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Ryan P. Randall

Instruction & Outreach Librarian at the College of Western Idaho ∴ Literary, media & cultural studies ∴ Web Editor at In the Library with the Lead Pipe ∴ Sous les pavés, la plage ∴ We are, as always, stubborn, stoked, and petrified - GY!BE

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Reads this Week

How did I forget about the LOEX Quarterly’s articles being effectively open access after a year? This means it’s a great place to look for articles to share, such as for #critlib discussions. These two are both short enough that I won’t really reprise much of them here, just connect them to other ideas.

Bob Schoofs, “The Flow of Learning: It’s Not Just in the Classroom”

“The Flow of Learning: It’s Not Just in the Classroom, LOEX Quarterly Vol 40, issue 3.

Here Schoofs discusses learning as a “flow” of actions that spread across campus. He encourages librarians to trust students’ abilities to move to new ways of learning and also suggests that librarians create intentional strategies to help students engage with new learning opportunities.

This “flow of learning” idea broadly links up with both North’s “The Idea of a Writing Center” and one of my all-time favorite LIS articles, Wayne Wiegand’s “To Reposition a Research Agenda: What American Studies Can Teach the LIS Community about the Library in the Life of the User”. As I wrote last week, North’s “The Idea of a Writing Center” discusses how to orient library instruction toward a holistic sense of learning, to help students integrate disparate tasks into larger habits of mind and process that engage critically with information. Wiegand’s article similarly exhorts librarians to shift from thinking about users within libraries to the larger questions of how libraries fit into the broader personal, historical, and cultural lives of users.

Andrew Battista, “From a ‘Crusade against Ignorance’ to a ‘Crisis of Authenticity’: Cultivating Information Literacy for a 21st Century Democracy”

“From a ‘Crusade against Ignorance’ to a ‘Crisis of Authenticity’: Cultivating Information Literacy for a 21st Century Democracy”, LOEX Quarterly Vol 38, issue 4.

Andrew Battista, formerly a Information Literacy Librarian at the University of Montevallo and now a Librarian for Geospatial Information Systems at New York University, compellingly situates information literacy within democratic rhetoric. Then, he advocates for student curation of information rather than consumption or deployment of it, asserting that curation moves from simplistic task-based notions of information use and instead toward critical evaluations that help students situate themselves as participants in public discourse.

As with Schoofs’ and Wiegand’s articles, I appreciate this article’s stress on what lies outside of the library “proper,” the emphasis on situating the users’ engagement with sources and information. Really, this is an article that you should just go read if you haven’t yet—I’d basically just quote the whole thing if I tried to summarize it here!


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