Examining Institutional Racism in Libraries
Instructor: Angela Pashia
Dates: December 3rd, 2018 through January 4th, 2019
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.
Note on the December 2018 session:
We will have the normal 4 weeks worth of content, with an extended time frame due to the holidays. I will ask that you share your expected schedule with me before or during the first week of the course, so that I have a better idea of what level of participation to expect at what time. For example, those who celebrate Hanukkah are welcome to start during the second week of the course. Those who celebrate Christmas may wish to complete all four weeks worth of readings and posts in the first three weeks, or save week four's content for the week of Dec 31-Jan 4; those who wish to finish up earlier will be asked to check back in during the first week of January to read and possibly respond to comments on their posts.
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
- Compared syllabi in order to discuss elements you may like to include in yours
- Discussed ideas and strategies to challenge and hopefully change these problematic structures
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
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.
You can register in this course through the first week of instruction (as long as enrollment is not full). The "Register" button above goes to our credit card payment gateway, which may be used with personal or institutional credit cards. (Be sure to use the appropriate billing address). If you want to pay with Paypal, or if your institution wants us to send a billing statement or wants to send us a purchase order, please contact us by email to make arrangements.