Wednesday, January 28, 2015

#ALISE2015 : Re-constructing Utopia: How LIS educators and practitioners can dismantle structural racism on the Internet and in the profession

They did this presentation at the Joint Conference for Librarians of Color in 2012.

Stacie Williams -

#FactsOnlyLIS : 
  • More people using social media than ever before.
  • People are documenting events of historical significance.
  • 75% of people on social media at anytime are African American.
  • Social media is being by people who are underrepresented by the traditional media.
  • Social media is also how people share the news.
  • What happens when sources use corrupted sources?
  • People use social media for agenda-setting.
  • Are people unknowingly using sources that are extremely biased - without knowing it?
  • Looking legitimate and being legitimate are two different things.
  • There could highly legitimate sources that are non-traditional.
  • Whose ideas are you using?  Has a legitimate source "taken" content from a source that is not well-known or regarded and saying it is their work?
  • Why do we legitimize certain groups over others?
Best Practice/POV (point of view):
  • Ta-Nehisi Coates blog - well curated
  • The Atlantic South Asian American Digital Archive
  • People writing out of their own lived experiences
Myrna Morales -
  • What does whiteness look like at on the Internet?
  • "Process is so much more important that the [end] product."
  • Gentrification and white flight online
  • Interesting that we (women) may work against our own dismantling of bias.
  • "Big data is our generations civil rights issue, and we don't know it" - article title
  • "American Slavery As It Is: Testimony" - two sisters went through newspapers looking at ads for runaway slaves.  
  • What is the information seeking behavior of those that will create tools for the rest of us?  Is their information seeking behavior biases?
Rebecca Martin - she spoke for herself and Heather McCann, who was unable to attend.

Racial inclusion:
  • Information ethics vs. Library ethics - our responsibility as community members versus our responsibility as librarians.
  • Freedom of expression vs.  Freedom from harm - What happens when we witness hate speech online? Should the First Amendment exclude hate speech?  This needs to be discussed more in the LIS classroom. We also need to discuss the manifestations of racism.
  • Equitable vs. Equal action
  • White privilege - we tend to talk about multiculturalism and diversity, rather than racism.
  • Cultural competence - quoted 2011 research done by Renee Franklin Hill - now wide spread focus on cultural competence in LIS education.  LIS programs should include this into the curriculum and create a relevant certificate of advanced studies program.
  • LIS diversity course offerings - classes specifically addressing race and oppression are lacking.  
    • Study done at Univ. of Maryland focused on iSchools and found the topic of diversity lacking. Faculty think that have courses related to this,but students think otherwise.
  • Article "Tripping Over the Color Line"
Heather McCann -
  • Are hate groups on the rise because of the Internet?
  • "Cloaked sites"
  • Racism is built into the Internet.
  • "Racial Internet literacy"
  • Librarians need to develop their own cultural competence, as well as understand their own privilege.
  • Librarians need to understand how people search differently and  what that means in terms of diversity.  
  • We need to rethink our collections.  We need to include more voices in our collections.
    • Community Change, Inc. web site is positive example. 
  • This also means we need a greater ability to search in languages other than English.
  • Students must be able to critically evaluate web sites and do more than just use a checklist.  The hierarchy of web site can be misleading.
  • Search engine rankings can be misleading.  Students need to understand that a higher ranking does not mean it is more reliable or more legitimate.
  • Teaching this needs to be ongoing and woven in across courses.
Sites to look at:
How can we use our current language to have a meaningful discussion?  Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), for example, may not help.

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