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Critical Pedagogy & Information Literacy instruction

5/20/2016
When: May 20, 2016
From 9:00 AM until 3:00 PM
Where: Swartz Conference Center
Matywood University
2300 Adams Avenue
Scranton, Pennsylvania  18509
United States
Contact: Leslie Christianson


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Keynote: Andrea Baer

Andrea Baer is an Instructional Services Librarian at the University of West Georgia, where she works with course instructors, fellow librarians, and students to integrate information literacy instruction at the course and curricular levels. Andrea also teaches professional development courses on information literacy education at Library Juice Academy. Prior to becoming a librarian Andrea instructed college courses in English composition, literature, and language at the University of Washington while completing her Ph.D. in comparative literature. Her teaching and research are strongly informed by her range of classroom experiences, as well as by her interest in critical pedagogy and writing studies. She also holds a Master of Information Sciences degree from the University of Tennessee. 

Andrea frequently facilitates workshops for librarians and teaching faculty on information literacy instruction and presents at conferences on information literacy and librarian-faculty partnerships. Her publications include “Critical Information Literacy in the College Classroom: Exploring Scholarly Knowledge Production through the Digital Humanities” (in Information Literacy and Social Justice: Radical Professional Praxis, 2013) and “Why Do I Have to Write That?: Compositionists Find Disconnections between Student and Instructor Conceptions of Research Writing and its Purpose” (Evidence Based Library and Information Practice Journal, 2014). Andrea’s forthcoming book Information Literacy, Writing Studies, and Pedagogy: Research (and Teaching) as Conversation (Library Juice Press, 2016) explores the intersections between writing and library instruction and the potential for further growing partnerships between librarians and writing instructors.

Title: Recontextualizing Information, Reembodying Pedagogical Practice 

 

Abstract: In her 2003 article “Information Literacy: A Contradictory Coupling,” Christine Pawley observed that “the conceiving of information as a thing—the ‘reification’ of information—has permitted us to treat it as a commodity.” This “decontextualization,” she asserted, “is illusory. Information never stands alone—it is always produced and used in ways that represent social relationships. And these representations and relationships are not merely a matter of chance or individual choice but reflect the underlying patterns that structure society.”

 

The tendency to abstract information from its social and cultural contexts has become so commonplace in everyday life that the phenomenon often seems invisible, including in higher education. Although educators can – and often do – encourage students to inquire about how particular information has come to exist and how it relates to students’ own experiences and social positions, many pedagogical practices also reinforce the decontextualization of information that Pawley describes. In this talk Baer discusses empirical research on the relationships between pedagogical practices and students’ conceptions of and approaches to using information sources. She then explores these findings’ implications for librarians’ instructional work within and beyond the library classroom. While she suggests specific possibilities for librarians’ pedagogical practices, more importantly she invites further inquiry into and dialogue about librarians’ roles as teachers, learners, and members of local and global communities. 


Keynote: Emily Drabinski

Emily Drabinski is Coordinator of Instruction at Long Island University, Brooklyn. She is co-editor of Critical Library Instruction: Theories and Methods (Library Juice Press, 2011). She sits on the board of Radical Teacher, a journal of feminist, socialist, and anti-racist teaching practice, and edits Gender & Sexuality in Information Studies, a book series from Library Juice Press/Litwin Books. In 2015, she won the Ilene F. Rockman Instruction Publication of the Year Award for “Toward a Kairos of Library Instruction,” published in the Journal of Academic Librarianship in 2015.

Title: What Standards Do, and What They Don't

Abstract: Critical library pedagogy has done significant work to trouble standards as universalizing mechanisms that disconnect teaching librarians from their classrooms, focusing attention on abstractions rather than the students we serve each day. At the same time, standards function as important infrastructures of power. They help us communicate with other higher education bodies, comply with institutional reporting requirements, and serve as platforms for resource claims at the institutional level. How can librarians leverage the institutional power that standards produce while resisting their tendency to homogenize teaching and learning? In this talk, Drabinski articulates these tensions and suggests ways to resist standardized approaches in our daily work while strategically deploying standards to facilitate our labor.


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