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Inclusive Pedagogy for Library Instruction


April Hathcock, the Scholarly Communications Librarian at NYU, advocates for fuller recruitment and inclusion of librarians from non-dominant backgrounds in this article. She defines “whiteness” as any kind of hegemony, whether it be based on race, class, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other category. And then she states that this kind of whiteness underlies our current diversity efforts in LIS. Consequently, we are not keeping diverse librarians in the profession, and those who do stay are under too much pressure to represent groups to which they belong, while also fixing the diversity “problem.” This article is a continuation of the work done by Galvan’s 2015 article entitled “Soliciting Performance, Hiding Bias: Whiteness and Librarianship.” The two solutions put forward are changing our diversity programs to accept more applicants of non-dominant experiences and providing mentoring opportunities for new librarians of these experiences.

Tags: Structural Racism; Diversity; Inclusion

Mathuews does a good job of highlighting how social justice underpins many of the stated professional ethics of academic librarianship. They also make a strong case that academic libraries should leverage their role as connector on campus to collaborate with a variety of stakeholders on social justice initiatives on campus. Some modest examples of work are provided, though the article focuses mostly on theoretical reasoning.

Tags: Inclusion

This article reexamines one of the core values of libraries and librarians, defined by the ALA as the “highest level of service to all library users,” considering the service provided to the white working class in the United States. The author, Kathleen de la Peña McCook, cites specific examples of this particular class (e.g. union members, drug-addicted individuals, and veterans), providing historical and current boundaries to inclusive service and respectful interaction. She also offers practical and constructive examples for building improved relations plus an attached copy of the ALA Policy Statement, Library Services to the Poor as an Appendix. Despite the dated and insensitive title, the ALA Policy Statement provides fifteen sound recommendations to address the lack of effectiveness of traditional services for these constituencies.

Although this article concentrates on public library services, the emphasis on education and civil discourse is certainly applicable to academic libraries. While many of the students on a largely undergraduate liberal arts campus may not belong to the constituent groups specifically mentioned, it is certainly possible that family members are part of those groups. In addition, campus faculty and staff may belong to these constituent groups.

Tags: Practical; Inclusion; Diversity

This article reports on a study to evaluate how students with vision impairments use digital technologies during their transition to university life. As a result of the findings, the authors expand current theories regarding transition and propose a paradigm shift, Transition 2.0. Transition 1.0 is characterized as an individualized experience during which the student acts as an independent learner and adapts to surroundings through specialized services and resources. Much of the previous research regarding technological tools in Transition 1.0 concentrate on assistive technologies to compensate or lessen the impact of the impairment, neglecting the impact of other emerging technologies.

Transition 2.0, in contrast, incorporates digital equipment (e.g. cameras and audio recorders), social media, online resources, and mobile devices in the various stages of the transition process and introduces a collective approach as well. In addition, Transition 2.0 identifies five distinctive stages during transition (exploring university as an option, discovering university life, coping with turning points, readjusting the transition experience and settling in at university) while previous theories identified only three. The researchers found that students with visual impairments operate similarly to non-disabled students, utilizing digital tools to collaborate, participate, learn and adapt.

The visually impaired students relied heavily on social media, websites, videos, digital cameras and recorders which could have an impact on library instruction. Libraries might also want to consider loaning cameras and audio recorders.

Since this study focused on qualitative results, the applicant pool was very small. The fact that the students and university were located in New Zealand might also affect its applicability.

Tags: Theoretical; Inclusion

UNC-Chapel Hill biology professor Kelly A. Hogan, in response to troubling data showing that minority or disadvantaged students failed her class at higher than average rates, devised an inclusive approach to teaching that has proven successful. First, she identified widely held misconceptions about college students such as: facility with reading long assignments, knowing how to take notes, knowing how to study, knowing how to express what they’ve learned, and comfort level in asking for help. After a realization that her traditional teaching methods may have contributed to the inequity in her classroom, Hogan revised her class. She began with flipping it and devoted class time to structured active learning, regular practice, and lessons designed to provide experiences that the students might have lacked in their secondary education. These actions helped to level the playing field. Evidence from the class data demonstrated reduced failure rates for minority students. This article describes many of the specific actions Hogan took to make her classes more structured and more inclusive. These specific actions could be adapted to library instruction classes, library web page and libguide designs and to the teaching done at the library reference desk.

Tags: Theoretical; Inclusion

Ying Zhong (NSME and Web Librarian at California State University - Bakersfield) provides an excellent overview of Universal Design for Learning and its application to library instruction. A survey-based study is presented that examines student learning styles in two English courses. A lesson plan that incorporates UDL strategies to teach search skills and Boolean logic is shared. Shows the benefits that apply to a wide array of learning styles with the use of UDL teaching practices.

Tags: Practical; Inclusion

The Inclusive Pedagogy for Library Instruction project (IP4LI) is a collaboration of librarians from several small, liberal arts colleges to discover resources and best practices for applying inclusive pedagogy in library instruction settings, particularly one-shot sessions. It is supported by a grant from the Associated Colleges of the South.
Birmingham-Southern College Davidson College Furman University Sewanee - The University of the South University of Richmond Washington & Lee University