Information Literacy and Social Justice: Radical Professional Praxis (September 15, 2011)

full name / name of organization: 
Shana Higgins and Lua Gregory/University of Redlands
contact email: 
shana_higgins@redlands.edu

Working title:
Information Literacy and Social Justice: Radical Professional Praxis (An Edited Collection)

Editors:
Shana Higgins and Lua Gregory are instruction and reference librarians at University of Redlands.

Outline:
In her award winning essay “Information Literacy and Reflective Pedagogical Praxis,” Heidi L.M. Jacobs draws out the inherent democratizing and social justice elements of information literacy as defined in the “Alexandria Proclamation On Information Literacy and Lifelong Learning.” She suggests that because of these underlying social justice elements, information literacy “is not only educational but also inherently political, cultural, and social” (258). We propose to extend the discussion of information literacy and its social justice aspects that James Elmborg, Cushla Kapitzke, Maria T. Accardi, Emily Drabinski, and Alana Kumbier, and Maura Seale have begun. If we consider the democratizing values implicit in librarianship’s professional ethics (such as intellectual freedom, social responsibility, diversity, democracy and privacy, among others) in relation to the sociopolitical context of information literacy, we will begin to make intentional connections between professional advocacy and curriculum and pedagogy. We hope this book will encourage a renewal of professional discourse about libraries in their social context, through a re-activation of the “neutrality debate,” as well as through an investigation of what it means for a global citizen to be information literate in late capitalism.

Objective of book:
This edited collection, to be published by Library Juice Press in Fall 2012, poses the following questions: What are the limits of standards and outcomes, such as ACRL’s [i.e. Standard 1.2 The information literate student identifies a variety of types and formats of potential sources for information. ], in fitting information literacy instruction to the complex contexts of information in the real world? Would the teaching of social justice and the democratizing values of the library profession strengthen critical information literacy in the classroom? And how do we balance the need to teach search skills and critical information literacy in our instructional efforts?

Target audience:
The target audience for this book includes instruction librarians, library instruction program coordinators, faculty and instructors interested in information literacy, and all librarians interested in the political, economic, social, and cultural contexts of the production, dissemination, suppression, and consumption of information.

Possible topics:
We encourage proposals on the intersections of information literacy instruction with the democratizing values of the library profession.

• Possible topics may include information literacy aspects of media coverage of war and embedded journalism, renewal of the Patriot Act, market-based censorship, for-profit libraries (Library Systems & Services), EPA library closures and access to environmental information, immigrants and library access, Wikileaks and government censorship, corporate censorship, anti-communism and anti-socialism in the media, classification of government documents, international and comparative studies on censorship, First Amendment protection to whistleblowers and the press, British Petroleum and oil spill research, global warming censorship, and library database mergers.

• Examples of information literacy sessions focusing on the above topics and/or framed by democratizing and social justice values of the library profession. Examples can also be aimed at specific disciplines.

• Discussions of theories/theorists (e.g. Noam Chomsky, Edward S. Herman, C. Wright Mills, Paulo Friere, Peter McClaren, etc.) and their usefulness in illuminating sociopolitical contexts of information within the classroom.

• Discussions on the “neutrality debate” in light of the sociopolitical and cultural context of information.

Submission Guidelines:
Please submit abstracts and proposals of up to 500 words to ilandsocialjustice@gmail.com by September 15, 2011. Notifications will be sent by November 1 and manuscripts from 1,500-7,000 words will be due by March 1, 2012.

cfp categories: 
interdisciplinary
professional_topics
rhetoric_and_composition