-text:

Baked meats at a funeral: A collection of essays, poems, speeches, histories, and banquetsby Private Miles O’Reilly, New York Volunteer Infantry. 

Photo 20 Sep 6 notes healthscireflib:

@dsransom and I playing with the rad installation art at 21c. #louisville  (at 21c Museum Hotels)

This was really cool. The letters flow down the wall, but you can “catch” them and lift them up.

healthscireflib:

@dsransom and I playing with the rad installation art at 21c. #louisville (at 21c Museum Hotels)

This was really cool. The letters flow down the wall, but you can “catch” them and lift them up.

Photo 19 Sep 8 notes Found a food truck pop-up hidden behind a crumbling brick facade on Louisville’s Whisky Row. 

Dinner is a BBQ sandwich with bread and butter pickles and a locally brewed beer. Sound system is playing David Bowie. Kentucky! I like it.

Found a food truck pop-up hidden behind a crumbling brick facade on Louisville’s Whisky Row.

Dinner is a BBQ sandwich with bread and butter pickles and a locally brewed beer. Sound system is playing David Bowie. Kentucky! I like it.

Photo 18 Sep 4 notes I’m eating local…Louisville Hot Brown and a flight of bourbons.

I’m eating local…Louisville Hot Brown and a flight of bourbons.


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