Examining Institutional Racism in Libraries
Dates: Not currently scheduled
Credits: 1.5 CEUs or 15 PDHs
Critical approaches to librarianship call on us to recognize the inherently political nature of information and to center social justice within our practice. However, we don't always have time to read and discuss the literature on a focused area of social justice in our field. In order to do better, we need to know better.
This course will provide a structured space to read and discuss some foundational as well as current literature related to racial justice issues in libraries. Each week will feature assigned articles to read and reflect on, and then discuss on the forums. We will explore basic concepts of Critical Race Theory and articles applying this approach to specific aspects of librarianship, and we will discuss ways to extend this critical lens to additional aspects of librarianship and ways to work toward greater justice in libraries.
The content level will assume that participants signed up because they see racial justice as a valid and important concern, but participants do not need special background beyond that. Those with more background knowledge of this area may also benefit from the structure a course provides to (re)read these articles and participate in discussions of their content.
By the end of the course, students will have:
- Read some foundational and current articles that analyze structural or institutional forms of racism in libraries
- Examined the ways unquestioned structures and patterns can lead to racist outcomes, regardless of intent
- Discussed examples of how patterns discussed in articles can also be found in many of our institutions
- Discussed ideas and strategies to challenge and hopefully change these problematic structures
This course can be taken as one of four courses needed to earn our Certificate in Diversity and Inclusion Skills, but can be taken as a stand-alone course as well.
Angela Pashia is an Associate Professor / Librarian at the University of West Georgia. Angela has a Masters in Information Science & Learning Technologies, with an emphasis in library science, from the University of Missouri, and a Masters in Anthropology from the University of Virginia. Angela is currently focusing on practicing critical pedagogies and incorporating social justice issues into the credit bearing information literacy course offered at UWG. Angela is co-editor (with Jessica Critten) of the book Critical Approaches to Credit-bearing Information Literacy Courses, available in Fall 2018 from ACRL Press. Website, Interview with Angela Pashia
CJ Ivory is Assistant Professor and Instruction Librarian at the University of West Georgia where she teaches a credit-bearing course on Information Literacy & Research. In this semester-long course she connects social justices issues to information literacy concepts. Prior to this position, CJ served as Business Librarian at the University of Central Florida and Reference Librarian at Valencia College. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Central Florida and Master of Library & Information Science from Florida State University. Her research interests include open pedagogy, critical information literacy, and social justice education.
This is an online class that is taught asynchronously, meaning that participants do the work on their own time as their schedules allow. The class does not meet together at any particular times, although the instructor may set up optional sychronous chat sessions. Instruction includes readings and assignments in one-week segments. Class participation is in an online forum environment.
Please contact us to arrange a special session of this class for a group of seven or more, with a negotiable discount, or to be notified when it is next scheduled.