Ryan P. Randall bio photo

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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#critlib chat on Information & Migrant Populations

Tuesday, 2015-09-08, saw a #critlib Twitter chat on information & migrant populations. Amiably—and admirably—moderated by Greg Bemb, this chat took a broad approach to considering the information and access needs of different migrant communities. Participants considered international migration, urbanization within a particular country, and students moving to a larger college town.

Looking back at the Storify put together by Violet Fox, I’m struck at the degree to which the chat participants envisioned the role of libraries and library workers as supporting the agency and actions of migrants, rather than presuming that we or our various institutions bestow information upon others. It’s perhaps an obvious stance, but that outlook of assisting and collaborating with library users seems vital to critical library praxis.

Tor Exit Node Threatened at Kilton Public Library in Lebanon, NH

If you’re interested in helping protect patron privacy, you may be interested signing this petition: Support Tor and Intellectual Freedom in Libraries. According to this Propublica article, the Lebanon Public Libraries board of trustees will vote on Tuesday, 2015-09-15, to decide whether to reinstate the Tor exit relay run by the Kilton Public Library, having suspended it after being contacted by law enforcement.

For more context and updates, see the Library Freedom Project site or the Twitter of the Director, Alison Macrina. For instance, she recently linked to a very supportive article on the situation from Popular Science.

Call for Papers: Topographies of Whiteness: Mapping Whiteness in Library and Information Science

Submissions of proposals are due this week—on Tuesday, 2015-09-15, to be precise—for papers and essays addressing whiteness in library and information science with the goal of working toward anti-racist librarianship. For more information, check out editor Gina Schlesselman-Tarango’s full call for proposals at Library Juice Press. This book will be part of the Press’s Series on Critical Race Studies and Multiculturalism in LIS, whose series editor Sujei Lugo also is accepting queries, proposals, and manuscripts.

Philips and Lowery’s “The Hard-Knock Life? Whites Claim Hardships in Response to Racial Inequity”

An illuminating study on white Americans’ responses to evidence of racial privilege has been published by L. Taylor Phillips and Brian Lowery, respectively a Ph.D. student and Professor at Stanford’s Organizational Behavior program. As Kerry A Dolan’s article at Insights by Stanford Business distills:

Experiments 1a and 1b show that Whites exposed to evidence of racial privilege claim to have suffered more personal life hardships than those not exposed to evidence of privilege. Experiment 2 shows that self-affirmation reverses the effect of exposure to evidence of privilege on hardship claims, implicating the motivated nature of hardship claims. Further, affirmed participants acknowledge more personal privilege, which is associated with increased support for inequity-reducing policies.

It’s heartening that the study found that asking participants to rank their 12 highest values and explain their top-ranked value could effectively turn off the denial effect, with participants expressing a significantly higher belief in personal privilege and expressing more support for affirmative action policies. I wonder how this this sort of affirmation exercise could be used in ethnic studies, critical race, American studies, etc. courses, as well as whether similar “openness” to challenging ideas could be established by affirmation exercises around information literacy.

The original article provides enough additional context that it is well worth your additional reading time. You can find it here directly from Stanford or here at ScienceDirect.


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